There is an ominous cloud on the TV viewing horizon as something wicked comes our way this summer.

 

FX network’s new summer lineup of shows is imposing, packed with lots of potential, and their success may catch other broadcast TV networks by surprise. Indeed, FX’s roster for the summer speaks to a network that is laser focused and positioned to take on a sizable share of the television viewer market.

 

Without further ado, MUI PR reviews FX’s summer shows, “Tyrant,” “The Bridge,” and “The Strain,” on three definitive categories of Good, Bad, and Ugly.

 

 

Tyrant on FX (www.hollywoodreporter.com)

Tyrant on FX (hollywoodreporter.com)

The Good:Tyrant

This new melodrama about dictatorship, an oppressive regime in an Islamic Middle Eastern setting, and lots of other modern geopolitical headlines, initially seemed promising.

 

However with three episodes into the inaugural season of “Tyrant,” the story line is slow to develop, and makes us question the show’s potential for greatness.

 

One obvious weak point, and quite possibly a fatal flaw for the series – unless “Game of Thrones” ruthless trend of in-story character turnover has any influence on the script here — is Adam Raynar, who stars as Basam “Barry” Al-Fayeed, the lead character on the show.

 

Raynar portrays Basam as a weak, idealistic leader and father figure, who is at odds with the ruthless pragmatism and brutality permeating his childhood and homeland of Abbudin. As the series lead actor, Basam is all but wooden and delivers too many lackluster performances on camera. Major emotions are conveyed easily but the full emotional latitude of his role is left unexplored.

 

Raynar’s character appears like an amateur in the company of his costars, particularly his older brother, Ashraf Barhom, who stars as Jamal Al-Fayeed on the show. Barhom is an artist and is very impressive on the big screen. He evokes the right kinds of emotions in his audience, and we are utterly convinced of his portrayal of Jamal’s harsh and ruthless character.

 

At this juncture, had Basam’s character being played by a better actor, we would instead have profiled “Tyrant” as a perfect storm of a TV series. However, and quite honestly, given the renewed violence in the Middle East, the subject matter and timing are relevant, and the producers of the show still have the ability to make it an undeniable hit. It is for this reason we recommend that Tyrant is still worth watching this summer. Catch the series on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST.

 

 

The Bridge on FX (www.csfd.cz)

The Bridge on FX (csfd.cz)

The Bad: “The Bridge”

The TV industry’s age-old enterprise of rehashing a European show for the American market has yielded a certified masterpiece in prime time viewing.

 

In its second season, “The Bridge” is an investigation into the dark, seedy recesses of humans in contemporary times. Violence, vengeance, greed, corruption, poverty, and exploitation all make authentic cases for themselves in the TV series. The show is thoroughly gritty as it grapples with crime, smuggling, immigration, failing government, and the relationship between Mexico and America in a time where that relationship is less definite than what the nightly news and congressional rhetoric lets on.

 

The performances delivered on “The Bridge” are really what all actors in a TV series should aspire to demonstrate. “The Bridge” is theater on the small screen, as it leverages a high caliber cast of actors, fighting tooth and nail to reconcile their beliefs and validate their faith in what they have come to understand as right.

 

“The Bridge” is a true success story in the broadcast TV network industry. Since we are on a forced “Game of Thrones” hiatus, “The Bridge” is a fitting show to add to your weekly line up this the summer. Season two airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on FX; season one is currently streaming on Hulu. So hurry and catch up, and get caught with the craze that is “The Bridge.”

 

 

The Strain on FX (newsarama.com)

The Strain on FX (newsarama.com)

The Ugly: “The Strain

 “The Strain” is a modern day take on a doomsday concept involving a genetic apocalypse.

 

Guillermo del Toro Gómez, director of “Hellboy,” “Pan’s Labyrinth,” and “Pacific Rim,” is taking “The Strain” on as his baby, and he has spared no expense.

 

The show’s terrifying suspense as well as the lighting and special effects in the scenes, all have del Toro’s crafty style. del Toro is also likely going to employ his signature blend of beautifully grotesque and convincingly real fantasy to make the show a heavy hitter this summer.

 

“The Strain” is going to be a tangible and imaginative blend of horror that promises to redeem FX from the abysmal and eccentric American Horror Story franchise asylum they have perpetrated for years. “The Strain” premieres this Sunday, July 13 at 10 p.m. EST.

 

“Tyrant,” “The Bridge,” and “The Strain, all aim to provide great viewership this summer. They also appear to be worthy shows for FX to fill the void in the absence of our favorite TV series Game of Thrones. Do you plan to check any one of them out this summer? If so, tweet us @muipr or sound off via the comment section below.