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
Viceland meets Documentary Now! “Who spray painted the dicks?” is Netflix’s answer to “Who shot J.R.?“
- 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
Norman Bates tries to be Doogie Howser. Pass. Feels like the Heartbeat of this season.
- 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.
As of this writing, I have made it all the way through my DVR to February 27th. I think it’s time to face the facts. This is officially a pilot microreview (…’s a word, yes? No? Did I just invent it? ™, bitches.) blog. For I will never, ever catch up. With that in mind:
Watch this shit:
- The Defenders
If you’re not aware, Defenders is the culmination of four separate Marvel/Netflix series that all exist in the MCU. To say the least, they vary in goodness (as in… one of the four kinda sucked). And, seriously, from the very first shot, Defenders was already better than Iron Fist. Not a difficult feat, granted…
What is difficult is seamlessly merging four very different shows into one. The first of its kind, if I’m remembering correctly. If every AHS season eventually does connect, that’ll be Ryan Murphy‘s attempt at replicating this, but I don’t foresee anything similar happening any time soo- …. I just remembered the dumb week-long crossovers they did for all those damn CW shows this past season. So, there was that. (Sidebar: eyeroll at that bullshit Flash/Supergirl musical. Once More, with Feeling or bust.)
Incorrect tangents aside: they do an okay job at keeping the feel of each individual series in the first Defenders episode. I was hoping for a bit more pace, but we’re left without the core four actually hooking up with each other. We do get a dying Sigourney Weaver apparently initiating the demise of New York City via earthquake, though. And Jessica Jones‘ outgoing answering machine message. (“Wrong. Number.”) Which, honestly, is reason enough to watch the entire series. And everything Krysten Ritter has ever done, ever.
- The Guest Book
Abed (’cause I literally can’t think of him as any other character) is a horny husband and father, married to Lauren Lapkus who’s an exhausted wife and mother who understandably isn’t trying to fuck. But then the cabin saves them by being a cabin! And that’s all I’d say about this series, if that’s what it was about. This little mini-review would be sitting below in the “Meh” category and that would be that. However comma… *twist* It’s an anthology series! And every episode is completely different, featuring a new story about new people staying in the aforementioned cabin of curativeness!
So, if you liked Easy, but wish Orlando Bloom was actually funny… check this series out.
- The Sinner
It means something when Jessica Biel stabs a man to death during family day at the beach, bur her husband is still more unlikable. Not sure if that means Jessica Biel is an amazing actress or if Christopher Abbott is the fucking worst.
- Weekend Update
SNL cashing in on the success of their last season which, honestly, they absolutely deserve to. If you’re itching for a Jost/Che fix, chock full of cameos, then Lorne Michaels is your new best good friend.
- The Tick
Fun, silly, superhero romp of silly silliness. With just enough twinge of seriousness to make it compelling. Also, that psycho from The Following is all normal-sauce! It’s so refreshing!
Marlon Wayans (easily the most annoying Wayans, hence: “meh”) is being raised by his ex-wife. As are their two kids. He’s also a YouTube pranker. (It’s as if the producers asked “How do we make an annoying person more annoying?”)
- Mr. Mercedes
A 20-something kid destined for incest-induced matricide put on a clown mask and killed a bunch of folks who were trying to get jobs (Thanks, Donald!). Actually, the killer klown may not have been the kid in question. But, honestly… I mean, come on, his mother licked his teeth. He’s definitely killing something or other at some point. Anyway, this show is actually less about him and more about the retired cop who can’t let go of the unsolved employment-seeker murders. He’s foreign and his neighbor wants to fuck the shit out of him, as does his favorite waitress at his brunch hot spot. ‘Cause, in case you’re unaware: when you’re old, overweight, hairy, male, and generally un-Statue-of-David-esque: you’re still fuckable (Thanks, Stephen King!).
- The Lowe Files
If rich folks bro-ing out and hunting ghosts is your thing, then you’ll love Rob Lowe & Less Attractive Sons.
And that’s all, folks! Nothing too terrible this month. Live long and watch. And donate to Harvey relief. And don’t listen to Republicans when they blame homosexuality. Peace.
Let’s just dive right in, shall we? Not a whole lot of ground to cover this month…
Watch this shit:
- I’m Sorry
A comedy writer who keeps it really real finds herself in odd scrapes with folks who keep it really fake. And she says “fuck” a lot! What’s not to love?
- Midnight, Texas
A psychic, who regularly hangs out with his dead pothead grandma, moves to the creepiest of all creepy towns that happens to be inhabited by all sorts of sexy folks. Psychics, ghosts, vampires, witches who may or may not be lesbians that have talking cats, and since it’s based on Charlaine Harris novels… a murder mystery as well! It’s been too long since we’ve had some good True Blood-esque TV and, dare I say it, I think Midnight might even be more enjoyable. After all, “Midnight is very different in daylight.” (That line was way too good for me to not quote.)
There is one big issue, though. A huge pet peeve of mine. Tattoo artists who don’t have tattoos. That should never be a thing. Ever. Ever ever ever.
Said tattoo artist also happens to be gay. And an angel, which is not the problem. The problem is, but hopefully won’t be: he’s in a relationship. If him and his man friday never get affectionate (as damn near every straight actor playing gay tends to never do), then I’m gonna spend way too much time being pissed off about it. So, NBC better save me from wasting all of that time and energy by making two people in a relationship fucking kiss. Please and thank you.
This one slipped through my cracks. Didn’t actually know anything about it until Netflix flashed it on my screen and said “Hey, watch this!” It turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Jason Bateman‘s been a low-key criminal for ten years, eight of which his partners spent ripping off their boss. When bossman finds out, a whole mess of people get killed, but Jason sweet talks his way into moving his family to the Ozarks where he’s sure he’ll make millions of dollars by doing… some kind of shit with drugs. I don’t know, it was confusing. He’s really stoic and he knows way more about money than you or I. Also, he’s married to Laura Linney who was fucking this dude who gets thrown off of a building (which we see happen, up close and way too personal… fun) and his kids hate him. Basically: Think Breaking Bad minus cancer.
- The Last Tycoon
Behind the scenes of a 1930’s Hollywood movie studio. Quite literally behind the scenes, in fact, with the Dust Bowl migrants living in the backlot. Also, America’s Sweetheart has died. And Hitler’s trying to control films while still murdering people, which Frasier‘s cool with.
Oh, and I almost forgot about the aortal defect our main character has that will cause his heart to just randomly explode some day. Can you feel my eyeroll through your screen?
Don’t watch this shit:
I’m giving major side-eye to whoever wrote this pilot. The first five minutes amounts to “women in power and their pesky feelings about things,” while minutes six through ten are “See?! I TOLD YOU lame, nerdy, ‘smart’ guys can get girls! They even joke about math problems before they do. lolz”
Said nerdy guy cums and goes just in time to 1) get his professor killed, 2) get chased by men in black, 3) convince some rich dude we’re supposed to care about to give him the time of day, and 4) save the world from… asteroids, folks. Asteroids. All of which covers the first fifteen minutes. I could not stomach a sixteenth, to be honest.
Ya’ wanna know what really pisses me off? When you try to modernize the past and you do it horribly. No one said the word “shitbag” until the 1940’s and they sure didn’t use it in the Elizabethan era. It makes me as angry as a sentence beginning with “Ya’ wanna” would’ve probably made Shakespeare.
This series is created and written by Craig Pearce, who co-authored Baz Luhrmann‘s Romeo + Juliet, which I thought meant great things for the show. The problem is, though, that all he really did for the film was cut and paste. The source material was already there. He takes the creation upon himself this go around and does it without Baz. Which leaves us with not-so-interesting stories featuring the folks from jolly old dressed up like lost boys who paint their faces with neon. It’s a fucking Ren fair on acid.
Not to mention, the last episodic retelling of a Shakespearean story (granted, it wasn’t about the man himself) has not worked out so well. If Shonda can’t do it, TNT sure can’t.
Yes, folks. It’s been a slow month, indeed. But nonetheless, some noteworthy stuff premiered and my short takes on them are below. As always, the real good shit’s in bold.
Watch this shit
- Beat Shazam
Fun new game show whose ass I could KICK. Hollywood Game Night ignored my application, but I will not be deterred! Definitely applying for this shit. Anyway, It’s exactly what it sounds like. You gotta be the fastest person to identify a song correctly, with the possibility of one million fucking dollars at stake. It’s basically Who Wants to Be a Musical-Nerd-Millionaire.
- Downward Dog
One of those amazing shows that network execs have no fucking clue what to do with because it doesn’t perfectly match one of their other “successful” shows, so they air it at the tail end of the season and hope for the best. *cough, cough* Save Me *cough, cough*
Anyway, Allison Tolman is the fucking jam. And Hope’s dad is looking super indie rock and delicious. Anddd… the main character is a literal dog. It’s a good God damn time.
Also, I’m a complete and utter cat person. I am one hundred thousand percent a total cat person. And even I think this show is fucking cute.
- World of Dance
Yesssss. So. Much. This. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I’m a SYTYCD watcher. And, let’s be real, a bit of a SYTYCD hater. World of Dance is everything SYTYCD should be. And every reason why Dancing with the Stars is awful. The only thing it’s missing is Cat Deeley, who can do no wrong in my eyes. Even when she’s telling loud bitches to shut the fuck up, she’s doing her job well. I will still be sad to see So You Think go, but I think it’s inevitable at this point. WoD is So You Think’s death rattle. Any age, any style, any number of people, actual scoring based on specific criteria as opposed to just judges arbitrarily deciding shit amongst themselves, and so much delicious, wonderful, amazing, dance. I’m in love. My tiny gay heart is all a flutter, y’all. Watch. This. Shit.
- Still Star-Crossed
Alright, here’s why this isn’t in the “Watch” list: Turns out, all the obsessing I did over Romeo + Juliet while growing up had less to do with Shakespeare and more to do with Baz Luhrmann and his soundtrack curating. I’m just not big on those Elizabethan era dramas. It probably took marrying a theater history PhD candidate to figure that out.
With that being said, this is by no means a show not worth watching. It is impeccably made, as all series living in ShondaLand tend to be, and the acting, writing, and directing are spot on. Plus, Giles’ sexy ass is back on our screens in his native [and delicious] accent (shoutout to that dumb Syfy series he did in an American accent which I eventually gave up on, as did every other viewer). It is a bit of a departure from Shonda shows of yore, but the Shonda DNA is still in there. So, yes, if you’re keen to hang out in the 1400’s and see how two sets of assholes quit being assholes to each other, with lots of dramz until they figure that out: then, this show’s for you.
Welp, I’ve officially gotten to February, y’all! “Two months behind” seems to be my permanent DVR status (though, it’ll probably turn into three). But, just for you, I made sure once again to watch all the premieres I could. My short takes on each are below.
Watch this shit:
- American Gods
It feels so incredibly good to have Bryan Fuller back on television. There’s simply nothing else like his shit. Period. I can’t really tell you much about the plot, other than there’s an ex-con trying to get to his wife’s funeral, and a bunch of superhuman people (Gods, maybe?) revolving around him. He may or may not have become a God himself after beating up a leprechaun version of Pornstache. Also, a vagina straight up ate a dude. An entire person. Dentata realness, folks. If that ain’t worth watching, I don’t know what is.
A baseball announcer wading through the aftermath of his entire shitshow of a life becoming public knowledge (by him and his own drunken rant, mid-game). The twist: his unraveling was one of the world’s first viral videos and then made even more famous by a Drake lyric (sidebar: fuck Drake) turning our dear announcer into a household name. So, naturally he’s parlayed his “success” into a permanent announcing gig that comes with a stocked liquor cabinet. Plus, it’s Hank Azaria. The only thing better than him being able to act in voice is when he does it with his shirt off. And it’s on cable, so his nipples are bound to pop out. Also, Amanda Peet and Katie Finneran. They’re worth mentioning because they’re both amazing.
- Dear White People
When the trailer for this series premiered, white folks went nuts. I remember lots of comments along the lines of “But if we tried to make a series called ‘Dear Black People,’ we’d be racist.” Oh, we would, would we? A series centering on a black woman with knowledge of race relations is not racism. However, white folks reacting to the series with hate and negativity (before ever watching it) because its told from a perspective that’s not theirs… is.
The real genius, and the reason this amazingness went to series without Netflix batting an eyelash, is because it’s actually about that backlash. The series responds to every bit of inevitable reactionary nonsense in its first 10 minutes.
P.S.: The world NEEDS Defamation to be a real thing.
- Dimension 404
Robert Buckley is so fucking cuuuute. Ugh. I can’t handle how attracted to him I am. Which is kind of a shame since he’s only in the first episode. (But whatever, I watch iZombie [’cause I’m a 13-year-old girl like that] which he stars in.) Anyway, he’s only in this one episode because this sucker’s one of them nifty anthology series that are all the rage these days. Think: Twilight Zone that doesn’t take itself so seriously. Or a poor man’s Black Mirror. It’s good, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not bringing anything terribly unique to the table, other than a bit more comedy than its predecessors.
- First Dates
Y’all… I was not prepared for how obsessed with this show I’d be. You are the fly on the wall of a restaurant in which real folks are going on very real blind dates with each other. That may sound lame to you (because it definitely did to me), but it is so worth a watch. Plus, Drew Barrymore narrates and I love me some her.
This miniseries is a dramatization of real life events that took place in 1970s London. It shows the inner-workings and interpersonality of prominent figures in the black power movement. An apt story for the world we find ourselves living in today, along with:
- The Handmaid’s Tale
This shit is in–mother–fucking–tense. In a nutshell: A not too distant future that’s a Republican’s wet dream (which, today, they’ll pretend they don’t want, but actively, constantly try to get). #mynameisjune
- Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History
A poignant look at history told from first-hand accounts and archival footage, with music at the heart. Drs. King and Simone feature prominently in the first episode, detailing the American civil rights movement.
- Talk Show the Game Show
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Three celebs compete against each other to see which one is the best talk show guest. And once again: Tiffany Haddish is everything.
- Talking with Chris Hardwick
Here’s the ONLY reason this almost ended up in the “Meh” category: It’s essentially Talking Dead/Bad/Saul/et al. minus Dead/Bad/Saul/et al. So, if you’ve never watched any of the iterations, the cutie pie that is Chris Hardwick talking to folks and having lots of laughs may not be your cup of tea. I, myself, would happily swim in that tea until my fingers got all pruney. I’ve been secretly in love with Mr. Hardwick since he had his incredibly 90s long hair on Singled Out, back when my only goal in life was to somehow end up on MTV because, really, what else was there to dream about? Anyway, if you hate watching bitches talking to each other about themselves and/or the entertainment industry, this ain’t for you. A pretty big deal breaker will also be if you actually are or aren’t a fan of whoever Chris’ guest is.
Don’t watch this shit:
- Fire Island
If you LOVE reality shows about generic-ass people (with ridiculous bodies and a penchant for alcohol and drama) living in a dream house you wish you had the chance to even stand near, let alone live in… then this one’s for you. I mean, look: It’s cute and all that a single letter in the LGBTQ2 initialism gets another reality show dedicated all to themselves, but it doesn’t make reality television any more interesting. The most possibly compelling thing that could happen between sexy gay men weekending on Fire Island for an entire summer is if some of them aren’t feeling particularly horny one day and wish everyone would just keep their clothes on. I’ll pass.
The coming of age story of a girl who is deliberately an asshole for no other reason than because she’s sure there will be a definitive reason (that she believes she’ll one day discover) why she’s supposed to be an asshole. She’s mad for the sake of being mad, she’s rude for the sake of being rude, and she finds her reflection in any mirror fucking outstanding. This show is based on a book (which is based on a life), the title of which is a god damn hashtag. Even with Jim Rash and RuPaul cameos, this one’s a hard pass.