Week of Television: New Kids on the Block

Look out below! There be spoilers everywhere!

There’s a lot of great new television out there, here are my top five new shows.

Almost Human

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credit to: FOX

We’re presented a world where technology can no longer be controlled, crime has risen to near uncontrollable heights and as a result every police officer is paired with a robot partner. We view this world through the eyes of John Kennex (Karl Urban) an officer with a huge distrust of robots, for largely the same reason Del Spooner (Will Smith) does in the 2004 movie I, Robot. So he’s assigned a robot from a line that was discontinued for being too human like. An overly emotional robot is difficult to manage.

Aside from the fact that Karl Urban and Michael Ealy are two of the most physically attractive men on television right now, they are both phenomenal actors and watching them act is a dream. They have amazing chemistry and their dialogue flows really naturally, it’s like they’re the people they’re portraying.I believe in the world that they live in, some things are outlandish, but it’s grounded in reality so much so that when they talk about DNA bombs or chromes (genetically enhanced humans) I’m like, “yanno, humanity would think of that”.

FOX seems hell bent on messing with the show, they’ve aired episodes out of order, and they didn’t give the show a break during the Olympics. But the fandom is strong and I hope it gets renewed for a second season. There’s so much more I want to know about the show, like what’s on the other side of the wall, was what Kennex had with his ex real and who put those memories in Dorian?!

The Crazy Ones

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credit to: CBS

Just like people who work in computers roll their eyes when a ‘hacker’ shows up in a show, smashes the keyboard and calls it hacking I too hate when any show talks about Advertising. It’s so frustrating, because they never show the work that goes on behind the scenes, the research the planning. All they see is one guy who comes up with a brilliant idea and overnight it becomes this massive campaign. Bleugh. So I was a bit sceptical about The Crazy Ones, but I’m glad they went the route of Mad Men and chose to focus more on the interactions of the people rather than the actual work.

Even though Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Geller are the two big Hollywood stars and lead actors, you never feel like the dominate screen time. Each character is given a chance to be funny, to have their own story lines and more importantly to be, well important to the plot. I like that a lot. Even though at times Robin’s eccentricity can wear thin, he is funny in this and I look forward to a ton more episodes.

Brooklyn Nine Nine

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credit to: FOX

Andy Samberg is hilarious. The whole cast is hilarious and their interactions are believable. There is a gay black character, but he isn’t played for laughs. The only character that initially seemed out of place is the fat older guy that they make fun of. However, unlike in Parks and Rec, they actually include him in fun situations and he has a dark past with another cop that gets referenced a lot. There is a romance aspect too, but it isn’t the main focus of the show, which is thoroughly refreshing. One of the first things I noticed was that they do police work. Do you know rare that is? They sit, do police work, wait for the appropriate departments to do their task and at the end they file paperwork. Yet somehow they manage to mix humour, human connection and the main character Jake learns something each episode. I don’t know how they do it, but I hope they never stop doing it! Or at least, keep doing it till they can’t and end the show gracefully. That would be great too.

Veep

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credit to: Lacey Terrell for HBO

Occasionally, Google Play heavily discounts or gives out free copies of things when they’re introducing a new section to the story. I downloaded Veep when they introduced Television Shows to the UK store and then I binge watched the rest of the season online. My sides hurt, the show is so funny. I watch a lot of political themed shows, but they either focus on the romance or the drama of the situation and rarely the comedy. Veep is all about the comedy of the Vice President who is trying desperately to be taken seriously. Her staff work non stop to ensure that she is portrayed in a positive light, but it always manages to go wrong for her in some way, and always in a very public setting. Season 1 is over, and left with a pretty big reveal, I hope that in Season 2, they manage to keep that same humour.

The Americans

credit to: FX
credit to: FX

What if your neighbours were spies? What if your best friend was a spy? What if your parents were spies for a hostile country, and you never even knew about it? The Americans, set in cold war USA in the 1980s, is about a normal looking family, where the parents just happen to be Russian spies working for the KGB. It’s something that’s crossed everyone’s mind, do I really know who the people around me are? It’s a pretty accurate portrayal of how I imagine that kind of situation would unfold. Two people thrown together, do they love each other? They never really had a chance to explore that. The enemy is humanised, they have loved ones they never see due to their service of their country, loved ones who they can never tell the truth to, due to service to their country and a partner they can never fully trust because,  of the service they have vowed to undertake for their country.

I find myself rooting for them to win, so much so that I don’t even know who the bad guys are anymore. Above all, I want them to be happy. I want them to run away and be free with their family, but I wonder how far their service to country will take them. What happens when the cold war ends?

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