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New Shows: June 14 - 20, 2014

THIS WEEK: Jane Fonda -- Sinbad -- The Escape Artist -- The New Black -- Dominion

The New Shows color code: red means don’t bother; blue means maybe; green means good; magenta means great.

The 42nd AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to Jane Fonda (TNT)
An entertaining ninety minutes during which Hollywood celebrates one of its own. The show was well made, intercutting clips of Fonda’s movies with interviews with her and people with whom she’s worked. I enjoyed it. Watch this if you are a fan.

Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla (Comedy)
For once, a comedy special that was hilarious. Sinbad did a section on race and class that was as insightful as it was funny and a section on parenting that had me wiping away tears. This one’s a treat. Try to catch it.

After Shock: Tara Conner (E!)
Autopsy: The Last Hours of… (Reelz)
Boyster (Disney XD)
Devil in the Details (Investigation Discovery)
United Stuff of America (H2)

The Escape Artist (PBS)
David Tennant plays a barrister whose life is forever altered by the actions of one of his clients. Tennant’s performance is exceptional. He manages to find depths in what could have been a fairly run-of-the-mill character and makes us care for this man almost immediately. The story itself, while not overly original, provided enough suspense that I was completely engrossed. If you like legal thrillers, don’t miss this one.

The New Black (PBS)
An extremely interesting documentary about the issue of same sex marriage in the African-American churches. I went into this film with my mind made up. How could a people who have been so oppressed turn around and oppress others? While my mind didn’t change, I did get some food for thought. Watch this with an open mind; you may see another side to the issue.

Extreme RVs (Travel)
Inside Combat Rescue: The Last Stand (National Geographic)
My Daughter Must Live (Lifetime Movie Network)
Shark Girl (Smithsonian)


I Love the 2000s (VH1)


Dominion (Syfy)
Anthony Stewart Head is a get. He is charming, smooth as silk, and speaks with an accent that makes him instantly commanding. TPTB of this monstrosity, however, have him speak in an unbearable American accent. Add this travesty to the appalling acting and terrible writing and you have one of the worst pilots I have seen all year. My roommate and I watched this laughing and listing all the clich├ęs and movie ripoffs we saw. Awful stuff.

Funniest Wins (TBS)

The Pool Master (Animal Planet)

ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.


  1. Shame about Dominion. I still sort of want to watch at least the first episode to see Giles be American (so weird). The Escape Artist looks great. I'll have to check it out! :)

  2. Dominion was like a religious dystopia got lost in a gladiator movie. I was considering writing a review of the pilot. But then I watched it, and I could just feel the sarcasm welling up within me. Snark exploded all over my notes. That's never a good sign.

    I'll give them this: they thought through their world (or borrowed it whole from the movie it's based on, which I think was called Legion). There was exposition, exposition, exposition, which is the same word three times. They did something smart -- hire Anthony Head and Alan Dale -- but as Chris noted, my beloved Giles had an absolutely appalling American accent that made it sound like he was being dubbed. Alan Dale's American accent is a lot more convincing (he's had a lot of practice), but they didn't do anything interesting with his character. And then there was what they did with the "Chosen One"... maybe I'd better stop here before I spoil people.


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