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This Week: It's Always Star Trek With Me

What are you all watching this week?

Of course, I'm preoccupied with Star Trek: Picard. (Posting my review soon!) It's always Star Trek with me. But I've also been totally binge-immersed in Outer Banks. I mean, I tried a couple of episodes and before I knew it, I had blitzed through the first two seasons.

Outer Banks (on Netflix) is about five teenage friends who live on an island in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Against a backdrop of ocean, sand and hanging moss, there's a famous sunken treasure, tropical storms, rich residents in mansions ("Kooks") versus impoverished townies in shacks ("Pogues"), mysteries, murders, and even Elizabeth Mitchell as a villain.

The five young leads are charismatic and talented, and their parents come in three flavors: A. dead, B. evil to the max, and C. obstructing everything because they just don't understand. The action is so nonstop that at one point, all I could think of is how much the tee shirt John B. had worn for days must smell to high heaven. I thought they'd thrown every single bit of workable plot they could into the story, and then they came up with more.

I haven't hit the third season yet so there's still a chance Outer Banks will let me down, but so far – total escapist popcorn viewing. Enjoying it.

Adam D. Jones: Elizabeth Mitchell is always worth the price of admission. I'm in.

We've been watching another old show, and I'm curious who's heard of it. Does this ring any bells?

Baby M: My wife and I discovered Three Pines, which is an Agatha Christie-esque mystery series set in town in Quebec that’s a darker and edgier version of Cicely, Alaska. It’s extremely well done.

Victoria Grossack: In addition to Manifest, which I am reviewing, Brooklyn Nine-Nine appeared on my location's version of Netflix. I clicked on it because I just wanted something silly, and silly it is. However, some bits were better than I expected, I think because it was made by some of the same people who worked on The Good Place, one of my favorite shows. Both shows use many of the same actors for recurring roles, and in each show, yoghurt is featured.

Although it's mostly just an over-the-top comic police show, there are at least two times it deals with more serious issues. "Moo Moo" is an excellent episode when one of the black cops is taken in by a bad white cop. However, in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, Brooklyn Nine-Nine stumbles, especially in the episode "The Good Ones." With those issues so impossible to ignore, it's hard for the show to be funny in its last season (but I am not quite done with the last season).

Adam D. Jones: I remember a joke in Brooklyn Nine-Nine about a cop stepping on a guy's throat. That joke didn't age so well. But the show obviously is on the right side of things, even if it bumps up against the real world in awkward ways. I had the same lack of enthusiasm going into it, but it won me over too.

Sunbunny: I think it benefits from opening with the serious concession that PDs are often exclusive of people of certain races, of certain sexualities, with certain backgrounds, etc. It has some really good single episodes. The Halloween Heists are always amazing and “The Box” is one of the best standalone television episodes of all time.

Billie Doux: Addendum to my Outer Banks mention – Elizabeth Mitchell is only in season two and is sadly underutilized. She should at least have been one of the evil parents. Still enjoying the show, though.

Mikey Heinrich: So, I finished Legion, which was amazing and had a completely perfect conclusion (although the entire third season could have used more Jean Smart. Does anybody know why she was sidelined? To be fair, every show could benefit from more Jean Smart. Well... maybe not Euphoria. I'd like to retain some mystery there.) I'm now on to season two of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, having devoured season one in about two days. Why did no one tell me that Tony Shaloub and Kevin Pollak were in this??

In other news, I've been loving Poker Face, and have really enjoyed Shrinking on Apple+. Harrison Ford doesn't get enough credit for his comedy chops.

Adam D. Jones: I'm guessing no one recognizes Due South. Way, way back in the good ol' 90s, TV shows experimented with magic realism. In this case, the main character (an over the top mountie stuck in dreary Chicago) occasionally sees his dead father, appearing as a confused but generally happy ghost. It makes no sense. They never try to make sense of it. It's just...there. Once in a while. That little extra flavor made Due South a unique experience. And the actor playing his dead father was downright hilarious. A masterclass in acting.

Also, Due South gave us Leslie Nielsen in a recurring dramatic role. His first appearance is downright depressing. It's easy to forget that Neilsen was a talented actor and not just a deadpan jokester.

The show performed terribly in the ratings and received a dwindling budget as a result. But it's a special gem to me.

Billie Doux: Mark did a series review of Due South a couple of years ago, but I never got around to watching it. I've heard good things about it, though.

Mikey Heinrich: For many years I was a tour guide during the month of October for a ghosts and graves tour in St. Paul, MN. Because you had to be a spooky character, and because the only costume I had on hand was a Canadian Mountie, I gave the tour as 'Deadly Do-Right, spirit of Canadian Vengeance.' It was startling how many people mentioned Due South to me. Can confirm that it's definitely fondly remembered.

For the older generations, the comparison was Nelson Eddie.

I miss that gig. It was a great opportunity to indulge myself with references to Letterkenny.

Billie Doux: Star Trek: Discovery has been cancelled. And the fifth and final season won't air until 2024, leaving a two year gap between seasons, which is always bad for audiences.

What is going on here? I thought the Paramount Plus game plan was continuous airing of new Trek. Yes, we have the fabulous Strange New Worlds and the two animated series, but Star Trek: Picard is in its final season, too, and the Section 31 thing seems to be in permanent development limbo. I'm about as certain as I can be, given that it's just intuition, that they'll be doing something with Jeri Ryan's Seven – that is, if they're going to continue their all-the-time-Trek experiment. Could it be that they're not?

Mark Greig: I read that Paramount Plus is looking to make cuts to spending so likely there will be a reduction in Trek content. Strange New Worlds is probably safe since they've been using it as one of their main selling points. Not sure about Lower Decks and Prodigy as animation is expensive and neither is really hugely popular. I think there'll be at least one other live action series besides SNW and they're either waiting to announce it or still deciding what to go with. I would say there seems to be way more support behind a Seven/Raffi/Titan show than the Section 31 series.

Mikey Heinrich: If you believe TrekCulture, it's down to the merger of Paramount and Showtime which apparently is causing the need for budget cuts.

Shari: First, I loved Due South, Adam. A few years back I tried to find a place to either stream it or purchase it cheaply and couldn't find either. Did you solve that riddle?

As for Star Trek: Discovery, I'm sorry to hear that. My mom will be devastated. Out of all the recent Star Trek iterations, it's her favorite.

Other than The Flash, the only thing I've watched this week was Sarah Michelle Gellar's Wolf Pack. It was both darker and more nuanced than I was expecting. I plan to keep going.

Reading-wise, I recently began and immediately fell in love with Remarkably Bright Creatures. It's about the unlikely friendship between an octopus and the woman who cleans the aquarium where he is "held captive." Plus I just finished Grave Peril which is book three of the Dresden Files. A series of urban fantasy mysteries set in Chicago.

Adam D. Jones: I happen to own all of Due South on DVD. I bought it many years ago, making me (apparently) one of the few people who can even watch the show. Same goes for Northern Exposure, another 90s show that flirted with magic realism and featured cold, snowy locations. I should host viewings and charge admission.

Samantha M. Quinn: Wait, Wolf Pack is good? I heard it was absolutely terrible. I almost gave it a shot for SMG, but heard she was barely in it so I passed. Maybe I'll give it a shot.

I read a rumor that Jonathan Frakes pitched a "Next Generation" of The Next Generation, with several of the newer children of characters under Seven as a Captain. I think that would have legs, and could potentially take the place of both Discovery and Picard. It would also fulfill the present continuity in a satisfying way if we finally get further ship adventures not entirely focused on a singular overarching plot.

I remember watching Northern Exposure, but never saw Due South. I saw the first episode of Poker Face, and while very good I didn't really get into it. I probably need to give it a couple more episodes before deciding to continue or drop it. I'm deep into Manifest now, and I'm really looking forward to finishing up in time to watch the last group of episodes.

Mikey, Maisel is absolutely worth it. I just rewatched the first four seasons, and while Tony and Kevin's characters drive me nuts on occasion, the show wouldn't be the same without them. I'm waiting for an Alexis Bledel or Lauren Graham cameo, but I'll take what we've gotten so far. I cannot wait until April for the final season.

For those of you feeling the Marvel fatigue, the MCU has cut back on releases this year, dropping down to two shows (Secret Invasion and Loki season two) and three movies (Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantummania, Guardians Vol. 3 and The Marvels (Captain Marvel 2). The spread of releases is better too with Guardians not releasing until May and Marvels coming out in November.

Mikey Heinrich: I tried the first few episodes of Wolf Pack and had a hard time getting into it, for whatever it's worth.

I'm nearing the end of season two of Maisel. So much fun!

Shari: I’ve only seen the first episode of the Wolf Pack but it was better then I expected. It was good enough for me to keep going but I’m not ready to recommend it. I’ll let you know.

So what are you guys watching? Any opinions on Outer Banks, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Due South, Wolf Pack, the cancellation of Star Trek: Discovery?


  1. Been watching only Picard, the Last of Us and the Mandolorian. (And patiently awaiting reviews. 🙂

    Reading Lee Child’s Better Of Dead and the comic Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer Special.

    I watched Outer Banks a long time ago and haven’t felt motivated to begin a rewatch.

  2. Northern Exposure was filmed somewhat near me so I've always had a soft spot, and I remember enjoying Due South quite a lot when it aired. There was a bit of brouhaha when Northern Exposure started because they had promised an Alaskan town they'd film there... and then found out how expensive it would be and backed out of their deal.

  3. Billie, I haven't finished Outer Banks season 3 yet (at episode 8), but for now I must say I feel disappointed. It was a guilty pleasure before, now I don't know what to think...

  4. TJ, I concur. I wasn't that happy with Outer Banks season 3 and I'm not that excited for season 4. I am theorizing that they thought the series was going to end with 3. Oh, well.

    Nonei, it always makes a difference when you're near where something is filming. My years in Los Angeles were so enjoyable from a fangirl perspective.

  5. I remember Due South fondly. His father's ghost was played by the venerable Gordon Pinsent, who just recently passed away at 92. Gordon also starred in "Away from Her" with Julie Christie. He was extremely well known and loved here in Canada. Getting back to Due South, it is also remembered for its wonderful theme song. The actor who played the Mountie, Paul Gross, also starred in the show, Slings and Arrows, and the movie, Passchendaele. Love the shout out to Letterkenny, an absolutely fantastic show, and a brilliant combination of crude and smart... a strange combination, but on Letterkenny, it works. I've been watching Picard, and of course, love this season. Still remain obsessed with Interview with the Vampire and occasionally go back for rewatches.


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