This past weekend was prime time for new shows to launch. Here is the third batch of April’s premieres, all of which debuted during the past four days. For clarity, I have listed them in the order they originally aired. As a reminder, red means stop, blue (yellow being too difficult to read in my world) means proceed with caution, green means go.
Hemlock Grove (Netflix)
Once again, Netflix is bucking the norm and releasing thirteen episodes of a series all at once. Good thing they did for, if this were being released one episode at a time, it would die a quick death. Some good actors, but writing so bad they had nothing to work with. I couldn’t get through to the end of the first episode.
Call Me Crazy: A Five Film (Lifetime)
An unbelievable ensemble of actors and directors have joined forces to create five short films, each of which deals with mental illness. There is some connectivity, but it is mostly used to hold the film together. The stories not only dealt with those who suffer from mental illness, but the effect it can have on others around the sufferers. I didn’t feel as though the films added anything new to what is already generally known and the tone was too sad. I only watched pieces and came away feeling as though I needed a hug.
Martha and Mary (HBO)
A film starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn. They play mothers both of whom have lost their sons to malaria and who join forces to raise awareness of the disease. Written by the usually excellent Richard Curtis, the parts I saw of this did not impress me. The acting was, as you can imagine, superb, but the story appeared predictable and derivative. The first HBO new production in a long time that I did not add to my Netflix queue.
After All These Years (Hallmark)
Based on the novel by Susan Isaacs, the story begins as a direct copy of The Fugitive. A woman is wrongly accused of her husband’s murder and, when she becomes the primary suspect, she escapes from the law to hunt down the true killer. But, because this is Isaacs and the Hallmark channel, they had to add in an element of romance that was jarring and annoying. I finally couldn’t take it any more and turned the movie off.
Spoiled Rotten Pets (National Geographic Wild)
As anyone who regularly reads our posts knows, many of us are avid pet owners who adore the creatures with whom we share our life. This takes that adoration to a level that is frightening. One dog has greater than two hundred (200!) dresses and another woman tongue kisses her cat. I’m sorry, but where do they find these people?
Raising Whitley (OWN)
We all know that it takes a village to raise a child. This show takes that concept to a whole new level. Kym Whitley has adopted a child, Joshua, who is being raised by Whitley and her extended circle of friends. In a few years, some mental health professional is going to make a fortune on this kid.
All the President’s Men Revisited (Discovery)
This is a good introduction to Watergate. I liked it because I am fascinated by Watergate, but if you know the story, you won’t learn anything new. Worth a watch just to see Bradlee, Bernstein and Woodward in a room together again. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, who played in Woodward and Bernstein in the movie (that I cannot recommend highly enough) also play a part.
Dog and Beth: On the Hunt (CMT)
The sequel to Dog the Bounty Hunter. This time, they are flying all over the United States to help other bounty hunters become more efficient. Exactly what you would expect, language and all.
Lovestruck: The Musical (ABC Family)
Weird, very weird. A choreographer who tries to stop her daughter from marrying a prince by showing her that singing and dancing is the only way to live. On the way to stop the wedding, she drinks a magic potion and becomes three decades younger. The story is absurd; the singing and dancing is mildly entertaining, but not enough.
A family who run a shooting range in Kentucky. A more unpleasant group of people it is difficult to imagine. Unwatchable.
I’m Married to a… (VH1)
Honestly! In the pilot, we see a sexologist who wants to become a surrogate sex partner and a cross-dresser, both of whom are supported by their partners. How lovely for them. Not so much for us.
Remember Sunday (ABC)
A young woman falls in love with a man who has no short term memory. It is a story that has been done many times before, but this brings it to a new level of schmaltz. A standard Hallmark Hall of Fame movie with the predictable storyline and ending. An easy movie to watch, but it won’t stick with you for long.
The Bletchley Circle (PBS)
A group of women, code breakers at Bletchley Park during the war, reunite years later to solve the case of a serial killer terrorizing London. Another wonderful series from PBS. I was hooked from the first three minutes and can’t wait for next week’s episode. If you like mysteries, puzzles or both, don’t miss this one.
Ice Cold Gold (Animal Planet)
Thanks to global warming, parts of Greenland that have historically been covered in snow and ice, are now exposed. Within these rocks, according to the guys on this reality series, are gems and gold. Good luck to them. Their adventures are too boring to watch.
What Would Ryan Lochte Do? (E!)
A reality series that follows the swimmer as he trains for the 2016 Olympics, hangs out with his family and strikes out with women. I couldn’t care less what he would do and what I saw of this show didn’t change my mind.
An Apology to Elephants (HBO)
A short documentary about how humans have exploited these beautiful animals over the years and what we need to do to protect them. I love elephants and have seen them in the wild; it’s a sight you never forget. The parts of this documentary I was able to watch moved me.
A man who has spent 19 years on death row is released because of DNA evidence. This film is about his re-adjustment to life with his family on the outside. The first episode is really something. The story takes its time, but about ten minutes in I was completely hooked. Filled with wonderfully drawn characters and a mystery that is already intriguing as hell, I am looking forward to seeing where this story is going to go.