Ladies and gentlemen, it is September, the new TV season has begun, good shows are reappearing on our airwaves. This does not ease my resentment at reviewing Sinbad, apparently born from the pitch: “So, is there room in the market for a crappy version of Merlin?”
Yes, it’s another terrible episode. Don’t watch this show. More details to follow.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: “This Episode Will Suck”
This week, it all starts with a prophecy, some other stuff happens, little of which is interesting, then said prophecy comes true in an unexpected way. Except the “unexpected way” is exactly what I assumed it would be ten minutes in.
Obviously, the self-fulfilling prediction is a beloved plotline in these shows, both Doctor Who and Merlin have rinsed the “sometimes you just can’t change fate” theme, but this doesn’t feel like the unstoppable march of destiny, it feels like lazy, obvious meandering.
There are good bits towards the start, when it looks like a heist caper episode, but then they try to make us think Sinbad is dead (for the second time in as many episodes) and it gets silly. It might have helped if the father and son guest characters had any resonance, either because we’d seen them before or through a good scene in this episode, but nope.
Our Characters Can Do Anything!
Oh, and Anwar is now solving mysterious puzzles, despite having shown very little aptitude for it before. But as a doctor, he’s established as being smart, so must also be a linguistics and problem-solving genius too, right? Gunnar can also now deflect a hail of poison darts with a single sword, despite being a hulking, non-graceful warrior type until now.
New character Tiger has joined the cast, so at least something happened. She is a morally ambiguous bounty hunter, to go with the morally ambiguous thief we already have. Clearly they love that “crew member betrays them” twist so much, we need another one to take shifts.
In short, yes, another episode of Sinbad feels both predictable and pointless. That episode of Doctor Who on Saturday may not have been perfect, but believe me, after a few weeks of this, it seems like a revelatory shot of charm and imagination. Only three episodes to go! And they’re so confident about the next one, they haven’t even bothered trailering it!