Friday, 24 October 2014

THE FLASH, 1.3 – 'Things You Can't Outrun' • the gasman cometh!


This was the first episode of THE FLASH I'd describe as workmanlike; which isn't necessarily a bad thing for a show of this nature (expected to produce two dozen episodes a year), but if the majority of The Flash is going to be of similar quality, I won't be reviewing every episode.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

GOTHAM, 1.5 – 'Viper' • the drugs do work


The best hour of GOTHAM so far, and a sign this show could make a go of things. It's no coincidence it focused on the strongest aspect of the show (the machinations of Gotham's two biggest crime lords), and added super-powers to the equation. They even found a way to get young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) out of his mansion; although we still had Batman foreshadowing with Alfred (Sean Pertwee) commending his detective skills. I've been hard on this show, but maybe it's time to cut it some slack? The past few weeks have been fun.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

TV I've been watching lately...

We're fast approaching November and most of the new autumn shows have begun, plenty of old favourites are back, and the summer shows are a memory. But what am I enjoying watching every week, finding time to write about, or have given up on completely? Read on!

THE AFFAIR (Showtime, season 1). It's been a great two-episode start to this new Showtime drama starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson as extra-marital lovers, with a unique flashback format that also bisects each episode into opposing perspectives on the same events. Even without those narrative devices, I'd like this The Affair in terms of the basic story and performances, but the twists are what makes this feel so compelling. And I was pleased the second episode didn't beat around the bush, so we already have an idea about why the main characters are being interviewed by cops a year after their affair began. My only vague concern is that it's hard to really side with West or Wilson's character, as each "part" of the tale casts one or t'other as the more dominant, mildly unlikeable one. Not knowing who to believe or trust is part of the show's mystery, of course, but it does mean the viewer's constantly unsure about anything... which makes it hard to settle into. ★★★☆

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

THE WALKING DEAD, 5.2 – 'Strangers' • the last good man alive


The premiere was thoroughly enjoyable, but had modest aims and was perhaps impossible for THE WALKING DEAD to get wrong after so much practice. The follow-up, "Strangers", was a better indication of what this fifth season's going to bring viewers, but obviously things are at a very early stage... although it's very promising that creepy Gareth (Andrew J. West), together with some of the other cannibals, survived last week's onslaught of walkers and Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) violent escape from their Terminus home. They're even scarier in the woods, stalking Rick's group and looking for vengeance...

HOMELAND; that's all folks!

While I'm likely to review a noteworthy episode, and will probably write about the fourth season in general once the finale airs, my weekly reviews of HOMELAND are done. This isn't a strict reflection of Homeland's quality just now (I'm quite enjoying it), just the fact older shows lose that indefinable quality that makes one eager to write about them. And I don't want to sit down and force myself to write hundreds of words about TV episodes I don't feel passionate about.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Digital Spy: Life After Cancellation

Over at Digital Spy today, you can read my article about some of television's greatest stories of revival. I look at why each show was axed, what happened while it was off-air, how long each show was gone for, and the circumstances of their unlikely returns. (If you have any others to mention, of which there are many, please leave a comment over there!)

DOCTOR WHO, 8.9 – 'Flatline' • an unexpected masterpiece


After 51 years it's hard for DOCTOR WHO to come up with fresh ways to deliver an episode. The revival's been active 9 years alone, and there are plenty of occasions when an episode feels like an amalgam of recent hits. "Flatline" impressed me because it was a fundamentally typical hour (with a vague similarity to the atrocious "Fear Her"), but a handful of creative differences helped set it apart from every other episode.

TV Picks: 20-26 October 2014 - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D • American Horror Story • The Big Bang Theory • Drifters • Life Story • Russell Howard's Good News • Scorpion

Below are my picks of the most notable new shows, returning or premiering on UK screens over the next 7 days...

Friday, 17 October 2014

St★te of the Bl★g

I've reconsidered my star rating system. It's been a four-star system for a good six years or so, but I used half-star increments. So, technically it was a ten-star system? Hmm.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

THE FLASH, 1.2 – 'Fastest Man Alive' • attack of the clones


Like countless second episodes, "Fastest Man Alive" half-existed to reiterate the concept behind THE FLASH, in a manner that wouldn't test the patience of those who saw the pilot. (Which is usually the majority of people watching.) It managed to accomplish that rather well, with dialogue recapping that wasn't always subtle, but felt reasonable. In some ways, the story was also a mini-version of the pilot—with Barry (Grant Gustin) testing the limits of his super-sonic movement before having to fight 'metahuman' Danton Black (Michael Christopher Smith), a one-man clone army.