Some more TV reviews – because it’s something to do – following on from the last one, so some are no longer that recent.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I liked the end of this, although I’m still not sure if I found it lacking something. I prefer ongoing stories to episodic stuff, though I can understand why many series start off episodic (as much because executive types seem to believe viewers need that stability as because the series is finding its feet). Still, the tail end of the season worked better for me, and I’m glad the main story was tied up in the season without any hard cliffhanger (some strands still dangling, but the main plot was tidied up).
Maybe rewatching it in one block will make it seem more cohesive (or tell me what’s wrong with it).
Season two was unfortunately the last. And while it did kind of have a resolution, it didn’t feel like a proper one. While not happy, and with few laughs, the show was mesmerisingly dark, and I kept watching to see exactly how bad the mayor could actually go. While I’m in no rush for a box set, I’m disappointed something this interesting was canned.
Season two kept up the quality of the first, with some interesting and surprising avenues. I’m not sure how well it would work with a different lead actress though, as Tatiana Maslany is the reason the show’s so good. I often find myself so engrossed by the performances that even with two of her clones on screen it can be easy to forget it’s the same actress. She helps the special effects do what they should do: disappear.
Will season three have more focus on the male clones? Hopefully not too much, since I didn’t find the actor as watchable as Maslany. Maybe he’ll be more interesting in different roles, but she should remain the star of the show. I just wish she was in more scenes.
The Honourable Woman
After the fact, some parts seem slow, but watching it was always engrossing. Despite a few plot strands feeling like danglers (unless I missed something, which is possible) it was generally satisfactory, with strong performances (particularly Stephen Rea and Maggie Gyllenhal [but since I'm currently rewatching The Fixer , I was longing to see Andrew Buchan shoot or beat someone]).
While I’m glad I watched it, the memory of how slow some parts feel in retrospect means I probably wouldn’t want to rewatch it again anytime soon.
Just finished watching season two on dvd (so many US series we can only get on dvd). It builds on the promise of the first season, and while the episodic, procedural nature can sometimes feel a bit vanilla, I can understand why it’s (possibly wrongly) seen as a useful tool for getting some audiences to stick with a science fiction show.
Not that it’s that heavily science fiction, those element of the show taking a back seat to the characters and intrigue, and the shifting allegiances among everyone, good and bad, are interesting. The main thing that keeps me engrossed is the question of whether the protagonist is hero or villain, protecting the peace or enforcing the laws of totalitarian corporate rule, although admittedly that’s probably the wrong question. She’s both. They’re unafraid to have her skirt the line, and she’s constantly fighting to balance her desire to uphold the law against her desire to get home to her family.
There’s still a sense that it could be better, maybe if it dropped the procedural stuff (and from how the second season ended that may happen), but it’s still enjoyable enough to keep me buying the dvds (when they reach an appropriate price point).