And a look at some of the shows I've been recently catching up with ....
24: Live Another Day: We're halfway through this mini-series/ninth season and I have to admit while some of the most recent episodes have lagged a little compared to the impressive opening two parter, at least some progress was made though. It's nice that Audrey is aware of the fact that Jack is alive and it's also nice that Kate has proven her resourcefulness yet again. She literally has become a female version of Jack Bauer but things like Margot's ongoing machinations and Navarro's reveal aren't as impacting as they should be. Still there's at least six episodes left to rectify that.
Devious Maids: Yes, it's still Desperate Housewives 2.0 and while most of the plots are fairly predictable (Evelyn copping off with hunky Tony, Marisol's fiancee and his creepy maid being suspicious), it still makes for some fairly lightweight and enjoyable television nonetheless. The dynamics with various characters like Zoila/Genevieve continues to be a delight and when Evelyn isn't cheating on her husband, the various back and forth with Adrian is actually quite fun, along with Carmen securing other work now that Alejandro is dead. Even Rosie's plot with the new family is a lot more entertaining than last season. It's only Valentina's storyline and the general mystery with Opal and Nicholas that's a bit at sea at the moment.
Game Of Thrones: It went away for a few weeks and while I have to watch the penultimate episode to the fourth season tonight on SkyAtlantic, the previous episode wasn't exactly a walk in the park, was it? I already about the grisly details of Oberyn's demise with the Mountain but even seeing it onscreen didn't prepare me for it though. I really enjoyed Pedro Pascal's performance and it's a shame the character wasn't kept on but despite appearing in seven episodes, he made quite an impression on the show and got a very memorable exit to boot. As for the rest of the episode - Arya's reaction to Lysa's death and Sansa finally learning to play the game were the other two obvious highlights from another memorable instalment of the series.
In The Flesh: The second half of this series certainly didn't pull any punches, did it? I've really enjoyed Dominic Mitchell's rural zombie drama and the last three episodes proved the depth of storytelling he's capable of with this series. Whether it's both Simon and Maxine's misguided beliefs over the Rising, Kieren's ability to combat the Blue Oblivion pills or even Amy's transformation (was she really becoming human again and how?) and Philip's fall from public council office into a happier person, BBC3 would be utterly insane not to renew this show for a third series. Especially given that we have a mysterious duo digging up a certain grave as well. Come on, BBC3 - you know you want to commission this brilliant show for another run of episodes. We need moregeous times in Roarton.
Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD: A solid finale. Though not as spectacular as the Arrow one (I know I compare these show a lot but it's kind of hard not to at times), I do think this was a solid way of ending the first season and setting up some interesting stuff concerning Skye for the second season as well. More to the point when we didn't have Nick Fury reappear (which wasn't too shocking), there was also the glorious delight in seeing May kicking the crap out of Ward. Speaking of Ward, I'm a bit conflicted about him - can the show really sustain him as a recurring enemy or will they try to redeem him in the long run? Either option could be a bit risky though.
Orphan Black: I might be two episodes behind but this show continues to be bloody addictive. The idea of a road trip episode with Sarah and Helena clearly turned out to be the best idea the writers had this season and easily made for the best episode so far this season. Helena might be dangerous but she's also rather adorable and seeing her make a genuine connection with a bloke before a bar fight started was pretty sweet actually. The ongoing stuff with Project Leda and Rachel's family background isn't quite as compelling and Paul continues to be a lifelessly dull character to watch that scenes with Cosima/Delphine, Allison/Victor, Sarah/Siobhan and anything involving Felix and Art working together are a blessed relief. Basically in another wise fantastic series, Paul is the weak link of the bunch.
The Vampire Diaries: I might have missed this on ITV2 earlier in the year (though I did watch most of The Originals - a blog on that show will appear later in the summer), but thankfully TG4 have finally started airing the fifth season (despite the terrible timeslot). The opening episode alone seemed a bit similar to Buffy (Elena and Caroline's college antics) and Angel (Stefan's current watery whereabouts) but at the same time was still enjoyable with an interesting slew of new mysteries. Plus we had Katherine proving that she's still deadly even as a human and Silas has managed to become a far more interesting villain now than he was last season or Klaus during the previous two and a bit seasons he was on the show. That being said - the usual dynamic of the lead characters lying to each other and withholding information continues to be a downer for the series.
- Pedro Pascal will be appearing in the upcoming Netflix series, Narcos, playing the role of Mexican DEA, Javier Pena.
- Yaya DaCosta will play Whitney Houston in an upcoming biopic for Lifetime. Angela Bassett will also direct the project.
- Dominic Cooper will reprise his role as Howard Stark for Marvel's Agent Carter.
- Suraj Sharma has joined the cast of Homeland for it's upcoming fourth season, playing recurring medical student, Aayan Ibrahim.
- Jeremy Sisto is the latest addition to the US version of The Returned. He will be portraying psychiatrist.
- Penny Dreadful has been picked up for a second season.
- Rachel McAdams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kelsey Grammer and Lauren Graham are among the celebrities lined up for the next series of the US version of Who Do You Think You Are?
- Matthew Goode will remain on The Good Wife for the time being.
- Jason Ritter will appear in the sixth episode of the fourth season of Girls.
- Sonja Sohn has joined the second season of The Originals as powerful witch, Lenore.