With August looking like a decidedly dry month TV-wise (especially if you peek ahead at what’s coming in Autumn), this week may well be the best for the month, with the return of one of the more successful US imports, the start of a couple of shows that are certainly promising, and a few – gems seems like the wrong word, maybe like, anti-gems? I don’t know, this week’s round-up was fun to write, shall we say.
First up this week is a newcomer, with The Last Man On Earth making its way across the pond to kick of Monday night’s TV-based entertainment (definitely the best kind, screw anything as ‘wholesome’ as going outside or something). The show is created by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the batshit, immature geniuses whose mantra of only taking on projects that sound like they won’t work, have already brought us the Jump Street reboots (arguably the best comedy films in recent years) and The Lego Movie (arguably the best animated film since Up, and until Inside Out – sorry guys, Pixar always win). As its title may suggest, the series will follow the pursuits and struggles of the last man alive after some unspecified catastrophe wiped out humanity. Expect a lot of what can only be described as ‘guy-humour’ from a show that doesn’t try to be inclusive or subtle with its jokes, when it premieres at 9pm on Dave.
Up next – as in minutes after The Last Man on Earth ends – is the biggest show returning to screens this week (and potentially this month, excepting the saccharin phenomena that is the Bake-Off, of course): Suits. With its attractive male leads dressed in sharp suits (see what they did there?) firing off witticisms, and its well-written(ish) dramatic storylines, it isn’t hard to see why Suits is as popular as it is, and if jumping straight into a show’s fifth season is daunting, it would no doubt make a worthy addition to your list of shows to binge on on Netflix – it’s on mine. The show airs at 10pm Monday night on Dave.
This week’s detective show is Aquarius. Set in 60s L.A., the show stars X-Files star David Duchovny as a detective with the LAPD (who no doubt is either troubled in some way, doesn’t play by the rules, or that magical combination of both). Revolving around the case of a missing girl, the series features interactions with everyone’s favourite cultist Charles Manson and his ahem ‘family’. Having received decent reviews throughout its first season in the US, but suffering a dramatic decline in viewership as the season progressed (NBC claim this is because the show was made available in its entirety on demand midway through broadcast, but haven’t released the number of online views – go figure), the show has nonetheless had a second season greenlit, so if you like this, there will be more on the way. The show premieres on Tuesday at 9pm, on Sky Atlantic.
The week’s next offering is the return of Mistresses, but its actually like some kind of return-ception scenario. The show (which airs on TLC) is an American remake of a British series, whose third season is premiering this week (I probably made that more complicated than it needed to be). The show follows four female friends as they navigate several illicit affairs and relationships, and is also apparently a mystery. Maybe one of the main characters has an affair with a serial killer, or a secret agent. Or maybe one of the main characters is actually a serial spy-killer. Okay forget Mistresses and drop everything – that is what we need. Anyway, the show airs a 9pm on Wednesday.
Skipping right through to Sunday (because the other days suck), we get a third show premiering this week, aren’t we lucky. The show, Zoo, is an American made adaptation of the novel of the same name by that pinnacle of literary greatness, James Patterson (excuse me, I’d say snobbery was wrong, but if I did I’d have nothing to write in these articles). The series’ premise is just fantastic, too. In fact, I’m going to quote the opening narration rather than paraphrase it:
For centuries, mankind has been the dominant species. We domesticated animals, locked them up, killed them for sport. But what if all across the globe, the animals decided no more? What if they finally decided to fight back?
Once that’s sunk in (it’s like a really, really shit Jurassic Park but if the dinosaurs were, like, Zebras), it might be important to note that the series, which has already started airing in the US and Australia, does actually have good viewership numbers, and the reviews aren’t awful, but really I just – there are no words. The show stars Kirsten Connolly from House of Cards (could be okay) alongside, among others, Billy Burke from the Twilight films (I take it all back), and airs at 9pm on Sky1.
The final TV show this week is odd for (at least) three reasons. First, its name – When Calls the Heart – which sounds like either a horrendously translated foreign-language show (which would not be a good a thing), or a dramatic romance revolving around Yoda (which would hands-down be the best things to ever be made, get on it Disney). The series, by the way, is neither; it’s actually a Canadian family drama set in 1910 that follows the lives of people living on the western-Canadian frontier, focusing particularly on a young teacher-lady assigned to a coal-mining town there…and I’m asleep. Anyway, the second odd thing about the show (which will begin its second season), is the time its on – 5pm. I didn’t know they showed TV then, I thought it was Bargain Hunt all the way down (though given what we now know about its plot, the show does scream daytime TV, except 5pm isn’t even daytime TV, it’s like some kind of TV purgatory). Thirdly, and perhaps most odd, the show is broadcast on a channel called Movies 24. I had no idea that was an actual channel before now, and based on its name, the fact that it’s showing a TV series seems kind of wrong.