We’re on the move, kids! The January Roundup is going to go live at our new home, arthurpopular.com. When Arthur Popular itself goes live, that is. I’m still working out the kinks behind the scenes, and will probably continue to do so well after the site does officially launch, but it’s just not quite ready yet. Very soon! I swear.
A day late, with apologies (shit’s going down behind the scenes, y’all, bear with)…
Watch This Shit:
Ever the DILF, Christopher Meloni is an ex-cop who just won’t die. He fantasizes about blowing his brains out and subsequently dancing under his anti-gravity flow of disco brain blood. And, y’all, that extremely accurate sentence isn’t even as crazy as this shit gets. The series plotline seems to be: a kidnapped girl’s imaginary friend enlists our anti-hero to find her. Think Dirk Gently meets Bing Bong. And prepare yourself for getting turned on (at a moment when you really shouldn’t) by a wino, covered in blood, dry humping a fire extinguisher.
Don’t Watch This Shit:
- Ellen’s Game of Games
I never thought I’d put anything by Ellen in a “Don’t” list, but… this shit’s just too messy. It’s contestants screaming their faces off after every word Ellen utters, when they’re not subjecting themselves to a whole mess of nonsense in order to maybe win money. Just stick with the talk show, the games are better there, plus everyone always wins something.
A couple of dumbasses volunteer to have every item they own taken away from them for, like, a month because why wouldn’t they. I suppose it’s top shelf TV if you like hanging out with miserable nudists.
Nah. I was high when I watched it and it still didn’t make me laugh.
- Tender Touches
Badly composed and sung animated operas. Again, maybe if I were a lot higher than I currently am, but alas… nope.
And that’s it, folks. December kinda sucked. Coming soon is the final “Shit I Missed” Roundup of 2017 (which definitely won’t be posted until 2018). Also, a brand spanking new website, kids. Yeah, I’m overhauling my entire online presence. I’m still stuck at my day job, so it’ll take a minute, but ooh-wee do I feel good about this. I’m determined to get it done, so get it done I will.
A day late, with apologies (shit’s going down behind the scenes, y’all, bear with)…
Watch This Shit:
- Future Man
Josh Hutcherson is a lame teenager who beats an unbeatable game and, as a “reward,” gets recruited by time travelers to save the world. Not dissimilar to the plots of all the lame nerd movies Josh’s characters knows and loves so well. But, #twist, this series is not so much lame! And, I must mention, he’s got a healthy cum shooting range. Which, fair warning(/advertisement)… is not as up-close-and-personal as this series will get.
A British mother gives too many fucks than she should in an attempt to impress the other moms who “happily” give way too many fucks. Thankfully, she’s got a couple definitely-don’t-give-a-fuck friends who help her out.
- No Activity
Are you stuck on the night shift with nothing to do except get orgasms made out of head scratches? Then, this is the series for you. I haven’t looked into it beyond watching the pilot, so I can only assume: it’s probably heavily improvised and will most likely include a metric fuck-load of guest stars.
- She’s Gotta Have It
So fucking necessary. #Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
- The Trixie & Katya Show
- Who Killed Tupac?
If the title doesn’t give it away completely: An investigator who actually gives a shit about Tupac reopens the ridiculously unsolved murder case, as a civilian.
Kinda boring, if I’m being real honest (which… when am I not?). I guess a bunch of kids were friends at some point, mostly because their parents were friends, and the grown folks probably killed one of the kids, cult sacrifice-style. This tore everyone apart and now one of them is extra lonely about it and is trying to reform the scooby gang. Oh, ’cause they’re also probably mutants or something? I don’t know, man. The Gifted is the official Marvel winner of this season (which is ironic since it’s the one not being run by Marvel). Also, I was going to meet James Marsters at my local comic-con this year, but Hulu wouldn’t let him leave at the last minute. So, even though there are plenty of Buffyverse alumni all over this show (I see you Kevin Weisman and Brigid Brannagh), I’m still too pissed off at Hulu to give it a good review.
Apparently single-motherhood is hella gross. And babies are fucking cute. (From an outside-looking-in/definitely-not-a-single-mother perspective.)
Don’t Watch This Shit:
- The Menendez Murders: Erik Tells All
At some point, we have to collectively say “enough is enough,” don’t we? In terms of true crime on TV, isn’t enough enough when it’s furthering the murderers’ celebrity? Amplifying their voice? This shit used to be proper. Prison jumpers, dual static camera angles, and Barbara Walters being as judgey as one should be so that we all didn’t have to be. Now it’s “Watch my special, y’all, I got this bitch on the phone.” This is the “Like my status” of homicide.
Watch This Shit:
- At Home with Amy Sedaris
There is only one Amy Sedaris. You either love her (because of course you do) or you hate her (because you’re a fucking idiot). Here, she’s taking up Martha Stewart‘s mantle in exactly the way you’d expect her to.
- Bounty Hunters
- The Gifted
Of the two new Marvel offerings so far this season, this one is by far superior. Dreamers are waking up to the home they’ve always known suddenly treating them like outsiders, while the head bitches in charge keep trying to build that mutant border wall. We get the inside story of a family of fugitives, who’ve become so because they have the nerve to want to remain a family while in a safe place. With a bunch of X-Men special effects thrown in for good measure.
P.S. I cannot wait for Amy Acker to kick a whole mess of ass.
- The House
Halloween treats! These are short films, shorter than Adult Swim cartoons kind of short. Bound to be something in there you’ll like. There’s also apparently some kind of virtual reality version, if you can fork over the extra subscription fee and, ya’know, have some kind of gamer head gear to “experience” the shit on or whatever.
- I Love You, America
Hulu’s answer to Netflix’s Chelsea. I imagine this is to comedy what Ryan Murphy wanted to do with this season of AHS, but that’s a-whole-nother story. The idea is: America, you’re fucking stupid… here’s every reason why, plus a close-up of a dick.
- Ink Master: Angels
Yesssss! The badasses who turned the Ink Master competition on its head are now traveling the country, visiting different artists each episode who will compete against each other. Whoever lands on top then goes against one of the HBIC. If they win, they get a guaranteed spot on the next season of Ink Master. It’s all the tattoo fun of its predecessor, minus the bullshit favoritism of Núñez and Peck! Couldn’t ask for anything more.
- The Jellies
’90s kids, rejoice! Tyler, The Creator was born just in time for him to know how to properly make fun of the decade rather than nostalgiafy it like some kind of glorious the-way-we-were time period (although, let me be real… the ’90s were a real good time). Also, some bitches are jellyfish.
- Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
The title is pretty self-explanatory, but here’s the deal: Jason Ritter (who, just sayin’, is fucking outstanding) touches a meteor and a super-friendly space lady pops out and tells him his soul is special and he has to make 30 some-odd other souls just as special. It’s a supernatural family show! And if you don’t cry when the deaf guy hugs him, you’re not a human person.
Jonathan Groff is a hostage negotiator and he’s kind of terrible at it. He also might be gay? He gets teamed up with a macho man to do some non-negotiating.
- Scared Famous
P.S. DRITAAAAA! So happy to have her back on my screen.
- Ten Days in the Valley
My unhealthy need for Kyra Sedgwick to be on my screen as well is once again happily met. She’s a screenwriter with a rough past who’ll settle for cocaine in a late-night-writing pinch (Brenda Lee Johnson she is not). She’s also in a custody battle with her ex who, #twist, [probably] kidnaps their daughter while Mamadukes is skeeted. Oh, the dramzy places we’ll go!
- White Famous
For the first time, I’m not mad that Jay Pharoah isn’t on SNL anymore. I don’t agree with some of his point of view (Cosby fucking did it, dude), but my feeling that way is sort of the point of the pilot. There’s also a hearty helping of Jamie Foxx‘s “nut pussy,” so it’s clearly worth watching. (A lot of dick this month, folks.)
- Xtreme Screams
Y’all, 👏 I 👏 was 👏 not 👏 ready 👏 for 👏 this. It’s a quick October gift from the Travel Channel. Up close and personal views of America’s craziest theme park rides, without having to deal with the lines, annoying kids, or spending money!
- The Eleven
- Ghost Wars
I find myself comparing every horror show to Channel Zero; it being the greatest, most genuinely terrifying horror series I’ve ever seen. So, naturally, nothing’s really come close. (Especially not the nonsense that is AHS: Cult. Why, yes, I am going to talk about how fucking horrendous that shit is as much as possible, and I thank you for asking.) The premise of this series is somewhat interesting, though. Interesting enough to not make it onto the “Don’t Watch” list, at least (there’s a lot of that this month too):
An entire town blames its problems on a psychic, who openly chit-chats with the ghosts only he can see. Every single thing that goes wrong is his fault, and possibly his dead mother’s as well. The townsfolk spend all of their time tormenting and terrorizing the kid so that they don’t have to pay attention to all the supernatural shit going on around them. (Bambi’s severed head crying tears of blood, anyone?) So, if seeing hateful pieces of redneck shit treating a man of color like garbage until he does what they want (Hello, allegory of 2017), then this is your bag.
- Hit the Road
The characters in this Partridge family are less than likable, but that’s sort of the appeal of the show. It’s why it nearly landed in the “Don’t Watch” list, but Jason Alexander jerking off a dude in the bathroom put this at least in “Meh.”
Apparently, there’s this podcast that’s a big deal? I don’t know… I listened to Serial ’cause everyone and their puppy were discussing it, but that’s as far into podcasts as I’ve gotten. Anyway, some dude (with the strangest cadence of anyone I’ve ever heard speak) tells a story. Said story is “fascinating” enough for his telling of it to not be boring as fuck (it’s still hella boring, if you ask me) and now they’ve tried to make it even more “interesting” by keeping that guy quiet for a bit so a few relatively well-known actors can act some of the stories out. I was really excited about this, as I am with all horror series, but it just feels like Are You Afraid of the Dark? with a slightly bigger budget. Snick‘s been over for a long time, y’all.
- The Mayor
A rapper runs a joke campaign for mayor in an attempt to sell more mixtapes. He wins. You see what they’re doing, right? Hence why I’m nervous about this one.
Lea Michelle‘s great, Yvette Nicole Brown is greater, the hero of the story is charismatic enough, and his sidekicks are just the right amount of funny for this all to add up to good, entertaining, character driven stories. And it’s not even told terribly, it’s pretty well done.
So, back to why I’m nervous: Brandon Micheal Hall‘s Courtney Rose is clearly Trump through the pitch-room filter. The man himself is so grotesque and awful, rooting for anyone even remotely similar to him makes my stomach hurt. Maybe if I try to look at Courtney as what a Bizarro Trump would be like, if the planet was actually a positive one to be on?
I’m a little perplexed by this one. Mario Van Peebles and crew are sworn protectors of a town and they can do all sorts of mystical shit because of it. Then some evil dude shows up (played by the guy who I always confuse for Meat Loaf), who might be the Devil himself, given how serpentine things get around him. Naturally (or supernaturally, as it were), shit gets weird. We’ll see how things progress, but so far… good enough to not make the “Don’t” list. And with Van Peebles appearing to basically die a-whole-fucking lot at the end of the pilot… “not quite ‘Don’t'” is really all it’s got going for it.
Don’t Watch This Shit:
A divorcée moves into an apartment which is smack dab in the middle of his parents’ and brother’s apartments. End of plot. The series depends on the main character constantly being annoyed which, you guessed it, is fucking annoying.
Berger is a miserable recovering alcoholic who’s just exhausted with having to mansplain everything to everyone. He’s also a little dumb and kind of hates women. While presenting the series to critics, he asked if they watch television until their eyes bleed. The answer is clearly: No.
Trying things a bit differently this month. Since I’m never, in all of the rest my life, going to be caught up with all current shows again… rather than posting all microreviews at the end of the month, I’ll update this post throughout the month, after the individual series premieres. “Why,” you might ask? “I don’t know, like… ’cause,” I’d reply.
Anyway, the really good shit is in bold.
Watch This Shit:
- American Vandal
- Big Mouth
Puberty is animated and hilarious. Also, a bit easier if you’re lucky enough to have the ghost of Duke Ellington trapped in your attic.
- The Confession Tapes
Leave it to Netflix to turn true crime on its head. The first two episodes deal with one case, but six are documented throughout the first season. The gist is: crimes are committed, criminals confess, confessions are recorded. Summed up and tied in a pretty Qtv bow, it doesn’t sound all that interesting. But, bitch, it is.
- The Disappearance of Maura Murray
Another true crime series, you say? Shock and awe! I wanted to be really mad at this, since seemingly every damn network that exists is trying to put out the next big Serial. This was clearly just Oxygen trying to turn “The Disappearance of…” into a franchise. But, y’all, it’s actually fascinating. They’re calling this true crime, to lump it into that big-ass crowd of t.c. shows, but it’s actually true mystery. This particular missing woman may very well be alive and well somewhere, happily being not found. Fingers crossed.
- Electric Dreams
A pretty fantastic Sci-Fi anthology series based on the work of Philip K. Dick. I’m not the biggest fan of Sci-Fi, in general, and I enjoyed the shit out of this.
There’s a lot to unpack here. I’ll do my best. Mutants (think X-Men, but less save-the-world-y) live in an invisible bubble on the moon. Most of them are cool with it, but the cute guy from Vicious is not. He went through their “stand in a box while a blue crystal makes you special” trial and came out not special, you see. So, he fucks shit up for his brother and sister-in-law, the King and Queen (the latter of whom, by the way, he’s got a total evil boner for), and sends the good folks fleeing to Earth, the inhabitants of which have no idea these weird bitches even exist, let alone have lived on their damn moon. Crazy Marvel dramatics ensue.
P.S. Does anyone else’s entire body sing whenever they hear “Paint It Black?”
- Me, Myself & I
This one’s magical, y’all. A single life story, told at three different times of life, simultaneously. Plus, Urkle!
- Tales from the Tour Bus
One of animation’s biggest champions takes us on a strange documentary journey through band roadies’ tales of old. Don’t let the focus on country music throw you. This ain’t really about that.
- Tin Star
A London transplant moves to small-town Canada where he becomes police chief and appears to subsequently get shot to death in the fucking face. This sucker’s mad gritty, y’all.
Meh (a.k.a. Watch This Shit, or Don’t):
- ’90s House
Oh, it hurts. The pain of it all, y’all. Is this how real 70’s kids felt when That 70’s Show started?
If you give it a go, you’ll get such choice lines as “Three of you will be chillin’… one of you will be illin'” and “I think that my style is just killin’ way more than him.” So, there’s that.
- Chandra Levy: An American Murder Mystery
At three episodes, this isn’t a lot to commit to (which may be the only reason this isn’t in this month’s “Meh” list). And if you’re a true crime junkie, you might just love this. But it doesn’t offer a lot of new insight, other than the rantings of Condit‘s old driver who also claims to have been a very, very good friend. For me, though, it just reduced the untimely death of a woman to sadness about how much rich, cishet, white men can get away with.
- The Deuce
In a nutshell: 1970’s sex. It’s finding me during a moment of not finding sex fascinating, even when there are two James Francos and no matter how close HBO gets to actually showing a blowjob. So… meh.
- Evil Things
I don’t want to support the channel that brought us the Duggars, but… I love dumb, terrible, haunted shows like these! They’re such a guilty pleasure. All the actors being paid to play down-home folks all tell their “true” stories in the same monotone drawl, and the reenactors are just awful and it’s … so good! However comma… the reason it’s in “meh” is because the first episode deals with paranormal activity being caught on tape. But they never show the actual footage! What kind of fuckery is that? No bueno, producers.
- Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father
My incredible love for Jack Whitehall and his delicious lips notwithstanding, this series is okay. It’s funny, sure, but some of those “unscripted” interactions can cause some serious eyerolls. For pure, hearty laughs which include those big-ass Brit lips, just watch Bad Education.
Don’t Watch This Shit:
- The Good Doctor
- Law & Order: True Crime
Same “Dick Wolf Cash Register Sound” and same melodrama, true to L&O form, except this time they’re tacking “True” to the top of it. Plainly, the script is paint by numbers. It’s lovely having Edie Falco back on our screens, but even she can’t make this good TV. And the cutest cute dad who has ever cuted is now newly pornstached and, suffice it to say, less than cute.
P.S. Heather Graham grabs a dick while saying “Who’s gonna take care of Doctor Daddy?” This hilarity is the sole reason to watch the first episode, and the first episode alone. If you’re lucky, the scene will end up on YouTube to save you the time.
- The Magic School Bus Rides Again
Sit your child in front of the television. Press play on this new Netflix iteration of Magic Schoolbus. Walk away. Drink lots of wine.
That’s right, folks! It’s a plot twist! This show is completely and totally watchable… if you are a child. And for you parents, it’s the perfect opportunity to smoke ’em if you got ’em and not feel bad about it.
- The Orville
My problem with this series is pop culture. Someone making a reference to Papa Smurf is not a thing that would not happen three centuries from now. It’s akin to people speaking today’s English three centuries ago. That being said, however… I have an uncomfortable crush on Seth MacFarlane and Adrianne Palicki is the shit. So, I’m giving this Family Guy/Star Trek mashup a “Watch” for now.
*Edit* Just watched episode 3. Massive swing, even bigger miss. Basic premise: “Being female is a birth defect that should be corrected. – Or should it? – It should.” lol, Remember when Papa Smurf was my biggest problem with this series? Do. Not. Fucking. Watch. It.
- Star Trek: Discovery
I just don’t get it. I tried, I really did. But I will never, ever get it. In this, or any other galazy far, far away. I an not now, nor will I ever be, a Trekkie. Or a… Wars-ie(?), for that matter. Bryan Fuller‘s the only reason (other than Sonequa Martin-Green) that I even gave this series a shot, but since he’s stepped down from his post behind-the-scenes, I’m just left with the extreme boringness of space. No, thank you.