SoHo Series Segue Into Second Seasons

Fans of Bates Motel and Utopia can look forward to their second seasons screening back-to-back with their first.

Season two of Utopia will start on August 18 and of Bates Motel on August 21.

Utopia S2 went to air this month in  the UK, where The Telegraph says it “bravely began” with a standalone prequel episode set in the 1970s but still bearing writer Dennis Kelly’s trademark torture.

“Kelly’s taste for wincingly graphic torture scenes was still intact, although here he opted for more old-fashioned methods: pulling fingernails out with pliers.

“There were also shootings, a stabbing, a bathtub drowning and a deeply disturbing, vegetarian-unfriendly incident involving a drugged toddler and his pet rabbit …

“But judged purely as a piece of art, Utopia was rivetingly unsettling and rather superb.”

The Mail thought the opposite: “The obvious response is to ignore Utopia, the malicious and obscene conspiracy drama that claims a Gestapo-style security service was running Britain in the Seventies and Eighties.

“As television, it is beneath contempt.”

Bates Motel, which has just been renewed for a third season, was largely well received for its second season, with the New York Times best summing up its strengths and weaknesses.

“There’s not a lot going on in Bates Motel — a couple of murder mysteries, the slowly evolving picture of Norman’s true nature — and there’s no guarantee that the show will be able to keep its delicate balance of humour and spookiness, without pushing Norma and Norman into caricature.

“For now, though, it’s inherited the Dexter mantle as the serial-killer show to watch.”

SoHo also will prepare fans of Boardwalk Empire for its fifth and final season in September by devoting a pop-up channel to the first four seasons next month, as it did with Game of Thrones and True Blood.

The twist with season five is it will be set seven years on from the fourth.

Also entering its final season is the US version of The Killing, which screens 9.30 Wednesday from August 6.

August also will be your first chance to see season four of Damages in HD, starting August 1. (It’s aired on TV One but only in SD.)

SoHo’s only new series in August is the Steven Soderbergh-directed The Knick, which is set in New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital at the turn of the 20th century.

It stars Clive Owen and screens 8.30 Thursday from August 14, less than a week after its US premiere (already it’s been renewed for a second season).

SoHo’s other August highlights include weeknight airings of The Sopranos from the beginning (the same month the complete series is released here on Blu-ray) and box set marathons of Orphan Black S2, Good Cop, Hell on Wheels S1-3 and Black Mirror S1-2.

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3 Responses to “SoHo Series Segue Into Second Seasons”

  1. Still no sign of other HBO series like Deadwood or Carnivale.

  2. I wouldn’t hold your breath for either. While Deadwood is an HBO property, in this part of the world Paramount Pictures owns the TV and DVD rights. And SoHo has so much new content and long-running, enduring classics like The Wire and The Sopranos that I doubt they would bother picking up two seasons of an obscure ’90s series, despite one as innovative, original and impressive as Carnivale.

  3. Looking forward to watching the 2nd series of Utopia and the final season of The Killing.

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