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.