Tempting Television: Two New Hard-To-Resist Shows

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FOR THE FOLLOWING SHOWS

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They had me at Tom Hiddleston. When I first started seeing previews for this show during Walking Dead viewings, I knew I’d have to give it a shot. Hiddles has been one of my biggest celebrity crushes ever since my MARVEL crash course (“The Avengers”) when Loki became one of the best villains I’ve ever seen grace the silver screen. He’s incredibly charming, charismatic, and cuuuute.

More and more movie stars are recognizing television’s slow evolution as a great opportunity to dive more in-depth into a story and a character, giving themselves over the nuance and intricacy that a long-term commitment allows. Tom disappeared completely into his role of Jonathan Pine (who, in turn, disappeared completely into his role of Andrew Birch). Would I have enjoyed the show as much had a different actor played the part? Probably not.

The Night Manager mini-series—six episodes—was layer upon layer of mystery and deceit. However, I think it lost its footing while establishing too much of a backstory and not enough of a climax. Richard Roper, played with enigmatic ambiguity by Hugh Laurie, was described as being “the worst man in the world” and I think the hype made the reality fall incredibly flat. He never seemed particularly dangerous. He just watched bad things happen and had other people do his dirty work. What real threat did he pose, in the grand scheme of things? And his ultimate downfall seemed far too convenient and, despite some impressive fireballs, not nearly explosive enough. The victory somehow just didn’t taste as sweet as the characters made it out to be. (Or maybe I’ve just become far too critical of TV shows lately.)

I’d still recommend it, particularly for anyone who is a fan of either of the leads or enjoys a good spy story. This series aired exclusively on AMC Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. from April 19 to May 24. You can catch up on AMC.com. Continue reading

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