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A Press Democrat Blog

TV Scoop

News and commentary on TV

Pick of the week: The Game

The year is 1972, the height of the Cold War, when a Soviet KGB sleeper defects in Britain. Arkady Malinov claims that there is a sinister plot afoot, code-named Operation Glass, that will change the world forever. That is the setup for The Game, a new spy drama Wednesday’s at 10pm on BBC America. The first two episodes are currently available online with the second episode premiering on the small screen later in the week. And simply put, in terms… Read More »

Pick of the Week: Constantine

Of all of the shows for the new television season the one that has looked the most stylized, the most interesting and the most likely to have a break out star is Constantine that debuts this Friday on NBC at 10pm. I am not, it has to be said, particularly a comic book fan. For me a show, or a movie for that matter, has to stand on its own merits rather than some homage to the source material. Currently… Read More »

Scorpion is preposterous, but fun

Among the shows I was looking forward to this new season was Scorpion, the new drama on CBS at 9pm on Mondays. Supposedly based on a true story, and that claim appears more than a little dodgy, Scorpion sets itself apart with not only likeable actors in good roles, but crucially without any bad ones. It’s silly, preposterous, sit back and don’t think too much about it fun and as such entertains well. Given a smidgen of luck in what… Read More »

The strange case of The Assets

Earlier this year ABC rolled out an eight-part mini series about the Aldrich Ames spy case called The Assets. It lasted just two episodes before it was yanked from the schedule because of historically low overnight ratings. ABC tried again in June to run the remainder of the series and after two more dismal outings finally buried the show on Sunday’s in late July and early August. And for the life of me I can’t figure out what went wrong… Read More »

Hinterland is superb

The latest update from Netflix at the end of last month came with the news that Hinterland would start streaming on the service on this month. A police procedural set in an around the welsh town of Aberystwyth Hinterland, which stars Richard Harrington, Mali Harries, Alex Harries, Hannah Daniel and Aneirin Hughes, strongly resembles the recent Nordic Noir output of the Scandinavian countries and it should come as no surprise that this is a show that I have been looking forward… Read More »

Time to watch The Blacklist again

The first two weeks of September. A complete and utter desolation in terms of interesting and quality shows prior to the kick off of the new season (and yes I know there’s one show you can point to and no, I’m not a fan). Shows that hardly anyone cares about are wrapping up, although there are a couple of useful summer series to check out and football has finally started. But still, a wasteland when it comes to anything compelling.… Read More »

ABC has potential winner in Forever

One of the joys of watching an awful lot of television is that every now and again you get blindsided by a show that you have no expectations for and yet is thoroughly entertaining. Such is the case with Forever, the new ABC drama that stars Ioan Gruffudd, Alana de la Garza and Judd Hirsch and tells the story of Dr. Henry Morgan (Gruffudd), a man searching for the reason that he is unable to die. The show debuts on… Read More »

First six seasons of Criminal Minds are on Netflix

Binge watchers rejoice as Friday Netflix rolled out the first six seasons of the highly successful CBS procedural Criminal Minds for their streaming service. I’m tempted to say ‘finally’ because one of the frustrations about online content is that CBS is not aligned with the likes of Hulu and to watch the viewer must either tune in each week or catch up on the CBS website. Multiple seasons of Criminal Minds, and many other CBS shows, have just not been… Read More »

Peter Capaldi is Doctor Who

The worldwide cultural phenomena that is Doctor Who continues on Saturday when Peter Capaldi makes his debut as the 12th Doctor at 8:15pm on BBC America. Technically we saw the new incarnation at the end of the last season, but that was more about the departure of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor. This weekend it’s all about Capaldi, a 56-year old actor originally from Glasgow, Scotland who in many ways returns the show to the traditional era of Jon… Read More »

Tennant and Watson shine in The Politician’s Husband

David Tennant stars as an ambitious cabinet minister, Aiden Hoynes, who makes an ill advised play for the party leadership only to see his wife step into the ensuing void, in The Politician’s Husband. This three-part show originally shown on BBC Two in the UK is now available for streaming on Netflix. As the series opens Hoynes and his wife Freya Gardner, a wonderfully impressive Emily Watson, are the golden couple of British politics. Judging the time is right to… Read More »

The Time Tunnel is vintage fun

Time travel and alternative timelines have always been a favorite of mine in all forms of media. Whether movies such as the Planet of the Apes or the Time Travelers to name just a couple, television such as Doctor Who and the venerable British series Timeslip or the Time Wars novels of Simon Hawke I am invariably drawn to the subject matter. The genesis of that interest can be traced back to an old ABC drama called The Time Tunnel,… Read More »

More Nordic Noir with Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter

There has, over the past couple of years, been something of a renaissance when it comes to quality drama from the Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden and Denmark. The multiple versions of Wallander and the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo may well be the best known although The Killing and The Bridge, both made into US adaptations, along with Borgen, The Protectors, Sebastian Bergman and The Eagle are well worth your time. Although be forewarned; even with the need for subtitles… Read More »