Tuesday, 22 December 2015

TV39: Four more cable serials to consider: Caprica, Huff, Damages, The Americans

The last of my serial reviews (for now), these four all get ***+ and are listed in the order in which I enjoyed them:

Caprica (2010)

A prequel to Battlestar Galactica that shows how the Cylons came to be created, Caprica doesn’t have the quality of BG but is still very stylish and entertaining sci-fi TV and not to be missed if you’re a BG fan (as I am). Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz), a wealthy scientist, and Joseph Adama (Esai Morales), a civil rights lawyer lose their daughters in a bombing  and Daniel thinks he can bring them back. Created by Remi Aubuchon and Ronald D. Moore for SyFy. 

Huff (2004 - 2006)

Hank Azaria stars as Dr. Craig “Huff” Huffstodt, a psychiatrist in L.A. whose life takes a dramatic turn after one of his clients commits suicide in his office. Paget Brewster plays Huff’s wife, Beth, Oliver Platt plays his close friend, Russell and Blythe Danner is great as Huff’s mother, Izzy. Created by Bob Lowry for Showtime.

Damages (2007 - 2012)

Glenn Close is perfect as Patti Hewes, a brilliant but ruthless lawyer in New York City whose newest protégée, Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), may be more than she can handle. A legal serial featuring stellar acting and intelligent writing throughout, this should have been a favourite, but Damages is just too dark and twisted for me, with a lack of sympathetic characters and a feeling that it’s sometimes ‘too-clever-for-its-own-good’. Created by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman for FX. 

The Americans (2013 - )

A spy serial drama set in the early 1908’s certainly sounded like an intriguing premise to me. And Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys do a very fine job playing the two KGB spies who have been living in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. for fifteen years, ‘pretending’ to me a married couple (with two kids) who run a travel agency. But the first season has been somewhat disappointing, with an uncalled-for formulaic episodic feel, too much emphasis on action and screenplays that are too predictable and not as intelligent as they could be (though it is compelling). Created by Joe Weinberg for FX. 

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