Just a few short notes about some of the shows I have been watching:
Pure Genius - This show is about an advanced medical facility that regularly comes up with miracle cures, usually without waiting for FDA approval. The center's founder is a young billionaire genius (but not a doctor) with a lot of heart, enthusiasm, and impatience. In a current ongoing story line he gives a patient an experimental drug that has not been approved by the FDA which leads to a lot of drama but I'm sitting there thinking, "What about all those other times you used treatments that were not approved by the FDA or the AMA or anyone because they were made up on the spot and it was apparently perfectly okay?" Three stars. Or maybe only two and half.
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Beyond is on Freeform, a network I had never heard of until I saw this advertised on another network and discovered to my surprise that we do get it. A young man wakes up after having been in a coma for 12 years. In addition to having to catch up on all the things he missed, like high school and learning to drive, he has to deal with some pretty weird stuff going on - people he's never met who apparently know him and some strange powers. Not bad but not great. Three stars.
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Emerald City (NBC) - As you might guess from the title, this is a re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz but it has very little in common with the original. A rather fun show with entertaining characters but the story is a bit confusing so far. Still, I'm going to give it four stars because it's imaginative and, overall, well done.
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Gotham - You really need to be watching this show! Everything about it is brilliant! The writing, the acting, the set design. For those who haven't heard of it, it's a Batman prequel. Bruce Wayne is about 13 or 14, I think, in the first season. Penguin is one of the few villains who is already known by his Batman villain name. Brilliantly portrayed by Robin Lord Taylor, he is now my favorite Penguin ever! There's really just no way I can convey to you how entertaining this guy is. Edward Nygma is just a shy guy with issues - issues that come out more and more as the show progresses. And he who will someday be The Joker has only recently made an appearance. Morena Baccarin, of Firefly fame, has a role as a medical examiner.
Interestingly, Gotham has a 30s/40s noir ambiance but mixes both old and new elements. We see both cell phones (flip phones only, no smart phones) and rotary dial desk phones. Cars are not really "vintage" but I haven't noticed any current models either. Actually, to be honest I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to the cars. Anyway, the whole thing seems designed to make it impossible to tell what era it's in. I love this show. Five stars.
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The Expanse - Second season premiered this week. Based on the series of novels by James S.A. Corey, this is another excellent show. Most of the action takes place aboard space ships and space stations but I hesitate to call it "space opera" because of the associations that term has for some people. The portrayal of life in space is the best and most realistic I have ever seen. I am not a scientist or geeky enough to tell you if they got everything right but it looks very believable to me. Five stars.