It’s hard to define exactly what Babylon (Sundance six-part series) is. It’s not a comedy, exactly, and it’s only occasionally a parody or a lampoon. At least half the time it’s dead serious. The main character is a female American PR wonk who’s hired to run the publicity and communications branch of Scotland Yard. She reports directly to the commissioner, who is a smart but difficult-to-read man whose vocabulary has introduced me to a gamut of British insults. Liv’s second-in-command thought he was getting the job, so he’s out to sabotage her at every turn. On the other side of the coin, there are the cops in the streets, some of whom are very good at their jobs and some of whom are utter buffoons. There’s also an armed response cop with PTSD, and a videographer who is capturing the best and the worst of the cops. I suspect its depiction of both the daily lives of average coppers and the high-level attempts to spin everything is more accurate than most crime dramas. But there’s also a high snark level. We’re three episodes in, and I’m enjoying it.
I finished the first season of Californication while on the exercise machine this morning. For the definition of cognitive dissonance, try alternating episodes of that show with The X-files. I totally did not expect what happened in the final minutes of the twelfth episode. It will be very interesting to see where they go from here. I happen to think that Hank Moody would be a cool guy to hang out with at Necon.
I also finished season four of Homeland this week. The final episode was a bit tepid after everything else that happened, but it was a very dramatic and interesting season. There were moments when I almost couldn’t watch any more because what was happening—or about to happen—was so intense. I also get very antsy when Carrie goes off her meds.
One episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show left to go. The aspect that gave the show such an edge early on—the fact that it would reset at the start of the next season so anyone could die—has become a liability. Deaths don’t really have that much impact any more, especially as they come fast and furious and often without a great deal of motivation. This season seems to have gone on forever. About four episodes too long, in my estimation. Not that anyone asked.
But, hey, Justified is back next week, so there’s that. And I see that the second season of the excellent (and short) British crime drama The Fall, with Gillian Anderson, is now out on Netflix.