Street Legal
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Street Legal and Jann

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

Toshiro Mifune in Akira Kurosawa's Sanjuro

Toshiro Mifune in Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro

This week’s reviews

After deciding to not bother reviewing ABC (Australia)’s The Heights on the general grounds the series description included the word ‘soapy’, this week I turned my attention to reviewing:

Meanwhile, for this week’s Orange Wednesday film reviews, I reviewed Peppermint (2018) and Sanjuro (1962).

Jann

New shows

After last week’s flurry of new shows in the US, Canada decided to get in on the act this week. I’ll be turning my attention to last night’s new CBC show Diggstown in the next few days, but after the jump, I’ll be looking at the revival of CBC’s Street Legal, as well as CTV’s preview of forthcoming ‘grumpy old singer’ comedy Jann.

Secret City returned for a second season in Australia on Monday as well and as that’s now all on Netflix in the UK, I might give that a watch over the weekend. However, from Friday, there’s a bit of competition on Netflix from Ricky Gervais’ new show After Life and Starz in the US will be premiering Now Apocalypse on Sunday. There’s bound to be other stuff, too, but let’s see how I fare with that little lot, too.

The Magicians

The regulars

After the jump, we’ll be talking about: Corporate, Doom Patrol, The Magicians, Magnum P.I., Ófærð (Trapped), The Orville, The Passage and Star Trek: Discovery, as well as the second episodes of The Enemy Within and Whiskey Cavalier. I’ll be dropping one of them from the regulars queue, but which?

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Street Legal and Jann”

[wordads]
Russian Doll
Internet TV

Review: Russian Doll (season one) Netflix)

Available on Netflix

Groundhog Day is many things. For sure, it’s a much-loved, classic comedy of the 1990s and one that stars Bill Murray at that. That should be enough to make it noteworthy.

But it’s also a genre-defining movie. The tale of man doomed to relive the same day, day after day, no matter what he does, it is much emulated. If you watch as many TV shows as I do, you’ll notice that pretty much every long-running sci-fi show will do a Groundhog Day episode, whether it’s Stargate SG-1, Dark Matter, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Doctor Who, Fringe, Star Trek: Discovery, 12 Monkeys, Supernatural, The X-Files or Travelers, to name but a few.

Indeed, I’ve seen so many now, it feels like I’m in my own TV Groundhog Day, and one of my golden laws of sci-fi TV is that any sufficiently long-running sci-fi show will eventually do a Groundhog Day episode of its own.

So iconic is Groundhog Day that most shows don’t even try to hide what they’re doing and will even namecheck It. It’s also made it into the dictionary now.

Groundhog Day

Not Groundhog Day

Look up at the first part of that definition and you’ll suddenly remember that Groundhog Day is named after a real-life event celebrated in the US on February 2, in which a groundhog is used to predict the weather (this year: an early spring). So kudos to Netflix on three scores.

First, for releasing Russian Doll, its version of Groundhog Day, on February 1, just in time for the actual Groundhog Day, but with no fanfare pointing this out.

Second, for not mentioning Groundhog Day throughout the eight episodes, despite having a computer game designer as a heroine who drops copious mentions of other genre movies and TV shows.

And third, for doing something that while having much in common with Groundhog Day somehow manages to do something surprisingly different with its central time loop.

Russian Doll

No doll

Given the need for there to be some cause for a time loop, most shows that use ‘the Groundhog Day’ scenario are by their very nature sci-fi shows, with the likes of Daybreak being one of the very few exceptions – until now.

But beyond a slight horror theme that gets more and more pronounced until the surprisingly disturbing seventh episode, Russian Doll is actually a dark relationship comedy. Co-creator and star Natasha Lyonne plays the eponymous Russian Doll and Bill Murray of the piece, ‘Nadia Vulvokov’. When the action starts, she’s at her 36th birthday party and there appears to be a vortex in her bathroom, not that she pays much attention to it. At the party, she meets a guy called Mike (Jeremy Lowell Bobb) and hooks up with him. However, on the way home, she’s hit by a taxi… and killed.

And is back in the bathroom again. What’s going on, why is this happening, how can she escape from the loop and how many times will she have to die along the way?

Continue reading “Review: Russian Doll (season one) Netflix)”

[wordads]
Travelers - Season 3
Internet TV

Boxset Friday: Travelers (season 3) (Netflix)

Available on Netflix

I foresee a future where ultimately, only Netflix makes TV. All TV you want to watch will be on Netflix and that will be the only TV you get to watch.

How can we stop this? More importantly, should we stop this or is the alternative future so much worse?

Gosh, what a smooth segue into this review of season 3 of Travelers. You barely noticed the bump, did you?

When Travelers started, it was a surprisingly decent, low-key Canadian series on that country’s Showcase channel. Yes, it had some funding from Netflix, but as the show’s star and producer Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) pointed out when interviewed at the time, it was still a show that was proudly Canadian and “Canadian first”. Sure, the rest of the world would get to watch it on Netflix sooner or later, but everyone in Canada would get the chance to watch it first.

However, here we are hitting season 3 and it’s now Netflix-only. No initial Canadian airing first any more. Netflix has assimilated Travelers and made it a true original, rather than a ‘Netflix Original’.

Soon, all TV will be like this. But should this future be avoided? Is season 3 of Travelers any different or worse from the previous two seasons?

Travelers - season 3

Well traveled

Season 3 of Travelers picks up where the previous season left off, more or less. There’s a bit of a time jump but not a huge one and the gaps are filled in pretty quickly.

If you recall, when last we left Travelers, our gang of time travellers had been outed by the very first of their number, Traveler 001: they had been forced to confess to camera that their consciousnesses had been sent back in time by an AI called ‘The Director’ to replace those of present day people who were about to die, in order to prevent the terrible future they’d all come from. Yes, they themselves were about to do what they’d tried to avoid for two seasons and expose their mission to the world – and their new, present-day loved ones. What would happen next, could they stop it and how would it affect their mission? And how would being on Netflix affect the storytelling?

Well, there’s more swearing…

Spoilers after this trailer and the jump.

Continue reading “Boxset Friday: Travelers (season 3) (Netflix)”

[wordads]
Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries
News

FBI acquired; Netflix rescues You; Ms Fisher, Travelers, Flack, Torvill & Dean trailers; + more

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

UK TV acquisitions

Internet TV

Australian TV

  • Trailer for Seven’s Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries
  • Teaser for Stan’s No Activity: The Night Before Christmas

UK TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

  • John Cho, Allison Tolman and Jacob Tremblay to guest on CBS All Access’ The Twilight Zone
[wordads]
Memories of the Al Hambra
Airdates

When’s that show you mentioned starting, TMINE? Including Transferts, Xanadu, Farang, Memories of the Alhambra, The Protector and Selection Day

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK

Acquisitions

Nothing without a premiere date, you’ll be surprised to hear.

Premiere dates

Although I don’t normally do premiere dates for season numbers greater than 1, I just thought I’d point out that season 3 of Travelers is set to hit Netflix on Friday, December 14.

I should also point out that I missed that Belgian body-swap drama Transferts (Transfers) has now hit Netflix:

Usual thanks to Fans of European and World TV Dramas for a lot of these premiere dates:

Xanadu (The Money Shot)

Xanadu (The Money Shot) (France: Arte; UK: Walter Presents)
Premiere date: Wednesday, November 20, 12.00am

For more than 40 years at Xanadu, X-rated films and family life have peacefully co-existed together under the same roof. The business thrived under the authority of Alex Valadine, the flamboyant patriarch and the high priest of the French erotic film industry. Yet, decades later Alex refuses to acknowledge that the industry is now virtually unrecognisable and now the company is struggling to keep up with the digital world. In order to save the business from bankruptcy his children need to step in and take control, but will they be able to overcome fraught relations and past predicaments?

The trailer’s a tad racy (even the preview pic on the YouTube video is a tad X-rated), so click through to view it

Farang

Farang (Dead Man Running) (Sweden: CMore; UK: Walter Presents)
Premiere date: Wednesday, November 27, 11.05pm

Former criminal Rickard (Ola Rapace) has vanished. Fleeing Sweden and the old friends he has testified against, he abandons his name, his life, and his family to start over in Thailand. Ten years later and he still has a price on his head and returning home would be a death sentence, so he ekes out his existence as a small-time crook in the back alleys of Phuket. Life’s tough and dirty, but at least it won’t kill him. That’s the idea anyway.

When his fifteen-year-old daughter Thyracomes (Louise Nyvall) looking for him, Rickard’s self-imposed exile in this gritty paradise is soon under threat. His attempts to push her away only drive her deeper into the dark underworld that Rickard knows only too well. After a momentary lapse in judgement, Rickard’s cover is blown and both he and his daughter find themselves in very real danger. Their only chance of survival is to strike back at those who are coming for them.

Yesterday he was alone. Today he has a daughter to look after. But how can he protect her when he can’t even protect himself?

Memories of the Al Hambra

Memories of the Alhambra (South Korea: tvN; UK: Netflix)
Premiere date: Saturday, December 1

Suspense romance drama. After suffering a setback following his friend’s betrayal, Yoo Jin-woo travels to Granada in Spain for a business trip. There, he stays at a hostel owned by a former guitarist named Jung Hee-joo; and both get entangled in a mysterious incident.

The Protector

The Protector (Netflix)
Premiere date: Friday, December 14

Turkish Netflix original. Given mystical powers by a talismanic keepsake, a young man embarks on a quest to fight shadowy forces and solve a mystery from his past.

Selection Day

Selection Day (Netflix)
Premiere date: Friday, December 28

Indian Netflix original. In a country that loves cricket, lives a boy who doesn’t. Radha and Manju were conceived to be the greatest batsmen in the world, but Manju doesn’t share his father’s dream. Come selection day, the selectors won’t be the only ones making a choice.