What to Watch on TV this week: Reviews of Avatar, Constellation, Ninja Kamui and More

The long-awaited Avatar series has finally been released along with an even longer awaited new Walking Dead series. Apple's new Wednesday show, Constellation, is big-budget sci-fi. Should you be watching these shows?

Can Andrew Lincoln and Rick Grimes revive the Walking Dead series with The Ones Who Live?
Can Andrew Lincoln and Rick Grimes revive the Walking Dead series with The Ones Who Live? /

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Netflix)

With Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) and Ken Leung (Industry), Avatar fans have been waiting for the live-action series of Nickelodeon's Avatar for a while.

The new Netflix series follows the original animation series and the movie quite closely, at least in the first few episodes. Avatar exists in a world where some people, called Benders, can command one of the elements: Air, Fire, Earth, or Water. The Avatar, Aang, is special because he can command all four. He is already a 12-year-old master Airbender and needs training in the other elements.

When the Fire Nation invades the Air country, Aang inadvertently freezes himself inside an iceberg. When he is awakened, it is 100 years later, that the Fire Nation has wiped out many of the Bender nations (including the Air nation), and Aang must find out how he can help the world with his new friends from the South Pole.

Avatar is a family/kids show, but, similar to Sweet Tooth, somehow does not alienate older viewers. The story could move along a little faster. By the fourth episode, Aang still hasn't started training in other elements. But there is enough mythology, mystery, and action to keep things interesting. The fight choreographer of the different benders is pretty fun to watch, especially the Earth benders.

Verdict: Watch.

Constellation (Apple TV+)

Starring Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul), and Barbara Sukowa (12 Monkeys), Apple released three episodes of Constellation last week.

Rapace plays an astronaut on the International Space Station that has a collision with something while they are running an experiment for Banks. Banks sees something very interesting from the results of that experiment that isn't clear to the viewer.

Something odd is also happening to Rapace once she is back on Earth. We don't know if she is having hallucinations, if she has somehow brought an alien back with her, or if this is some sort of multiverse thing where other versions of her, her daughter, and other people have crossed over. Is she even really back on Earth?

The acting is pretty good, but this show is only going to be as good as the resolution to the mystery and how many glimpses of that resolution you get to see each week. We may not actually know if this show is any good until the last episode.

Verdict: Wait and See.

Ninja Kamui (MAX)

Ninja Kamui is an adult animated series about a secret ninja organization.

Joe Logan is in hiding from the assassin organization he used to work for. That organization is now hunting down ex-ninjas and killing them and their families. They do the same to Joe Logan, but he miraculously comes back to life.

While Logan starts exacting revenge, the police are investigating the murders.

Ninja Kamui is your basic martial arts revenge show. The action is fairly non-stop as is the flow of animated blood. The show is usually thirty minutes a week and is pretty entertaining, but nothing mind-blowing at this point.

Verdict: Wait and See

Poacher (Amazon Prime Video)

Poacher is an Indian crime drama.

The show focuses on a group of forest rangers, police, and federal agents who are looking for a new breed of poachers who are illegally killing elephants. The investigation spans the killers, the ivory sellers, and all the middlemen in between.

Poacher is a fast-moving show with an ultra-bad guy who is easy to root against because he is killing elephants. The investigation is interesting and complicated and the show creates an enormous amount of suspense. We'll need to see a few more episodes to see if they can keep up the interest.

Verdict: Wait and See

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live (AMC+)

After years away from acting and the Walking Dead franchise, Andrew Lincoln reprises his role as Rick Grimes alongside Danai Gurira as Michonne. Terry O'Quinn (Lost) also stars in the spinoff series.

The Ones Who Live fills in the blanks of what happened to Rick in the years since he blew up the bridge, was kidnapped by a helicopter, and the original Walking Dead series ended. Turns out Rick is in a secret city with a secret army that is secretly grooming Rick for a leadership role.

In the first few minutes of the premier, Rick cuts off his hand during an escape attempt which tells you where this show is headed. Rick is determined to get back to his family and the secret city is determined to never let anyone leave. With the exception of the Negan led show, Dead City, not much good has come out of the Walking Dead franchise. Fear the Walking Dead was on many Worst of 2023 lists.

The Ones Who Live attempts to breathe some life into the franchise by bringing back two of the most beloved characters with their intense dramatic acting and dialogue. The premier was pretty fun, but we'll need a few episodes to see if it all works.

Verdict: Wait and See

Recent and Current Shows to Keep Watching

  • Fargo (Hulu). All episodes streaming.
  • Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (Apple TV+): All episodes streaming.
  • For All Mankind (Apple TV+): All episodes streaming.
  • Jack Reacher (Amazon Prime Video). All episodes streaming.
  • A Shop for Killers (Hulu). All episodes streaming.
  • Sexy Beast (Paramount+). Finale this week.
  • Monsieur Spade (AMC+). All episodes streaming
  • True Detective (MAX). The finale wasn't great, but the show overall was pretty good.
  • Expats (Amazon Prime Video).
  • The Feud: Capote vs. The Swans (Hulu). Not the best episode of the season.
  • Halo (Paramount+)
  • Life and Beth (Hulu)
  • The New Look (Apple TV+)