What I’m Watching: 10/14/2016

Now that I’ve done individual posts for all the shows I’m watching (minus Bob’s Burgers, which I don’t really have anything to say about), I’m gonna try weekly roundup posts such as this one. Let’s start from the top:

Conviction S1E2

This episode was a lot stronger than the first. Hayes felt a lot more focused as a character and the balance between the case of the week and non-case elements was much better now that the premise has been laid out. And it was a really good choice to have a case with three suspects, and find two of them innocent and one guilty, as a way of establishing the possibility of guilt without going “innocent then guilty” in the first two episodes.

Also, something I forgot to mention about the show in my pilot review: I really like the score. It reminds me a lot of the soundtrack to the video game Mirror’s Edge, a sort of ambient techno sound that meshes well with the show’s style. The bizarre location transitions are still present though and they still kinda suck. I think they could work if they were shorter, but as it is it’s a good 5-10 seconds of different location shots overlaying each other and it really doesn’t work.

Agents of Shield S4E3

Okay so I was only half-watching this episode because I was working on my post for Fresh Off the Boat and The Real O’Neals, but part of why I was doing that is because this season has been a little boring so far! The underdog status of Shield and the new wave of Inhumans gave immediate directions to seasons two and three, but there isn’t really anything comparable in season four. And while the Watchdogs plot is somewhat interesting, Ghost Rider and the ghost people are just weird.

I do like Elena, though. She’s a good addition to the cast. (Even if I would have liked Joey to have stuck around too.)

Frequency S1E2

So this episode pretty much immediately set the show’s MO for at least a while as being “stop Raimy’s mom from being killed, probably by catching the Nightingale killer.” Which is a fine direction, but the show’s weakness is already that the plot is way less interesting when the time travel element isn’t highly important. I was about ready to drop the show for most of this episode because it was pretty much just characters running through rote plotlines of oh, marital problems, oh, police corruption, oh, cold case. The individual plots are nothing new and the show isn’t strong enough for them to work on their own.

But the last quarter of the episode really brought it together, letting Raimy and her dad have a good long scene where they just talked to each other. The sheer amount of baggage between the characters, where they’re a father-daughter relationship but the same age because of time travel and until recently she thought he was a dirty cop and now his being alive has seemingly killed her mom–even when it’s not explicitly brought up it makes their interactions fascinating to watch and the end of the episode capitalized on that. I really hope the writers realize where Frequency‘s strengths lie and maximize them going forward.

The Good Place S1E6

goodplace

Ted Danson and Kristen Bell are both putting in fantastic performances.

This show continues to be absolutely excellent. Probably the number one thing in its favor (aside from being pretty funny) is that it’s already allowed Eleanor to grow as a character and become a better person. Ten years ago this entire show might be about Eleanor being awful and just barely hiding it from Michael, but instead there’s a clear upward path for her character and the plotline of her deception seems about to begin its resolution just six episodes in. Maybe this means the show will lose steam and/or jump the shark earlier, but until then it’s total quality.

This episode also had an interesting development in Chidi growing to like Tahani in an implicitly romantic sense. I’ve talked a couple of times on this blog about how I like happy, stable couples on TV, so it seems almost to taunt me that the two central “couples” on this show are supposed to be literal soulmates, but due to shenanigans are in fact not. It seems like a slightly disappointing use of the soulmate concept, honestly, and I hope that the show introduces a regular or even recurring couple in the future.

And that couple could actually be Chidi and Tahani, as it would make a certain amount of sense for them to be soulmates that Michael accidentally split up. Regardless, a romance between the two of them would lead to some really good material given that they’re “supposed” to be soulmates with other people, so I’m looking forward to where the show goes with this.


Anyway, that wraps up this week. I’m not sure if I’ll do posts like this on a weekly basis just because I don’t want to force myself to talk about shows when I have nothing to say, but this seems like a good format to use in the future so it’s probably what I’ll be doing.

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