Aidy Bryant and Lolly Adefope in Hulu's Shrill
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Shrill, Shadow, The Order and The Village

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

This week’s reviews

It’s not been super, super busy this week for reviews, since although there have been quite a few new shows that I’ve been watching, not many have been worth full-on reviews. But elsewhere, I’ve covered:

And for Orange Wednesday‘s film reviews, I turned my attention to: Triple Frontier (2019), Hotel Artemis (2018) and Special Correspondents (2016).

The Village

New shows

Last week, I listed a whole bunch of new shows that arrived on the scene and after the jump, I’ll be dealing with a whole bunch of them: Shrill (US: Hulu), Shadow (Netflix), The Order (Netflix) and The Village (US: NBC).

There are others on the way, but given how lukewarm the first episode was, I doubt I’ll be tuning in for the rest of Hanna (Amazon). And seeing as I didn’t watch all 160 episodes or whatever of Pretty Little Liars, I doubt I’ll be turning my attention to Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. I have a pretty strong feeling that next week’s Boxset Monday is going to be season two of The OA, but let’s wait to see what else turns up. Me and schedules, hey?

The Good Fight

The regulars

Magnum P.I. took another holiday this week – these lazy Hawaii-based detectives, hey? – as did The Orville – these lazy, barely concealed Star Trek knock-offs, hey? – so that means that after the jump, we’ll be talking about the latest episodes of Doom Patrol, Il Miracolo, The Magicians, Star Trek: Discovery and Whiskey Cavalier. Also returning is The Good Fight, but I’ve only managed to watch one episode of that this week – episode two next week.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Shrill, Shadow, The Order and The Village”

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Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Robin Tunney in ABC's The Fix © ABC/Ed Herrera
US TV

Review: The Fix 1×1 (US: ABC)

In the US: Mondays, 10/9c, ABC
In the UK: Not yet acquired

I really don’t know why people are still fascinated by the OJ Simpson trial(s). Maybe it’s the racial angle; maybe it’s the trials’ mutually contradictory conclusions mean the truth is still debatable; maybe it’s because of the idea of a celebrity murdering someone.

But you’d think, 24 years on from the trial, we’d be over it by now, wouldn’t you, not still making TV series – certainly not making celebrities out of the children of the lawyers involved. Just in the past few years, we’ve had the dramatisation of the trial in American Crime Story, and we’ve had documentaries like OJ Simpson: Made in America.

And now we have The Fix, exec produced by Simpson’s prosecutor Marcia Clark, which sees Robin Tunney (The Mentalist) playing a thinly veiled version of Clark given a second chance to prosecute Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, Oz, The Bourne Identity) playing a thinly veiled version of OJ Simpson.

Adam Rayner and Robin Tunney
Adam Rayner and Robin Tunney in The Fix

The Simpsons

The action starts in 2010, which is easily identified by everyone having cars dating from the 1990s for some reason. Akinnuoye-Agbaje has been in and out of jail for a year for the murder of his wife, for which Tunney and fellow LA prosecutor and main squeeze Adam Rayner (Tyrant) have prosecuted him to the full strength of their abilities. Then comes the glorious day when the jury finally return a verdict… and wouldn’t you know it, Akinnuoye-Agbaje is found innocent!

Fast forward to modern times. Tunney’s given up the law and is happily living with cowboy Marc Blucas (Buffy, Underground, Necessary Roughness) in rural Oregon, while Rayner’s become LA’s deputy district attorney and has married one of the reporters covering the trial. Then oh noes! Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s girlfriend is murdered!

Guess who Rayner thinks has done it. And guess who he decides to bring back to LA for a second chance at sending faux-Simpson down.

Continue reading “Review: The Fix 1×1 (US: ABC)”

Turn Up Charlie
Internet TV

Review: Turn Up Charlie (season one) (Netflix)

Available on Netflix

I imagine the Venn diagram of:

  • Set A: People who watch lots of TV and then write reviews of it on blogs
  • Set B: People who go out clubbing every night and/or DJ in Ibiza

Is two separate circles (ie A∩B=∅).

Indeed, I imagine that if we added another set to that list – Set C: people who use Venn diagrams – A∩C is going to be me. And just me.

So although I have actually been to Ibiza – very lovely monasteries and churches, and the views on Formentera are lovely…

TMINE on Formentera

…my ability to judge the reality of Netflix’s new comedy original, Turn Up Charlie, in which Idris Elbra plays a former hit DJ who’s now down on his luck and forced to play weddings for his mates, is severely limited. That said, there’s a real verisimilitude to both it and its take on London and British life that’s quite arresting.

The turning point for Elba is the return to London of his former best mate at school now Hollywood actor JJ Feild (Turn), who wants to spend more time with his tween daughter (Frankie Hervey); Feild’s American DJ ‘wife’ Piper Perabo (Covert Affairs, Notorious, Coyote Ugly, The Prestige) wants to do the same, too. However, both are nevertheless super, super busy right now and one day, Elba’s left to look after the precocious Hervey after she causes yet another of her nannies to walk out.

Guess who gets a new job looking after Hervey.

Continue reading “Review: Turn Up Charlie (season one) (Netflix)”

The Passage
US TV

What have you been watching? Including Corporate and The Passage

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

This week’s reviews

It’s been a busy week for TV, both online and in broadcast. Elsewhere, I’ve reviewed:

Meanwhile, for this week’s Orange Wednesday film reviews, I reviewed Captain Marvel (2019) and Mile 22 (2018).

The Order

New shows

That was just the tip of the iceberg, mind. Netflix gave us two other new original series, The Order and Shadow, plus possibly some other things I missed. Meanwhile, over on Amazon, there was Made in Heaven. Hulu’s also got Remy and Shrill on the way, but I imagine, there’ll be more shows, too. I’ll try to review all I come across.

Corporate

The regulars

I didn’t manage to watch any more of Il Miracolo this week, but I have every intention of doing so at some point. Meanwhile, after the jump, we’ll be talking about the latest episodes of Doom Patrol, The Enemy Within, The Magicians, Magnum P.I., The Orville, Star Trek: Discovery and Whiskey Cavalier, as well as the double-episode season finales of Corporate and The Passage. One of them will be waving goodbye to the TMINE viewing queue – but which?

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Corporate and The Passage”

Vinessa Antoine in Diggstown
Canadian TV

Review: Diggstown 1×1 (Canada: CBC)

In Canada: Wednesdays, 8/8.30NT, CBC
In the UK: Not yet acquired

Canada is regularly seen as a bastion of liberalism, for many good reasons, even if the shine is starting to come off Justin Trudeau’s halo right now. However, oddly enough, despite a great love of home-grown legal shows that goes all the way back to Street Legal and beyond, Canada’s not had a primetime show about a black female lawyer – until now.

Diggstown sees Being Erica‘s Vinessa Antoine taking on that mantle to become a high-flying corporate lawyer who switches over to legal aid work when her aunt commits suicide, following a malicious prosecution. She chooses instead to champion the poor and unrepresented whom the system otherwise disregards and leaves to suffer.

To a certain extent, that’s all there is to say about Diggstown. That’s the show – take it or leave it. Sure, we can talk about quality. It’s certainly leagues ahead of Street Legal, even the recent revival, in pretty much every department. Antoine is a strong lead, the Halifax setting is relatively novel for a TV show and there’s a good supporting cast that includes Natasha Henstridge (Species)as Antoine’s boss.

Similarly, despite Street Legal‘s claims to relevancy, Diggstown has far more interesting things to say than its stablemate does. Antoine is an inexperienced lawyer but has been picked up like a shot, so is she a diversity hire? Work colleague Stacey Farber (Saving Hope) certainly seems to think so and believes she’s being overlooked. But Antoine points out that Farber is a rich white girl so how many extra layers of privilege has she enjoyed already without realising? It at least leads to some interesting conversations.

While Diggstown deals principally with the local black community and its overlooked issues through Antoine’s personal life, the first episode gives Farber a white, working class man to minister to. He’s a former alcoholic who desperately wants to be a good dad, yet he seems to have been correctly arrested for a DUI. It’ll mean he loses his licence and thus his job as a lorry driver, but who cares about that, right?

Diggstown does, which opens up story possibilities that the average US legal show wouldn’t touch with a bargepole.

Natasha Henstridge
Natasha Henstridge in CBC’s Diggstown

Unmissable?

All of which makes Diggstown notionally a good show at least. The thing is, despite all its good qualities, there wasn’t really a point where I felt compelled to keep watching and I often had to spool back the episode after I found myself drifting. Sure, I have no real love for legal procedurals, but I can be moved from time to time by something like Goliath into watching more than a single episode.

Here, though, everything felt unquirky, if that’s a word. There was nothing to grab onto, no through-plot of note beyond Antoine dealing with her own backstory. I did like the attention to ‘the little people’, without the mawkishness of US TV, and that might keep me coming back, but nothing within the character set-up itself will.

At least, I think that’s the reason. But to be honest, I really can’t quite work out why Diggstown didn’t excite me more, given that there’s nothing really wrong with it, but quite a lot right with it. Maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I did if you watch – and maybe you’ll be able to work out why.