Television has just exploded with huge titles commanding your attention. There's some huge new and returning shows:
Scenes From a Marriage - HBO's new Jessica Chastain/Oscar Isaac limited series based on Ingmar Bergman's classic series from the 70s. Personally, I found it a little taxing - it's a lot of capital A acting on the talk-heavy show. Largely, there's nothing new here and this sort of material has been better handled elsewhere. The show is from Hagai Levi who, himself, handled this kind of TV in a far more engaging way in his own Israeli series BiTipul, which again was pretty engaging when adapted for HBO as In Treatment.
Y: The Last Man - Based on a comic of the same name, the series is about a virus (or something) that kills off all the men on the planet. One guy remains named Yorrick. But the show isn't really about him. It's about the changes in society as the remaining women rebuild their lives and a civilization after 50% of the population are now gone. It is, of course, 2021, so the show is much smarter about gender constructs and attitudes than the early 00s comic book. I really liked what I have seen so far of the show. It isn't great out of the gate, but it is interesting and has the potential to be very memorable.
The Morning Show season 2 - Yes, I gaffed a fortnight ago on this one and accidentally listed it as the big show of the week. You were all polite enough not to make a big deal about it. Thank you. Since then I have actually seen the entirety of season 2 of this show which returns to Apple TV+ today with weekly episodes. A few spoiler-free thoughts:
- The first season of the show was about a year and a half ago and we've all been through a lot since then. You are going to want to revisit the season finale if you haven't seen it since it was first released. The new season leans heavily on what happened at the end of the first season and boy is it a struggle if you don't remember much beyond that one big thing that happened at the end.
- I may have complained about this during s1, but by the end of s2 I still have no idea what sort of TV network they're working for. Is it like an NBC-style channel with a mix of programming types? If so, why is it that the network only seems to have talk-format shows on it in the evenings? And if it is a 24/7 news channel, why is the morning show so light with mostly lifestyle content? It is very confusing.
- The show is really keen to have a conversation about the evils of cancel culture. Yet, it has nothing in depth to say about it more than: Cancel culture bad.
- Are Jennifer Aniston or Reese Witherspoon on screen together in more than 3 scenes across the entire season? I'm not sure that they are, but I'm not prepared to go back and count them myself.
There's so much about The Morning Show that should be great. But, boy, it certainly makes some choices...
Endeavour (s08), All Creatures Great and Small (s02), Murdoch Mysteries (s15), The Morning Show (s02), Sex Education (s03), Tacoma FD (s03)
American Rust - Showtime | Paramount+
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Maura Tierney, Bill Camp
A compelling family drama that will explore the tattered American dream through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris in a Rust Belt town in southwest Pennsylvania.
Strays - CBC
Stars: Nicole Power, Frank Cox-O'Connell, Tina Jung
Shannon Ross puts Toronto in the rearview to focus on her new job as the executive director of the Hamilton East Animal Shelter, where she is boss to an eclectic staff.
Moonshine - CBC
Stars: Jennifer Finnigan, Anastasia Phillips, Emma Hunter
Moonshine is a raucous one-hour dramedy that tells the story of the Finley-Cullens, a dysfunctional family of adult half-siblings battling to take control over the family business.
The Harper House - Paramount+
Stars: Rhea Seehorn, Jason Lee
An overconfident female head-of-household struggles to regain a higher status for herself, and for her family of oddballs, after losing her job and moving from the rich side to the poor side of a small Arkansas town.
Stars: Jon Bernthal, Kaitlyn Dever, Lola Kirke
Anthological series that uses the boldest issues of our times as a jumping-off point to tell singular, character-driven stories about the world we live in today.
Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol - Peacock
Stars: Ashley Zukerman, Raoul Bhaneja, Eddie Izzard
This follows the early adventures of famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who finds himself pulled into a series of deadly puzzles when his mentor is kidnapped. The CIA forces him onto a task force where he uncovers a chilling conspiracy.
NOTE: The Lost Symbol streams in Australia from 24 Sept on Paramount+
He-Man and The Masters of The Universe - Netflix
Stars: Kimberly Brooks, Antony Del Rio, Trevor Devall
Eternia's Prince Adam discovers the power of Grayskull and transforms into He-Man, Master of the Universe. A reimagining of the classic animated series.
Chicago Party Aunt - Netflix
That's it for this week. Remember: vaccines are good. Get one if you are able. Stay safe. Let's be careful out there.