HD Heads-Up: September 27-October 3

Overlooked in TVNZ’s trumpeting of its fast-tracking of new US superhero dramas this week was the belated debut of an older sci-fi series starring Kiwi Karl Urban.

TV2 has scheduled Almost Human, which was axed after only one season, as the third leg of a Sunday night fantasy triple feature that opens with Gotham at 8.30 and continues with Agents of SHIELD at 9.30, a demotion after ratings plummeted for the first season.

Almost Human is from the Fringe team of JJ Abrams and JH Wyman, and stars Urban as a LA cop who’s partnered with a robot in 2048.

The premise doesn’t sound flash but reviewers were mostly positive.

People magazine called it one of last season’s best shows and Entertainment Weekly thought it “a slick, polished formulation of familiar dystopian future tropes elevated by an unusual and central relationship, well played by Urban and co-star Michael Ealy”.

“It’s a fun show with enough entertainment to keep you coming back if future episodes are as good as the pilot,” The Hollywood Reporter said. “Here’s hoping they are, since broadcast television needs more science fiction.”

But Variety dismissed it as “just barely watchable — a grunged-up vision of a dystopian, crime-ridden future” while The Washington Post dubbed it “another dull example of the manufacturing of sci-fi factory goods with the (increasingly devalued) JJ Abrams label slapped on”.

Meanwhile, early reviews for Gotham give it a tentative thumbs-up: original and entertaining and gave enough hope that it can stand out as more than just ‘an origin story’ about Batman, sans Batman” (The Hollywood Reporter); does a great job of balancing the worlds of modern, mature comic books and the police procedural” (New York Post); “the strong cast could make this one fly” (Boston Globe).

Also new in HD for the week starting September 27 are the First Crossings sequel, Intrepid NZ (TV One, 8.35 Wednesday), Don’t Look Down, a documentary about today’s daredevils — “urban free climbers” (TV One, 9.35 Wednesday), and season two of Devious Maids (TV2, 9.30 Wednesday) while ending its run is Gotham star Ben McKenzie’s Southland (TV One, 10.55 Tuesday).

Coming attractions in HD include Brave (TV2, 6.35 Sunday), in a new family movie slot, Prometheus (TV3, 8.35 Sunday), Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Superhero Movie (TV2, 8.45 Saturday), Wrath of the Titans (TV2, 8.30 Thursday) and Forbidden Kingdom (TV2, 9.00 Friday).

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3 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: September 27-October 3”

  1. Gotham looks like the Batman version of Smallville, wonder if it will be around for 10 years? 🙂

  2. Ugh … Smallville was largely awful except for a handful of later episodes like the one with the Justice League.

  3. Thanks for the heads up on Agents and Gotham. I’d forgotten that they were coming so soon.

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