30 May 2019

US TV Upfronts 2019

It's time for my annual post on the state of the US television industry. I haven't been paying as much attention to this during the course of the year for various reasons. In any event, there was barely anything new that really excited me. OK, that's not entirely true.

So, here's some points:

  • Into the Badlands' 16-episode third season proved to be its last. While the story was wrapped up, it could have gone on longer had AMC treated it better than they did. A revival in some form would be nice.

  • Blue Bloods will go into its tenth season. The show has remained consistently good, but is a police commissioner in his 70s really realistic?
  • I stopped watching Bull after Michael Weatherley's vile behaviour to Eliza Dushku (who seems to have had a lot of men mistreat her over the years) was revealed. Spielberg jumped ship at the end of the season. The fourth season was required by CBS for syndication purposes, but they could have made an example of this guy and fired him.
  • The Good Fight... has kind of lost something. The musical number in each episode got tiring, the Trump stuff drags and Michael Sheen's Roland Blum outstayed his welcome.
  • Madam Secretary's move towards issue-based episodes with a more liberal slant, while needing to be done in this time, probably cost it a lot of audience. A ten-episode final season in autumn will allow the story to wrap up.
  • Star Trek: Discovery grew the literal beard for Spock and proved a highly enjoyable show in its second run. Michael Burnham is rather uninspiring, but the rest of the cast more than make up for it. Christopher Pike was brilliant. In any event, we're going to be swimming in spin-offs.
The CW
  • The Outpost was the best new show that I watched. Rather enjoyable and I particularly identify with one of the characters for reasons I won't go into here.

  • The Orville is at its most enjoyable when it isn't being a domestic drama. Its lighter-hearted approach stands as a useful counterpart to Discovery and I'd like it to stay around for a while.

  • Chernobyl is going to be nominated for a lot of awards; it's near perfect in acting, design, sound editing, you name it.
  • Game of Thrones arguably rushed its final series; some characters developed too quickly to make their decisions make overall sense. It will still go down as a genre-defining show, although some of its tropes ('sexposition', characters developing via rape) won't hold up well over time.
  • No UK airing for The Blacklist at present, so I can't really comment on that.
  • Moving to NBC proved good for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, whose standards continued to hold up. However, the ratings did not and the seventh run of 13 episodes may well be its last.

25 May 2019

Exit Theresa May

Theresa May was fundamentally not up to the job of being Prime Minister. She lacked the political skills, the charisma and the necessary ruthlessness to hold the very top position. Home Secretary was really as far as she should have gone and her ascension to the top job was basically a historical accident.

It is true that "proper Brexit" without wrecking the economy is an impossible task. Like trying to jump the Grand Canyon on a bicycle. She however was doing it with a pogo stick.

Her successor might well be trying it with a skipping rope. I think there is a good chance Article 50 will be revoked, especially if the policy of a new PM is No Deal.

We have five months before we are currently due to leave. This sorry saga won't be done yet.