The Weekly SLIP Highlights Recently Watched TV
Get your nerd on! It’s time to breakdown the weekly roundup of ‘consumed’ TV shows.
Here’s a quick hit list to help you decide what to watch this week based on what I watched last week.
The first edition will include TV shows from my recent #NowWatching tweets from @slipthroughnerd – and will also feature new shows that debuted this fall.
Juggling writing and editing, I still itch for the online film pundit community. Suffering from withdrawal, here’s a quick fix remedy (for me) to help satiate my fellow movie nerds’ appetite for entertainment worth watching.
Rated on a scale of 1 – 5 VHS tapes. Oh yeah! Retro nerd love!
5 VHS = do not let this slip/through the cracks… 1 VHS = let it slip
Dig in and enjoy…
Incredible new HBO scifi show from Michael Crichton, JJ Abrams, and the ‘Other’ Nolan. This is a smart series filled with a fantastic blend of theoretical science and existential philosophy. The best entertainment urges introspection. This outstanding ‘What If?’ scenario grabs your attention and never lets go. Deeply fascinating and amazingly provocative. The less you know about it, the better. Get ready to put your thinking cap on and start participating. There are tons of theories that spark to life with each episode. Absolutely recommended!
Bloody brilliant UK scifi anthology show. Each episode stands alone, delivering a provoking cautionary tale about modern technology. Season 3 just debuted on NETFLIX and is ready for your mass over-consumption. No episode feels the same. Each one resonates and echoes within. The perfect serious approach to science fiction.
THE WALKING DEAD
The new season just launched, answering the burning question of the finale’s shocking cliffhanger. While there are some new spins on the familiar comic book storyline; unfortunately, there are no new twists for old school fans. Still as strong as ever, with a focus on character, the long dark journey of the newest season has just begun. A formidable opponent took a swing and altered the course of our survivors. Whatever comes next won’t be easy. One of the best shows on television!
THIS IS US
The best new show on ‘regular’ TV! A refreshing approach to old school drama focuses on characters and relatable obstacles. No police, courts, or hospitals in sight. Oh… and no apocalypse or super-powers either. Each episode tugs on the heart strings in all the best ways. Essentially, the story is a surprise focusing on characters who share the same birthday. The way it unravels is beautiful. Strong character work leads the way. Let’s hope it avoids becoming a soap opera. So far, a few episodes in, THIS IS US is headed for greatness with acclaim from critics and the audience alike.
Major League baseball ‘welcomes’ its first female player, pitching for the San Diego Padres. Real life licensing adds an essential layer of authenticity. Sports is just one side to the story, as once again, characters are the real focus. Aside from the star athlete, storylines follow an aging veteran (played by Zack Morris himself – “Timeout!”) and the pitcher’s agent. Really impressive drama from the creator of THIS IS US.
CHANNEL ZERO: CANDLE COVE
Max Landis’ new anthology series inspired by short novellas / creepy pastas recently launched on the SyFy network. Super creepy and atmospheric with a TWIN PEAKS meets X-FILES kind of vibe, filtered through a Stephen King lens. Off to a good start, let’s see how it plays out. How many episodes will each ‘story’ get? How many flash fictions are weaved into each episode? This new format could be a sign of things to come with the ever-changing pace of story-telling in the 2010s.
Kiefer Sutherland’s new political thriller started off strong but quickly devolved into predictable territory. That said, Kiefer is a respectable action hero in the grown-up action series world. While not as over-the-top as 24 was, this still has a lot of the serialized mystery elements that fueled the former hit show.
A surprisingly good remake. A lot of films are getting adapted into television lately, but a lot of them miss the mark, offering up a simple retread of the original. EXORCIST spins the iconic film into new territory, providing a whole set of new scares with a familiar concept. Actually scary with some good character work so far. Several episodes in and it’s still got my attention.
Fun at first, with a few good homages to the original film franchise; ultimately, it becomes a case of the week procedural. While the heroes are fun and have some drama, the stories are even more cliched. Worth checking out for fans of the movies, but not as action-packed or as funny. Great to see Damon Wayans on screen though.
Intriguing initial premise with underwhelming execution. Some good jokes break the overly serious tone. Story offers nothing new. Compelling casting is wasted on stale characters. Essentially, this becomes a time travel of the week show instead of focusing on fixing one timeline. Disappointing pilot episode with mediocre follow up episodes.
Terribly miscast with the new reboot’s emphasis on comedy. Overlay text with homebrew fixes for impossible missions misses the mark too. Perhaps a more serious approach would have worked better. Unfortunately, MACGYVER has been spoofed so much it is usually the butt of a joke. The action was impressive for the small screen, but wasn’t as exciting as a movie.
Terrible mish mash of genre villains and genre tropes. Uninspired and annoying. Anne Heche wears sunglasses cuz: hero… even in the dark (without any retro Corey Hart mention). Maybe it’s aiming for camp, but it isn’t funny. It’s painful, actually.
SON OF ZORN
The trailer made this look like it could be fun. Too bad all the jokes were burned in the sneak peek. An animated HE-MAN coming into the real world sounds funny, but it didn’t work for the old movie adaptation either. Essentially, this is a lot of telegraphed fish-out-of-water type jokes with random over-violence. Meant to be shocking, comes off as sophomoric and insipid.
THE HAPPY PLACE
Compelling premise is wasted on telegraphed jokes. Ted Danson hams it up and Kristen Bell is a comedic talent, but the humour is obvious if it isn’t totally random. The story follows a woman who accidentally ends up in ‘Heaven’ despite totally not being a saint… or even actually nice. The show may aim to be subversive but misses the mark. Often feels like it’s trying to be funny. Not for me.
Intriguing mindtrip scifi mystery. Off to a good launch episode. Feels like Netflix’s SENSE8 with personalities swapping bodies (kinda sorta… I don’t want to ruin the twist). It’s like a Philip K. Dick TWILIGHT ZONE story. That’s a good thing.
Gillian Anderson stars in this dark adult thriller. Jamie Dornan plays a grief counsellor/husband/father/serial killer. The BBC show just started its third season. The storyline follows one case over the entire run of episodes. In-depth analysis on the criminal mind with a focus on character. Unflinching and provocative in all the best ways. Anderson is this decade’s Clarice Starling and Dornan the new Hannibal Lecter. It’s that amazing! Really impressive! Highly recommended!