Summer Round-Up: What I’ve Watched

Summer is almost over, so I’m doing a quick round-up of some of the shows I’ve been watching the last few months, in case you’ve missed any or are looking for something to fill your T.V. time until production on the normal fall shows catches up from the pandemic delay.

 

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Last Wednesday, I watched the series finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, and I’m already missing this show. It’s been a favorite of mine for seven years now, and while some seasons have been stronger than others, it’s always been a well-crafted show that knew how to deliver both big and small moments that left you wanting more.

If you’re unfamiliar, the show follows Agent Coulson (of The Avengers) as he takes charge of his own S.H.I.E.L.D. team and leads them on exciting and mysterious missions in an increasingly strange world of superheroes and villains. I HIGHLY encourage you to give this one a chance, especially if superheroes or sci-fi are your thing. It’s got heart, humor, and characters you will absolutely find yourself rooting for, as well as fun nods to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and comic books. As of right now, you can still find the first six seasons on Netflix, though as a Marvel/Disney property I expect they will eventually make the jump to Hulu or Disney+. The seventh and final season is currently available for streaming on both Hulu and ABC.com.

 

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Airing on Netflix, this ten-episode series puts a new spin on the Arthurian legends and characters you may have heard of, focusing on Nimue, the future Lady of the Lake, as she struggles to save her people and come into her power. It’s not a perfect series, as the pacing can be a little uneven, especially in the earlier episodes, and you can tell by the visual effects that it’s not as well-funded as other shows, but it’s just compelling enough to keep you engaged.

Would I watch a second season: Yes, I think I will, though I’m not waiting on the edge of my seat for it like I am other shows.

 

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Airing on Netflix, this ten-episode series follows the people charged with setting up and legitimizing the newest branch of the U.S. Armed Services: The Space Force. I wanted to like this one, because it has a great cast, it’s from the creator of Parks and Rec. and Upload, and the trailer was pretty funny. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by an often overly bizarre, mostly just-okay show.

The first couple of episodes are punctuated by some really absurd moments that almost had me throwing in the towel, but I powered through. As the series continues, there are some moments of real promise; Steve Carell manages to bring a grounded, likeable side out of a character that could have easily become a cartoon, John Malkovich is a great foil for him, and there are character relationships (Gen. Naird and his daughter, Angela and Chan, among others) that you do start to care about and root for, but it’s all in danger of being overshadowed by the more ridiculous aspects of the plot. Also, I feel like they wasted Lisa Kudrow, which is a shame.

Would I watch a second season: Meh. I might, if nothing else is on, or if the trailer is extra promising, but I probably won’t bother.

 

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Airing on Hulu, this series, billed as “an occasionally true story,” reimagines the life of Russia’s Catherine the Great as a young woman coming into her power. While I was a little disappointed that so much of The Great was fabricated rather than actual history, it does tell a highly entertaining and intriguing story, and the cast really sells the satire. I must include a content warning with this one though, for basically everything.

Would I watch a second season: Yes, but I’m not sure if there’s going to be one. There’s certainly more to explore, but I feel like they hit the “goal” moment of the series in the finale, so they could also quit while they’re ahead.

 

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Airing on PBS as part of Masterpiece Theater, this six-episode series follows an English merchant as he sets up house in colonial India. The series has great visuals & production value, but it suffers from trying to be too mysterious for too many episodes, trying to pull more viewers in with the promise of juicy secrets to be revealed rather than unveiling and moving forward an interesting, if somewhat soapy, story. Once it gets past that, there are multiple compelling characters and plotlines to follow.

Would I watch a second season: Yes, but the original British network producing Beecham House passed on a second season, and there is no word that any other network is interested in producing, even after its US airing.

 

So, what shows have kept you entertained this summer? Any new ones worth checking out, or are there maybe some not-so-new that deserve our attention more? Let me know in the comments!

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