Summer TV Roundup, Week 8


Happy Independence Day! It's time for our weekly gaze into new shows. Not too many this week, and none worth getting pumped about. In these weekly posts I look at the pilot and second episode of new scripted series of summer.

Sunday Nights:
Prime Suspect: Tennison, Sundays at 10 p.m. on PBS (Premiered June 25)
About: This series heads back to 1973 and follows a young Jane Tennison. The character was made famous by Helen Mirren, but this one doesn't have her, and likely is missing some intrigue and charm as a result. The first two airings were OK, but not as compelling as they could have been. For those who love Masterpiece Mystery, this will be a treat. For others, there are worse ways to spend Sunday nights until July 16.
Pilot Grade: C
Second Episode: C

Streaming Series:
Gypsy, Now Streaming on Netflix (Premiered June 30)
About: This is the latest series from Netflix, a psychological thriller starring Naomi Watts. Watts is a good actress (something she's proved in spades in even odd parts, like the one she plays in the new "Twin Peaks"), but this is not a good series. Many critics decried the series before it aired, and it only takes watching a couple episodes to see that it's nothing but oddities and cliches. I'm not sure why so many series want to explore the psychological damage that therapists carry around, but that would only be interesting if it was compelling. This isn't, despite Watts' talent.
Pilot Grade: D
Second Episode: D

Free Rein, Now Streaming on Netflix (Premiered June 23)
About: This new Netflix series is aimed at teens a young adults. It's about two American girls who come to stay in England for the summer with their mother and grandfather as their parents are enduring marital struggles. There, the oldest daughter gets connected to a horse training and rescue farm, and the adventure begins. This breezy series features 30-minute episodes that will likely appeal to teen and tween girls. Not so much for adults. Though it was nice to see Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram) living on again in a new series.
Pilot Grade: C
Second Episode: C

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