Apologies for not getting this newsletter out sooner. House moving has destroyed both my weekend and me physically. Why are couches so heavy?
The big show of the week was undoubtedly She-Hulk. If you're inclined to watch such things, you have likely seen it by now. What I enjoyed about the show, and this speaks to the Marvel shows in general, is that the more of these short-run series that are made, the more they're feeling like comic books. Every few weeks you have the opportunity to drop in on a new character/series and there's a disposability to them all that feels like a comic book - I mean that in a good way. Also, the fact they are serialised works in Marvel's favour. Comic book stories are serials. One-off movies aren't what these characters are built for. Anyway, She-Hulk was funny and star Tatiana Maslani is a very winning Marvel hero.
I wanted to like Apple TV's Bad Sisters more than I did. But I couldn't quite connect with any of the characters and there was nothing on screen that I found compelling. Plus, the show starts out with the storytelling convention I dislike the most: Family members coming together at a funeral, serving as a vehicle for us as an audience to get to know all of them. It always feels like a false notion to me: have you ever felt that you are your authentic, regular self at any funeral?
house of the dragon
Debuting tomorrow is the new Game of Thrones drama House of The Dragon. I've seen the first few episodes of it and the show is really impressive. Not just in that the show itself is actually rather strong in execution, but it is a masterclass in fabricating an extension to a franchise like this.
When you watch House of The Dragon, it will look and feel familiar. There is no mistaking that you are watching a Game of Thrones show. But all of the characters are fresh and you are watching an entirely different storyline play out. Thematically, the show remains about power plays and characters jockeying to take their place atop the iron throne. House of The Dragon walks a tightrope of balancing that familiar and the new with such incredible confidence. It's impressive.
Outside of the pickiest GoT fans (possibly being slightly unreasonable in expectation), I can't imagine there being many who are disappointed by the new show.
The sniff test for me was watching it alongside my parents and wife. The parents had binge watched Game of Thrones and despite it not being the sort of thing they regularly watch, the two of them had a great time in Westeros. Watching the new show, the two were caught up in the show (even if they were slightly confused about who the characters were, confusing Matt Smith and Milly Alcock's characters for Daenerys and her brother. My wife, who wasn't a Game of Thrones viewer at all, was with the show right up until an especially gruesome medical procedure which had her leaving the room never to return.
Based on those case studies, I'd suggest the show is compelling for new and returning viewers alike.
I enjoyed it quite a bit and will be with the show for the full run of the season. The lingering question is whether audiences will get distracted by that new Lord of The Rings series. There's nothing about House of The Dragon that is an easy-watch - it demands quite a lot from its viewers, but my suspicion is that most will find enough connection with this new show as not to lose interest in a few weeks time. It seems like HBO have a winner with this spin-off.
Power Book 3: Raising Kanan (s02), He Man And The Masters of The Universe (s03)
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law (Disney+)
Stars: Tatiana Maslani, Mark Ruffalo
Jennifer Walters has a complicated life as a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk.
Tales of The Walking Dead (AMC | Amazon Prime Video)
Stars: Terry Crews, Olivia Munn, Parker Posey
An episodic anthology that will follow individual characters from the The Walking Dead TV universe,
High Heat (Netflix)
Stars: Ivan Amozarrutia
An exploration of the lives of all of the brave people who work as firefighters, who put their lives on the line to save others even as their own personal lives become entangled with drama.
Bad Sisters (Apple TV+)
Stars: Sharon Horgan, Eve Hewson
The Garvey sisters are bound together by the premature deaths of their parents and the promises they made to always protect one another.
Surfside Girls (Apple TV+)
Stars: YaYa Gosselin, Miya Cech
Quick wits lead to daring discoveries for beachside besties Sam and Jade as they sleuth out supernatural mysteries in their sleepy hometown of Surfside.
Stars: Issin Chiba
After losing his home to the powerful enemy Ogre, hot-tempered Jin Kazama trains under his zealous grandfather Heihachi Mishima whilst awaiting his chance for revenge in the lead up to the third King of Iron Fist tournament.
Stars: Jella Haas
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a former East German spy resolves to find out who betrayed her and why — and use her lethal skills to exact revenge.
Stars: Michelle Monaghan, Matt Bomer
Identical twin sisters Leni and Gina decide to swap their lives. However, there are dire consequences when one of the twins goes missing, causing both of their lives to rapidly fall apart.
Look Both Ways (Netflix)
Stars: Lili Reinhart, Aisha Dee, Luke Wilson
On the eve of her college graduation, Natalie's life diverges into two parallel realities: one in which she becomes pregnant and must navigate motherhood in her Texas hometown, the other in which she moves to Los Angeles to pursue her career.
That's it for today.