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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Editorial: What We're Watching.

Editorial: What We're Watching.

With the start of a new year, there's a few new and returning shows on television right now, which means that it's high time for another 'what we're watching', doing a quick rundown of the shows we've been watching for the past week or so. 

The Shannara Chronicles.

I've never read the books, nor do I have any intention to, since nineteen-volume doorstopper second generation fantasy books are very far from my cup of tea, but I will watch the series, starring Manu Bennett, Poppy Drayton, and Austin Butler, and written by Smallville and Spiderman 2 team Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, quite happily.

So far, it's a fun, kind of mindless high fantasy show, and I've been wanting those for a while - the last one we had was Legend of the Seeker, regrettably cancelled after two series, and The Shannara Chronicles looks to be just as ridiculous and over-the-top as that one was.

In a bizarre twist, I keep seeing news outlets going "Is there room for more high fantasy series on the market?" despite the fact that the only one we actually have right now is Game of Thrones, which has a completely different tone.

Teen Wolf 5B.

So, the second half of Teen Wolf's fifth series has started, and so far, going off one episode, it's okay! Quite good, even. We have actual stuff happening in the plot, which is always nice, and some nice emotional weightiness.

My opinion on it might sour as the series goes on, if only because angsty, emotionally overwrought situations that could be solved with a simple, frank conversation that everybody is choosing annoy me quite a bit, but with just the first episode of ten out, I'm quite liking what we've got so far.

Hopefully, the series will settle into a more serialised format now, too, because that's always where Teen Wolf does its best work.

Active Raid: Mobile Assault Division, Unit 8.

You know, I'm not sure what to think of this particular anime. It's a kind of tokusatsu-style police superhero show, and it weirdly reminds me a little bit of Psycho-Pass in its character dynamics, if you boiled Psycho-Pass down to its most basic elements and then passed them through a heavy filter of shounen anime and tokusatsu shows.

I'll definitely give it a go and watch a few more episodes to see how I like it, but at the moment I'm just not sure. It has a solid foundation, certainly, but I don't feel like the first episode lived up to all of the potential the show has to offer.

Also, it did that ridiculous thing in anime where a female character ends up in some kind of vaguely inappropriate situation (in this case, seeing two men in speedos) and screams for ill-defined reasons. Nobody has ever reacted to an awkward situation like that, guys. Ever.

Heroes Reborn.

Heroes Reborn has started again, and it's still awful! It's still absolutely terrible, with the new episode just being an unending, awful mess. One thing that particularly leaped out at me was when a character, urging someone not to kill a child, went "She's not that much younger than you!" Which is interesting, because that's literally the reverse of how that sentiment usually goes.

Usually, it's 's/he's not much older than [x]', in which [x] is someone both parties agree should have their innocence and safety preserved, and this makes sense because the sentiment is 'This party is only slightly closer to the age where they don't need protection than this person who we both care about.' Put this way, what the character was essentially saying was that the younger you are, the more acceptable it is for someone to murder you.

So, that jumped out at me. Nothing else did.

Divine Gate.

Totally generic from start to the finish, to the point where I struggled to pay much attention to it. It's a kind of vaguely sci-fi, vaguely fantasy thing involving people from another world and elemental superpowers and things like that, and it just - didn't make much of an impression at all.

I'll probably drop this one pretty fast.

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