When the quality TV shows dry up, there’s always a few slightly less premium offerings. Here are our pick
We all have our main events on the annual TV calendar. Be it Game of Thrones, True Detective or past shows such as Breaking Bad and The Wire. The problem is that shows of this quality are few and far between. The rest of the year we binge on some light entertainment to wallow in until the main event comes back around. As the finale of Game of Thrones draws near, here are several fun/trashy shows for consideration.
Syfy’s new series Dominion has sparked some minor intrigue with its teaser trailers in recent weeks. The series is a spinoff of the 2010 film Legion starring Paul Bettany. The show will be set in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas 25 years after a war between humanity and an army of angels led by the notorious botherer of virgin mothers, Gabriel. An interesting premise and a competent looking cast of young talent and TV veterans such as ex Ramsay Street tenant Alan Dale and Nescafe stud Anthony Head may indicate a glimmer of promise in the show.
Some say that film and TV have become saturated with comic book adaptations while others say ‘ssssshhhh anything’s better than the swathes of melancholy vampire shit we’ve had to endure’. The Flash is the latest comic book adaption to get a, ahem, run out on the small screen as DC Comics continues it’s offensive on Marvel’s exceptionally large Avenger franchise. The show follows the origins of Barry Allen aka The Flash. Allen is empowered with super human speed after being struck by an unnatural lightning bolt. The cast features the extremely like-able Tom Cavanagh, best known for his lawyer/bowling alley owner character in the series Ed. The trailer also features Arrow’s Stephen Amell, indicating there may be some future cross overs with the Green Arrow series. It could be fun or it could just be DC pushing their characters into the mainstream psyche to generate hype around the Justice League film. Here’s hoping it’s the former.
Banshee will soon head into it’s third season and quite frankly it is one of the most brilliantly ridiculous shows on telly. An ex-con (Anthony Starr) is released from prison and finds himself in a Pennsylvanian town known as Banshee. On arrival in Banshee, the ex-con witnesses the murder of a newly appointed police sheriff, Lucas Hood, who as luck would have it nobody in Banshee has met yet. The ex-con steals the dead sheriff’s identity and uses it to conduct criminal activity and hide from pursuing Russian mobsters.
It is wise to suspend all rational thought when watching an episode because fake Lucas Hood’s infiltration techniques into law enforcement are the intellectual equivalent of Winnie the Pooh disguising himself as a Honey Bee. Despite this his colleagues and the of population of Banshee ignore his peculiar nocturnal behaviour. At no point does anyone ask things like ‘why does he sleep in a shed?’, ‘why does he occasionally sprint shirtless through the woods in angst?’, or ‘why does he enjoy more unprotected sexual encounters than a Yates’s toilet cubicle?’
Most of the episodes culminate to a grizzly one on one bludgeoning between a vast array of colourful villains such as his nemesis, a kung fu amish gangster named Kai Proctor. If the choreographed fight scenes in Jackie Chan films flow like water then Banshee’s flow like a sack of honey badgers kicking each other up the arse.
Once Upon A Time
The third series of Once Upon A Time concluded in May and the series has built up a decent following over the last few years. The show centers on the character Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), a bounty hunter who is lured to the town Storybrooke by Henry, the child she gave up for adoption. It is Henry’s belief that Emma is actually Snow White’s daughter and that the entire town is inhabited by fairy-tale characters that have been screwed out of their magic and had their memories wiped. Henry believes it’s his adopted mother and Mayor of Storybrooke, Regina AKA the Evil Witch who is responsible for this Rohypnol-esque curse.
It’s fair to say that the show does occasionally demonstrate some soap opera traits with its fair share of hammy acting and sparsely populated sets, a bit like Hollyoaks with magic beans. But the series is also peppered with a nice bit of swashbuckling fun and intriguing twists regarding some of the characters back stories. The stand out performance of the series is Robert Carlisle who plays a magnificently creepy and omnipotent Rumplestiltskin. With 20-odd episodes the series is broken down into two bulks, over the course of a year the show provides more than enough light entertainment before you snobbishly pretend that you’ve never heard of it and flounce away to watch the new series True Detective.