January Roundup, '18
This month, I was hella thirsty. And we got new rules! And Rose McGowan is taking us to church. Some real good shit, kids. (Especially in bold.)
Watch This Shit
- Alone Together
"Just because we're both small and undesirable doesn't mean we should date." Esther Povitsky. Esther Povitsky. Esther Povitsky.
- Black Lightning
An Olympic athlete turned high school principal is also secretly a badass superhero with two daughters (who may or may not also end up being superheroes themselves) and a complexion police think is evil.
It's really fucking poignant, actually. The hoops black and brown folks have to jump through just to not be MURDERED FOR EXISTING... imagine having lighting bolts coming out of your damn eyeballs on top of that.
Also, it's nice having a grown-ass superhero on the CW for a change. I mean, clearly the teen quota is filled for the show, but it seems they're definitely respecting the intelligence of their audience a bit more.
- The Chi
A soap opera that actually manages to be a compelling drama. So far, the theme seems to be "evil begets evil."
- Citizen Rose
Rose's story. Womens' stories. Powerful. Everything. Fucking watch this.
It's not really about her. It's about the message and the fight. But, my God, do I love the shit out of her. And what's really amazing is that the premiere bled a full hour into the State of the Union and I bet you a shiny silver U.S. dollar that that was intentional as fuck, and equally as admirable.
- Final Appeal
Y'aaaaaaaaaall. I watched this one on a whim! I cannot believe how good it is. This is the true crime series. The closest thing to televised Serial we've gotten so far.
I was gonna call this The First British Wives Club, tell you to watch it, and call it a day, but then #twist! In the last moment of the first episode it was revealed that this sucker's really a murder mystery. So, pour a glass of wine and get ready to feel real suspicious of your Nan.
- Child Support
This one's about how "hilarious" real office life is.
If an episode of Black Mirror was reality and you (yes, you) were one of a number of clones, some of whom may or may not be wealthy super-spies. It landed in "Meh" (rather than "Watch") because Black Mirror knows what a one-episode story looks like, as does that Philip K. Dick shit. I'm not sure if stretching this story out into a series is the way to go in today's anthology age. But by no means is it bad TV.
- LA to Vegas
It's Teachers meets Superstore, except the teachers are flight attendants and the customers are messy frequent-flyers on a Vegas-only airline. If you watch, you'll get such comedic genius as "don't cockpit block me." So... maybe don't watch. (This one's in "Meh" [rather than "Don't"] only because Dylan McDermott is still in my spank bank.)
- Let's Get Physical
Also, real talk, I have such a stupid crush on Matt Jones.
- This Time Next Year
Apparently this is a thing everywhere, but America's only just now catching up. An average Joe sets a goal for themselves and, through TV magic, comes back a year later (moments later), having either achieved the goal or not.
Cat Deeley's great, but America isn't. Yes, sure, I shed a tear for the paralyzed man who could walk again, but there's gonna be a whole lot of "I'm gonna lose seven thousand pounds by this time next year!" 'cause America, let's face it, we're fucking unhealthy. So, watch the British version (or something) instead.
David Koresh was misunderstood. If sympathy for the devil is your thing, check this one out.
P.S. Confession: Along with all the other random white dudes this month, I find actual David Koresh more attractive than Taylor Kitsch and, yeah, I know how gross I sound. I have shame.
P.P.S. Just to explain myself a little (because, for real, the shame of it all): If you look at David Koresh and ignore his awful hair, glasses, general look of psychosis in his eyes, and, ya'know, his being responsible for the deaths of 80-ish people... then you're pretty much left with Sam Witwer. And that bitch is pretty.
Don't Watch This Shit
A non-procedural experiment: What if we don't just focus on the detectives and whodunnit?
The experiment failed.
If this shit ain't the most ridiculous nonsense, I don't know what is. Connie Britton's mother is dying, Peter Krause's generally "getting too old for this," Angela Basset is married to some gay dude, and a hot young firefighter with a temper and an empty brain breaks the rules for pussy, but deep down really wants love. Not to mention the actual incidents the first responders deal with. THESE WRITERS THINK YOU WANT TO SEE A NEWBORN BABY GET FLUSHED DOWN A TOILET AND SURVIVE. I just can't.
- The Alienist
It's The Knick, but with murder instead of medicine.
I had an obnoxiously long rant about this one written out, but I've decided to be a little nicer and just simply explain: Historical fiction isn't my thing. Historical anything really isn't my thing. (Sorry, not sorry.) But especially not when it's full of subliminal messages meant to make us think about how "good" we have it these days. I mean, it's not like women are still walking into their male superiors' offices to find their dicks in their hands. Or, wait...
P.S. New rule! If you're gonna tell a trans story, have a trans person be involved.
- Laff Mobb's Laff Tracks
Reenactments of comedians' tight threes. ('Cause fives are too long now?) Basically, this is truTV's version of that one show MTV canceled after airing 2 episodes, except this time it's somehow even more scripted.
HBO thinks TV shows should be literal games now. This one was apparently released in pieces (for you to sort through) on an app. Then they put it together (and shortened it) for linear TV. I guess they had to film everything in such a way that the storytelling could work no matter how you viewed it? But all that's really done here is make all the mystery in this mystery incredibly boring. Basically, no scene seems to have anything to do with another. The pacing is just off, throughout.
AND AGAIN WITH THE MOTHER FUCKING GOD DAMN RIDICULOUS BLUR ON SHARON STONE'S GORGEOUS FACE THAT IS IN ZERO NEED OF ANY AIRBRUSHING WHATSOEVER. CUT THAT SHIT THE FUCK OUT YOU MORONIC ASSHOLES TRYING TO MAKE A KNOCK-OFF BIG LITTLE LIES.
- The Resident
lol. If nothing else, it gave me another new rule. (Big month for rules, y'all. Unfortunately.) No more of this "Everything you ever knew about _____ is wrong" nonsense. Some bitches do, in fact, know some shit. Sorry 'bout it.
- Step Up: High Water
Alright, let's be honest: most dance movies are stupid. They just are. It's a fact. When they do work, though, it's because of the dance. So, the clincher is: YOUR SHOW ABOUT DANCE HAS TO HAVE GOOD DANCING. Now, y'all remember when Iron Fist premiered and the internet rightfully reacted to how terrible the editing was? Well, that's every(!) single(!) dance sequence(!) of this series. All of them. Every single one. That they try to make a cheesy dance film into interesting drama is just silly, but to not feature any dance properly on top of that just makes this bad TV. You'd think YouTube would figure out how to make shit watchable, but alas...
- Mother, May I Dance With Mary Jane's Fist?
Not a series (though I'd probably watch it if it were one), but batshit crazy enough for me to have to mention it.