Brace yourselves, this is a long one. From fantasy dramas, cliche period dramas, international sporting events, and the most wholesome show on Earth, the last couple of month have provided some highly engaging TV. Here is what I’ve been watching.
Carnival Row (Series 1)
A neo-noir fantasy series on Amazon Prime that explores a city on the brink of collapse as tensions between the citizens and the mythical creatures seeking refuge in the city threaten to boil amidst a string of unsolved murders. It’s a tale that finds our central characters, former lovers Philo (Orlando Bloom) and Vignette (Cara Delevigne) work together to uncover the conspiracy behind these murders and confront the past that tore them apart. The mythology of this show is visually stunning and incredibly fascinating, and several aspects of the show seem to be laying the groundwork for the next season. However, their titular focus remained on our war-torn lovers. While certain aspects of their relationship are credible, there still seems to be a spark missing between them to make you really invest in their relationship. I’m hoping the next season will explore the political mechanisms while continuing to expand on the mythology of these creatures and their world.
Supernatural (Series 13)
Yes, I realise I am a full season behind on the show, but I am slowly catching up. The thirteenth season of Supernatural was electric. Many fans agree that the apocalypse conflict was Supernatural’s best arc. The thirteenth series is very reminiscent of that era, expanding on the dynamic between the brothers and Lucifer and further exploring the destructive nature of Apocalypse world. The season also introduces us to Lucifer’s son, Jack (Alex Calvert), whose human mother entrusted his safety to Castiel and the Winchesters. Alex Calvert was a welcome addition to the cast and his chemistry with Jensen, Jared, and Misha made the dynamic between Jack and his “fathers” was brilliant. It’s like he’s the missing piece of this dysfunctional family. The finale was another highlight with the Winchester enemies hitting them where it hurts and setting us up for an exciting fourteenth series.
Grimm (Series 3)
This is a brilliant series, there’s no doubt about that. However, it’s also a show you have to be in the mood for, and we all know how bad I am at bingeing. Grimm delves deeper into the politics and cultural traditions of the Grimm world as new foes emerge and unexpected allies crash into Nick’s world. The beauty of this season is that there’s no more secrecy. Most of the main players in Nick’s life are aware of his Grimm abilities and seeing them adjust to this revelation adds another layer of intrigue to the story. The shocking events of the finale had me diving headfirst into the following season.
Sanditon (Series 1)
Based on the unfinished work of Jane Austen, Sanditon ticks every period drama cliche and still pulls you back for more. It is so very predictable, yet there’s a charm to this eccentric cast of characters that will keep you invested. The story centres on Charlotte Hayward as is invited to stay with the Parker family at the seaside town of Sanditon, which Tom Parker aspires to turn into a seaside resort. Here, Charlotte is thrust into a world of glamour, manipulation, green, and Sidney Parker, the broody, moody brother of Tom who often comes to blows with Charlotte. Yet, while they often come to blows, there is no disguising the sizzling tension between the two. It is clear that the final episode intended to set up a second season, but that does not mean it wasn’t anything but infuriating.
The Haunting of Hill House
Since Halloween was approaching, this show seemed highly appropriate for the occasion. I started watching it last year, but never got to finishing it. Some might say the series is slow in its execution, but the beauty of that is the sense that the episodes are like a ticking time bomb, leading our characters to a climactic confrontation that shakes their very core. Yes, this show has a lot of moments that will have you cowering behind a pillow, but the real heart of the story is in the Crain family whose lives have been shaped by their childhood at hill house, allowing conflict and the unfinished business of those events to tear them apart. Going beyond the fright night entertainment, the Haunting of Hill House explores the psychological and personal consequences of a family that has been marked by tragedy.
The Great British Bake-Off
The single most wholesome show in the world. The line up this year was younger than usual, but it still had plenty of characters that kept you entertained from start to finish. However, if I had to make one single complaint about the show, it’s in the completely random themes. Dairy week, in particular, felt like an unnecessary addition that just seemed to induce stress more than anything else. Nevertheless, Bake-Off is a delight and the show will always be a must-watch event.
Rugby World Cup
Rugby is regarded as a Welsh national sport, so of course, I follow it. However, rugby itself is an exhilarating test of speed, strength, and skill, and I have loved every minute of the Rugby World Cup. Congrats to South Africa for the win, the Welsh team should be so proud of their top 4 finish, and a thank you to Japan for being a brilliant host.
What have you been watching?