Jun. 20th, 2015

threemonkeys: (drowning)
Catching up on the new season in case anybody is interested.

First a couple of Brit series that are almost through their short runs. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is a pretty faithful telling of the novel of the same name. Like then novel, like the TV series.

Then yet another one of those gritty, brassy, working class Brit cop shows they see to do a lot of. Quality varies, but in the case of No Offence, we have a good one. In fact one of the best in a long time.

Also for Iain Banks fans, there is a two part dramatisation of Stonemouth. Again, read the book, watch the show.

Then there are the new season shows from the states. Lots of them this time around - too many to write about. Of all of them, nothing stands out as great, but quite a few are at least worth a second or third watch and may be good for the long haul.

The Whispers (ABC) is a horror mystery. There have been one or two of these each season in recent years and they all go too hard on the brooding atmosphere. But this one pushes the mystery investigation side and works a lot better for it. The only problem is the mystery paranormal(?) evil works through children. All the kids seem to have been cast from the same big eyed moppet agency and I can't tell them apart.

Do you watch reality dating shows like The Bachelor. Then you need to watch UnReal (Lifetime) to see a fictional view of what happens in the production crew. And if you, like me, does not watch such reality shows then watch it to see your prejudices confirmed. Has a vaguely Sorkinesque quality.

A couple of types of shows are around at the moment. Shows where the dead communicated back to the investigators to catch the killers. Shows where social dysfunction (eg Autism spectrum) is a kind of intellectual superpower. So obviously somebody is going to combine them. The result is Stitchers (ABC Family). Does what it says on the can.

Mr Robot (USA Network) also plays the social dysfunction card. But the storyline is in the field of data security and cyber crime. If that is your thing, then this is so so much better than the turgid CSI:Cyber.

I don't know the underlying agenda of Proof (TNT Drama) but I do know it has one and what way it swings will depend on whether the show is worth persevering with. The theme of the show is investigating life after death. I detect a bit of an X-Files inspiration.

Humans (Channel 4) does look promising. It explores the nature of what makes a human by looking at androids becoming part of society and what happens if an emergent consciousness transforms then from mere machines. These theme hark back to Asimov and Dick and are no less valid for being looked at again.

Do you remember Andromeda? Well Dark Matter (SyFy) has some of the same underlying plot basis. A group of nasty misfits on a space craft find themselves turning into good guys after an incident. They find themselves using their skills and their nifty ship going up against the evil corporations. Actually on second thoughts, perhaps it is more Blakes 7. The production values are high enough that it might have legs.

I'm not so sure about Killjoys (Syfy). It is a similar proposition, but this time it is interplanetary bounty hunters. There is just something about the bounty hunter narrative then seems to lend itself to low budgets and bad acting. That isn't necessarily a problem, but out of the blocks, Dark Matter seems the better proposition from Syfy. Interesting that they are side by side in the schedule.

No sitcoms on the list yet? So many bad ideas made into half hours comedy shows. The best of them is Odd Mom Out (Bravo) because of the talents of the lead. Sin City Saints may also have promise.

Any questions? Didn't think so - you need to make up your own mind.

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