1000 Years A Slave
Streaming TV

What have you been watching? Including 1,000 Years a Slave

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

This week’s WHYBW is mostly going to be about what you’ve been watching, since I’ve not been able to watch that much. I’ve tried to watch a lot.

I started watching the new season of Narcos: Mexico. However, my appetite for joyless violence and misery has all but gone, thanks to lockdowns, and it was pretty clear that without the benefit of proper real-world history and engrossing performances, the show’s dedication to Spanish-language violence and unpleasantness wasn’t going to be anywhere near enough to make me want to watch umpteen episodes.

The drug trade is nasty. There’s a historical reason for it being that way. I’ve followed about as much of that history as I need to.

Narcos: Mexico isn’t the only returning show. Dexter is back for a reason I can’t even begin to fathom, other than “cash”. Dexter: New Blood is on Sky Atlantic, but I never even made it to the end of Dexter, it had plummeted off the stupid cliff so many seasons previously, so I’m not going to tune in again to watch as it hits the ground at the bottom nearly a decade later.

Okay, so the trailer isn’t that bad and I do like the idea of Jennifer Carpenter being the new voice of his ‘conscience’. But I don’t want to see Dexter meeting his grown-up son. Wouldn’t he be 10 or something anyway?

In fact the only new show I did watch was the thoroughly depressing but hugely important and impressive 1,000 Years A Slave on Channel 5. It’s not TMINE fare, being a documentary, but if you ever want to astonish yourself about how little you know about the slave trade and just how astonishingly evil it was – obviously it was evil, it was the slave trade, but however bad you think it was, multiply that by a factor of at least 1,000 – watch this.

Perhaps the most pointed part of it is that it feels like one aspect of it is deliberately a flipside of the BBC’s happy white Who Do You Think You Are?, mirroring its style in pretty much every regard. We get to see a whole bunch of Britain’s finest and best Black actors (David Harewood, Hugh Quarshie, et al) getting to retrace their ancestors’ footsteps, all the way back to Africa or the Caribbean… where they were murdered, abducted, etc, as slaves. Of course, we all remember what happened with Ben Affleck’s episode in the US, so who knows if that’s also being subtly referenced.

Just amazing and utterly devastating.

Here’s episode 1. Wisely, the comments have been switched off on it on YouTube

The regulars

Locke & Key – season two (Netflix)

I managed to watch three more episodes of Locke and Key before I gave up. It just got too much about who’s dating who and who’s annoyed at who’s dating who, while simultaneously being about melting people and having them attacked by giant spiders. There’s also far more than is tolerable throughout these episodes about a student horror movie, which even gets a full cinematic screening.

Maybe I’m just too old for a show that did at least have some adult interest in previous seasons. There’s still a little here – I’m enjoying Aaron (not Shawn) Ashmore’s character a lot, although I’m also horrified to discover that Jimmy Olsen from Smallville is now 42, as well as the intrigue among the adults. But too much of it is subordinate to the children’s storyline and I don’t care about the annoying brats. There’s also almost zero of female Dodge, who – let’s face it – was the main interesting thing about season 1.

I might pick it back up again, given how little TV there suddenly is again, but it doesn’t feel like I want to at the moment.

But what have you been watching?

Scott McNairy in Narcos – Mexico (season two)
Streaming TV

Boxset Monday: Narcos – Mexico (season two) (Netflix)

In the UK: Available on Netflix

There is a theory that only the even-numbered Star Trek movies are the good ones. I’m proposing a similar theory for Narcos and its spin-off Narcos – Mexico: only the odd-numbered seasons are the good ones.

I won’t recap all the reasons why this is true for Narcos and Narcos – Mexico, since I touched on most of them when I was reviewing the first couple of episodes of Narcos – Mexico. But now we have the second season, which seems to be the clinching evidence that proves the case.

Narcos – Mexico

Mexican stand-off

But not completely. This second season’s biggest failings are that it’s about three episodes too long, it’s a bit self-indulgent and for the first half, at least, it’s actually surprisingly dull and forgets (once again) all the things that made the show’s odd-numbered seasons so good.

To be fair, I can’t imagine there’s a lot of archive footage of Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo in the heyday of his drug-dealing years. But all the same, this is a relatively flat, vanilla retelling/imagining of the DEA’s continuing investigations into his activities in the late 80s.

It picks up from where the first season left off: Scoot McNairy’s DEA agent organising the agency’s attempts to bring to justice the man who killed one of their own in the first season – that man, of course, was Gallardo.

Trouble is, despite the show’s promises in the first season, he’s just not very good at it. Minor spoilers after the trailer and the jump.

Continue reading “Boxset Monday: Narcos – Mexico (season two) (Netflix)”
Perpetual Grace
News

Perpetual Grace LTD cancelled; Åtta månader adaptation; + more

Every weekday, TMINE brings you the latest TV news from around the world

Internet TV

Canadian TV

  • CTV green lights: series of parents’ lost lives comedy Children Ruin Everything

European TV

Nordic TV

Spanish TV

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

The Offenders
News

Inside No. 9 renewed; Dennis Haysbert is God; + more

Every weekday, TMINE brings you the latest TV news from around the world

Internet TV

UK TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

Bill and Ted Face The Music
News

Van Helsing renewed; The Game revival; Crimson Rivers trailer; + more

Every weekday, TMINE brings you the latest TV news from around the world

Internet TV

French TV

  • Trailer for season 2 of Les Rivières pourpres (The Crimson Rivers)

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting