Television 2016

Posted by: Rita

Television 2016 - 01/06/16 07:21 PM

Can you believe there are 43 new shows debuting in the next few months? 43! But out of that prodigious number there are only two I want to watch. One is Billions, starting on Showtime on Sunday, Jan. 17th. It's a suspense series set in the world of high finance starring Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis. The other is London Spy, starting on Thursday, Jan. 21st. on BBC America. It's about a young man unwittingly caught up in the world of espionage played by Ben Whishaw (the new young nerdish Q in the James Bond films). Also in the cast are Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling.

Anyone still watching NCIS? Michael Weatherly is leaving the show at the end of the current season. No more Di Nozzo.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2016 - 01/06/16 08:08 PM

London Spy sounds like an Eric Ambler story -- an average guy accidentally swept up into international intrigue and danger and trying to cope as well as he can. I'll watch!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2016 - 01/11/16 08:18 PM

Maybe Colony, a post-invasion drama, although I'm not holding my breath. Starts this coming Thursday on USA.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2016 - 01/17/16 04:47 PM

Awaiting Austin's verdict for Colony...
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: Television 2016 - 01/17/16 08:46 PM

We liked Colony. The pilot episode was promising, at any rate.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2016 - 01/19/16 08:57 AM

For me, the jury's still out. I need to see another episode or two.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2016 - 01/19/16 01:56 PM

It's wait-and-see for me too. Considering the amount of money that has obviously been poured into the show, no one's going to pull the plug on it any time soon. But it's interesting that Colony and Jennifer Lopez's show, Shades of Blue, both have protagonists who are coerced into spying on their peers.

One show I don't need more than one episode to tell me I like it is Billions. What a terrific cat-and-mouse story -- it looks as if the two leads are going to take turns playing the mouse. I don't particularly like Damian Lewis, but he seems credible as the billionaire hedge fund manager. Paul Giamatti as the Attorney General out to get him is his usual believable self. And what a pair of scenes to bookend the very first episode! I never saw that coming.

But another show isn't worth watching at all -- USA's Second Chance. It's a Frankenstein story, cliché-ridden and sloppy. An elderly former sheriff is killed and then brought back to life in the "best version" of himself -- younger and stronger and with stubble on his face. A few half-baked high-techy f/x were tossed in, in a lame attempt to give the show a futuristic look, but Second Chance is about as forward-looking as Ma and Pa Kettle.
Posted by: David Dvorkin

Re: Television 2016 - 01/19/16 05:34 PM

"...and with stubble on his face."

Ha!
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2016 - 02/02/16 05:56 PM

Funny X-Files last night. A monster is bitten by a man and turns into a human.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2016 - 02/08/16 08:20 PM

May 8th will be the final episode of The Good Wife...the FINAL final episode. It's been a good ride, but now it's ending.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2016 - 02/11/16 04:36 PM

One that I didn't think about for its first four months but have been belatedly alerted to is Limitless. It's another "person with extra abilities gets pulled in by a government agency" premise (medication that increases brainpowers for a limited time, but with bad reactions when it wears off, unless....), spinning off from a film I never heard of (whose star, Bradley Cooper, makes occasional brief guest appearances here). But the cast is good (the main guy is engaging, and it's great to see Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio again), and best of all they're having fun with it. Lots of delicious visual embellishment when his mind is on overdrive (claymation, substitute words, onscreen captions, speech balloons, Peanuts-esque wah-wah vocal sounds, and more), and ongoing tension building up. Maybe it's not to everyone's taste but I like it a lot.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Television 2016 - 02/12/16 12:44 PM

Wow (second time I've typed that this morning). I bailed after the first episode of Limitless, but it sounds as if I should have stuck with it.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2016 - 02/12/16 11:07 PM

Or maybe we feel differently about it. I do think it found its legs about the fourth episode, balancing the long-term arcs with the story of the week, and learning to have fun with it. (And I know we all have different ideas of fun.)
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2016 - 02/14/16 08:40 PM

Well, my idea of fun was seeing Sigourney Weaver turn up in last night's episode of Doc Martin. TOTALLY unexpected. grin
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2016 - 02/16/16 07:37 PM

I didn't immediately recognize her, she was so de-glamourized. I wonder if Weaver just happened to be in Wales and didn't have anything to do that week...
Posted by: Pete

Re: Television 2016 - 02/17/16 09:28 AM

Doc Martin (which I missed this week) isn't shot in Wales, it's shot on the north coast of Cornwall, in Port Isaac. I used Google Earth once to get a ground-level look at the building that plays his office.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2016 - 02/17/16 06:13 PM

Oh dear, I knew it was Cornwall. Just wasn't thinking.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2016 - 04/23/16 01:39 AM

Did anyone watch Black List last night? Totally different from any other episode, completely unexpected, and absolutely right. I liked it.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Television 2016 - 04/24/16 01:02 PM

I did, lucky for me. I haven't been watching regularly lately (got tired of the Liz/Tom roller coaster). But this last episode was a knock-out. Reddington has worked his way through the denial stage of his grief...what's the next step? Anger? It's obvious he believes Liz is dead, but I'm not sure I do.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Television 2016 - 04/25/16 12:50 AM

Nor am I. Killing off the leading lady in just that way -- off-camera? No big death scene? Nah. She'll be back. I do wish they'd find some way to get rid of Tom, though.

One other thing about this last episode. Isolation is part of the denial stage of grief, and Reddington was shown making a phone call to someone saying sell everything, Dembe has power of attorney, etc. Cutting himself off. Then he goes to a place he'd been only once before, chosen for its remoteness, its long stretches of emptiness. Impressive, too, how small the cast was. Normally Black List is a highly populated show, not with extras standing around filling up empty spaces but with characters with speaking roles -- many of them, one ensemble scene after another. The contrast between that busyness and the bleak barrenness of the denial episode was quite telling. IMO, this is the show's best episode.
Posted by: Lorna

Re: Television 2016 - 05/02/16 08:45 PM

Penny Dreadful is back, with a fully engaging episode (my favorite guilty pleasure). Orphan Black snuck back too...and I missed the first episode! Dang.
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2016 - 09/15/16 02:46 PM

The show is not current, but the article is:

I was asked to do a guest post on a friend's arts blog, on a subject dear to both our hearts: The 1977-82 series Lou Grant. Julie and I have long loved for the writing, the acting, and the actors. And it is finally appearing on DVD: Seasons 1 and 2 are out, Season 3 is coming in November, and we hope for Seasons 4 and 5 soon after.

This is what I wrote.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Television 2016 - 09/19/16 09:03 PM

You know, I remember scenes from that show very vividly, but not entire episodes. I've blanked out the plots, even though I didn't miss an episode.

Tatiana Malasny has finally won an Emmy for Orphan Black. She's saying in the upcoming final season not all the clones will meet a happy ending. She even used the word "tragic".
Posted by: Jon

Re: Television 2016 - 11/06/16 01:41 PM

I'm very much enjoying a British series, just released here on Netflix, titled The Crown, about Elizabeth II. There are 10 episodes, and apparently there's a plan to continue it in future year, pretty much up to the present day. But the early days are what I'm most interested in, and I tend to enjoy shows that take us "behind the scenes" into the gritty details of how unfamiliar institutions work. The first scene is Philip renouncing other national and royal identities so that the marriage can happen. I've watched through Episode 3, at which point she has succeeded to the crown but the coronation is a year away, and she has just made two big, heartbreaking concessions to Parliament: that Windsor will remain the family name despite her marriage, and that she and her family will leave the house they have so lovingly refurbished and move into Buckingham Palace.

The cast includes Claire Foy as Elizabeth, Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret (we're already seeing her dally with Peter Townsend, played by a favorite of mine, Ben Miles), Eileen Atkins as the grandmother Queen Mary, Jeremy Northam as Anthony Eden, Victoria Hamilton as The Queen Mother. Jared Harris was King George VI, and surprisingly but effectively, John Lithgow is Winston Churchill.