It's that time of the year again when a lot of show have returned/debuted and here are some of the ones I've been watching over the last fortnight.
Bates Motel: I'm glad I've stuck with this show. Having watched the first four episodes, I feel this series has added greatly to the whole Norman Bates mythology, even if both Norman and his mother have deliberately been made more sympathetic to gauge with viewers. The addition of Norman's half brother has also added nicely into the mix as his attempts of prizing both mother and son's twisted bond hasn't worked so far but he's a great character and it's nice to have him on board as he does seem to genuinely care for Norman's well being. Antagonist wise, Zach is certainly shaping up to be one the more he gets involved with the Bates family.
Downton Abbey: I've got to admit - the first two episode of the fourth series hasn't been the show firing on all cylinders. It's nice that Mary's grief has been touched on, Edith is getting to feel loved and Rose is settling in reasonably okay but some of the other plotlines aren't that interesting. Does anyone really care about Daisy/Alfred/Ivy/Jimmy or Edna being a manipulative partner in crime for Thomas or Robert once again feeling threatened by change? I didn't think so. So far, it's not a bad start to the series but it does feel like it's trending water at the moment.
Glee: It's back and the show's penchant for tribute episodes now means that we get a two parter with music from the Beatles. The problem is, much as I like them as a band, not all of the songs were that great to listen. Of course the highlights from the first two episodes had less to do with the music and more to do with Blaine/Kurt getting engaged, Sue becoming principal, another Cheerio rising from the mist to make New Directions lives crap, Kitty admitting she was dating Artie, Tina getting the Carrie treatment, Rachel getting her role and of course, Santana hooking up with Dani. The second episode was the stronger of the two but the upcoming tribute episode to Cory Monteith will make for uneasy viewing.
Homeland: Oh dear. I still love this show but I hate to admit, I actually found the opening episode to Season 3 a tad boring. My mind literally kept wandering at times and the lack of Brody actually didn't help matters. On the plus side, I suppose Carrie's unravelling will provide some great drama, Quinn is a better character than before and the last scene with Saul was a pretty shocking moment as well. Other than that, this was a little too hit and miss an opening episode for me.
Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D: I'm gonna say it - I probably will never love this show as much as I did Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel but for the time being it's on a par with Dollhouse and better than Firefly and while we'll have to wait a while to see how Coulson really did survive, at least he's got an interesting enough team on board. Well, Melinda and Skye are the most interesting but the second episode certainly helped to make me warm to geek duo Fitz and Simmons and the rather pretty Agent Ward as well. Plus a certain cameo or two in the first two episodes was a nice way of confirming that this series isn't exactly a separate entity from the various movie franchises. The writing is a little choppy in parts though but hopefully that's something that will be sorted as the series progresses though.
Once Upon A Time: Now this was something of a dark opening episode. I don't just mean the tone, I mean visually, it was dark from start to finish. As for the rest of the episode, it was mainly predictable but interesting to watch. Neal predictably ended up with Aurora, Philip, Mulan and the new Robin Hood, Hook predictably ended up revealing in his own cocky way he fancied Emma, Regina and Snow predictably picked a bad enough time to air their hatred for each other and of course, Peter Pan revealed himself in a predictable manner to Henry as well. On the plus side, all of these plot lines actually worked, Greg and Tamara were thankfully killed off and we got a preview of the Mermaids as well. Overall, I'd say it made for a successful opening episode in the regard.
- A&E are developing their own version of The Returned, making this the third version of the show as a UK version is also in development.
- David Tennant will be appearing in the US version of his own show, Broadchurch for FOX.
- The Simpsons has been renewed for a 26th season and a big character will die this season.
- Nathan Fillion will be guest starring in Community.
- Expect a major twist in tomorrow night's episode of Downton Abbey. I wonder who's being bumped off now.
- Both Sleepy Hollow and The Blacklist have been renewed for second seasons respectively.
- Watch have bought the rights to JJ Abrams upcoming drama, Believe.
- Leslie Bibb will be appearing in the second season of The Following.
- Joel Fry will play Daenerys's Mereen contact Hizdahr zo Loraq in the upcoming season of Game Of Thrones.
- ABC are developing their own version of No Angels.