The Rookie
US TV

Review round-up: Charmed, Camping, The Rookie and The Kids Are Alright

Some TV programmes are worth great big long reviews. Some just aren’t. Four shiny new US shows missed out on being included in yesterday’s WHYBW since I hadn’t got round to watching them. I have now, but rather than do individual reviews, I’m going to review them en masse, because honestly, there’s not much to say about them. Oh well.

So, for what it’s worth, join me after the jump where I’ll review the first episodes of Charmed (US: The CW; UK: E4), Camping (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic), The Rookie (US: ABC; UK: Sky Witness) and The Kids Are Alright (US: ABC).

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The Rookie
US TV

ABC’s upfronts 2018-9 – a rundown and clips from the new shows – A Million Little Things, The Fix, Grand Hotel, The Kids Are Alright, Whiskey Cavalier, The Rookie and Single Parents

All through ‘upfronts’ week, TMINE will be revealing the new shows that are going to be hitting US TV screens from September 2018

NBC, Fox and Syfy have come and gone – now it’s the turn of ABC. ‘The alphabet network’ traditionally ends each year’s schedules with mass cancellations of all its new shows from the previous year, pick-ups of numerous identikits replacements of dubious quality and continuing renewals of its tired out regulars.

This year’s no different and there’s a varied bunch of almost identical shows with surprisingly decent casts to ‘look forward to’ this time around: A Million Little Things, The Fix, Grand Hotel, The Kids Are Alright, Whiskey Cavalier, The Rookie and Single Parents. There’s also Schooled, which is a spin-off from The Goldbergs, but there b’ain’t be no trailer for that yet.

Still, want to know more and exactly when these (and the surviving old shows) will be airing? And do you want to get TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes? Follow me after the jump if at least one of those things interests you…

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I'm Sorry
TV reviews

What have you been watching? Including I’m Sorry, Friends From College, GLOW and Game of Thrones

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you each week what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you’ve been watching.

First up, it’s a warm welcome to the returning “TMINE recommends“, which went missing in action during the recent TMINE redesign while I worked out how to reproduce it in WordPress. To be honest, though, I hadn’t updated it in a couple of years, so it wasn’t quite as useful as it was before. But I spent a little bit of my weekend recommending things in the system, so it should now be as complete a list as it was in its glory days.

I’ve also been working on some variably useful A-Z indexes of reviews, including ones for all the TV reviews, audio play reviews and Internet TV reviews. More to come when I’m not exhausted. With all of these, though, I’ve yet to work out a good way of including the weekly mini-reviews from WHYBW, so they’re not 100% complete, but they’re the best they’ve ever been all the same.

Trawling through them reminded me of all manner of shows that I’d completely forgotten about, too. Remember Mr Sunshine and Pepper Dennis? Of course you don’t.

Right, now the admin’s out the way, let’s talk TV.

Things are starting to hot up again in TV around the world so expect some actual reviews later in the week and the start of next week. You’ll certainly be getting a third-episode verdict of Will tomorrow and I’ll probably be doing you a third-episode verdict of Snowfall next week, since I haven’t got round to watching last night’s episode yet. After the jump, I’ll be looking at the latest episodes of the now very short list of regulars: Ronny Chieng – International Student, Twin Peaks and the returning Game of Thrones. I’ve also managed to work my way through the whole of GLOW and I’ve tried two new shows: I’m Sorry (US: TruTV) and Friends From College (Netflix). See you on the other side!

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What have you been watching? Including The Last Ship, Westside, Secret City and Cleverman

It’s “What have you been watching?”, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven’t already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I’ve missed them.

The usual “TMINE recommends” page features links to reviews of all the shows I’ve ever recommended, and there’s also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I’ve reviewed ever. 

You can tell the summer’s season now fully under way, can’t you? New shows everywhere, as well as returning shows, with more to come. But all is in hand. Elsewhere, you can find my reviews this week of the first episode or two of the following exciting new shows:

And after the jump, I’ll be updating you on the latest episodes of Animal Kingdom, Cleverman, Feed The Beast, Outcast, Secret City, Uncle Buck and Silicon Valley, as well as the returning The Last Ship and Westside. Two of those shows are for the chop and one is being promoted to the recommended list – but which are which? There’s also a whole bunch of potted third-episode verdicts, since I can’t be bothered to do them all individually.

I’ve also been doing some more laggardly box-setting, so I’ll be chatting about the final five episodes of Ófærð (Trapped) as well as the entire third series of Plebs, too. That’s all after the jump. TTFN!

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US TV

Preview: Animal Kingdom 1×1 (US: TNT)

In the US: Tuesdays, 9/8c, TNT. Starts June 14
In the UK: Not yet acquired

Sometimes, you watch enough global TV and it starts to become confusing as to what’s copying what. Take Animal Kingdom, TNT’s latest drama, this one featuring Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love, Switch, The Big Easy) as the California grandmother who takes in her teenage grandson (Finn Cole from Peaky Blinders) when his mother (her daughter) fatally overdoses on heroin. Except she’s actually the head of a literal crime family, with her sons (Scott Speedman from The Last Resort, Shawn Hatosy from Southland, Ben Robson and Jake Weary) a highly efficient bunch of robbers with varying degrees of conscience. 

So it immediately it looks a bit to me like New Zealand’s Outrageous Fortune, except not only is Animal Kingdom a lot darker and a lot less humorous, it’s already been remade as Scoundrels

But then, as I watch it, I start to get a completely different vibe. With its highly efficient criminals, tense male-relationships and Heat-style direction, it’s beginning to look a lot like Smith, NBC’s old Heat knock-off with Ray Liotta. That was exec-produced by John Wells (ER), as is Animal Kingdom. There’s even a rather similar scene involving surfers, designed to show off how the family doesn’t care for the rules of society, to one in Smith involving Simon Baker.

So Smith meets Outrageous Fortune? No.

Turns out it’s actually a TV version of a 2010 Australian movie, Animal Kingdom, starring some of the great and the good of Australian acting: Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Joel Edgerton (The Secret Life of UsExodus: Gods and Kings), Guy Pearce (like you need to ask), Jacki Weaver (Secret City), and Sullivan Stapleton (Strike Back, Blindspot):

Just to be even more confusing, that was based on a real-life Melbourne crime family. Turns out the only original ideas are in real-life.

So does Australian real-life crime story Animal Kingdom work when relocated to the Californian coast? It depends. Do you think a crime show should really be about crimes or should it be about fit young men taking their tops off a lot? 

If the latter, Animal Kingdom is your boy.

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