We haven’t had an opportunity to write much about AMC’s “Turn” this season, mostly based on how the show has aired against some horrific competition. There is “Game of Thrones” on HBO, “The Good Wife” on CBS (at least until last week), and also now comedies on Showtime.
The truth here is that “Turn” does not have a great chance of coming back, mostly because AMC has deviated somewhat from their original “keep a show despite its ratings” model that allowed “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” chances to find themselves an audience. Granted, they each also got better ratings. “Turn” is a very good show with suspense and some of the best costumes on TV. The problem with it is that it took a few too many weeks to get going, and many would-be devoted viewers are probably gone never to return.
Tonight’s episode actually had quite a bit going for it, including surprising romance, more twists, and “breaking all the rules” as it applied to that era of America at the turn of the revolution. There were moments that we would classify as genuinely beautiful. It will become ever-easier for the war to tilt in Washington’s favor, at least so long as the opposition does not start to pick up. Ending the episode on a love scene, and not with the traditional posturing, was a nice touch. So often in period dramas we forget about the humanity to focus on “look at how accurate this is” sentiments.
The worst part of this series still remains its name: While “Turn” actually does suit what is going on with the story, it is not entirely grabbing. It doesn’t say anything about what the show is, and you cannot hear that and get excited. While some shows can overcome an obscure name (“Breaking Bad” was a tough one at first), you really have to be above-and-beyond-great to pull that off. Right now, “Turn” is great in the same way that some other cable shows like “Ray Donovan” or “Salem” are. You are entertained, but you may not be telling your friends to tune in … at least not yet. Grade: B+.
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