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.
9 thoughts on “Two Shows Behind… Berlin Station”
I got Superchannel for free too through BellMTS (Bell and Manitoba Telecom Systems merged this year.) They acquired most of the Starz line up, except for Outlander, and all of Epix’s programming. Trying to decide if I should live tweet again. I am home on Mondays.
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Well the stupid thing is we were trying to figure out what we could remove and add and how that would affect our bill. But there was no way to figure it out from their pamphlets or website. I actually ordered it through my cable box and had to commit to a stated price of $10 before it came back and said the final charge would be $0! I wonder what else is also included that I don’t have.
Isn’t it hard to live tweet? Don’t you miss a lot? Or maybe you have superior multitasking abilities!
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Nope, not superior multitasking abilities, just the ability to pause. 🙂
I agree cable companies DO NOT make things easier on consumers. I am crossing my fingers and toes he does something with the BBC, it means it will, most likely, be on PBS. Something tells me Mr. Armitage held out on returning to the UK unless he does something different. Good for him.
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Hi Sue! Did you watch BS on Superchannel? I’m not sure if we get that. ‘m only able to watch whatever channels my family I share my home with subscribe to. I might just have to wait (albeit impatiently) until I can download it from iTunes like I did with Series 1! 😦
Hi Teuchter, yes… Super Channel. But it actually didn’t cost me anything to add it on, strangely enough. Otherwise it would have been $10 per month. But maybe it would be free for your family too? You’d have to ask the cable provider. But yeah, I watched season 1 from iTunes.
[totally agree re: aggravation of cable TV price structure. Why are they always trying to give me less? We’re about three months from switching to an Internet or satellite TV option, i.e., as soon as Berlin Station 2 ends.]
re: why Yates and not Valerie — I think in order to become a station chief, you’d have to be at least a deputy chief (Kirsch’s job). Valerie’s title is iirc something like senior case officer. She’s not high enough in the hierarchy to run a station.
re: Daniel’s father — all we know is he was a member of the American military stationed at Andrews Barracks in Berlin. I thought that scene was very confusingly written. Some people took away from it that Daniel was saying that Daniel was also a legend / cover identity (I don’t think that’s right but i can see how one could take that away from the scene.) I think it was supposed to be about Daniel’s past. However, it’s also a little strange as even in US military families that level of discipline is something from an earlier generation.
I guess you’re right about Valerie’s rank. Too bad though because I think it might have been good for the show.
The info about Daniel’s father was delivered so matter-of-factly that it didn’t feel very real. I actually liked the discussion about the Daniel Miller and Esther Krug identities being the best cover. Kind of like the face you present to the world hiding the real you.
yeah — an adversary to with whom you’ve been regularly intimate asks you tell her something real about yourself and you lead with that? I get that he was trying to say he wasn’t afraid of what might happen with the neo-Nazis, but I agree that real people don’t have conversations like that.
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