Short Review Roundup – TV Edition

I am way behind on my TV writing, let alone my TV watching.  I finally finished season 2 of Stranger Things and season 1 of Westworld, but those didn’t even make it into this post.  I still need to watch the first season of the Handmaid’s Tale and the second season of The Man in the High Castle.  But here are my thoughts on some largely unimpressive seasons of speculative fiction.


The Expanse, season 1

The story never grabbed me enough to pay enough attention to follow the convoluted plot.  And I didn’t think the season 1 finale had nearly a big enough payoff.  But it looks very good for the most part, and it has three strong leads.

3.5 of 5 Stars.


The Defenders, season 1

The worst thing about The Defenders is the Iron Fist.  Or maybe it is how much it relies on season 1 of Iron Fist to set up the story (that and season 2 of Daredevil are the only ones that really do, but you’re better off just watching better seasons and catching up).  Just about everything else is great, though.  Particularly strong are Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra, Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing, and Mike Colter as Luke Cage (apparently always better in other people’s shows).  If I have any other complaint, it is that the plot doesn’t quite live up to the cast.

8 of 5 Stars (3 Stars for The Defenders, 5 Stars for Rosario Dawson).


Shannara Chronicles, season 1

The Shannara Chronicles is . . . not good.  (Full disclosure: I haven’t read any of the books.)  The show would have been better served had they cast for acting ability instead of picking from the Most Likely to Have Worked at Abercrombie pool.  It does look quite good for the most part, though.

2.5 of 5 Stars.


The Punisher, season 1

The Punisher was by far the best part of season 2 of Daredevil.  Jon Bernthal is perfect as the Punisher.  He was great in the Daredevil, he is even better here.  I love the way Bernthal can flick the switch between the Punisher and Frank Castle, playing the two aspects almost as two entirely different characters.  The season suffers from how political the plot is, but they do a better than average job handling it.

4 of 5 Stars.


About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction).
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6 Responses to Short Review Roundup – TV Edition

  1. Off The TBR says:

    Haven’t watched The Expanse but agree wholeheartedly on all the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bormgans says:

    Saw an episode it three, four of The Expanse before I dropped out. It looks great, but it’s vastly overrated, all clichés. Westworld was better – not really good good, but at least more intruiging, sadly the storyline became messy as the whole selfaware AI plot seems full of plotholes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. graycope14 says:

    Despite looking very good, the Expanse didn’t grab me, either. I stopped watching after 5 episodes. I agree with what you say about Daredevil. I thought season 1 was brilliant once it got going, mainly due to Wilson Fisk. The Punisher was great in season 2, but the Punisher series kind of lost me with the excessive violence and seeming pornification of assault weapons. I know that is a tender subject at the moment, and I’ve no interest in jumping on any bandwagons, it was just how I felt. (Does anyone else think the amount of graphic violence on most TV shows is excessive at the moment, particularly how commonplace scenes of torture appear to be?) Jon Bernthal is excellent, but I felt it all got a bit too much. Rant over.

    I was enjoying the Defenders, but didn’t finish that, either. I started watching the Iron Fist series to fill in some of the backstory but lost interest in that.

    I’m curious to know what you thought of the Man in the High Castle season 1. I’ve recently re-started watching it as I’ve read that it gets better, especially in the second season. Personally, I’ve been enjoying the PKD Electric Dreams series -a bit of a mixed bag but entertaining imo- and Game of Thrones. That’s about all at the moment as I’m trying to focus more on reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • H.P. says:

      Torture has been trendy since it was headline news during the Bush administration. Entertainment invariably reflects the big public debates of the day, but it has gotten a bit old. The Punisher was inevitably going to be a least a little political, given the nature of the character.

      If I ever get around to it I have a long post in me about depictions of vigilantism and violence on the screen (and it probably isn’t what you think).

      I never bothered with Iron Fist and I am very okay with that after seeing him in The Defenders.

      I remember enjoying season one of Man in the High Castle, but not much else. And I watched episode one of season two shortly after it came out but haven’t come back to it.

      Liked by 2 people

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