Blood Drive (Syfy)

BloodDrive

Blood Drive (Syfy) – Premieres 14th June

B-Movie Grindhouse style goodness set in the post apocalyptic hellscape future of 1999 where to the masses, oil costs $2000 a barrel and food and water are rationed. But a select few are given the chance to escape their predicament by entering a road race where the winner gets $10mil.

The show follows a cop called Arthur, who unlike his colleagues would rather try and find out why a mysterious group of individuals are harvesting blood from the homeless, rather than kicking the crap out of them for trying to get extra water.

After managing to rope his partner into checking out the location given to them, Arthur discovers that it’s the hosting spot for a race where the competitors are tagged with a bomb that activates if they try to flee or come last in a race stage, and that the cars they are driving run on human blood.

He’s then discovered and given the option of either being fed to a car or to team up with Grace, a woman only racing to get the money to get her and her sister a better life. Choosing to race Arthur discover the background of the race organiser Slink, and vows to Grace to help her win so she gets the money and he can arrest Slink.

To top it off, Arthurs partner after escaping the initial discovery of the race, then ends up being duped to the point he has cyborgs wanting to harvest his blood.

The show plays off of the b-movie vibe it creates allowing it to be utterly ridiculous in places, having blood splatter last seen in Ash vs. Evil Dead, and perfecting the use of censorship blocks. It’s a programme that is definitely one for those that enjoyed the Planet Terror or Machete grindhouse films. 

It’s a good entertaining piece of trashy silliness.

6.7/10

Claws (TNT)

Claws

Claws (TNT) – Premieres 11th June

Comedy-drama that follows Desna, the owner of a nail salon, who has managed to get involved with the dixie mafia in laundering money for a neighbouring clinic.

After agreeing to launder the cash from the clinics oxy dealing for a year, Desna discovers that instead of getting the $20k that was promised, the head of the local dixie mafia gives her $3k and the revelation that she and her staff are no where near getting away from being used by them.

Realising the situation Desna decides to get herself further up the chain by taking out the guy that got them involved in the deal, who also happens to be the mafia bosses nephew.

The show has a faint similarity with Breaking Bad where the main character has got involved with some nefarious types in order to get cash together to help their family. But this is played out in a vastly lighter manner. For what it is it’s not too bad a watch.

5.3/10

Still Star-Crossed (ABC)

StillStarCrossed

Still Star-Crossed (ABC) – Premieres 29th May – Cancelled

A romantic drama that’s based on the book which answers the question that few have asked, what happened after the end of Romeo and Juliet? And it’s answered in the most confusing nonsensical way possible.

After going through the setup of the two families, the Montagues and the Capulets, being at war with each other and the whole Romeo and Juliet situation being played through. It then sets up the storyline where after the families continue their feud, the Prince of Verona passes down the royal decree to end the fighting where one of Juliets cousins Rosaline, is to marry one of Romeos cousins. Neither of which are thrilled by the proposition.

As Rosaline protests the plan with the Prince they end up getting together as Romeos cousin watches on, and a weird love triangle is formed. And a needlessly confusing and boring programme is born.

It is to Shakespeare what Reign was to the life and times of Mary Queen of Scots. It is really, really crap.

1.7/10

I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime)

ImDyingUpHere

I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime) – Premieres 4th June

A drama where a group of comedians in the early 70’s are trying to get out of the club circuit and get their chance to appear on national television.

It starts off when one of the group, Clay, gets to appear on the holy grail of Johnny Carson’s show, and after nailing his performance heads off to a hotel room to watch it on TV and then head out to commit suicide by walking in front of a bus.

News of his death filters back to the comedy club, and where after holding a wake they being to find out that the booking agent for Johnny Carson has been told to hold back from getting new acts on the show. At the same time two of Clays friends from Boston arrive in Hollywood to try and make it big in comedy unaware of his death, leaving them having to move in with one of the more dubious comedians in the club.

As the show follows the comedians trying to to work their way up the ladder it centres on Clays ex-girlfriend Cassie, who after being continually overlooked in performing on the main stage, due to the clubs owner thinking she’s not ready, manages to get a chance where she uses the recent experience to give her routine the focus it was previously lacking.

As a comedy drama it shares some similarities to The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, though with its darker outlook this is the more watchable of the two.

5.4/10

American Gods (Starz)

AmericanGods

American Gods (Starz) – Premieres 30th April

Fantasy drama that follows a Shadow Moon a conman that’s been released early from prison after the death of his wife who becomes involved in a war between the old and new Gods battling each other in America.

While on the way back to his hometown for her funeral Shadow meets Mr Wednesday, a man who can get the better of Shadows grifts, who offers him a job to be his bodyguard and driver. Shadow after rejecting Wednesdays offer heads off to drive back home but again meets Wednesday and his employee and leprechaun Mad Sweeney, where Wednesday informs Shadow that his friend died with his wife in the accident.

After losing a coin toss Shadow agrees to the job offer, and then is challenged by Sweeney to a fight forthe chance to win a gold coin. Shadow wins, before heading off to his wifes funeral.

On the way back from the graveyard Shadow finds an electronic device that allows him to converse with a shady young’un who’s intent on getting rid of Wednesday. Though when Shadow reveals he can’t and won’t help him, ends up being attacked by a mob and left to hang.

While this is based on the novel of the same name, if you haven’t read it then the first episode is more than a little confusing as nothing is really explained and it just comes across as completely weird, but watchable weird.

6.7/10

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

TheHandmaidsTale

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) – Premieres 26th April – Renewed

A drama that is set in a dystopian future, where after an environmental disaster that leads to only a small percentage of the female population being fertile.

During an escalation of subtle governmental changes, the US implements a theocracy, where the religious zealots in power strip women of all rights and leave the women that can carry children as concubines to the elite classes of the new society. While any women that lived their old pre-dictatorship life against the current religious teachings are sent to the toxic areas to work on the clean up condemning them to death.

It follows June who after failing to escape the US after the regime change with her husband and daughter, is condemned to become a concubine to a high ranking commander and his wife to bear them children. While there she finds out about a resistance forming and plots to find a way out so she can find her daughter, while making sure her actions aren’t discovered where if found guilty it would lead to her execution.

The show itself is one that uses it’s slow pace to maximise the bleak and suffocating feel to the proceedings, along with hearing the inner monologue of Jane adds to the desperation. Well worth a watch.

7.0/10

Famous In Love (Freeform)

FamousInLove

Famous In Love (Freeform) – Premieres 18th April

Romantic drama where after trying out at a casting call for a Hollywood blockbuster, college student Paige, manages to get herself the role as the female lead, thrusting her into the media spotlight.

During the audition process Paige and the lead Rainer begin to start relations leading to Paige ending up in love triangle. All the while Rainer is under suspicion for the disappearance of his former girlfriend and pop star Tangey.

It’s a pretty by-the-numbers teem drama that is reminiscent to The Arrangement.

3.7/10