A Sherwood update (and more telly stuff)

Having now watched the fourth episode (of six?) of Sherwood, I return to say that it becomes less impressive as each hour passes. The fourth was particularly poor, I thought, and showed all the signs of that dreaded mid-season dip that besets so many otherwise good shows, from Star Trek Discovery to Game of Thrones.

In the case of Sherwood the dip manifests itself as a kind of treadmill of unexpected new characters and unlikely scenes, viz:

  • Half a million Met officers arrive (sleeping like refugees on campbeds in some vast hangar?) to sweep the forest, but there is precious little evidence of them in the actual forest.
  • Meanwhile, two campers (?) walkers (?) seem to lack all awareness there’s a murderer in the woods. Even if we accept they are there in the first place, why would they walk off leaving food in the skillet and a mobile phone in an (open) tent?
  • At least two previously unheard of characters appear in order to deliver convenient (and clumsily executed) speeches.
  • Matriarch of crime family with no school-age children is a school governor.

So it goes. As I said: a treadmill. Because although there are many convenient arrivals, coincidences, and expositionary speeches, the plot doesn’t really move forward. It’s the illusion of things happening. The whole nursing home scene, for example, gets us nowhere that the “restricted” records search hadn’t already reached. And I’m reminded that Sherwood is on in June, not October. The BBC must be cock-a-hoop that a show with so many flaws got such glowing reviews.

Meanwhile, I’ve been bingeing the fourth season of The Rookie on Now, and this throwback to network cop shows of the past is such a pleasure. As I think I’ve said before, it’s a show with its heart in the right place that really tries to address questions of justice rather than just crime.

I also dipped into The Lazarus Project (Now), which is okay. The premise is there’s a top secret group that uses a time resetting mechanism to undo catastrophic global events. It’s not awful, but it isn’t Travelers (Netflix), in which a group of time travelers attempt to undo a catastrophic future. If you’re going to watch one time bending catastrophe avoiding thriller, make it Travelers, which like The Rookie is a show with a good heart.

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