THE FLASH (season 5)
I’ll be honest – season 4 of The Flash felt a whole lot like treading water, with a plot that could have been done in half the allotted number of episodes.
The Thinker (Neil Sandilands) was annoyingly evil if that makes sense; more prone to posturing than actually doing, glacial in the execution of his plan (one that revolved around taking over the bodies of countless other Meta Humans) and Negan-like in his one-note, one trick pony persona.
Colour me bored and disinterested and honestly relieved when everything finally got resolved.
What kept me hanging in there was the fact that the writing of the main characters from Barry Allen aka The Flash (Grant Gustin) to Iris West (Candice Patton) and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) has been so universally relatable, bizarrely odd though their lives may be and narratively-convenient their arcs, that I have come to really like them.
I mean, really like them – they actually feel like the family they’re meant to be and I like spending time with them. Sure they can’t be insufferable, or irritating or make really bad decisions, but just like your real family (well, mine anyway), you forgive, forget, move on and keep loving them come what may.
So I’m excited about season 5, and hope that they have a whole lotta fun with the sudden appearance of Barry and Iris’s daughter … from the future! Oh, and there’s a man “hiding in the shadows” – here’s hoping he’s more exciting to watch than The Thinker … AND a new variant of Wells — what will we get this time?
So here’s the cast talking all about what we can expect from season 5, which kicks off its 22 episode-run on 9 October on CW.
OUTLANDER (season 4)
I have always loved grand sweeping epics, no matter the genre, and I am sucker for “wuv, twu wuv” of any stripe, so it makes perfect sense that I’d fall, and fall hard, for Outlander, a Starz series based on the books of Diana Gabaldon.
What helps keep me glued to each season, which typically arrive after an inter-season gap charmingly called a “Droughtlander”, is how well-written the show, how they take an outlandish, potentially mawkish premise, and make it feel real and relatable.
That’s quite a feat when the heroine of the piece, Claire Beauchamp Randall/Fraser (Caitriona Balfe), is dashing between the 20th and 18th centuries via stone circles in the Scottish countryside, falling in love with the ruggedly handsome and muscular, swoon-worthy 18th century Highlander lord James “Jamie” MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and bearing him a child who she raises … back in the 20th century.
It’s an over-the-top concept but it works, and works brilliantly well, thanks to the strength of Gabaldon’s writing, rich, well-wrought characters and some real emotional stakes that make sense no matter the time period or situation.
Season 4 sees our intrepid couple in the Americas, in the early days of the colonial period where, no doubt, things will go wrongs, things will go right, and there will be high stakes, drama and surprises!
What are they? Find out at Hollywood Reporter, he says, carefully dodging spoilers, and eager to see how Claire and Jamie dodge temporal issues aplenty in amongst the grim realities of 18th century life and love.
Any time people venture into the unknown, there is a cost. The First tells the stories of those that would venture there. Set in the near future (2030), this groundbreaking story explores the challenges of taking the first steps towards Mars. Viewers will get an intimate look at the dedicated characters trying to reach the unknown while dealing with the psychological and physical toll it takes to achieve the impossible. (synopsis (c) Coming Soon)
You have to hand it to those adventurous souls who are the very first to do anything.
While there is, of course, preparation leading up to their first bold steps for humanity, there’s still a huge amount of faith and a sizable sum of self-belief powering them along paths that no one has gone down before.
It’s gusty, it’s brave and comes with as many risks as rewards … and yet still they go, an admirable step into a great beyond that should be saluted.
The First, about the initial colonisation of Mars is, as you might expect, fit to bursting with these types of people, and while reviewers like EW feel they don’t always get the tone right, it sounds like it’ll be worth watching just to get a glimpse of the kind of spirit that leaves everything known and loved behind and sets off to fields anew and unexplored.
The First is currently streaming all eight episodes on Hulu.