by Katie Hogan
This was the month of quick watches. Having got through Luke Cage in the previous month I was hungry for another show. I had a while to wait for ‘the next best thing’ on Netflix and HBO so I turned back an old favourite of mine, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. There is something so addictive about TV that you keep coming back for more of the same. This is the sign of a show that you’ll never tire of. Most of the shows in the list this month are ones I am currently hooked on but none has got my attention (apart from Westworld) like Good Girls Revolt. Already having watched it twice, the current shows are keeping my attention, but rewatching shows sometimes is the best part of having all episodes available.
Good Girls Revolt
The pilot for the Amazon TV show was hit. The pilot laid some excellent ground work for a series and set up our leads. On the surface this is the nearing the end of the 1960s drama set in a weekly news magazine office in New York. The men are the journalists and the women are the over worked under appreciated writers in ‘the pit’. They are not allowed to write so when Nora Ephron decides to challenge this, she creates quite a stir and has an excellent triumphant exit. Leaving the show and the future of women’s rights on the magazine up to Patty, the hippy idealist who won’t conform, Jane, the wealthy Daddy’s girl who is oh so perfect and claims she just wants to get married and Cindy, the already married but not satisfied quiet girl who comes out of her shell. Unfortunately, these characters do feel like stereotypes but luckily each goes through transformations and become the women you hope they are. There are affairs, heartbreaks, wild parties, sexism, along the way, as well as addressing key historic moments and events including the Vietnam War. It’s a brilliant show and with the fantastic punch in the air at the end, I really hope there is another season to look forward to.
Agents of SHIELD
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has managed to coin a new period of time, ‘back in the day’. This was deemed acceptable to put in a prime time TV show. Apart from this amusing titbit from the last episode before the insanely unnecessary 3 week break, it’s been an odd and interesting ride. The team has had a shake up, Coulson no longer the director (big mistake), Simmons is now a higher rank than May as the director’s science division liaison, Daisy/Quake is on the run and has messed up her arms and the new director is (SPOILER ALERT) an Inhuman plus he is really rubbish. Ghost Rider drives into the picture too, at first it seems for no reason but luck would have it his agenda lines up with Daisy’s and then SHIELD’s. There are ghosts, deals with the devil, sub Inhuman plots and barely any screen time shared between Fitz and Simmons which spells trouble in fandom land. The writers are up to their old nasty tricks.
American Horror Story
After the excitement that Hotel generated, thanks to the outlandish antics and just mere presence of Lady Gaga, the slow painful and terrifying lead up to the theme reveal of Season 6, felt like an anti-climax. The theme, Roanoke was brilliant and the fact that the first five episodes reflected the season number they came from was pretty good but seeing as I didn’t make it to the 4th episode as the documentary with re-enactment was too scary for me, I had to read the rest, but I did catch up on episode 6 which was just carnage. I’m not sure this was the promised season I hoped for. I had wanted more Even Peters (who doesn’t) but at least I got Lily Rabe back. But upon hearing the 7th season will be a mash up of Murder House and Coven, despite these being my favourites, I’m not so sure.
I only saw Futureworld just to see what the films were like and what to expect from the HBO series. It was odd but interesting and excellent canvas for a TV show. Westworld is beyond what I thought it would be. The cast is brilliant and the storylines within storylines are fascinating to watch. Just like a guest at the ‘park’ discovering new stories is a lot of fun. But just like the famous quote (and what happens to be my favourite quote from Shakespeare) ‘these violent delights have violent ends’. As well as seeing the guests interact with the hosts, getting to see behind the scenes and the politics and ethics there is just as sinister as what is happening out in the created world. Its hard to tell what creator Anthony Hopkins’ character is thinking, making drastic changes, destroying large areas of the park and in the process wrecking carefully orchestrated storylines. It’s difficult to remember that these hosts aren’t humans. Going through pain on a loop, but as some start to remember, the twists and turns become deeper. So far, this is easily one of the better shows of this year and I’m getting more impatient with each episode as I want to know more.
As a huge fan of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae’s webs series, I was more than excited about Issa working with HBO on a new show. It’s only been a couple of episodes so far and they have been entertaining but also too short. The stories for both the main characters seem small. It’s strange how a web series can seem bigger than a TV show. I’m sticking with it, see where it goes.
Stephen Daldry has a plan of epic proportions. Planning on 6 series, with a new cast every 2 years. I think Netflix has agreed as things are rolling along smoothly for the lavish epic production. It’s impressive and expensive looking indeed but it has been met with backlash. It has been criticized for being inaccurate. So far, it’s been incredibly sad as well as fascinating. But I wonder about the conversations that were not recorded or documented and that this is more of an interpretation mixed with facts. Either way, it’s a huge effort from the British Television industry and hopefully this will open the doors further.