What to watch, wait and pass on in TV this week (January 22, 2024)

Jodi Foster is the latest in a long line of big-time actors on True Detective.
Jodi Foster is the latest in a long line of big-time actors on True Detective. /

It was all about detectives and crime comedy/drama this week for Show Snob's Premiere Review. First, here's a recap of the shows you should be watching:

  • Bookie (MAX): All episodes streaming.
  • Fargo (Hulu). Just finished the season and finished well.
  • A Murder at the End of the World (Hulu): All episodes streaming.
  • Julia (MAX): All episodes streaming (season 3 has been canceled)
  • Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (Apple TV+): All episodes streaming.
  • For All Mankind (Apple TV+): All episodes streaming
  • Jack Reacher (Amazon Prime Video). Season finale was last week
  • Yu Yu Hakusho (Netflix)
  • Berlin (Netflix)
  • The Brothers Sun (Netflix)
  • Ted (Peacock)
  • Boy Swallows Universe (Netflix). This show didn't finish as well as it started, but a decent show.
  • A Shop for Killers (Hulu)

Death and Other Details (Hulu)

Starring Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Hulu released two episodes of their new crime drama.

In this campy, somewhat sarcastic, crime drama, Patinkin is a detective who was unable to solve a case 18 years ago that involved the death of a little girl's mother. In the modern day, he coincidentally reunites with the girl's family on a luxury cruise liner. Or was it a coincidence?

When a passenger is killed with a harpoon, Patinkin takes up the case. We quickly find out that it may not have been so coincidental, and that Patinkin never stopped working on the case. The now grown-up woman becomes his assistant and partner to try to solve the murder on the cruise as well as her mother's cold case.

Death and Other Details is a very complex, almost convoluted, mystery ala a Knives Out type of plot. Patinkin is the all-knowing detective with a dry sense of humor that only tells people what they need to know. There are many different plot lines that involve a business deal, the owner of the luxury liner, and the cruise's head of operations who has hired most of her family to work on the boat.

Death and Other Details is pretty good but needs to evolve a bit more to understand if it will ultimately good enough.

Verdict: Wait and See

Monsieur Spade (AMC+)

Clive Owen (Murder at the End of the World) stars as Sam Spade in the sequel to the Maltese Falcon which starred Humphrey Bogart in 1941.

The show is now in 1963, Spade is in France, his wife has passed away, and he takes odd detective jobs to keep himself occupied. And he has emphysema. The story mostly revolves around trying to find an old acquaintance so his daughter can receive her inheritance. The tiny town he lives seems to have more interesting people than Manhattan and each of them has something to do with finding this girl's father. When there is a massacre at a nearby convent, Spade ramps up his investigation.

Owen does a very good Bogart. The whole show is deadpan, dry, sarcastic, quick one-liners. He never blinks and never shows emotion. Very similar to his character in Sin City. You need to pay very close attention because the investigation is complicated, he is constantly uncovering new details, and you'll miss one of Owen's jokes or insults. We'll need to see more than one episode to see if the vibe can last through the series, but it was a great start.

Verdict: Wait and See

True Detective (MAX)

Starring Jodi Foster (Hotel Artemis), True Detective takes place in Alaska after the last sunset of the year, hence the Night Country subtitle.

This season, an entire group of scientists at a research base disappears. Foster is the chief of police in Ennis and is tasked with her deputies to solve the mystery. A state trooper, played by Kali Reis, is also assisting in the investigation. Foster and Reis have a history from an unsolved murder several years ago and Reis thinks that this case could be related. Unlike past seasons, there is a supernatural aspect to the show that hasn't been resolved yet.

The tradition of big-time actors in this series continues with Foster and you can already tell that the story is well written. It is going to be tough to only see one episode a week as there is so much to find out about the case. This will be one of those shows that creates many questions each week until you get a payoff.

Verdict: Watch

Sanctuary (MGM+)

Another British import to fill the time. This show straddles the young adult category, with the British crime series category, with magic by witches.

If it had more magic and more witches fighting each other with magic it could be more interesting. Instead, they take very mundane young adult themes and wrap it around some supernatural stuff and throw in a sexual assault and discrimination sub plots for good measure..

Sanctuary - Pass.

A Shop for Killers (Hulu)

In Korean, A Shop for Killers chronicles the tale of a young girl adopted by her uncle who has no clue how to raise a child. Hulu released two episodes to start and presumably, we will bounce back and forth between how the young girl was raised and the current time.

In the current time, her uncle has recently died and they (the young girl and her friend) are under siege by a group of mercenaries.

By the way, it turns out her uncle was an arms dealer who supplied weapons and equipment to assassins, killers, and cleaners.

A Shop for Killers is very stylish. Though every show does timeline jumping these days, this show does it in a way that keeps your attention and your focus on the show. Some decent action, violence, and a little bit of humor make A Shop for Killers more than just a little interesting.

Verdict: Watch

Wild Cards (CW)

Starring Vanessa Morgan (Riverdale), Jason Priestley (90120), and Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey's Anatomy), the CW premiered one episode of the new con artist crime drama.

Like a 48 Hours, Silence of the Lambs, Suits, or Inside Man, Wild Cards is a story about a criminal teaming up with the police to solve crimes. Morgan plays a con artist/thief while Gianniotti plays a disgraced cop trying to get his detective desk back. In order to stay out of jail, Morgan must be useful to the police.

Morgan is pretty good at playing the wise-cracking, quick-talking, always a different persona (though I hope we never have to hear her do a Russian accent ever again) thief who can talk her way into and out of anything. Gianniotti plays the frustrated, annoyed cop (he even uses the Gary Busey line, "We are not partners and we are not friends").

As stale as it sounds, somehow this show works. There are some good laughs and the crime story is pretty good. The vibe reminds me of Imposters which I liked quite a bit. Let's see if the joke can make it through a whole season.

Verdict: Wait and See

The Woman in the Wall (Paramount+/Showtime)

Starring Ruth Wilson (His Dark Materials) and Daryl McCormack (Bad Sisters), this Irish series (beware of thick Irish accents) is Showtime's newest European import to fill their schedule.

Wilson plays one of a group of women who spend time at the Laundry in their town. The Laundry is a convent where girls who have lost their way (pregnancy, adultery, other religiously bad things) find sanctuary. Or is it more like hell?

The first episode starts with the death of the priest who oversaw the Laundry. McCormack plays the investigating detective. Wilson's character, who suffers from all sorts of mental trauma including sleepwalking, wakes up one morning to find a dead woman in her house. As anyone would do, she buries the dead woman in her wall.

Verdict: Wait and See

Zorro (Amazon Prime Video)

In Spanish, the legend of Zorro continues. This show is not an origin story but starts with the death of Zorro and the beginning of another one. In this universe, the Zorro uniform is passed on from one vigilante to another.

In the series, a rich man is murdered by an unknown group and his military-trained son sails from Spain to California to investigate the murder. After just a couple of days, the native Americans present him with the Zorro uniform. However, one of the tribes, Nah-Lin, is unhappy that she was not bestowed with the honor.

Moving forward, the show has two dueling Zorro's with different agendas. Meanwhile, the governor of California is a very bad man making corrupt dealings, enriching the rich, enslaving the poor, and killing anything that gets in his way.

If you liked the old Lone Ranger or Cisco Kid shows, you will like Zorro. The action is very good including swords, sticks, guns, hand-to-hand combat, and some solid whip work. The plot is silly but engaging. Each show is some new plot of agenda by the Zorros to win a battle against the Governor.

Verdict: Watch.