Here is a quick look at several recent streaming TV online releases, including a couple of second seasons from previously reviewed series and something new from Norway.
Catastrophe Season 2 – Amazon
We thoroughly enjoyed the first season of this refreshing take on the sitcom, a genre that too often feels forced and is rarely funny. Count Catastrophe among the handful of online streaming TV shows that are working to update, if not reinvent, the sitcom.
Catastrophe season 2, which first aired on Britain’s TV4, is every bit as funny and entertaining as season 1. While the first season focused on the awkward stages that happen early in a relationship – not to mention an unexpected pregnancy – season 2 jumps right into parenthood. Rob and Sharon are struggling to find time to enjoy each other (yes, you can interpret that several ways) while raising two young children and earning a living. They also have aging parents and a handful of annoying relatives and friends.
Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney are the creators, writers, and stars of this sarcastic, irreverent and inappropriate TV comedy. If your tastes lean in that direction, start streaming the six, 30-minute episodes of Catastrophe season 2 on Amazon.
Detective Harry Bosch, the character created by author Michael Connelly, is back for season 2 on Amazon. We had high hopes for this show originally; it’s one of very few non-foreign TV shows we have reviewed at netTVwatch. Going into Bosch season 2, our question was whether the series would improve upon a somewhat disappointing first season.
Not really. Bosch is an enjoyable mystery and police procedural with high production values, but never turns into a gripping TV thriller with complex, yet realistic characters – the type of show we have come to expect from any numbers of foreign TV shows on Netflix and Hulu.
It takes about three episodes for the new season to really get going. It’s the kind of frustrating slow simmer we found watching Bloodline. There are also lots of references back to the first season, so expect mild confusion if you don’t remember the details of what happened. There are 10 episodes of Bosch season 2 on Amazon. It’s a good TV show, but it could be so much more.
Riding on the heels of the Occupied TV series from Norway is The Heavy Water War, a classic World War II era thriller. If that’s your thing, you will likely find this very enjoyable. It tells a historically based, little known story from World War II centered on the race to produce a nuclear weapon using heavy water – water with a higher than normal level of a hydrogen isotope – that was already being produced in Norway.
The events takes place in Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom with enough action to keep things moving, though, at times, the pace is a little slow. The series has all of the usual wartime elements, sabotage, deception and tests of loyalty, that you would expect.
The Heavy Water War stretches out over six, 45-minute episodes on Netflix, just about the right length. The series has been popular and well-reviewed in most European countries where it has aired. We recommend it for fans of suspenseful, historical TV dramas.