Get Shorty (EPIX)

GetShorty

Get Shorty (EPIX) – Premieres 13th August

Loosely based on the book that spawned the movie of the same name, this follows Miles a low level mobster who is questioning his career choice. Due to his profession he’s wife has left him which motivates Miles to try and get out of the gangster business so he can attempt to get his family back to together.

After being given a job to kill someone with a debt to the mob, Miles finds out that the person they’re after is a script writer who believes that they written a modern classic. So when Miles’ associated kills the guy, Miles takes the script and tries to formulate a plan to become a producer to turn the script into a film.

As he meets up with failing film producer Rick who tells him that he doesn’t have the cash to make the film, Miles decides to take the idea to his boss  offering the film as a way for them to launder their money.

While not an out-and-out comedy it’s a solid opening episode and worth a watch.

6.4/10

Atypical (Netflix)

Atypical

Atypical (Netflix)

A comedy that focuses Sam, an 18 year old who has autism, a deep love for penguins and a doubt that he’ll ever get a girlfriend. After his therapist informs him that other people who have autism manage to have relationships, this encourages him to try and get a date.

When he reveals that he is planning to start dating, he’s sister and workmate try to give him advice on how to impress women along with Sam doing internet research on the subject. All the while Sam voiceovers how he processes the information and how his autism makes him do the things he does.

While this is going on Sams mother begins to question her role now that he is beginning to become more independent leading to her flirting with barstaff and generally being disillusioned with her future.

For a comedy it’s a more subtle take on some with a disability than something like Speechless, where the main humour comes from how Sam takes the advice he receives literally or how what he considers normal is interpreted by everyone else. The one thing that doesn’t really fit into it is storyline with the mother, which sort of jars against the rest of the show.

4.3/10

Mr. Mercedes (Audience Network)

MrMercedes.jpg

Mr. Mercedes (Audience Network) – Premieres 9th August

Two years after the unsolved mass killing outside of a Job Fair, the recently retired detective Bill Hodges is settling into the lifestyle of alcoholism and depression. All the while scaring the local kids playing hockey and resisting the advances of the widow living next door.

This is all brought to a head when Bill receives an email that’s from the murderer taunting his current state and challenging him to finished the job he started and to catch him. This leads Bill into start looking into the case where he finds that the killer has left additional videos taunting him over the internet,  showing off that he has been recently surveilling him.

It’s a slow burning opener but covers Bills backstory as well as revealing the unique lifestyle choices of the killer without getting bogged down. It’s a nicely watchable start.

7.1/10

The Sinner (USA)

TheSinner

The Sinner (USA) – Premieres 2nd August

A mystery thriller centered on Cora, a married mother of one, who during a family trip to the beach performs an unprovoked attack where she stabs and kills a fellow beach goer.

As Cora instantly pleads guilty to what she did, the detective working on the case is perturbed that there’s no motive behind the attack. So as he begins to look into what happened he starts to find that what happened has more links to Coras past than what was originally thought.

The show is a slow burner, but drip feeds enough to keep the story going without ruining the mystery of it all. It’s a decent bit of viewing.

6.6/10

Manhunt: Unabomber (Discovery)

ManhuntUnabomber

Manhunt: Unabomber (Discovery) – Premieres 1st August

Drama based on the FBIs hunt and capture of the Unabomber in the mid-90s, where it follows freshly graduated criminal profiler Jim Fitzgerald who is recruited by the task force to produce the definitive profile of the Unabomber to help with his capture.

After a spate of bombings after a 6 year break, the FBI team are no nearer in finding who is behind them and Fitzgerald discovers that the current profile they are working from is almost incorrect in every aspect. After creating a new report the team leaders instantly disregard the insights until Fitzgerald is proved correct as the Unabomber releases his manifesto.

The show splits between the FBI hunt, and fast forwards a couple of years to just before the trial, where the Unabomber requests a meeting with Fitzgerald who has since lived a reclusive life since solving the case.

For an opening episode it sets everything up nicely, and is well worth a watch.

6.7/10

21 Thunder (CBC)

21Thunder

21 Thunder (CBC) – Premieres 31st July

A sports drama that follows the under-21 team of the Montreal Thunder, that appears to be written by someone with minimal knowledge of football and who has just watched an episode of Dream Team.

After pushing through a signing of an Ivory Coast striker, the under-21 manager who appears to have more control over the team transfer policy than most first team bosses, is given the news that not only has the team signed a problematic Scottish player/coach who is on more money than him. They have also hired the leagues first female coach that the owner describes as a “PR squirtfest”.

Along with the coaching staff shenanigans their star striker is involved in some gangland mishaps leading him to be blackmailed into doing some shady dealings. It’s all pretty ludicrous stuff that barely makes any sense.

It’s a very silly bit of TV that’s somehow sort of watchable in shambolic manner.

4.6/10

Room 104 (HBO)

Room104

Room 104 (HBO) – Premieres 28th July

A anthology series tells the story of the occupants who have all stayed in the same room of a hotel. The stories themselves while ranging from horror to black comedy are all contained within the room and generally have a last minute twist to them.

For a 30 minute show it can feel a bit condensed and rushed as it fits everything within the short timeframe, though it is more than watchable.

5.8/10