The old gives way to the new in this low-down of a mostly empty month of TV, waiting for the good shows to get underway. When’s Game of Thrones back again?
January of 2017 served up so much political drama in real life that the television offerings paled a bit in comparison. Here’s a quick run-down of what was worth the attention, what might be, what wasn’t and what you could have been watching and could still catch up on.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is Netflix‘s chief offering of the month and boy is it the best of what to watch in a weak month of TV. If you’re familiar with the books or have seen the trailer, you probably know what to expect and if you find yourself at a loose end with nothing else to check out this is the one to go for. You can read my full review here:
Amazon Video continue to pop out episodes of The Grand Tour but the real item of interest seems to have been David Shore and Bryan Cranston’s Sneaky Pete which seems like fun to a reasonable degree. Of course, it may be that it’s only a topic of conversation in the U.S. because it’s had nothing really to compete with, but who can say.
The CW is having some renewed success with continued hits in the form of Jane the Virgin and a revitalised Arrow, as well as promising new series Riverdale. As ever though, its shows are totally inconsistent, with some lacklustre work from The Flash and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend making it hard to fully commit to a lot of what’s on offer. I recommend starting with Jane the Virgin if you’re interested and skirting around the edges of the rest.
What about Comedy? Well, a brand new season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is airing and seems to be as good as ever if that’s your cup of tea. On a different side of taste, kooky sketch show Portlandia has had a kinda meh seventh season. But I can’t wait to catch up on Mike Schur’s the Good Place which seems to be serving up not just a fun show but one with intriguing plot turns as well. Go for that one.
There are two shows we kinda have to talk about and the first is The Young Pope. I think a lot of people somewhere thought this show was going to be The Next Big Thing and pumped a load of money into marketing it in cinemas and promoting an academy-award winning director, only for it to receive a very confused and middling reception. Still, definitely another of an oddity to be worthy of mention.
And the other is Sherlock, a TV series once beloved by all that is now coming under a belated rain of criticism for a flagging that began a few years ago. A finale that seemed really quite final will likely prompt debate about whether there will (or even should) be a fifth series. You can read my thoughts on the final episode and series as a whole here:
In the dregs, Homeland is perhaps the most boring it’s ever been, with three episodes sticking a stable Carrie Mathison into a dull New York where the only terrorists and dangerous foes to speak of are those imagined by the US government. Season 6 will probably pick up at some point, but who will stick around to actually find out when?
January TV verdict: Go to the cinema instead. Have you seen La La Land?