There has been a deluge of new shows – many hotly anticipated and heavily promoted and a few flying below radar. So I decided to take advantage of that and do some reviewing of what I’ve seen thus far, only to find there were a LOT of them, thus the splitting of the post into multiple installments. So with no to-do and jabber, let’s get to the meat of the first lot of reviews!
Just to get it out of the way: there’s a lot of draw for this show based on the basic curiosity generated by the premise of a naked Jaimie Alexander, covered in cryptic tattoos showing up in the middle of New York and figuring out what it all means. I admit, the promo’s had me curious as this is the kind of premise that could go really well, or really sadly.
The good news is that the execution in this pilot episode is actually pretty decent! Alexander and the rest of the cast do a decent job (although she bounces strangely between really good at certain emotional moments and somewhat wooden at others) and there’s no doubt they put a lot of effort into making the show look good – it’s got a grittiness to it that balances out the slick and fast-moving action nicely. Kind of like The Blacklist-lite.
The danger is that this show reminds me a LOT of John Doe, a good show that ended too soon and I enjoyed the hell out of, as well as Kyle XY and other similar shows of a random amnesiac brilliant smarty-pants helping good guys stop bad guys. There’s a twist thrown in here (no major spoiler here!) in that Alexanders character is apparently ex-military and is a marine even though no female ones exist on record – which could make the mystery here more interesting and different from the others of its ilk. The second episode was a little weaker for me than the first one but I’m okay with giving a promising show a couple of episodes because sometimes it takes a few to really find your feet.
VERDICT: The been-there-seen-that dangers of the premise may flare up a few more episodes in and make this show not work for me enough to keep following the mystery, but until then, the basic execution and pacing has me engaged enough that I want to see where this goes for now.
Blunt Talk (Season 1 Ep. 01-03)
Patrick Stewart. Drugs. Alcohol. Journalism. Egos. Intensity. Cheeky humour.
I almost missed this lovely, crazy little gem that sees Stewart showing an energy I’ve not seen from him in a long time, just having an utter and total ball! As the titular Walter Blunt, an aging journalist with high standards, declining ratings and an oncoming crisis of life and purpose, his performance roars between manic, delirious, charming, pitiable and all with aplomb and rife with an emotional weight I did not expect from a show that primarily seems to approach things from a comedic point of view. The cast that plays his supporting staff too is quite entertaining and their own idiosyncrasies that peek out every now and again add a nice flavour to it all, especially Stewarts man-Friday who has been with him since the old days in the army and still refers to him as Major – their relationship is really one of the higher points of the show.
VERDICT: Between this and Vicious, I’ve developed a whole new level of love for Stewart and Ian McKellan who are having a whole new innings of amazing performances. I’m definitely going to be following this show if it stays even half as good for the episodes to come! I still can’t believe I’ve not heard more people knowing about this little gem.
Definitely one of the more fun things to come to TV science-fiction and on TV in general for the likes of me. A nice, diverse and interesting cast of castaways come together to make for a great ensemble show and me being a fan of such shows, am quite pleased.
The premise of a group of former villains assassins waking up with no memory – clean slates except for muscle memory and the like – are faced with a dilemma of what to do from here. They have a reputation that both protects them and endangers them and despite their apparent history, no one knows who to trust and how far. Mysteries are revealed over the season, there’s a heady mix of slow-burn chapters, fast-paced chapters, stand-alone adventures and a great deal of character work that all come together to make for one highly entertaining and intriguing show. I was drawn in out of curiosity in the first two episodes but soon after was hooked and by the end of the season, it became amongst my favourite new shows – kudos Canada, for bringing great new sci-fi to TV the last few years and doing it right!
VERDICT: If you like science fiction and generally good character-based stories then this is a show for you. The dependance on techno-babble and overly geeky elements if kept in restraint and that just makes it all the better as the focus is on the people and stories and that alone puts it ahead of most of its sci-fi peers out there.
Well folks, that’s it for round-1! More reviews coming hopefully tomorrow if I can type them out fast enough – trying to keep them short and to the point as much as possible.
Hope this helps you find something new and interesting you didn’t know about!
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