This week on TVEnthusiast’s The Weekly Set, Edward, Kat, Will, and Tyson talk about what they are currently watching on TV.
Tyson: Okay, so lets start our little roundtable. This week’s roundtable will be short, just a bit of catch up as we discuss what we have been watching in the past few weeks.
Kat: Sounds like fun.
Tyson: So first lets just go around and mention some of the shows we have been watching, without going into any great detail yet. I have been watching Agent Carter, I just finished the first season of The Missing, and I watched about half of Marco Polo on Netflix.
Kat: I caught up on Agents of SHIELD and am working my way through Gotham.
Will: I’ve caught up with Flash and Arrow and watched the premiere of Agent Carter.
Edward: Still have to watch Agent Carter but am also catching up on Flash and Arrow. I currently just started watching Under the Dome.
Will: Oh I’m sorry ED (worry).
Edward: Oh no is it that bad? Because the first couple eps were pretty good.
Will: I thought it was terrible.
Tyson: I couldn’t get into Under the Dome. I thought the characters were really flat.
Will: I made it halfway through season one of Under The Dome before I dropped it.
Edward: I thought the premiere was pretty okay. A little all over the place but i tend to give a show up to six episodes before I turn it off
Tyson: It was like if a company did for TV what those companies that knock off blockbuster movies do. Except they are knocking off stuff like LOST.
Edward: Like The Asylum, but for TV?
Will: Yeah, that was my beef, I really couldn’t care of any of the characters.
Edward: So, I haven’t lost interest yet. I’ve noticed that if I’m not hooked by the sixth episode of any series then I’m dropping it.
Kat: What did you think was terrible – Agent Carter or Under the Dome?
Tyson: Under the Dome.
Will: Under the Dome.
Kat: Ah, too bad.
Tyson: I really liked Agent Carter.
Will: Yeah, I liked Agent Carter.
Edward: I’ve heard nothing but super positive things about it.
Kat: Oh good.
Tyson: I’d say it is the quickest a comic book show has ever really grabbed me, besides maybe The Walking Dead.
Kat: I’m gonna watch it when I have more time.
Tyson: There are 3 episodes now, because the premiere had 2.
Edward: How did the premiere hold up to say SHIELD?
Will: Much better than SHIELD.
Tyson: Yeah, much better.
Will: I dropped SHIELD after the premiere.
Tyson: It feels a LOT like the first Captain America movie, it just has the same tone and look. That larger than life 1940s plastic noir kind of thing.
Will: Yeah, I think that’s cool.
Kat: Poor SHIELD – it’s gotten so much better the last few episodes.
Tyson: Yes, SHIELD definitely has, but Carter has started off great already.
Edward: I’m interested to see how it ties into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I assume it takes place after the first Captain America.
Tyson: Yeah, it is like a direct sequel, basically the war is over, so it is kind of a Marvel Cinematic Universe cold war era.
Kat: They’ve also tied it into SHIELD in some fun ways.
Edward: Oh ok. I’m definitely looking forward to watching it. Just didn’t get around to it yet. Maybe if I can’t get hooked on Under the Dome. It’ll be quicker.
Will: My only issue with Carter so far is the supporting characters are a bit weak.
Tyson: I have hope there as well though.
Will: Yeah me too.
Tyson: Her boss was on Boardwalk Empire, so I know he can play that era.
Edward: Shea Whigham? He was great on Boardwalk Empire.
Tyson: He is her misogynist boss, and I think he is gay.
Will: Oh interesting.
Tyson: I don’t know if it is true, it is just the vibe I have been picking up on, either gay or a serious bromance with that blonde agent. It is almost like the vibe in Twin Peaks between the Sheriff and Cooper, except that they are misogynistic.
Will: Yeah very misogynistic.
Tyson: Also, the crippled war vet Carter befriends at the office was one of the only good things about Dollhouse.
Kat: Enver, I can never remember his last name. (Editor’s note, its Enver Gjokaj) He was in The Avengers as a police officer.
Will: What? He can’t be two people in The MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
Kat: Well, then let’s hope Johnny Storm and Captain America never meet (Yes I know, they’re not technically both part of the MCU).
Will: Ha ha.
Will: I hope we see more of Howard Stark.
Tyson: In the second episode I loved all the radio drama stuff. Without spoiling anything big, they played a Captain America radio drama throughout the episode, but in it Carter is this ditsy helpless homemaker type that is constantly plugging cleaning supplies while being kidnapped by Nazis and then saved by Cap.
Kat: I’m curious to see how they handle the gender politics stuff. It’s easy to get really preachy and precious with that kind of thing.
Will: Eh it’s mostly the men are misogynistic and don’t believe in Carter at all. It’s almost to a cartoonish degree.
Tyson: Yeah, it has that Captain America vibe, where everything is so black and white, good vs evil, progressive vs misogynistic.
Will: There’s one guy in the premiere who only exists so Carter can give him his comeuppance later.
Tyson: It is kind of like a pulpy Mad Men.
Will: Yeah, exactly.
Tyson: No political correctness, but not so gut wrenching and complex.
Edward: It’s nice to see that the show raises this issue. Though I found Mad Men to be pretty pulpy in itself (Laughs).
Tyson: I mean in that silver age comic book sort of way.
Edward: Ah i see.
Tyson: I practically expect everyone to do a Humphrey Bogart impression and call Carter “Doll”.
Will: Ha ha
Tyson: It makes it kind of fun. It makes the misogynists less hateable than in Mad Men, but gives Carter a real struggle to admire.
Kat: The sexism in Mad Men is one of the reasons I had a hard time watching it – like, I get that it’s on purpose; but it still hits too close to home for me.
Tyson: Not like Mad Men in that way though, much lighter. I think it nails the tone, just feels like Captain America.
Will: Yeah Cap 1 is the tone they’re going for.
Tyson: Episode 3 starts exploring adult female dormitories and such, which is interesting.
Will: Also I love Jarvis in this.
Tyson: Yeah, Jarvis is great, it is cool thinking that he is the model for Iron Man‘s Jarvis system.
Will: Yeah, I was so happy to learn there actually was a Jarvis ha ha.
Tyson: That Tony Stark gets to know Jarvis as his father’s butler and that influences the AI he makes…
Will: Yeah, that’s very cool.
Edward: Oh no way. There’s a Jarvis character? Very cool.
Tyson: Yeah, it is Howard Stark’s butler.
Will: I was a bit disappointed Jarvis was an AI in Iron Man.
Tyson: So in many ways it has that prequel vibe that Gotham does, but it isn’t atrocious (laughs). So speaking of which… Gotham.
Will: Well not until every villain in the MCU starts showing up.
Edward: Yeah, I completely fell off Gotham.
Will: Loki will be the ssr’s lab tech in episode 5.
Tyson: SHIELD got major guest stars from the movie, imagine if the Winter Soldier showed up in Carter.
Will: yeah that would be cool.
Kat: I’m powering through Gotham – it has its ups and downs. The plotting does frequently leave something to be desired, but it has some interesting commentary.
Tyson: Yeah, Gotham has some okay points. I like the way it was shot, very stylized.
Will: I don’t hate Gotham like most people do.
Tyson: I think it is the writing that kills it for me. I still watch it tough, I guess I am a masochist (laughs).
Edward: Yeah, same here. I find the dialogue to be really tough to hear.
Will: I’m willing to finish the season.
Edward: And the characters feel too cartoony for a show that’s trying to be gritty.
Will: There’s a reason Nolan didn’t use some characters in his films.
Kat: Some of its cast is good, though – I like the kid that plays Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon is great, I’m enjoying Jada Pinkett Smith, and Penguin could not be better.
Tyson: I think the first moment where I really felt worried about Gotham was in the Pilot when Bruce was on the roof, and Alfred is yelling at him to get down in a cockney accent, I was agitated. I imagine it is one of those shows in which the cast has a blast filming, but the product suffers.
Edward: Absolutely. Like they seem to be enjoying what they’re doing, especially Jada Pinkett Smith. Personally the only character I care for is Gordon.
Tyson: Bruce is cool because he is young and kind of frail and innocent and nervous, but also intelligent.
Will: Man I wish it was Gotham Central the TV show but it’s not.
Tyson: I think it would have been best if Bruce was like 20 and starting to experiment with vigilantism, and if all of the character stories were not directly connected.
Will: Yeah, or if Bruce wasn’t in it at all.
Kat: I dunno…I like the idea of exploring Bruce in the immediate days after the loss of his parents.
Tyson: That IS one of the things I like, so I give you that Kat. I like that we see his forging.
Will: Yeah, that is interesting.
Tyson: It reminds me of Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles, though that series was MUCH better.
Edward: Much better.
Will: I loved that show. Never thought a Terminator TV show would be so good considering they couldn’t make a decent movie out of it.
Tyson: With John Connor going through PTSD and starting to become hardened. The John at the end of the series was like a different person.
Edward: And you could see how he developed what he needed to become a leader.
Will: Yeah, definitely served as a better Terminator 3 than the actual Terminator 3.
Edward: The show was what a proper Terminator movie should have been.
Tyson: I like how it went into string theory with the time travel too, and the existentialism of the captured terminator that became the housing unit for an AI.
Edward: Yeah which was more than the movies ever tried to explain.
Will: Exactly. Lots of great ideas were put into that show. Shame it lasted only two seasons.
Edward: I can’t understand how it only lasted two seasons. It seemed to have a pretty big following.
Tyson: I remember that when it was cancelled Fox seemed to be choosing between it and Dollhouse, Dollhouse had just had 1 season. In the end they picked Dollhouse because of Whedon’s fanbase. Unfortunately, though Whedon is amazing, Dollhouse is his chink in the armor.
Kat: Because Fox…
Will: Yup, exactly.
Edward: And then they cancelled Dollhouse the next season. Oh Fox…
Will: Typical Fox.
Tyson: But Dollhouse needed to go, it was tying up Whedon.
Will: I agree, Just couldn’t get into Dollhouse at all.
Edward: I thought it was a cool concept. Ahead of its time. But maybe a TV show wasn’t the best format for the story. A movie or a comic series may have worked better.
Tyson: So I’d like to table discussion of The Flash and Arrow, since we got into a lot of that last week, and since we will surely talk more about it when it comes back.
Edward: I think the last episode i watched was the power outage one.
Tyson: So moving on, did any of you watch The Missing or Marco Polo?
Will: No, no interest.
Edward: I’m one episode into Marco Polo. Beautiful looking but sooo cheesy.
Kat: Yeah, I’m probably gonna skip Marco Polo.
Will: Except for whenever I’m swimming.
Kat: Yes, when Will goes swimming, I will play Marco Polo.
Tyson: So The Missing was great, you should all watch it, just very interesting.
Tyson: I am big fan of shows that humanize people typically seen as monsters, and there is a character in The Missing who is a pedophile (though not a child molester) that is struggling with his mental illness, and everyone looks at him with scorn, and it is all quite tragic.
Edward: I saw some previews for The Missing. Looks really dark and awesome.
Tyson: It is similar to Little Children, if any of you have seen that movie.
Edward: Oh man. I remember that movie. That was a tough one.
Will: Is this a new show?
Tyson: First season just ended.
Will: Oh, I’m really not familiar with it.
Tyson: Everything is pretty much wrapped up at the end, so the next season is a new case. It is a British/French series but aired here on Starz.
Will: Oh I don’t get Starz at all so that’s why I was unaware.
Edward: Yeah I saw it on TMN, which is the channel we get for prime time cable shows from Starz or Showtime.
Tyson: This British family goes on vacation to France with their young son, and he disappears. A bunch of years go by and nothing has happened, so the show cuts back and forth between when the kid disappeared, and everyone was desperately searching, and the present in which the father is still desperately searching, but everybody else has moved on.
Will: Oh that’s cool.
Tyson: As for Marco Polo, it has actually gotten decent, the trick to it is that Marco Polo himself is the least interesting character on the show.
Edward: Yes, I hear it vastly improves beyond the initial couple episodes. Which is why I’m still planning to watch.
Tyson: When you start to see more of the Khan, and it gets into his politics and such it is more interesting. He is this big fat gout ridden man, but at the same time he is legitimately intimidating, physically strong, and quite smart.
Edward: Cool. Looking forward to it.
Tyson: Anybody have another show to talk about?
Will: Not really, Justified comes back next week, Final Season.
Tyson: Yeah I am excited for that.
Will: Yeah can’t wait, Boyd Vs Raylan.
Tyson: Oh, I just realized that Amazon’s pilot season started today, this is the one with all the interesting shows.
Will: Heh, none of the pilots seem interesting to me. Okay, The Man in the High Castle sounds interesting.
Tyson: Point of Honor is from Carlton Cuse (LOST), Mad Dogs is from Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Last Resort, Terriers), and The Man in the High Castle is super high concept, and based on a book by Philip K. Dick.
Will: Yeah, I love alternative history.
Tyson: Also, this Friday is the start of 12 Monkeys, which i have been hearing VERY positive things about.
Will: Hmmm that’s on SyFy right?
Kat: 12 Monkeys‘ getting good reviews? I…have mixed feelings about that. At least SyFy is actually showing more science fiction again.
Will: Thank God.
Tyson: It seems to take things in a different direction, but a good direction, that sets itself apart.
Tyson: The Flash and Arrow are back next week as well.
Will: Yup, big week for me.
Sorry about the shorter edition this week, we were busy working on something exciting. Shhh. As always, you can contribute to the ongoing conversation by posting in our comments and/or forums, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more coverage of all of your favorite shows.