The InBetween
US TV

Review: The InBetween 1×1 (US: NBC; UK: Universal)

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC
In the UK: Acquired by Universal

For almost as long as there have been people calling themselves psychics, there have been people calling themselves psychics who have claimed to have helped the police to solve crimes. How many of them have actually even spoken to police is debatable and the number who have helped police, rather than hindered them, is debatable. Yet, the phenomenon does exist.

That makes it questionable whether the makers of Medium could ever sue the makers of The InBetween, despite both shows having some obvious similarities – particularly the fact they’re about blonde psychic women helping the police to solve crimes.

The InBetween
Harriet Dyer (right) in The InBetween

Not Medium

This particular iteration of the idea sees Harriet Dyer (Love Child, No Activity) playing a 20-something Seattle bartender who’s beset by the Sixth Sense – yes, she can see dead people. She also gets dreams, a lot of which seem to be of help in murder investigations. She doesn’t want her gift, but it’s not going away any time soon and neither are the ghosts, so she’s happy to help the police, no matter how sceptical they might be.

All that good psychic information would probably go unheeded, however, were it not for the fact that Seattle PD’s top detective is also her adoptive father (The Dresden Files/Arrow‘s Paul Blackthorne) and has known about her gift all her life.

A simple retread of Medium? Yet another tedious summer one-season wonder of no actual merit?

Surprisingly, no. The InBetween is by no means an instant classic but it does have a lot to add to the genre that its predecessor didn’t cover.

Yes, boys and girls, Medium is not enough.

More puns after the jump, probably.

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Ezekiel Patrol
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Blood and Treasure and Five Bedrooms

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

Julianna Margulies in The Hot Zone
Julianna Margulies in The Hot Zone

This week’s reviews

Only one this week, thanks to the Bank Holiday weekend cramping my style:

And last week’s Orange Thursday reviewed Glass (2019) and Snowpiercer (2014).

Otherwise, that was it. Sorry about that. To make up for it, though, I’ll be reviewing both Five Bedrooms (Australia: Ten) and Blood and Treasure (US: CBS) after the jump.

American Princess
Lifetime (US)’s American Princess

What’s coming this week

Tomorrow’s Orange Thursday will look at John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) and The Favourite (2018). Good Omens is available on Amazon from Friday, so we’ll definitely be catching that for Boxset Monday. DC Universe’s Swamp Thing is also starting on Friday, so that’ll probably be Tuesday’s review (although maybe swap the order on those two). And on Sunday, American Princess starts on Lifetime (US), so I might give that a crack as well at some point.

I’ve still not watched Catch-22, but I will. At some point. What/If, though, which was cloaked in mystery before its launch but is now available for all to see on Netflix, sounds like it’s terrible, so I still might not catch so much as a frame of it. Still.

Ezekiel Patrol
Doom Patrol

The regulars

As usual, I’ll be talking about the latest episodes of Harrow, Mr Black, The Twilight Zone, Warrior and What We Do In the Shadows. Inconveniently, The Hot Zone has been airing two episodes a night this week, but I’ve managed to catch both of last night’s and I’ll be reviewing them, too. And we’ll also be having a chat about the season final of Doom Patrol.

See you in a mo.

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including Blood and Treasure and Five Bedrooms”
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Liam Cunningham and Julianna Margulies in The Hot Zone
US TV

Review: The Hot Zone 1×1-1×2 (US: National Geographic)

In the US: Nightly, National Geographic
In the UK: Will air later this year

Long-time readers of TMINE will know I’m a sucker for a killer virus show. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was exposure at an early age to The Andromeda Strain and The Satan Bug, or maybe the titles of Survivors scared me silly.

Whatever it was, I’ve always eagerly awaited the arrival of whatever new killer virus show has come our way, whether it be that Andromeda Strain remake, Helix, Outbreak or The Burning Zone.

The Hot Zone

The Burning Zone is of note because it was a clear reference to the definitive non-fiction killer virus book of the 90s: Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone, one of the 100 ‘books that shaped a century of science’, which naturally I devoured when it came out. It was a three-pronged medical history, looking at the emergence of the Ebola virus and Marburg in Zaire, other related ‘filoviruses‘, and the arrival in the US of a strain of Ebola in 1989 and how the US army responded.

And it was frightening. So very frightening. Indeed, it was so frightening that it actually influenced how the world’s governments reacted when there was another outbreak of Ebola.

The Burning Zone was nonsense. And initially terrible. Nevertheless, it was both clearly inspired by The Hot Zone and clearly different enough that it wouldn’t infringe Preston’s copyright. Outbreak, too, was very obviously an adaptation of The Hot Zone but a sufficiently loose one that no lawsuit could have touched it.

Now, just a couple of decades later, one TV show dares to obtain the copyright clearances that others failed to acquire. It’s The Hot Zone and it’s a little bit silly, but nevertheless still very frightening.

Continue reading “Review: The Hot Zone 1×1-1×2 (US: National Geographic)”
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Game of Thrones
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Game of Thrones

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

It’s Wednesday. That must mean it’s time for WHYBW. Just as it has always been.

BTW, how’s the war with Oceania going?

The 410
The 410

This week’s reviews

It’s been a good week for reviews, with not just one but two boxsets:

Just a reminder: tomorrow’s Orange Thursday (I don’t know why I’ve just italicised that) will be taking in both Glass (2019) and Snowpiercer (2014), just in case you haven’t done the background viewing already.

Julianna Margulies in National Geographic (US)'s The Hot Zone
Julianna Margulies in National Geographic (US)’s The Hot Zone

What’s coming this week

I’ve reviewed most of the shows on last week’s list. However, I’ve only just started watching Five Bedrooms (it’s okay – not awful, not great) and since episode two of that was on about half an hour ago in Oz, I might as well watch that before reviewing the show. That should be coming your way either tomorrow or Friday. Or maybe as part of next week’s WHYBW.

Despite my promises, I never watched so much as a frame of What/If… since it turns out that’s not out until this Friday. Whoops. Sorry about that. I’ll try to give that a go when it’s actually available. There’s a plan, hey?

And given Hulu launched the entire series of Catch-22 in one go on Friday, I might as well declare it’ll be next week’s Boxset Tuesday (Monday being yet another UK bank holiday). There’s a project for the bank holiday weekend, if Lovely Wife isn’t too busy with all her studies.

Somewhere mixed up in all of that will be Blood and Treasure. National Geographic’s The Hot Zone is also being served up on Monday, which I’ll definitely be watching at some point – for verily, it’s about killer viruses and I’ve read the book it’s based on and I’ve just spent the past two days editing an article about dengue fever, so clearly it’s got everything I could possibly need in a TV series.

Bob Murphy in Mr Black
Bob Murphy in Mr Black

The regulars

As usual, I’ll be talking about the latest episodes of Doom Patrol, Harrow, Mr Black and Warrior. I also caught another episode of The Society. And, of course, it was the final ever episode of a certain long-running fantasy show this week, so I should probably talk about that, too. What do you think?

See you in a mo.

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The 410
Canadian TV

Boxset Tuesday: The 410 (Canada: CBC Gem)

In Canada: Available on CBC Gem
In the UK: Not yet acquired

Diversity is an aspiration pretty much every medium in every corner of the world now wants to reflect in its characters, from the might of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the US to tiny wee BBC Three in the UK. However, while some ‘minorities’, such as women and LGBT+, are present all over the world, others aren’t, so what’s diverse in one country is simply the old paradigm in another.

It’s all very well a US show highlighting its Puerto Rican and Native American cast members, but where are the Maori, a New Zealand viewer might ask? How about Asians or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, asks an Australian viewer? And in the UK, we might wonder about the lack of Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, Polish, Pakistani and northern English actors, and that’s before we start thinking about middle class v working class representation.

In Canada, which claims Toronto as the most diverse city in the world, questions about diversity on TV are often similar to those in the US. Here, Canada’s Roger Cross Full Employment Act ensures that black Canadians are always represented – albeit by Roger Cross – in virtually every TV show. Similarly, there’s Blood and Water for Chinese Canadians.

But Canada has its own unique requirements for diversity. So we’ve also had Pure to represent Mennonite Canadians, and Kim’s Convenience for Korean Canadians. And for the First Nations of Canada, there’s Mohawk Girls and an entire Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

Putting debates about whether that’s sufficient to one side, that’s all very admirable. But as with all attempts at diversity, those initiatives cater to the largest groups, but not all groups. Where, one might ask – particularly if one were from the UK and considering questions of diversity – are the shows about Indian Canadians?

Indeed, one Indian Canadian asked herself that very question and not getting an answer, made her own TV show starring herself.

Supinder Wraich in The 410
Supinder Wraich in The 410

The 410

Indian-Canadian Supinder Wraich created The 410 after seeing an episode of High Maintenance in which a young Muslim woman tries to buy cannabis – “That was probably the first time I’d seen a South Asian woman represented without hero qualities or desirable qualities or, ‘Oh, she’s a doctor’ or a lawyer or an accountant and she fits into this stereotype”.

It follows would be Instagram influencer Suri, whose life starts to fall apart when her trucker father is arrested for possessing sizeable quantities of cocaine.

What’s worse is that returning home after nearly a year away, she soon discovers more cocaine and not having the cash to pay for bail, comes up with a scheme to get the money…

Continue reading “Boxset Tuesday: The 410 (Canada: CBC Gem)”