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Mixed reviews of the crime dramas kicking off the 2022 slate

The cast of ’NCIS: Hawaii’. Picture: CBS

The cast of ’NCIS: Hawaii’. Picture: CBS

Published Jan 14, 2022

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As I write my first TV column for 2022, I’m curious about the shows that turned you into a malleable couch potato over the festive season.

Admittedly, I went on a streaming detox.

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After a year of being overloaded with home-grown and international content, which were either exceptional, mediocre or positively cringe-worthy, I needed a break and escaped to my hometown in KwaZulu-Natal.

Every now and again, I distracted myself with a quick episode of “And Just Like That” or “How to Ruin Christmas: The Funeral”.

While most “Sex and the City” fans warmed up to the reboot, sans Samantha, I didn’t. It just lacked her promiscuous pizzazz and risqué one-liners. Sigh!

That said, I did revel in the dysfunctional family chaos of the latter Netflix sequel. Truly, it boasts a phenomenal cast, quirky and relatable story lines, and is such fun. To the decision-makers, I am all for a third season and I’m sure Mzansi will concur with me on this one.

Of course, the break ended and I eased myself into work mode with the hugely-anticipated second season of “The Witcher”.

Talk about a brilliant return.

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Henry Cavill plays the title character in “The Witcher”. 
Picture: Netflix

Watching Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) fearlessly protecting Princess Cirilla (Freya Allan) gave many of us heart palpitations – spurred on by those raging pheromones, mind you.

After that cliffhanger ending, I can’t wait to see how the daddy issues play out in season three as sorcery, politics and greed coalesce among the different factions.

And while we impatiently wait for “Ozark” S4, “House of the Dragon”, “Inventing Anna”, “Bridgerton” 2, “She-Hulk”, “Naomi”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “The Sandman”, “A Discovery of Witches” S3, “The Righteous Gemstones” S2, “Superman & Lois” S2, “Peacemaker”, “The Orville: New Horizons”, “Atlanta” S3, “How I Met Your Father”, “Good Omens” S2 and “Ms. Marvel” to release, let’s check out the new releases of the week.

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If you have a proclivity for crime dramas, you will be chuffed to learn that “The Sinner” S4, “Law and Order: Organised Crime” S2 as well as “NCIS: Hawaii” debuted on the small screen.

As always, “The Sinner” hits gold from the first episode. It’s one of my favourite anthology series and it isn’t simply due to the cast, although it does have an incredible one, it’s the ingeniously penned storyline that impresses me as viewers are always left on tenterhooks.

The fourth instalment is no different. However, Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) is now retired and he needs a break from his previous case.

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As such, he joins Sonya Barzel (Jessica Hecht), an artist he crossed paths with in season three and started dating, for a break to Northern Maine.

Although retired, Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) finds himself investigating the disappearance of a young woman while on holiday with his girlfriend in the fourth season of “The Sinner”. Picture: Netflix

It isn’t long after he arrives that he finds himself recruited to help investigate the case of a missing daughter of a prominent family in town. As always, viewers can expect some disturbing curve balls.

For Harry, assisting on the case is somewhat cathartic as it is what he knows and does best.

This brings us to the second season of “Law & Order: Organised Crime”.

This spinoff of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, as well as the “Law & Order” franchise, got off to an intense start in the first season when Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) returned to New York City after retiring from the police department, only to have his wife become collateral damage.

Now second-in-command with the Organised Crime Control Bureau, he finds himself deep undercover in the Albanian mob as ex-con Eddie "Ashes" Wagner. His objective is to get to the head of the city’s cocaine trade.

As with this gritty series, it is action-packed and there are many close calls on the job.

While the worlds crossover from time to time, the casting for the second season is top notch with Vinnie Jones as Eastern European gangster Albi Briscu, Mykelti Williamson as ruthless kingpin Preston Webb with direct access to Congressman Kilbride as well as Dash Mihok as Stabler’s gang boss Reggie Bogdani.

A definite must-see for fans.

Lastly, the much-anticipated “NCIS: Hawaii” spinoff has arrived.

As a fan of “NCIS”, “NCIS: LA” and “NCIS: New Orleans”, I was excited for this one, more so as it is helmed by a woman.

I’ve caught two episodes so far and I’m not as blown away by the fourth offering of the franchise. It isn’t as compelling as the others and the characters blur into the standard template of law enforcement.

I will give it a few more episodes before making up my mind.

Vanessa Lachey helms the team as Jane Tennant. Her team includes Kai Kolman (Alex Tarrant), who is the latest recruit with some unresolved issues with his dad, Jesse Boone (Noah Mills) as the second-in-command, Lucy Tara (Yasmine Al-Bustami), a junior field agent who also has a love interest from another agency.

The team works from the Pearl Harbour Field Office. And the series often dovetails the personal challenges with the professional obligations.

Although I’m not bowled over by the new spin-off, fans of the franchise might view it more favourably than I have.

All these shows air on M-Net (DStv channel 101. “The Sinner” S4 is on Monday at 11.30 and, on Wednesday, “NCIS: Hawaii” airs at 8.30pm followed by “Law & Order: Organised Crime” S2.

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