What We're Watching
Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments S2, Act 2.
I'll admit, I'm increasingly bored of Shadowhunters. It was -- and still is, really -- a promising series, taking an admittedly terrible book series and adapting it into a not-especially-deep but fun television show.
It's in a slump right now, though. The first act of the series saw main antagonist Valentine being defeated, and while the series is clearly setting up enigmatic shadowhunter Sebastian to be the new villain, at the moment the show is floundering, antagonist-less and directionless.
It still has spots of being good -- this week's episode involved the Clave becoming increasingly draconian, drawing parallels with fascist regimes and putting the protagonists squarely on the wrong side of the conflict, which is interesting if never exactly followed through on -- but until it finds some direction and a decent new antagonist, it's somewhat adrift.
I've spoken before about how ardently I love Dark Matter and Killjoys, and how much I wish for their success, so it's probably no surprise that I was pretty delighted to see that Dark Matter's third series had started.
After a very strong first outing with a superb two-parter, the third episode was more than a little bit lackluster, a rushed and half-arsed affair that seems to exist purely to wrap up Six's character arc and then summarily write him out of the show.
Dark Matter has problems when it comes to introducing new characters, with its last attempt -- introducing Devon and Nyx -- falling short of actually making them memorable characters, and eventually killing both of them off, so if it keeps trimming its cast down, eventually it's going to run out of people. We're already down from seven to four.
Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters.
Increasingly, it feels Appli Monsters has a tone problem. Obviously, it's a more light-hearted fare even by the standards of its very light-hearted franchise, but then, when it comes to dramatic moments, it struggles to communicate all of the tension and drama it wants to while still keeping that light hearted tone.
Which is how we ended up with a series of fun, happy episodic stories with the ominous threat of a traitorous teammate hanging over things, and how we got a curb-stomp losing battle against several new enemies, culminating in the seeming death of the Digimon partners, shot through with heavy amounts of comedy and whimsy.
But also, Appmon is just slowly starting to lose my interest. This isn't the first time this has happened -- The Young Hunters That Jumped Through Time lost my interest pretty quickly -- but it's still a little vexing.
Kamen Rider Ex-Aid.
Easily the most fun show on this list, Ex-Aid has surprised me with how enjoyable it is. When it first started airing, I only got a few episodes in before I grew bored, but once I picked it up again, I found that it went from being kind of dull to having me hooked surprisingly quickly.
We're approaching the series' final act, currently, and the conflict is mostly focused on Dan Masamune, father of previous main antagonist and time-manipulating Kamen Rider. That arc looks like it'll be ending soon, with Masamune probably doomed to be defeated next episode or the one after.
It's up in the air as to who will be the main antagonist after that. Perhaps Pallad will make a resurgence. Maybe Gemdeus, foreshadowed and briefly seen but not really part of the show yet, will make his appearance. Either way, I'm interested to see what happens.