October Roundup, ’17

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

    Jack Whitehall and Rosie Perez. NOTHING MORE NEED BE SAID. Watch it.

  • Ghosted

    Paul Blart meets People of Earth. Whoever put Craig Robinson and Adam Scott together deserves an award.

  • 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.

  • Mindhunter

    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

    Real World meets Celebrity Fear Factor. Spooky, silly Halloween fun.

    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!

Meh:

  • The Eleven

    If you’re tired of spending all of your true crime TV time in Chillicothe, OH, then head on over to Galveston in A&E’s new addition to the ever-expanding bandwagon.

  • 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.”

  • Lore

    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?

  • Superstition

    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:

  • 9JKL

    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.

  • Loudermilk

    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.

 

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The Decnuary Roundup (Dec ’16/Jan ’17)

I’m getting back on track. S. L. O. W. L. Y. (But I’m probably never going to be able to post about anything immediately after it airs until bitches pay me enough to quit my day job. Just sayin’.) So, here it go (real extra good shit that you need to watch in bold):

December

Watch this shit:

Meh

(a.k.a. Watch it or don’t, but either way it’s not the greatest ever):

  • Delicious

    Wasn’t terrible, but definitely didn’t hook me. If you’re into “narrated from beyond the grave”-type shit, that happens to be British and also includes food, then this is your bag.

  • Mariah’s World

    I mean… it is what it is. If you like reality shows about famous people being famous, here you go.

  • Terry Crews Saves Christmas

    Cute holiday fun. Even better if you wait to binge it until after the world explodes because dumb assholes couldn’t stand female e-mails.

  • The Wall

    Who wants to be aPLINKO!”

Guilty Pleasure:

  • The Deleted

    This utter nonsense is about horny kids who don’t own shirts and apparently escaped a cult because the milk they were served was drugs. And one of them might also be a psychotic robot. Need I say more?

January:

Watch this shit:

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events

    I was sort of prepared to not be interested in this show, but my husband was all about it, so we watched it together. I was won over, folks. It’s a real good time.

  • Beyond

    Just your average, wholesome, all-American “aliens are making shit float in the woods” coming-of-age-in-a-12-year-coma story. Definitely worth your time.

  • Caraoke Showdown

    Musical Cash Cab, hosted by the great Craig Robinson.

  • Emerald City

    Probably about as dark and realistic a take on Oz that we’ve seen.

  • Mary Kills People

    Essentially, it’s Dr. Mary Kevorkian. Not the greatest pilot ever, but Caroline Dhavernas is amazing and I trust her choices. So, I’ll keep watching.

  • The Mick

    Bad Teacher meets Uncle Buck. It has its moments. Three cheers for Carla Jimenez.

  • One Day at a Time

    Cuban family drama, love, and happiness. Seriously, such a good show.

  • Riverdale

    Other than it being based on the Archie comics, it’s not really any different from your typical high school drama. Except maybe the murder mystery? Not that it makes it a bad series, mind you. Just don’t expect anything ground breaking is all I’m saying.

  • Sneaky Pete

    Giovanni Ribisi‘s crazy Scientology-loving-dumbass is an ex-con/future re-con. Not mad at it, but it’s not my new favorite thing.

  • Spy in the Wild

    Fucking crazy-town first-person point of view of animals in their natural habitats. Some really amazing sights.

  • Throwing Shade

    If John Oliver is America’s dad and Samantha Bee is America’s mom, then Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson are attempting to be America’s gay uncle and sassy aunt, respectively.

Meh

(a.k.a. You fuckin’ get it, this shit probably sucks):

  • Big Fan

    “Big fans” have a trivia face-off against celebrities about those celebrities. Unless you’re as big a fan of the celebrity as their stalkers are, the show really won’t mean that much to you.

  • Hunted

    Truly meh. I tried watching the original UK version before this series, and it got boring real quick. This US version explains just a bit more of how they find these voluntary “fugitives,” but that doesn’t really make it any more interesting.

Mr. Robinson vs. Mr. Hightower

I’m really not one to play the comparison game. Being truly original in 2015 is, admittedly, a rare thing. I think we have to appreciate originality and tolerate similarity; embrace it, even, if it’s done well. We live in the age of sequels and reboots and reworks and remakes and it can get tiring, I know. So, in talking about Mr. Robinson, I feel compelled to talk about the show it is eerily similar to. That’s The Steve Harvey Show.

Journey back with me to my formative teenager years. Back when Michigan J. Frog was my television puppet-master. Back when we were served this lovely piece of sitcom goodness: A musician in a funk band, unable to make a career out of it, becomes a school music teacher. We’ve got a best friend who’s also in the band, two fellow teachers that fall in love, and our main character secretly pining after a co-worker.

Today, the festively colored peacock gives us the following: A musician in a funk band, unable to make a career out of it, becomes a school music teacher. We’ve got a brother who’s also in the band, two fellow teachers that fall in love, and our main character secretly pining after a co-worker.

The main differences? High school vs. middle school, the actors playing the parts, and what the network censors allow. None of Harvey’s Booker T. Washington High School teachers would have openly moonlighted as exotic dancers. And they definitely would not have talked about Eskimo taints with the principal.

Even with all those taints, Craig Robinson doesn’t manage to pack the same punch with 2015 NBC that Steve Harvey did with 1996 WB. But does he really need to? It’s clear that Robinson has comedic talent, and he’s worthy of carrying his own show. It’s just not clear if this is the show he should do it with. It’s not a bad show and it’s got its funny moments, so “comedic sitcom” mission accomplished, no? I think… maybe, sort of.

One could argue that comparisons are meaningless. (That “one” is usually me.) Any show about a teacher could be compared to Welcome Back, Kotter. Was Dharma & Greg the new I Love Lucy? Or was it the new Odd Couple? If Are You There, Chelsea? was whittled down to “a show about a bar,” it would have never been up to snuff when compared to Cheers. So, two tales of two different decades housing two different musician music teachers doesn’t necessarily mean they have anything to do with each other. But are there enough differences to warrant both tales being told? That’s the important question. Again, I think maybe. Already mentioned in this here post, we’ve got:

  1. Middle school kids and high school kids are both kids, yes, but they are very different kinds of kids. So, there’s that.
  2. Craig’s humor is definitely not Steve’s humor. Whether that’s a plus or minus is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I’m not mad at an Eskimo taint, but it probably would’ve made me feel icky if Steve Harvey talked about it.

Other than that, we’ve got more characters to get to know on Mr. Robinson. Steve’s best friend, who is his band mate and the school gym teacher, comparably is Craig’s brother and band mate, played by Brandon T. Jackson, and is not the gym teacher, played by Ben Koldyke (who, by the way, has some killer thighs in them short shorts). The object of Steve’s affections also happens to be his boss, whereas Craig’s is a fellow teacher, his equal, who both have to answer to the principal, played brilliantly (in my humble opinion) by Peri Gilpin. There’s also another offshoot of Cedric the Entertainer‘s character who falls for the female comic relief (Mr. Robinson‘s Lovita, if you will).

In general, I think Craig pulled the short end of the stick. I have not seen the original pilot, but it was created by people who did not run the series and it starred numerous actors who were replaced. This, to me, means lots of network interference. Then, it was put on the air for three weeks near the end of the summer schedule. That means “burn off.” So, NBC swoops in, changes everything, then doesn’t have enough faith in their creation to give it a real shot. I think Craig absolutely deserves a show. If he’s stuck with this one, I hope he gets a second season and I hope he’s able to control it a bit more. But if season two is not in the works, I’d be okay with that as well. The Steve Harvey Show came back into syndication this year, so we’ve at least got that. No Eskimo taints, I’m afraid.

(I really wanted to see how many times I could fit “Eskimo taint” into a review. I feel good about it.)