Tag Archives: TV Reviews

The Good Fight Scores a Win for CBS All Access!

The Good Fight — Cush Jumbo, Christine Baranski, Rose Leslie — CBS All Access (Sundays)

The Good Fight (CBS All Access, Sundays) may be a spin-off from The Good Wife but its first two episodes are as good as anything from that show’s run.

The stunning two-hour premiere opens with characters and familiar, seamlessly integrating the two into a new environment – an environment without the Florricks, but with Diane Lockhart moving from the penthouse to the outhouse and back in a way that feels natural and unforced, and surrounds her with a new cast of equals that equals the one she’s moved on from.

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Doubt: One Moment of Idiot Plotting Makes Doubt Doubtable!

DOUBT  ( CBS, Wednesdays, 9/8C) — Steven Pasquale, Katherine Heigl — Photo courtesy of CBS

Katherine Heigl’s new series, Doubt (CBS, Wednesdays, 9/8C) finds her playing lawyer Sadie Ellis, a star at a boutique law firm – Isaiah Roth and Associates – that is owned by her father. In the series premiere, she begins her defense of Billy Brenna an ‘altruistic pediatric surgeon’ who is accused of having murdered his girlfriend 24 years prior.

She begins to have feelings for him but it’s not a slam dunk that he’s innocent.

The series premiere opens with a woman biking through downtown New York with a careless disregard for traffic (human or vehicular) before skidding to a stop in front of the courthouse. We learn she’s Sadie when her associate, Albert Cobb (Dulé Hill) tells her she’s a menace.

DOUBT (Wednesdays, 9 pm CBS) — Dulé Hill. Elliott Gould, Katherine Heigl — Photo courtesy of CBS

From there, after a quick wardrobe change, she hijacks a press conference with the D.A., bails her father out jail (he called a judge a fascist – his defense… she is a fascist!), and brokers a bail deal for her client.

In short order we meet the rest of the show’s stellar cast – Laverne Cox (Cameron Wirth), Lauren Blumenfeld (Sadie’s incompetent assistant, Lucy), Dreama Walker (Cameron’s assistant, Tiffany Allan) and Kobi Libii (Nick Brady, a newly minted lawyer trying to get a job interview with ‘the Big Dog) – and see the quirks and chemistry that signal a breezy, semi-blue sky series that balances work and personal lives and how the lines between them blur.

Naturally, there’s the witness to whom Billy allegedly confessed the details of the crime – Mike Slater  (Lee Tergesen) – someone who has been as clean as a whistle for twenty years after a few very minor transgressions as a kid.

DOUBT (CBS, Wednesdays, 9/8C) — Kobi Libii — Photo Courtesy of CBS

Cue the job seeking Nick Brady…

As a sidebar… errr… B-arc, Cameron is defending a paranoid schizophrenic on a murder charge – a case that hinges on the jury seeing him as he was that day, unmedicated.

For the most part, Doubt’s premiere is well done – the cast is extremely good and director Adam Bernstein keeps things mostly breezy – pausing only for the most important moments of drama (like Billy saying why he’d leave a sixteen-year old girl in a park in the early morning).

DOUBT (CBS, Wednesdays, 9/8C) — Katherine Heigl, Laverne Cox — Photo courtesy of CBS

Laverne Cox, as the openly transgender Cameron is as good as she’s ever been on Orange Is The New Black and steals virtually every scene she’s in – she is probably the best thing about the premiere.

Gould is magnificently imperious as Isaiah, and Hill is properly earnest as Albert.

The success of the show depends on Heigl, though, and while she is up to playing the complex Sadie as a smart, professional woman, Sadie’s not a character who would be so idiotic to make the mistake of falling for a client – or especially behaving like it. Not with the stakes being so high.

If you set aside that lapse, the show is a tolerable hour. If, like me, you can’t past that major case of idiot plotting – and it was a key element in the show’s premise, it would be best leave Doubt alone.

Final Grade: C

Legion – Noah Hawley’s Unorthodox Marvel Series Shines!

LEGION — “Chapter 1” (Airs Wednesday, February 8. 10pm/ep) — Dan Stevens as David Haller. CF:FX

Legion (FX, Thursdays, 9/8C) is based on a mutant character from Marvel’s X-titles. In the comics, he’s the son of Professor Charles Xavier and has amazing mental abilities that he isn’t completely sure of and definitely not in complete control of.

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TV Review: Legion A Surreal, Abstract Take of Super Heroes, Michelle’s Take

LEGION — “Chapter 1” (Airs Wednesday, February 8, 10:00 pm/ep) — Pictured: Dan Stevens as David Haller. CR: Chris Large/FX

FX Network finally brings honest to god Marvel mutants to television in their latest project – Legion, which premieres February 8th. I generally love FX programming. They aren’t afraid to push the envelope and go off kilter. The problem with FX shows is they all start very slow and usually take 3 or 4 episodes before they manage to suck you in. They require a lot of patience before things start paying off. Its intellectual television disguised as popcorn entertainment. I know this is a weird statement but work with me.

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Taboo: Secrets Laid Bare Lead To Unexpected Consequences!

TABOO — “Episode 5” — Pictured: Tom Hardy as James Keziah Delaney. CR: FX

Taboo (FX, Tuesdays, 10/9C) continues to add layers of character and suspense as it creeps into darker and darker territory.

Blacklisted, James Delaney takes alternative roads to continue his plans to keep the family trading company alive, while the reveal of his secret affair with his half-sister, Zilpha, leads to an unsettling result for her. Meanwhile, the East India Company finds itself in a very precarious position.

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The Magicians – Martial Library Arts!

THE MAGICIANS — “Hotel Spa Potions” Episode 202 — Pictured: (l-r) Anne Dudek as Prof. Pearl Sunderland, Summer Bishil as Margo, Arjun Gupta as Penny, Jason Ralph as Quentin, Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice — (Photo by: Carole Segal/Syfy)

The Magicians (Syfy, Wednesdays, 9/8C) continues to delight with an episode that our protagonists back on their heels in light of new revelations. Meanwhile, The Beast sings – really, really well (and quite annoyingly).

Hotel Spa Potions opens with a shot of what looks like sugar-frosted Cheerios drifting through space, suggesting that no matter what we might be expecting, that’s not what we’re going to get.

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Lucifer – Home Is Where The Antidote Is!

LUCIFER: L-R: Kevin Alejandro, Lauren German and Scarlett Estevez in A Good Day to Die, the winter finale episode of LUCIFER. Cr: Michael Courtney/FOX.

With Chloe poisoned by last week’s late serial killer, Professor Jason Carlisle, Lucifer has to return home to get the antidote in the winter finale of Lucifer (FOX, Mondays, 9/8C), A Good Day To Die.

A Good Day To Die has just about everything you need for a great hour of television – including a surprisingly effective solo piano take on Killing Me Softly by a most unlikely player.

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Grimm Deals With Destiny!

GRIMM — “El Cuegle” Episode 604 — Pictured: (l-r) Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin, David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, Reggie Lee as Sergeant Wu — (Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

If you could know that a baby would grow up to kill ten random people – or worse – would you kill that baby?

That’s the situation that Nick Burkhart faces on this week’s episode of Grimm (NBC, Fridays, 10/9C), El Cuegle.

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The Magicians: Season 2 – If We’re F*cked, It Must Be Monday!

The second season premiere of The Magicians (Syfy, Wednesdays, 9/8C), Knight of Crowns, finds our protagonists stuck in Fillory while Julia attempts to gain The Beast’s aid in her taking revenge on Reynard, the Fox – while he has an intriguing counter offer for her.

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Good Behavior – Like Letty The Finale Sends Mixed Signals!

Good Behavior Ep 109 “All the Things” – Michelle Dockery as Letty Raines. Photo courtesy of TNT

Following the events of last week’s episode, the FBI makes good on its promise in the season finale Good Behavior (Tuesdays, 9/8C) – leaving Letty both elated and crestfallen.

All the Things finds her trying to make things right with Javier – with the help of her former parole officer Christian.

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Taboo: Dickensian Drama Gives FX Quality Period Piece!

TABOO — “Episode 1” (Airs Tuesday, January 10, 10:00 pm/ep) — Pictured: Tom Hardy as James Keziah Delaney. CR: Robert Viglasky/FX

A hooded figure rows ashore in the rain. That same figure digs in the earth before he stands and we see James Keziah Delaney – though we don’t learn his name just yet. Next he enters a room in which is laid out a corpse with coins over its eyes – which he takes and leaves.

In the series premiere of Taboo (FX, Tuesdays, 10/9C), we learn that Delaney, who was thought long since dead, has just arrived from Africa – in time for his father’s funeral, and in time to claim his father’s legacy. That legacy is an apparently useless piece of land off the west coast of North America – Nootka Sound.

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