I put up a What’s Good with Fall TV shows Mega Post not too long ago but it was hard to post it because I couldn’t stop adding shows to it. Finally I just put the thing up and of course I forgot some shows. So here’s a supplemental to talk about those shows.
I stopped at ten. (It sounded like a nice round number)
Let’s get right to it.
Into the Badlands (AMC)
Into The Badlands is a martial arts show in a strange world with barons and factions and no real logic but some of the best fight choreography on TV.
I tried to like this show because the fight choreography is so damn good. But nothing else is. The costumes are the most egregious thing. They are so crisp. They look awkward. Attention wardrobe department: If a character owns clothing, they sometimes wear them. Only royalty can have crisp clean clothes each day. Like someone just made them that outfit for that day. Everybody else’s clothes should look lived in. It’s annoying.
But also the fashion is awkward. With unnecessary collars and rips. The costumes are terrible. But then again, so is the acting and the writing and the premise. The only good thing about the show are the fights. And honestly the fight scenes are so good that it’s worth watching for the fights. So if they bring this back, I will still watch because the fights are so good. Too bad they didn’t have anything to go with them. I really wanted to like it.
Doctor Who (BBCA)
Doctor Who took a strange turn this season when the Doctor experienced a crisis of conscience. And started acting silly again. He gives away his sonic screw driver and settles back into being a clown by inventing sonic sunglasses and running away from his problems. He meets a boy in danger who will one day be his greatest enemy and the doctor decides to not save him. Just to run.
The season saw the end of two of the doctor’s most controversial companions and featured outstanding performances by Peter Capaldi. I can’t wait until next season.
Downton Abbey (PBS)
This season was nice and sweet and Downton Abbey-ish but the finale of the series was bittersweet. I’m going to miss these characters. Even though I have absolutely nothing in common with any of them they still felt like family. I really enjoyed the series. And it’s not my usual cup of tea but the characters were very real and the whole thing felt familiar even as it was completely alien to me.
The Expanse (SyFy)
What can I say? I like this show. It has the exact amount of space opera and political intrigue and science fiction goodness that I like. The acting is decent and the good performances sell the premise. It’s always the worst when bad actors make it hard to believe the sci-fi dialogue and it sounds all hokey, like the actors don’t quite believe it.
The Expanse is a well-acted and well-written sci-fi drama. I see good things on the horizon as long as they don’t get too ahead of themselves. There’s Mars, Earth, The Belt and possibly a fourth faction and that’s good enough. Let’s get deeper into these groups and their internal dynamics and their relationships.
I have high hopes for this show. I really do. And I really like this crew. These guys rock.
Childhood’s End (SyFy)
Chapter one of Childhood’s End was freaking phenomenal. I thought I was in for three nights of great entertainment after that. Especially after the reveal at the end of the first act. That was gloriously unexpected and surreal.
But chapter two was significantly worse and disjointed and confused. It never lived up to the first installment. And if it was half as good as the first (and I’m being generous) Chapter three was again half as good as that.
The series ended with a thud when it started with a bang. So very disappointing. Ruined the whole thing.
Hemlock Grove (Netflix)
Hemlock Grove is one those shows that I don’t talk about much but I really like. It’s weird. So it’s an acquired taste. Another monster mash. With vampires and werewolves and a Frankenstein-like creation. I enjoyed it thoroughly. The actors were hot. The premises were creepy and sometimes scary and very cool. And it’s over now. But it was pretty good. Definitely not for every one. But right up my alley with shows like Penny Dreadful and True Blood. I’m going to miss Hemlock Grove.
Master of None (Netflix)
I really liked Master of None. And I’m not just NOT an Aziz Ansari fan. I hate him with a passion (The red hot passion of a thousand suns). He was the worst thing about Parks & Rec. His stand-up is whiny and douche-y. But I really enjoyed his Netflix show.
The writing reminded me at times of Louie (Louis CK’s show) and the episode that Aziz directs (the one with the two dads) was spectacular. One of the best episodes of a great first season. He’s a very talented man. But the funniest thing about all of this is that, after watching this award worthy and amazing show, that stars him, is written by him and sometimes directed by him, I still hate him. I really really can’t stand him.
Luther’s back and I’m pleased. The show is still as suspenseful as ever. I don’t like that they killed off Alice but you know Alice. She won’t stay dead. It’s Alice. Without Ruth Wilson, Luther is not Luther. Don’t get me wrong, Idris Elba is great and he’s still got that huge manly hotness but Ruth Wilson makes the show for me.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy)
This new guy is very funny, likable and good-looking. And I’ve said many times over the last couple of years that Jon was phoning it in by the end. So Trevor has also injected the show with new energy and life and I’m digging it again. Once again The Daily Show is must-see, required viewing. And as is usually the case with a new talk show host, they are shit at the interviews, but Trevor isn’t. Trevor is great at interviews. He’s even better than Colbert ever was.
Which reminds me of the Late Show. I stopped watching The Late Show and I loved The Colbert Report but now that Stephen is being himself, he just seems so fake.
The Knick (Cinemax)
Steven Soderbergh continues to make marvelous mini movies for every episode of The Knick and they are fantastic. If the series is over, (It seemed like it ended but Cinemax wants more and so do I) then it went out with one of the most dark and disturbing operating scenes of the series.
The Knick on Cinemax is known for its unflinching look at early 20th century surgery techniques. It gets in there. It gets way in there. It gets gross. It’s hard to watch but so entertaining. I’m not going to give it away but the last scene is to a level that I had no idea they could reach. It… I screamed at my TV through the entire scene. “Don’t do that. Please don’t do that.” and I was talking to the characters. The director. The TV. My eyes. Anyone who would listen. “Please stop doing that.” It was amazing… amazingly disturbing. And something I will not be forgetting any time soon.
That’s it for Fall.
Coming Soon (this Winter): Black Sails is back. Also The 100, 12 Monkeys, Banshee, Better Call Saul, Broad City, Colony (I liked the leaked pilot), Legends of Tomorrow (honestly I don’t expect much), Galavant is back (no seriously it’s not as bad as it looks), Game of motherfucking Thrones, Girls (I love that show), Halt & Catch Fire (yay!!!), Hell on Wheels (??), House of Lies, Humans (hell yeah), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Last Ship, Lucifer (loved the pilot but I bet they retooled it), The Magicians (also loved the pilot), The Man in the High Castle (steady, Mel, steady), Agent Carter (yes, ma’am), Daredevil (I’m out of breath), Masters of Sex, Mozart in the Jungle (TODAY!!!), Mr. Robot (okay now you’re just fucking with me, Winter TV shows), Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful, Person of Interest, Portlandia, Ray Donovan, Sense 8 (okay okay I get it. I need another television), Shameless, The Shannara Chronicles, Silcon Valley, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Veep, Vikings, The Walking Dead, and the new X-Files.
Plus all the old school shows that go from Fall to Summer.
So yeah. Winter shows kick TV’s ass.