By Ken De Laat
At N3WH kicking back and taking in some TV viewing in the latter part of the day remains a pastime in the summer months and the search for material that carries enough interest to earn a bit of binging is an ongoing one.
Here are a few of our more recent streaming safaris and reviews that reflect the ramblings of a curmudgeonly couch potato in possession of considerable television viewing experience who still believes Barney Miller was the best cop show ever.
We watched the first two seasons and while the writing is top notch in many ways and Anna Friel shows some serious chops in the title role I have my doubts we’ll be tuning into season 3. Beyond Friel few of the actors other than Sinead Cusack (only in season 1) are the least bit memorable in their roles and in my opinion the series could have ended then and there. The second season felt a bit disjointed and the ending left me with no desire to continue.
A fun take on the Arthur/Merlin story with a female as the main character (Nimue, played by Katherine Langford from 13 Reasons Why), and some intriguing twists including presenting Merlin as a bit of a drunk who has lost his magic touch. Sure there are a lot of holes in the plot that leave unanswered questions and the writing leans a bit to the cheesy side but a rather radical take on an old story is always good for generating interest and I’m certainly not above cheesy if it makes for goodtime viewing. Plus, the scenery and settings are exceptional.
Midway through season one and admittedly already committed to moving directly to the just released season 2. This is a cleverly done plotline that travels beyond the usual superhero cliches and leaves you hungry for more information about each of the characters as it trickles out in bits and pieces. Discovering the show is based on a comic book series made sense as the dialogue and imagery are reminiscent of the genre- particularly the type of publications put out by Dark Horse Comics (Hellboy, Sin City). While rife with intriguing characters and portrayals ranging from effective to compelling, David Castenada is a fun watch as he milks the richly outrageous role of Diego playing it close to over the top without allowing it to tumble into slapstick. The quirky dance scenes are fun and the music is varied and curiously well fitted to the situations.
Highly recommended. Particularly if you aren’t peevish toward peculiar.
Baseball’s back on TV and a couple of questions strike me thus far.
Do you think the announcers will continue to apologize each time the f-bomb is dropped into an empty stadium? Because it happens a lot.
Will they amp up the somewhat creepy canned crowd noise to compensate?
Beyond those queries the surrealness of the game being played with no one present save the teams, officials, staff, tv crews and a few others seems oddly enough to fit well with baseball. It’s always been a bit more cerebral enterprise than some other team sports say, football and soccer where the action tends to be much more fluid. Baseball’s a game that needs to be taken in, contemplated and savored which is likely why it lacks appeal to the less patient among us. But editorializing aside, it is indeed good to see it back on the tube, though for how long might be anyone’s guess.
Please, please, please stop running the insurance commercial where the guy’s wife grabs the phone from him to confront the agent on what he might be wearing. I was tired of it before the reboot, it has lost every shred of charm it might have once possessed and it is on more often than political ads during election week.
Give it up already.
“All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching?”-Nicholas Johnson
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