Anna Torv in Foxtel (Australia)'s Secret City
News

Secret City, Le bureau, Inside No.9 renewed; Once Upon A Time cancelled; Arnie’s Western; + more

Internet TV

Australian TV

French TV

UK TV

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

  • Fox green lights: pilot of newlywed rural relocation family comedy Bless This Mess

New US TV show casting

Knightfall
US TV

What have you been watching? Including Knightfall, Travelers, No Activity and Mr Robot

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

So much TV, so little time, particularly if you’re stranded in Germany, queuing for three hours to arrange a new flight home and then get a stomach bug on top of a cold. Grrr.

There are also too many boxsets for me to take in: I’m still only on episode 3 of Dark, and I’ve seasons 2 of Professor T, The Crown and Babylon Berlin to hit up, as well as seasons 1 of Godless and She’s Gotta Have It; there’s more due out this week, too, including season 3 of The Tunnel and season 1 of Jean Claude Van Johnson. What should I watch, hey, pop-pickers?

Still, I did manage to watch the first episode of Happy! (US: Syfy), as well as of Knightfall (US: History; UK: History UK), which I’ll discuss after the jump.

Also after the jump, the remaining regulars: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Marvel’s Runaways, Mr Robot, No Activity and a double-helping of Travelers as Showcase in Canada tries to get the finale out before Christmas and Netflix starts airing it in the rest of the world. One of these is for the chop, best beloved, two are about to walk the plank, but which will it be?
Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Knightfall, Travelers, No Activity and Mr Robot”

The Punisher
News

W1A to end; Vikings renewed; Punisher teaser; + more

Internet TV

  • Teaser for Netflix’s Marvel’s The Punisher

UK TV

New UK TV shows

  • Trailer for BBC One’s The Child in Time

New UK TV show casting

  • Louise Brealey, Matthew Goode, Trevor Eve et al join Sky 1’s A Discovery of Witches

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

The Avengers: Infinity War poster
News

A gazillion trailers; Marvel’s Iron Fist, Wynonna Earp renewed; Rebel in the Rye; + more

Film casting

  • Michelle Pfeiffer, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne et al join Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp

Film trailers

Internet TV

Canadian TV

US TV

  • Teaser trailer for season 7 of ABC’s Once Upon A Time
  • Trailer for season 3 of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead
  • Trailer for season 8 of AMC’s The Walking Dead
  • Trailer for season 4 of Fox’s Gotham
  • Trailer for FX’s American Horror Story: Cult
  • Trailer for season 4 of The CW’s The Flash
  • Trailer for season 3 of The CW’s Supergirl
  • Trailer for season 5 of History’s The Vikings
  • Trailer for season 4 of Syfy’s 12 Monkeys
  • Trailer for season 6 of The CW’s Arrow
  • Trailer for season 4 of TNT’s The Last Ship
  • Teaser trailer for USA’s Psych reunion movie
  • Thursday ratings

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

  • Hulu developing: character-based true-crime anthology series The Act
  • Teaser for The CW’s Black Lightning
  • Trailer for Syfy’s Ghost Wars

New US TV show casting

Spike TV's The Mist
US TV

Review: The Mist 1×1 (US: Spike)

In the US: Thursdays, 10/9c, Spike

Is there a Stephen King formula? Sorry, trick question. King’s obviously a very diverse author, since although he’s best known as a horror writer, he’s turned his hand to everything from The Shawshank Redemption (feelgood prison story) to 11.22.63 (time travelling attempt to live in the sixties to stop Kennedy from being assassinated). Sure, the action’s always almost set in Maine, but that’s really his one definitive defining trait.

Yet one in comes to adaptations, maybe there is a formula, since the adaptations have so often been much of a muchness. If they weren’t, there’d never have been a Darkplace.

Part of the problem is that success breeds imitators who want to latch onto what made the first thing a success and piggyback to the same popularity. CBS’s Under The Dome wasn’t exactly the greatest TV show on Earth – beyond Rachelle Lefevre’s hair – but it was CBS’s surprise summer hit of 2013 and swiftly went from being a limited edition one-off to a full-blown, multiple-season series as a result.

So with Spike once more dipping its toe into the water of scripted content, after its efforts with Blade and The Kill Point made it more or less hide its head in the sand for a decade, it’s perhaps unsurprising that for its glorious return, it’s decided to play it safe and follow both CBS and Hulu in not only adapting a Stephen King story but also following Under The Dome more or less beat for beat, to the extent that The Mist borrows more from Under The Dome in the first episode than it does from The Mist.

We start off in a teeny tiny Maine town full of people with issues that are tediously spelled out for us all up front so that we don’t have to bother trying to do anything too subtly once the action starts. Most of the ‘issues’ revolve around Alyssa Sutherland (Vikings) and her family, especially her gay step-son and her step-daughter who fancies a high school jock, but wakes up after a party suspecting that he’s raped her. Problematically, said jock’s dad is also a police officer.

But there’s also a guy in an army uniform (Romaine Waite) who wakes up on a hillside not remembering much and who comes into town to warn people that there’s something odd in the mist that’s coming towards town. He’s arrested on suspicion of being black and locked up in the jail, where we meet a murderous bad girl (19-2‘s Alexandra Ordolis).

Unfortunately, his warning comes too late, as before you know it, animals are being weird – toads are biting little old ladies and cockroaches are attacking policemen. The mist rolls in, killing anything electric, but woe betide anyone who enters it. Best everyone with the most issues stay locked up together in the shopping mall, hey?

None of this especially subtle stuff. You can see straight from the off what most of the issues are going to be, particularly if you’ve seen Under The Dome. The main difference is that Spike is basic cable, which means it can get away with more swearing and more gore. Once the mist rolls in, suddenly faces are coming off or losing parts, cockroaches are burrowing into flesh, people are being shot in the head. It reads like someone’s idea of what a Stephen King story should be like – it’s horror, isn’t it, so surely there should be nasty unpleasantness.

Even when a little old lady’s husband is shot in the head in front of her by someone driven mad by the mist, the desensitisation process has already began enough that neither the show nor the viewer seems to care. Normally I weep buckets whenever old people are left all alone by the death of their partner, but the scene evoked barely a trace of emotion in me, because The Mist doesn’t really know how to create real people you’d care about.

The Mist is good at gore, but that’s about it. It’s not even a good imitation of Under The Dome, let alone the original Stephen King story. Maybe Spike should have another think about scripted. See you again in 10 years’ time, guys?