Timeless is a sci-fi show about a historian, a soldier and a software developer travelling in a time machine trying to protect the timeline from a former colleague with another time machine who goes on a rampage through time seeking revenge against a secret world order society named Rittenhouse. It sounds far fetched, but as the show progresses through to Season 2, enough character development and plot lines are developed, mixed with lots of quantum leap style historical locations and dilemmas, to make the show very compelling.
I was late to the party with Timeless, which meant I could binge-watch the 2 seasons and wait nervously for the news of renewal. Sadly the renewal never came but thanks to a massive online fan movement, a two-hour finale was commissioned to finish the show. The finale was aired last week, which I haven't watched yet, but given the finite nature of it, I'm looking forward to a well rounded ending without a cliffhanger in sight, perhaps that's wishful thinking!
Daredevil Season 3
Daredevil season 3 returned to Netflix in the aftermath of Matt Murdoch's apparent death during the finale of Defenders. Given the defeat of The Hand during that finale, the villainscape was left wanting and ripe for some brand new evil. Lucky for us, Kingpin was waiting on hold in prison, ready to be activated. The season was a back to basics season for me and felt much more like an original hero villain comic book story adapted for the somewhat high production small screen, what Netflix have done so well over the past few years. As the season progressed, not only were we treated to the inevitable Daredevil Vs Kingpin culmination, but the show expertly introduced many new high-profile secondary characters such as FBI agent Nadeem and infamous agent Poindexter aka Bullseye.
The first two seasons of Daredevil included some amazing fight sequences as well as spectacular one-shots and season 3 continues to deliver. The Bullseye dressed as Daredevil against Daredevil fight scene in the offices of the paper was top-notch and included plenty of cliché Bullseye attack moves realised in a modern context. For me though, the scene of the season is the one-shot sequence set during the prison riot as the camera follows Matt's escape from the prison. Sadly, Daredevil has joined its Netflix contemporaries Iron Fist and Luke Cage in being cancelled by Netflix, but as a 3 season run, I think it introduced and re-ignited the character into the zeitgeist.
She-Ra and The Princesses of Power
In the later-half of 2018, Netflix released its She-Ra reboot, this time with added Princesses and, for want of a better or more fun description, girl power! The new series reimagines the origins of She-Ra with light-hearted pre-teen humour mixed with mature themes of friendship, power, revenge and war. The animation is top notch and the development of the extended character roster is paced and well executed. The show isn't as heavy or enthralling as Voltron, but is perfect for some easy short episode watching with a sprinkling of 80's nostalgia and plenty of mould-breaking female empowerment.
In a complete u-turn in tone from She-Ra, this year I discovered Netflix's Big Mouth. The very adult orientation animated drama follows a group of mid-pubescent teens dealing with their newly found raging hormones, represented as hormone monster characters, from all sides of the gender divides. This show is really excellent and manages to deal with very complicated and divisive taboos with lashings of comic relief and cringe-humour, and sometimes songs and catch-phrases. You de'man Steve.
The BBC released a big budget blockbuster series this year called Bodyguard. The show introduces the barely recognisable Rob Stark (Richard Madden) as PC David Budd, going about his life bringing his kids back for the weekend on the train when he all of a sudden has to talk down a middle-eastern suicide bomber with vest in place. If that was not traumatic enough for poor Budd, his bravery is rewarded with a new protection detail, protecting the controversial Home secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes). Spoiler alert, unable to resist each other, a secret affair between the two ends quiet badly with the home secretary being blown up on Budd's watch. Add in some security services mystery meddling, an attempted political coup, a gangland criminal organisation, internal police corruption, a failed marriage and some by the book detectives that smell a rat, mix them all together with very generous portions of plotline clichés and character tropes, sprinkle with excellent character actors and serve with an old-school week by week suspenseful release timeline and you get a thrilling show ready to watch. Joking aside, this is an enjoyable show and by the end you are rooting for poor old Budd, as long as you can turn a blind eye to some of the plot holes and slight western propaganda.
Lost In Space
Netflix hit a home run in the reboot leagues this year with Lost In Space. The sci-fi classic is expertly re-imagined, complete with a family of Robinson's to root for, a Dr. Smith that easily makes you want to throw something at the TV and a fantastic new Robinson's robot. Danger Will Robinson was never so relevant!
The Young Offenders
The Cork based dynamic duo Con & Jock return in a redevelopment of their movie in the Young Offenders TV show, produced for BBC and RTÉ. The mischievousness and innocence of the two lads that was ever-preset in the movie is fantastically transferred to the small screen. The expansion of the character roster while at the same time solidifying the roles of the existing supporting characters like Con's mother (Hilary Rose) makes for a vibrant storyline landscape, which the first season delivers with great Cork enthusiasm (with added Frank and Walters). The show was rewarded for its success with the commissioning of a Christmas Special this year too.