Bureau’s Breakroom’s Television Table – Week beginning 2020 February 9

This week features many lovely episodes, as it encompasses 💕Valentines Day💗!  Life is a dream for The Doctor, while the Midwives deal with outdated (even then) birthing practices.  Here my Domestic Continent, The Flash has to deal with an old enemy, but not Cupid for some reason, while the Legends end up in an 80s slasher flick, and Black Lightning chases down his Valentine.  The Good Doctor deals with the horrible specter of social media, and the Riverdale “teens” come to terms with the fact that this is season four and they can’t really pretend to be in highschool after this season.  Jean Luc Picard gets directed by Number One (Johnathan Frakes, not his dog.)

[All synopses (and titles) from Trakt.tv below the cut, except when there really aren’t any.  (If a show’s synopsis is a spoiler to you, do not click More…)]

Doctor Who (2005) – S12E07 – Can You Hear Me? – From ancient Syria to present day Sheffield, and out into the wilds of space, something is stalking the Doctor and infecting people’s nightmares.

Call the Midwife – S09E06 – Episode 6 – At the Turners, Shelagh receives a phone call from the Hong Kong adoption agency, which has the alarming news that someone from May’s past has arrived in the UK and wants to see the little girl. Meanwhile, Valerie’s cousin Maureen is heavily pregnant and hoping her baby will be born on Thursday, the same date as her father and grandfather. However, her due date isn’t so soon and keen to bring on the birth, Maureen takes a big risk by secretly taking castor oil – with potentially disastrous consequences.

Black Lightning – S03E13 – The Book of Markovia: Chapter Four – Black Lightning and his team descend upon Markovia on a mission to rescue Lynn who finds herself in even more trouble when she meets Gravedigger, a metahuman on the Markovian side.

Good Doctor – S03E14 – Influence – After Dr. Shaun Murphy treats a patient who is a social influencer, he deals with unwanted attention. Meanwhile, the team treats a woman who is in abdominal distress after an at-home fecal transplant; and Dr. Carly Lever’s efforts to separate Shaun from Lea are challenged.

The Flash – S06E11 – Love Is a Battlefield – Barry and Iris plan a romantic dinner for Valentine’s Day but their evening is interrupted by an old foe – Amunet. Meanwhile, Frost gets into the holiday spirit and attempts to help Allegra reconnect with an old love.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – S05E04 – Slay Anything – Sara, Rory and Ava crash a high school reunion to attempt to stop a serial killer from finishing unfinished business; Constantine is annoyed that Charlie has been squatting in his old home.

Riverdale – S04E13 – Chapter Seventy: The Ides of March – Worried about what the future may hold for him after high school, Archie seeks advice from an unlikely source — Hiram Lodge. Meanwhile, Veronica begins to spiral after learning some devastating news about someone close to her. Finally, accusations made against Jughead leaves his future at Stonewall Prep hanging in the balance.

Star Trek: Picard – S01E04 – Absolute Candor – [No description given.]

9 replies on “Bureau’s Breakroom’s Television Table – Week beginning 2020 February 9”

  1. Do we need a place to discuss Picard, or will we do it here? There won’t be another review for another week, so we can see where the story arc is going.

    Especially since this week’s ep….. moved…. at…. such…. a ….. slow….. pace. But we’ve got Picard’s new crew together, with the obligatory rogue pilot who seems like he’s trying to be a Solo flyer.

    • I try to use this as the place to discuss anything that we don’t have it’s own show post, so yeah, this is where I will come to throw out pithy comments or to say what impresses me.

    • As Lex says – fine with here in the absense of a specific review (maybe indicate on the post which episodes will get a specific review during the week to ensure our pithy comments are in the best place?), and yes, agree that the episode was slow. It did push the arc on though, and hopefully now we have a ship, crew, and the inevitable “Engage!” things will pick up a bit.

      • I’m definitely doing a review next week, and then I might stick with the “every two weeks’ formula, since it allows us to consider more of the story. This is always a problem with discussing and evaluating arc-driven series.

  2. The Doctor was preachy again, this time about mental health issues. That said, I really thought it was good, both as an episode and as a PSA.

    I was suggesting to my wife that maybe someone at the BBC decided that they were the public’s television, the public should be getting more use from their property, alternatively, maybe the show was looking for some more budget and stole a bit of the PSA budget in exchange for doing more PSA stuff.

    • Yep, pretty sure I groaned out loud when the young woman from 14thC Aleppo mentioned her mental health in the intro, but at least it was a bit more restrained than previous “This PSA brought to you by the Timelords of Gallifrey” episodes this season, Orphan 55 in particular. Not a great episode, IMHO, but definitely acceptable both as a Who story and as a PSA (the BBC also gave some contacts for mental health advice alongside the closing credits in the UK).

      On the subject of Orphan 55, that *was* a Dreg we saw a brief, almost subliminal, flash of near the end, yes? I’m assuming that was there for a reason and am now wondering if that episode might not be as standalone as it first seemed and maybe has some bearing on the overall season arc.

    • The fact that we are even DISCUSSING whether TV shows should be PSAs is insane.

      PSAs are and have always been cringe inducing stuff. Everyone remembers how stilted and lame they have always been, from this is your brain on drugs, to the more you know, to the Indian shedding the tear about littering, to “only you can prevent forest fires”. They can be effective and compelling and get their point across but they are always a bit tacky and always “on the nose”. They’re PSAs after all, they have 30 to 60 seconds to get their message across. But to use Dr. Who as a PSA is 50 minutes of that clubbed over the head cringey on the nose stuff. And that is not entertainment. Sure entertainment can have a message and can move you. But if the way they’re doing that reminds you of PSAs then the people creating the entertainment are, sorry to say, skill-less hacks.

      • I haven’t seen this ep yet, which is why I haven’t reviewed it. I was visiting friends in Detroit on the weekend. But it wouldn’t be the first time entertainment crossed that line from “topical theme” to PSA. In the 1980s, several shows allowed War on Drugs messages/script tampering in place of anti-drug PSAs that would have taken up valuable commercial space. I can’t say it improved those shows any.

        My take– who knows the actual story?– is that the Who writers just can’t consistently strike that balance that distinguishes writing a “message” episode and writing agitprop.

  3. Wayne Brady was epic, and I loved him as a badass. Now I want to see him play some other hero, preferably a Marvel one because I am a fanboy. He’d make a good Blue Marvel, though I talked myself out of that when I realized Idris Elba would be better. After going through a list of Avengers, I decided I wanted to see Wayne Brady as Beast with Nathan Fillion as Simon “Wonderman” Williams as a background bromance taking place in the future Avengers movies.

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