The Right Stuff
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Connecting… and The Right Stuff

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

Previously on TMINE

Feast and famine, hey? One minute there’s nothing to watch, the next minute we’re drowning in shows. Yet again, though, I’ve failed to review anything and WHYBW is on Thursday again, but I have at least watched lots. We can talk about that in a mo…

CBC’s Trickster

Next on TMINE

Tomorrow will see the return of Covideodrome with The Gentlemen (2019). I’ll also be casting an eye over Trickster (Canada: CBC; UK: Syfy) and maybe even The Haunting of Bly Manor at some point in the next week. I might even play catch up and give Amazon’s Utopia remake a gander.

Meanwhile, Star Trek: Discovery is back today in the US, although whether I’ll watch it is very much up to Lovely Wife, since I’m inclined not to. The new West Wing special is on tonight, while latest Marvel comics show Helstrom is coming to Hulu (US) tomorrow, but that seems to be about it. I’ll do my best to review the last of those at least – and anything else that shows up that I’ve missed.

What TMINE has been watching

The regulars list is looking quite healthy, even though The Boys has just given us its season finale. After the jump, reviews of that, Criminal (UK), neXt and Tehran, as well as new NBC (US) show Connecting… and Disney+’s The Right Stuff.

Meanwhile, I’ve also only just noticed that Warrior (US: Cinemax; UK: Sky Atlantic) has been back for two whole weeks, so I’ll be playing catch-up with that next week. Oops.

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International TV

What have you been watching? Including neXt

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

Niv Sultan in Tehran
Niv Sultan in Tehran

Previously on TMINE

Sigh. I’ve been busy again this week, which is why WHYBW is a day late. But I did manage to find the time to watch and review the first four episodes of Tehran (Israel: Kan 11; UK: Apple TV+).

Disney+’s The Right Stuff

Next on TMINE

It’s Thursday, today, and it’s one or the other with WHYBW and Orange Thursday. WHYBW won, so Orange Thursday will be next Thursday. All it might be Covideodrome again by that point, given how many cinemas are closing for winter.

Whichever it is, the movies being reviewed will be: The Gentlemen (2019) and Zodiac (2007).

TV-wise, thankfully, there’s a few new shows coming our way in the next week. Covid comedy Connecting… hits NBC in the US tonight, while on Friday, we have Haunting of Hill House sequel The Haunting of Bly Manor coming to Netflix and space race drama The Right Stuff arriving on Disney+.

Hopefully, I’ll be reviewing at least one of those – and anything else that comes along.

John Noble in The Boys

What TMINE has been watching

The regulars list is now two shows, The Boys (Amazon) and the UK episodes of Criminal (Netflix). I’ll be talking about both of those after the jump. Also getting a gander will be the first episode of new US AI shocker neXt – not to be confused with NeXT.

Otherwise, the only TV I’ve been watching has been Married At First Sight (Australia), in which a bunch of unmarried Aussies, desperate for love, agree to marry sight-unseen someone picked for them by a panel of experts who reckon they’re a good match.

It’s constantly referred to as an ‘experiment’, and it certainly does feel like the sort of things a more benevolent, more romantic Dr Mengele might have cooked up on Valentine’s Day for his subjects – everyone clearly has a psychological problem of some sort and the panel of experts really just seems to want to know what happens when you marry off a woman who has alopecia to a fitness trainer with OCD. What could go wrong? What emotional damage might people suffer? No idea! Let’s find out!

It’s somewhat despicable TV that to be fair, does make the occasional good match and has the occasional moment that can renew your faith in humanity and your own sex… until the next scene when it inevitably whips them away like a magician faced with a runner and a bowl of fruit on a table.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including neXt”
Kim Cattrall in Filthy Rich
US TV

What have you been watching? Including Filthy Rich, Criminal and Somebody Feed Phil

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

Previously on TMINE

Last week was super busy for TMINE, meaning I didn’t end up reviewing anything. Fortunately, I have been watching TV and yesterday, I was able to finally give you the lowdown on season 5 of Le Bureau des Légendes (The Bureau).

Enola Holmes (2020)

Next on TMINE

As promised, Orange Thursday will tomorrow feature Bill and Ted Face The Music (2020) and Enola Holmes (2020). I’m hoping to start watching Apple TV+’s new Israeli spy show, Tehran, at some point, so hopefully I’ll be reviewing that, too.

Emily in Paris starts on Netflix this week, but I suspect I’ll be skipping that. Ditto Hulu (US)’s horror anthology Monsterland. Otherwise, the decks are relatively clear of new shows until next week, so it’s probably going to be another quiet one. I might find something I missed to catch up on…

Sophie Okonedo in Criminal

What TMINE has been watching

The regulars list is still just one show, The Boys (Amazon), and even that’s on its last chance: reviews of its latest two episodes after the jump. Woke lost me midway through episode three, when I realised it wasn’t ever really going to use its “talking objects” conceit for anything useful and it wasn’t ever going to be truly funny or pointed enough to sustain my interest.

But Criminal returned for a UK-only second season last week. As should be clear by now, networks aren’t back up to running speed yet, so I’m going to eke out its four episodes weekly. You can read what I thought of ep one after the jump.

Meanwhile, Fox (US) has unveiled the first of its anaemic autumn line-up: Filthy Rich, the first episode of which I’ll be discussing after the jump as well.

But is that all I’ve been watching? Not all.

It’s not technically TMINE material, but I thought I’d mention Somebody Feed Phil, Netflix’s new food-travel documentary that features… the guy who created Everybody Loves Raymond. Not the most obvious choice, but that kind of puts it within TMINE’s scripted bailiwick.

Somebody Feeds Phil features Phil Rosenthal visiting a different city every week, where he sees the sights and eats various kinds of food. So far, so Anthony Bourdain, just with a guy who has no real food training and who thinks pretty much everything is the best thing he’s ever tasted, resulting in a lot of eye popping and gurning.

But importantly, it’s actually quite charming. Phil’s enthusiasm for everything is enjoyable to watch and he can kvetch with the best of them. He also doesn’t do the obvious things – for the London episode, for example, as well as going to Michelin-starred restaurants, he goes with Jay Rayner to a fish and chip shop in Dulwich, and has tea with Sophie Winkleman.

Plus he’s smart – one moment, he’ll be playing the fool, but the next he’ll be quoting poetry and waxing lyrical about Mexico City’s sunset, the next he’ll be explaining the historical origins of Americans’ strange ideas about British food.

Most of the restaurants he visits aren’t necessarily serving up the ‘local food’, either. This is very much a show not just about how globalisation is cross-pollinating various countries’ eating habits, it’s also about immigrants’ historical contribution to food. So Middle Eastern and African food get highlighted in London, Italian food in Lisbon and Chicago, and so on.

His guests are all pretty diverse, no matter where he goes. And sometimes the guests surprise you. I never realised Domenick Lombardozzi (The Wire, Breakout Kings) was such a foodie, for example.

Just as importantly, it’s not too touristy and doesn’t feel like it’s simply going to the places everyone else does. The London episode feels like authentic London, even taking in Borough Market, and the Lisbon episode wisely goes on a tour with Célia Pedroso – just as Lovely Wife and I did when we went there. Prophetically, we’d say to each other “I hope he goes to…” and the next minute, he’d be there.

Lastly, of course, his parents feature in every episode – as does his much beloved younger brother, who is also a producer on the show. It gives you a hint of how Rosenthal came up with the idea of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Paradoxically, I found the episodes set in cities I’d visited to be more interesting than those set in those I’d never been to. You might find the same – or the other way round. But if you want to try a slightly different sort of food show, Somebody Feed Phil might be just the ticket.

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Woke
US TV

What have you been watching? Including Woke and The Boys

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

Tom Hardy in Venom (2018)

Previously on TMINE

It’s been a quiet week for new tele this week, thanks to the decimated US TV production schedule. But I did offer up reviews of Tenet (2020) and Venom (2018) for the returning Orange Thursday.

Next on TMINE

I managed to watch the first two episodes of Woke (US: Hulu), so I’ll be talking about them after the jump. HBO (US) mini-series We Are Who We Are starts tonight, but it’s a mini-series so I might skip it.

Coming later this week, I’m going to be watching the second season of Criminal (Netflix), so might well give that a review – at the moment, it looks like either season two is only going to be UK episodes or it’s just the four UK episodes arriving on Wednesday, with the German, French and Spanish episodes arriving at later dates.

I’m also hoping to finally get the chance to watch season 5 of Le Bureau des Légendes (The Bureau), which will be arriving on Sundance Now on Thursday.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest (175) prequel Ratched is hitting Netflix on Friday, and I’m sure to give that a try (Sharon Stone’s in it!). But that seems to be about it.

Meanwhile, Orange Thursday will feature Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) and The Old Guard (2020).

What TMINE has been watching

The regulars list is down to a mere one show, The Boys (Amazon), the latest episode of which we’ll be discussing after the jump. But the shortness of that list has obviously given me some time to fill/waste TV-wise.

I began by continuing last year’s project: The Strange Report. For those who don’t know, The Strange Report is an ITC show from the 1960s – cf Department S, The Champions, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) – that sits between those more fantastic shows and the later, luxurious escapist likes of The Persuaders! and The Protectors.

What makes it so fascinating is it’s clearly trying to be both an ITC show and a serious, modern, Swinging 60s show. There’s the standard core cast of former Scotland Yard detective Adam Strange (Anthony Quayle) and his young associates – token American Kaz Garas (Wonder Woman) and hip artist/model Anneke Wills (Doctor Who) – who solve crimes using a combination of standard police techniques and, more intriguingly, forensics, with Garas constantly in a lab, staring down a microscope.

The plots are also a cut above the standard of the time, with early episodes seeing cult leaders being investigated, but the leaders turning out to be quite nice after all, and Chinese party officials being abducted – to be ‘re-educated’ by former prisoners who had been through the same thing themselves, resulting in some really surprisingly high-brow debates about the nature of Marxism.

It’s not had the benefits of frequent rebroadcasters and constant video releases that its telefantasy brethren have had, but the more I watch, the more it shapes up to be one of my favourite shows of the time.

However, watching The Old Guard for Orange Thursday made me want to watch some old episodes of Highlander, which is currently available for free on Amazon, albeit in a cropped for 16:9 format that leaves a little to be desired.

That’s a show that holds up less over time, although it does have many plus points, most of them Adrian Paul and the genuinely good fights, both with swords and martial arts.

The show’s biggest issue is that it was a co-production filmed in Canada for half a season, France for another half, and was filled with supporting cast members from both nations who struggled to act in English, even the English-speaking Canadians, so usually ended up with all manner of Brits being flown in to save the day. Plus it was often hokey as f***.

But there are plenty of good episodes, at least. For my first season delve, I started off not with the one with Peter Howitt (Bread) as the evil immortal mime driven mad by absinthe or even the one where Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet) is an ex-member of the SAS (which is apparently part of the RAF in Highlander-world) who believes he’s on a holy mission from God.

Instead, I went with the ‘Die Hard in a courthouse‘ episode, which turns out to be not as good as I remember at all, and more a demonstration of the amazing power of a sharp stick to take you unawares.

Much better and funnier is the sixth season episode I went to next. For those who don’t remember the sixth season, that’s when Adrian Paul really wanted to leave the show, couldn’t/got paid a lot of money not to, but wasn’t around as much, so the producers used a lot of the episodes as backdoor pilots to a spin-off show about a female immortal. Those included the likes of Claudia Christian (Babylon 5), although Highlander: The Raven eventually (boringly) went with long-time fan favourite Amanda as its lead.

However, I was always very disappointed that Alice Evans never got the job, thanks to her performance in Patient Number 7. So I rewatched that. It was quite fun – she gets to be a musketeer and everything – plus her stuntwoman was really good, too. Shame, hey?

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