The Old Man
US TV

What have you been watching? Including Ms Marvel, Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Old Man

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

Let’s keep this short and sweet or else I’ll never get anything down! And I have a lot to cover.

Superman & Lois (US: The CW; UK: BBC One) seems to be operating on a fortnightly to three-weekly schedule at the moment. It’s been interesting and as good as always, even if it starting to feel like Smallville: The Parenting Years, . There’s an interesting ‘post-Metropolis’ vibe to the whole thing, like Superman’s youth was in Metropolis and now he’s older, things that we took as read (he won’t tell people his secret, etc) are no longer clear cut, since honestly, he’s getting on a bit now. So there have been some interesting format changes, at least.

Star Trek: Picard (US: Paramount+; UK: Amazon Prime) I finally watched to the end and it turned out to be okay by the end. Not total bobbins and the finale almost made up for the bobbins that went before it. But it was all a supertextually ‘We’re all old now and isn’t it a bit young and silly to be having fights, even with your arch enemies, so why don’t we just be nice to one another before we’re all dead.’ Which is fair enough I guess.

I watched another episode of The Essex Serpent (Apple TV+), which did suggest that maybe there really was a serpent (interesting!), but as usual, hints of adultery and failing marriages put it in my bad books for a couple of weeks so I got no further. Some interesting points around mass hysteria, though.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+) has been really fun. Maybe a little too fun? Remember those old episodes of Star Trek with Harry Mudd and the like? Like that much fun. I mean we’ve literally just had space pirates that have a spaceship that has a steering wheel off a ship.

Still awesome, though.

The Orville (US: Hulu; UK: Disney+) is back in new homes on both sides of the Atlantic. That seems to have forgotten it’s a Star Trek piss take that’s supposed to be having fun and appears to now think it actually is Star Trek and there’s not supposed to be fun in Star Trek. One funny line in the latest episode (there’s three new ones already) and zero in the first, which was basically one of those vaguely philosophical ones they do: can suicide be justified? Seems like if you want to watch funny Star Trek, you have to watch… Star Trek.

For All Mankind (AppleTV+) has made its return and has made it as far as the early 90s. Except the show postulates in a vaguely Watchmen-esque way that the continuation of the space race means that we’d be about 10-30 years ahead of where we were back then, with people doing video conferencing on their Apple Newtons. This season: we’re going to Mars and maybe socialist black Elon Musk, rather than the US and USSR, will be the man to get us there. There’s reduced soapiness at least, and it’s nice to see that our old guard are maybe not as liberal as people would like them to be. So I’m actually enjoying this one a lot more than season two. Particularly since this season opened with an episode that was almost as good as Gravity.

Stranger Things (Netflix) also returned and while not a marked improvement over season three, did feel a lot less repetitive and more innovative. This first batch of eps from the season (there’s a couple more to come next month, then another season after that) is a lot more grown up than the previous episodes, too, with some properly scary stuff going on. But most of it has the show’s favourite characters split up at the beginning, with the rest of the season then either about getting them back together or how 11 is going to get her powers back – which ultimately involves an explanation at last for why Hawkins is such a horror show. I really enjoyed it. I watched it over one weekend, which is something I generally don’t manage to get to do these days. There’s at least one really good new character, maybe two (no spoilers), as well.

And even if none of that was any good, there is one truly great scene that has justifiably propelled Kate Bush to the top of the charts again as a result. Watch it for that scene at least, because it’s actually incredibly moving – oddly enough.

After the jump, the new shows I’ve been watching. Although I might have to be brief on that, too. Sorry!

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Ms Marvel, Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Old Man”
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The Magicians cancelled; Sky/Now TV adds Disney+; + more

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

The Daily News will hopefully be back tomorrow, although it depends on what time TMINE gets home tonight…

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Stranger Things, Motherland renewed; TVPlayer goes French; + more

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

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  • Charlie Bruneau, Grégoire Bonnet, Catherine Alric et al join France 2’s Le mensonge (The Lie)

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Stranger Things 3
Streaming TV

Boxset Monday: Stranger Things 3 (Netflix)

Available on Netflix

When does an homage stop being an homage and become its own thing? It’s an important question for something like Stranger Things – and its latest edition, appropriately called Stranger Things 3, rather than Stranger Things season 3 – which is a loving tribute to not only the films and TV shows of the 80s, but pretty much the entire decade, too.

Starting out as almost a recently discovered time capsule of a lost Stephen King TV series, albeit one with insanely high production values for the time, Stranger Things perfectly captured the innocence of 80s childhood and the weirdness and niceness of small town life. Playing with as many conventions as it also subverted, it caused genuine nostalgia for a time it had never inhabited. And although a touch scary at times, it was also genuinely beautiful, too.

If Stranger Things was Alien, Stranger Things 2 was Aliens – deliberately so, right down to adding Paul Reiser to the cast. Trouble was, while it was still very good and a slight retread of the first season, it somehow lost a lot of that innocence that had so weaved its magic on the audience. Sure, the kids were growing up, but it all felt a lot nastier and everything felt more like synthesised 80s, rather than original 80s, right down to the synthesiser music.

What then for season 3? More of the same or something different? Or worse still, Alien3?

Stranger Things

Imperfect strangers

Stranger Things 3 moves everything along slightly. It’s summer 1986 in Hawkins and there are no signs of any terrible lurking evil. Instead, it’s all about boys, girls, jobs and teenage rebellion.

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is still living with Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour), but he’s not so keen on how much time she’s spending with Mike (Finn Wolfhard). But he is keen on spending more time with Joyce (Winona Ryder).

Meanwhile, popular boy Steve (Joe Keery) is having to work in the ice cream parlour in the new Starcourt mall. He’s still a bit hung up on Nancy (Natalia Dyer), who’s now interning at the local paper, but he seems to be having plenty of inadvertent fun with brainy co-worker Robin (Maya Hawke).

Of course, not everything is at it seems and pretty soon, their lives are being turned upside down by none other than… the Russians!

Slightly spoilery review after the jump.

Continue reading “Boxset Monday: Stranger Things 3 (Netflix)”
News

Cold Feet, Il Paradiso delle Signore renewed; Demi Moore’s Brave New World; + more

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Italian TV

  • Rai Uno renews: Il Paradiso delle Signore (Ladies’ Paradise) for 320 episodes

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UK TV

  • Sky1 green lights: Christmas comedy Cinderella: After Ever After, with David Walliams, Sian Gibson, Celia Imrie et al
  • ITV renews: Cold Feet

US TV

New US TV shows

  • BET green lights: White House drama The Oval, with Ed Quinn and Kron Moore…
  • developing: female bikers vigilante drama Black Mambas

New US TV show casting

  • Jamie Neumann, Erica Tazel and Mac Brandt to recur on HBO’s Lovecraft Country
  • Demi Moore joins USA’s Brave New World