This week saw the season premiers of a number of shows, but I did not watch all of them. I recorded them in hopes to watch them this weekend or sometime soon, but I did watch a few. Because of these new seasons, I am covering 6 shows this week since I think Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Blacklist ended up a virtual tie for 5th place.
Marvel's Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) – S2E1 – Shadows (B)
This was a good start for the second season and covered all the expected bullet points, including someone with real super powers – Absorbing Man, Carl Creel. Along with Creel, I enjoyed the tie in to the history of S.H.I.E.L.D. and seeing the origin of what looks to be a critical '084 object of unknown origin'. By presenting the scene from 1945, I feel the show is playing to its strengths in the link to the Marvel Universe. It gave me a sense that they might have a better plan for this season – last season seemed to be more of a forgotten stepchild of the Captain America movie. Hopefully this season will have more direction and vision so it can remain as one of my favorite shows.
The Blacklist (NBC) – S2E1 – Lord Baltimore (B)
This episode seemed to take off right after the events of last season and did not seem to miss a beat. I thought the mechanism for keeping Lord Baltimore's identity secret was interesting, but I thought they could have drawn it out a bit more. They seemed kinda rushed to get everything in this episode to fit in an hour – I would have preferred a two-parter. Then there was the 'Deus Ex Whatever' where they seemed to send the B team to protect Red's wife, but they neglect to take her away from the one place the bad guys know she is. I enjoyed this show, but maybe it should not have made my top 5, I don't know.
Boardwalk Empire (HBO) – S5E3 – What Jesus Said (B+)
So far this season, I think this was my favorite episode. I enjoyed the tension and resolution of the Chalky story arc. He is definitely one of my favorite characters in the show, and I'd really like to see him come back and get rid of Narcisse, who by the way, I had hoped we were going to be done with last season. In any case, the Dr. is still around and I have a feeling the writers are somehow going to try to make us like him this season as I can foresee he and Nucky having business together against Luciano.
Speaking of Nucky, in the current timeline, he is getting into bed with Joe Kennedy (which can't be good in the long run) while he is getting to know his first wife in the childhood timeline. I am enjoying the childhood timeline, but wish they would have included some of it in previous seasons. I really wish the writers of True a Blood had talked to the writers of this show before their respective last seasons. As opposed to True Blood's cameo appearances of everyone in the final season – Alcide shows up to die, Sam shows up to run away, etc this show is integrating everyone so far into the story to make it more compelling and interesting. I am liking it.
South Park (Comedy Central) – S18E1 – Go Fund Yourself (A-)
This series is always a fount of witty criticism and social commentary and this episode is a perfect example of this. Tying in some of the major headlines of the day, the episode covers Kickstarter, the NFL – both Ray Rice and the Redskins, ISIS, and the trend in today's youth to expect to make money by doing nothing. Every season of South Park has at least a few episodes that are so good, they can be watched many times and this is definitely one of those. I think Trey and Matt really hit this one out of the park and they set a high bar for the rest of the season.
The Knick – S1E6 – Start Calling Me Dad (A-)
This was an enjoyable episode for my for a number of reasons. First,this episode finally sees Drs. Thackery and Edwards move towards acceptance. When Thackery recognizes the advances in technology and procedures that Algernon can provide his reputation, he finally accepts him as a member of the staff which I think is the turning point of the season. The other reason I enjoyed this one is the Typhoid Mary resolution. Learning the beginnings of epidemiology and how early medicine dealt with these types of epidemics is one of the things that has me drawn to this show. I also liked the parallels between Dr. Edwards and Cornelia as the two struggle to overcome their race and gender, but where we see Algernon moving a bit towards respect, we see Cornelia being treated despicably by her soon to be father in law.
Manhattan (WGN) – S1E8 – The Second Coming (A-)
I felt this episode was the turning point of the season. I really enjoyed when Isaacs came to Winters to tell him of the problems with Thin Man. The thing I am realizing with this show is that it is a slow drip of fact and documentary wrapped in a huge portion of soap opera. My favorite parts of the show are when they are covering the actual Manhattan Project and we are seeing the depiction of how things progressed during that time. All the soap opera stuff can get tiring after a while, but I think this episode seemed to glide through those scenes. Even the revelation of Liza's polygraph troubles was interesting in this episode. I hope this is a turning point in the series and the show builds on this episode. Considering we now have the two characters (Isaacs and Winters) with drive on the 'same side', perhaps this will be the case.
#Manhattan #TheBlacklist #MarvelsAgentsOfShield #TheKnick #SouthPark #BoardwalkEmpire #TV