Finally, I was able to watch the Season 2 premiere of Berlin Station which aired in Canada on Monday. It is so frustrating to once again be two shows behind the US, in large part because I’d love to take part in the on-line discussion when it’s happening! Even avoiding the posts marked with “spoilers”, I still end up reading interviews and opinions (because it’s fun), which unfortunately means not coming to the show completely fresh. Be that as it may…
This weekend in preparation, I was able to get the Super Channel combo added to my cable package. Hubby had not been too keen that we add another $10 per month “just” so I could watch another Richard Armitage show, so I held off as long as possible. Lo and behold, it’s been incorporated into my package for free! Which is great… but wouldn’t it be even better if the cable companies were up front so you know what you’re entitled to? I mean, we apparently could have had this all along! But they make it pretty much impossible to understand your options or what you’re entitled to.
I’m not a huge fan of the spy genre in general, with James Bond movies being an exception, but I do watch some spy stuff with my husband. I’m also not a big watcher of political dramas, although I watch Madame Secretary, which has good writing and acting and some realistic human stories that appeal to me. I do like shows with ensemble casts. But let’s just be clear that I wouldn’t be watching Berlin Station if Richard Armitage weren’t in it. The first season was fun to binge-watch, had some interesting relationships, and got exciting towards the end, but he is the reason I am watching the second one.
I watched Episode 2.1 and liked it well enough. The overall scenario is interesting and the pacing is good, so it has the potential to be an exciting show. So far, there is more room for Richard Armitage to do more acting, and of course he does it well! But I find that the script has some issues of plausibility and not so great dialogue. Here are some mildly spoilerish thoughts on the first episode:
- I love trains. The train passing high above such gorgeous scenery is amazing. The scenery inside is even more amazing. Can he be on the next train I take, please?
- The beard and the casual clothes are a great look for Richard Armitage (even if he is a bit thin). His American accent is really good in this episode!
- The playful vibe between Daniel and Esther makes me almost think they may have had some close encounters since the last time the cameras saw them. I’d like to see more of this vibe and/or some close encounters.
- What’s with Daniel’s story about his father? Was it his or Trevor’s? It didn’t sound very believable to me. (Was it introduced in the first season?)
- I don’t find it credible that anyone would provide someone they’ve never met before with the kind of help that Trevor is requesting, putting themselves at risk.
- I still love the Bowie theme song and opening credit sequence. (Maybe the best part of the series?)
- I wonder why they didn’t have Valerie Edwards take on the chief role instead of BB Yates? I like the strength and smarts portrayed by Michelle Forbes, and I am not as impressed with Yates as played by Ashley Judd.
- Given that Yates has been there a month already, why is she telling her staff about herself as if she only just got there? i.e. you may have heard the silly name of Station Whisperer and you may wonder why I don’t have an assistant…
- Yates’ dresses seem to me not overly appropriate for a woman in power in the workplace. In my experience, they are a little too form-fitting and show more boobage than I think makes sense. Valerie’s jackets are more appropriate.
- How did Daniel get his new friend to drive him to just the right coffee shop and to stop so he could get what he needed?
- Leland Orser as the hard-swearing Robert Hirsch I quite enjoy. It sounds natural coming from him. When BB Yates/Ashley Judd does it, it sounds forced and ridiculous. Does being a strong woman mean that you have to stoop to that level of crudity? I don’t think so.
- I still like Richard Jenkins as Steven Frost. His dilemma about whether to take on the new role feels genuine.
- Keke Palmer does well as April Lewis, with her character bringing some youth and classroom training to the team. The relationship between April and Valerie is interesting. I thought it was very funny when Valerie started calling for April the cat. (And aren’t some of the camera shots cool?)
- I enjoyed Rhys Ifans as Hector DeJean in the first season. DeJean and his relationships were the most compelling to me in that story. I’m interested to see what his character brings to this season.
Well, so some good things and some not so good, but I’m ready to see what happens in the second episode.