Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tough Cookie

There's a lot of shows to cover and I will do so over the next week or two but for now, here are some of the ones I've seen recently ...

American Horror Story: Asylum: I'm still watching this show at UK pace, which means only being an episode behind on proceedings but this show certainly manages to achieve a lot in three episodes than others do in half a season. For instance, we've lost three prominent villainous characters, gained more insight into the present day activities of the disturbed Bloody Face Jr while having the entire hierarchy at Briarcliff take an interesting turn for the worst as well. And that's enough even going into the sheer inspired lunacy of The Name Game song as well. In a show as wonderfully strange as this one, that was the strangest thing yet. As for Kit, Lana and Jude - well, the last two episodes are going to be interesting for our three heroes.

Mrs Brown's Boys: My guilty pleasure series. It might not be the most sophisticated of comedies but it's an undeniably funny one, compared to some of the other offerings on telly at the moment. So far, the first half of the third series has been great fun with episode based on psychics, hypnotists and poor Granddad constantly living in fear of Agnes's wrath. I do find myself wondering how well Brendan O'Carroll continues to play this role and given that's he's been playing it for a long time in various mediums, I should be used to it by now.

My Mad Fat Diary: I have to admit, I did watch this show with a little trepidation. On the surface, it did seem like an attempt for E4 to have another Skins style success but if you didn't like that show, there's a chance you might still like this one. First of all, the action is set in 1996, based on the real life diary of Rae Earl (here ably played by Sharon Rooney), a girl whose recently come out of a mental institution and it's actually quite good. Rae is a likeable enough character and the new band people she seems to befriend almost instantly seem like an interesting bunch, though like Skins, it does have a tendency of writing the adult characters (Rae's promiscuous mother and her shrink) as caricatures but other than that, this along with Utopia (to be discussed in a later blog) are a welcome relief to the plethora of period stuff that BBC1 and ITV are throwing at us at the moment.

Once Upon A Time: I sometimes wonder if I should be reviewing this show episodically because the last two episodes have continued to support my theory that it's not suffering difficult second season syndrome. It's nice that in the space of showing up in Storybrooke that in the last two episodes, Hook and Cora have kidnapped Archie (while making everyone think Regina killed him) and managed to screw Gold over by messing with Belle big time. Plus, the actual antics in fairyland have been fun to watch as this show continues to convince us that Mulan is meant for female partners and that Regina's burning hatred for Snow really was unquenchable as well. I still wouldn't mind learning a bit more about how Emma can't have her heart removed but I suspect we're getting to that fairly soon.

The New Normal: So, Ryan Murphy is determined to take over every corner of television, right? I have to admit that while I'm still likely to prefer Glee and American Horror Story (and early seasons of Nip/Tuck), this is another hugely enjoyable show of his to watch. The premise is simple - gay couple Bryan and David want a kid, something which aspiring lawyer Goldie (who has her own daughter, the delightful Shania) is happy to help out with, and that's in spite of a feckless husband and a bigoted grandmother, superbly played by Ellen Barkin - a character so cartoonish she'd make early Sue Sylvester seem reserved by comparison. It might not be a show to everyone's taste but it's certain an interesting one and this is coming from a person who's grown tired of most baby plots on television shows.

- Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson will be returning for the third season of American Horror Story, which will be set in the present day. Clues for the theme behind the new season have featured in the most recent episodes.
- Fans of Kurt and Blaine should be delighted to know that the upcoming wedding episode of Glee will feature them on better terms with each other.
- Gina Torres has mentioned that the upcoming Hannibal series is chilling.
- Ron Moore is developing a new drama for SyFy called Helix, focusing on a team of scientists trying to save humanity from a disease outbreak at an Arctic research facility.
- Australia will air the final four episode of the recently cancelled 666 Park Avenue.
- SyFy have cancelled Alphas after two seasons.
- Downton Abbey's fourth season will see a lot of changes as Mary adjusts to life as a widow.
- RAW actress Amy Manson could be Wonder Woman, though the show will be called Amazon and will be tonally similar to Smallville.

No comments: