As usual, the new (school) year brought with it an avalanche of TV shows that had three months to make or break. Knowing me, knowing you (ahaaaa), we watched a nice selection to see if they were any good. Here’s my take on the ones I’ll tune in again on when they return after Christmas.
I’ve always been a fan of police/government agency shows (NCIS, JAG, White Collar, Unforgettable, Homeland, Covert Affairs etc.) and Quantico has a good cast, lovely twists and enough drama to keep you wanting more. The story focuses on a group of FBI trainees as they navigate Quantico and learn to become the best. Forward a year and Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) is found in the debris of Grand Central Station after a terrorist attack. The FBI believes she was the terrorist and so she has to flee in order to prove her innocence. The constant back and forth offers viewers the chance to ponder who the terrorist might be, slowly finding out secrets and problems as relationships unfold.
Based on the 2011 film with Bradley Cooper (who makes a few appearances), Limitless reminds me of White Collar. Brian Finch (Jake McDorman) is a lost cause, with no steady job, girlfriend or much to show for. When an old friend introduces him to NZT, an amazing drug that can make him reach 100% brain function, Brian finds himself caught up in a mess he can’t get out of. The only way out is to work with the FBI, in particular agent Rebecca Harris (Jennifer Carpenter). The show is funny, with Brian narrating most of it when he’s on NZT, and there’s a sense of doom hanging in the air as well. One wonders if Brian can keep up the charade, what exactly Eddie Morra has got planned for him…
I loved ER, and of course I’m still watching Grey’s Anatomy. So when I heard of a new medical drama, I was a bit cautious. Would it be any good? And could it feel like it’s own thing when there’s already been these amazing predecessors (I also hear Chicago Hope was good, I’ll try that next)? Well so far, Code Black has kept me watching. At first there was very little character backstory, most of the episodes was spent focusing on the patients and their (often horrible) ailments. But slowly it’s built up a little bit of sexual tension, added family drama and personal problems. The cast is a great mix of newbies and familiar faces (Marcia Gay Harden from Newsroom, How To Get Away With Murder, Raza Jaffrey from SMASH, Elementary, Homeland and Cress Williams from Hart Of Dixie) and I’m already thinking that ER may have a decent legacy.
The Man In The High Castle
Last year, my flatmate and I voted for this Amazon original to be made after watching a great pilot. Thankfully our prayers were answered and a full season was ordered. You can watch the whole thing in one go, but we’ve been going slowly because we have so many other things to watch. The story is very interesting and asks the question “what would America look like if we’d lost World War II?” Split between a massive Nazi Reich on the East Coast, and a Japanese empire on the West Coast, the USA are not what we know. When Juliana (Alexa Davalos) is given a mysterious movie reel, she is forced to wonder whether what she thought was right is in fact true. Based on a novel, the show is so much more than just entertainment. More relevant than ever in a world that many people don’t recognise, it offers a glimpse of a different future, and draws chilling connections between what we never wanted and what we actually got…
Since episode 1, I’ve been wondering why I keep watching. And yet I do. The musical numbers teeter on the edge of funny and ridiculous, the characters are alright at the best of times and I’m Team Greg, but somehow every week I watch what comes next (probably because I’m Team Greg?). The show focuses on Rebecca (Rachel Bloom), a completely neurotic lawyer who uproots her life from NYC to West Covina, California just so she can try to rekindle her teenage romance with Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III). She has a crazy mother, a weird boss, and a new crazy and weird friend as well.
I was so excited for this after the first trailer, and yet Supergirl has failed to enthral me the way The Flash or Agent Carter did. The story is fairly superficial, and while I was hoping it would at least be like Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, it’s more like Revolution or Agents Of Shield: such a good idea, relatively poor execution. I keep watching merely because I’m hoping it might get better, and I’m in a dead zone now and all my regular stuff is on break. Kara (Melissa Benoist) is just as meh as Benoist’s character in Glee was, and while it’s great to see Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy) back on TV as Kara’s sister, the part seems to restrict her greatness. The show also made a mistake switching round episodes 4 and 5 after the Paris attacks, as honestly the episode had nothing to do with it, and suddenly the plot was upside down and made no sense.
In other news, Reign is halfway through its last season and while the whole plot around Elizabeth I, Mary and Francis is good, the whole magic and murder thing is boring. Unforgettable has finally been renewed for a fourth season and has started with a bang (though minus two characters and no explanation). Agent Carter and Galavant will be back in January. Also can’t wait for Outlander and The Musketeers.
My flatmate also watched Scorpion (which she thinks I’ll like), Jessica Jones, Gotham and Daredevil (which she knows I won’t). I liked the beginning of Sense8, but haven’t yet gone further than episode 4 or 5.
Let me know what you thought about the shows if you’ve watched too, and what other shows you think I’d enjoy!
Pictures from: wordpress.com, googleusercontent.com, screenfish.net, seat42f.com, hellogiggle.com and comingsoon.net