Patriot: The Polar Opposite of James Bond

Michael Dorman plays John Tavner, a reluctant US intelligence officer suffering from mild PTSD from a job gone bad — a condition that he copes with by writing honest (way too honest) folk songs. Terry O’Quinn of Lost fame plays his father, who also happens to be his boss. Tavner gets sent to Luxembourg posing as an engineer,…

Legion: How Does That Make You Feel?

In the comics, Legion is the clinically insane, unpredictably powerful antihero son of Professor X. He absorbs people’s minds into his own, and over the years, has become the vessel of multiple mutant personalities, each of them with distinct powers. The Wikipedia entry on the  character reads like the most lurid mutant saga ever, and…

Training Day: Possibly the Worst Cop Show Ever

It’s impossible to watch the new Training Day pilot without comparing it to the 2011 movie that shares its name, or FX’s The Shield. Both of those older properties are in a different league as this steaming pile of mainstream garbage from CBS, and the similarities just make it all the worse. Bill Paxton, in the driver’s seat as the…

24 Legacy: Party Like It’s 2001

The original 24 was the perfect pop blend of post-911 politics and the modern bare-knuckle spy genre, and for awhile, it was the best action show on TV. The problem was that it went on a little too long and began to feel somewhat like a parody of itself. Kiefer Sutherland as the invincible Jack Bauer was…

Santa Clarita Diet: Finally a Suburban Family Comedy for Horror Fans

Tim Olyphant and Drew Barrymore star in this suburban family comedy from Netflix that asks the question: what would happen if your wife of many years woke up one morning and found herself with a strong appetite for raw human flesh? Taking some of its cues from revisionist zombie films like Warm Bodies, Fido, and Shaun…

Riverdale: Archie and the Gang Relocate to Twin Peaks

The All-American redhead that defined a generation is back … and he’s darker, grittier, and more brooding than you’ve ever seen him. Well, that’s not entirely true. The new CW show launched with much fanfare in January as a high school murder mystery drama, but located in everyone’s favorite fictional town. In other words, like a ton of…

Sneaky Pete: Near-Perfect Small-time Crime Drama from the TV Gods

All you really need to know about Amazon’s Sneaky Pete is that it’s from David Shore (House), Graham Yost (Justified), and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) … the latter of whom produces and stars. If that’s not enough TV royalty to get the pilot instantly loaded up on your screen, I don’t know what is. The small-time…

Powerless: Not-so-super Superhero Comedy Without Any Superheroes

Starring Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), Dan Pudi (Community), and Alan Tudyk (Firefly), Powerless is about all the normal people trying to live normal lives in a world overrun by superheroes. The bones of it are great: we’ve seen similar ideas in DC’s Gotham P.D. comic series, but the pilot’s script is pretty lousy and…

Beyond: The OA for Kids

In Beyond, FreeForm’s new teen sci-fi show, Holden Matthews wakes up after being in a coma for 12 years. He was 13 when he had the motorcycle accident that put him under, and now he’s a good looking young man ready to lead his own TV show. The first third of the pilot feature the usual scenes of familial…

The OA: Netflix’s Strange New Arthouse Sci-Fi

It’s almost impossible to accurately describe Britt Marling’s new arthouse sci-fi The OA based on just its pilot. If you were one of the few who saw the young writer/actress’ 2011 Sundance entry, Another Earth, you’d probably already have guessed that her streaming debut would be anything but conventional. Marling stars as a young woman who mysteriously resurfaces after having disappeared 7…