Augtember Roundup, '18
Ooh-wee, y'all. August was a time. I moved to a new state, quit my job (!), and watched a whole bunch of TV (sporadically). So, here are the August and September premieres. Plus a bunch of shit that either aired previously in other territories (like, "last year" kind of "previously") or on July 31st (those last-day-of-the-month premieres are my downfall). A lot should obviously be in the "Shit I Missed" category, but... fuck that. I'm mixing it all together 'cause I'm a rebel. Here we go!
Watch This Shit:
Fair warning: this one's a tough watch, but it's well-made. And as someone who's spent three years listening to doctors tell me they have no idea why I have stomach pain only when I lay on my left side... this docuseries is somewhat comforting. It follows people with so-called "modern day diseases." The undiagnosable shit which must be in our heads if doctors can't figure it out (sidebar: go fuck yourself if that's your school of thought).
A high school in Illinois held a Black Lives Matter assembly for students of color because some 👏 shit 👏 isn't 👏 for 👏 white 👏 people and, shock of the century: white folks were mad about it. Parents complained and the school board reacted. In a somewhat genius move, a debate was held regarding whether to allow a documentary crew to film the school for a year, in an attempt to get everyone's perspective. The yays won the vote. This series is the result.
First of all, can I just say... HOW IS DAVID ALAN GRIER THIS OLD? Second, this shit's a good time. Old folks being cool old folks. And the laugh track doesn't annoy the shit out of me!
Matt Groening's long-gestating medieval tale about a boozy Princess (who definitely doesn't want to get married) and her shoulder angel and devil companions (an elf and not-talking-cat demon, respectively).
It's pretty much exactly what the title implies. God cyber-stalks an athiest until he does her bidding. Burning bushes and all.
So, yeah, it's Tom Arnold. And he is just as Tom Arnold as you'd expect him to be. But also... he's doing the damn thing. As the name suggests, he's unearthing all the dirty laundry that Drumpf's trying to keep hidden. Here's 16 hours of Trump on Stern, for example. Listen to that shit if you can stand it.
Just your average crazy-ass agoraphobic/stockholm syndrome, body snatchers/pod people, runaway type of shit.
Some dude does magic on Netflix. Y'all know how I love magic! (And if you don't: I love magic.) Watch thisss.
It's the Great British Bake-Off, but for crafting instead of baking. "Making," as it were. And it's real cute.
Essentially "Bobcat Goldthwait's Twilight Zone." Imagine a creepy anthology series through a comedy lens. Actually, don't imagine it. Just watch the show. In the first episode Seth Green plays a voice-over actor, known for the fictional character Bubba the Bear. Except, twist, Bubba may or may not be a real-life cartoon (yes, you read that right) and he's suuuper dark and pretty pissed about, like... everything. Beware of pianos and hedge-clippers, folks.
Category is: Living For the Ball! A deep look at life inside the current ball culture. Paris Is Burning 2018.
I mean... horror TV is basically never going to get a bad review from me, let's be real. So, I'm not mad at the Purge films getting the TV treatment. This take basically mixes the films with 24. If you haven't seen any of the films by now, don't bother watching this series. If you have seen the films, and enjoyed them (you creepy gorgeous little horror lover, you), then definitely watch this.
Some schizophrenic dark [art-]comedy. An HBO exec watched a lot of Adult Swim and I'm not mad about it.
So, the actor who played the second-most horrible guy in Crazy Rich Asians (Bernard beat him out for the title of "most horrible," obvs) previously had an Australian tv non-movie (there's apparently this anthology series, one episode of which centered around Ronny seemingly having to drink a shit ton of beer in order to get books that a bunch of assholes stole) about going to college in Australia. It was successful enough to get a full series order, which aired last year in Australia, and just this month in the states. So, here it is. International student hijinks. (Sidebar: Did you know "hijinks" is a plural only word? How shitty is that? I'm gonna go spray a graffito about it.)
A bunch of white folks enjoying a day on their fucking yacht stumble upon a dead boat chock-full of asylum seekers stranded in the middle of the Indian Ocean. After a debate about whether or not to try to tow them, we're brought into the future where all the white folks have no idea what happened to the asylum seekers, some of whom have "serendipitously" come to dinner. Needless to say, the meal doesn't go well.
The drama of the series essentially boils down to three points: 1. Who cut the other boat loose? 2. Why the fuck? And 3. How the hell do these assholes not know?
When Lennie James isn't killing zombies and shit, he's writing, producing, and starring in this fucking compelling six-part series. His estranged daughter gets catfished by (and goes missing with) someone posing as him.
Taran Killam's one of those annoying Superdads and the other single parents at his new school aren't into it. Also, their kids are surprisingly hilarious.
A skeevy doctor, once acclaimed for his work in reproductive science, empgrenated a whole mess of women over the course of 30 years, and their kids have all just found out about it. The one woman who knew she was his daughter spins it into a warped family reunion, which is kinda fucking adorable for a little while. But it quickly turns into annoying siblings and law suits. (Still definitely worth watching, though.)
Facebook's first actually compelling drama. Elizabeth Olsen stars as a widow, full stop. It's a study in grief, with periodic flashbacks for the extra drama.
If you like comedies that make you bored most of the time and occasionally chuckle, this one's right up your alley. You don't get to the actual plot until the third episode and I honestly didn't even want to watch the second.
While it's fantastic to have a comedy series with a distinctly female voice, and one shining a specific light on the ways women generally feel, it seems as though Sarayu Blue's Emet uses her group of male co-workers as her go-to for advice. She works in the tech field, so it makes unfortunate sense that that's what her work world would look like, but it takes a bit of the luster out of the series for me.
Y'all, I can't honestly tell you what the hell this show's about. Jonah Hill is maybe schizophrenic? And Emma Stone's maybe some kind of spy? That's all I got from the first episode, other than that it's in the future. Justin Theroux apparently jacks off at some point, which is the only reason it's not in the "Don't Watch" list.
An airplane takes off and lands on time, except #twist, it's 5 years later on the ground. It's The 4400 with a harder emphasis on the melodrama rather than the sci-fi, although the passengers are maybe psychic now? So, there's at least some supernatural something-or-other to unpack.
I'm on the fence about this one. A definite "meh." It's not terrible, but it's not great either. It just doesn't really bring anything new to the table. There's a bit of Seinfeld in the "loose boots," Eddie Murphy in the preacher, and, of course, a tired old laugh track. Sinbad steals the show the few minutes he's on screen, but I'm not sure he's enough to keep this one going.
This one's got a lot going for it. There's Alison Rich and Eliza Coupe. There's Dermot Mulroney as DERMOT MUL-MOTHER-FUCKING-RONEY (for an episode, at least). There are lines like: "Oprah Winfrey calls Riggle a 'Dill Hole.'" Which all sounds like it should add up to a watchable comedy, but this one's still stuck in an in-between place. Not enough slapstick to be full-on slapstick, same with regular old laughs. Too weird to be mainstream. (Probably why it ended up on Crackle, if we're all being honest.)
Jackass: The Next Generation. Only a preview special has aired so far, and it doesn't seem to be streamable, so... you can't watch this shit anyway.
Don't Watch This Shit:
It's This Is Us, with a bunch of straight dudes instead of a family.
The poor man's Dietland.
This line from the premiere prety much captures how I felt watching it: "Do you always have to talk to people like they're four years old?"
An incredibly down on his luck grifter finds a lodge that welcomes him with a punch to the face. And it's supposed to be super mystical maybe? I don't know, it's very boring. Even when he's shirtless.
I spent 40 minutes waiting for Yu Tsai to be an asshole and, turns out, it doesn't even happen until episode two. (If that.) Hard pass.
An attempts to make police's real-life lack of balls into comedy.
If the reenacments weren't so ridiculous, and if Marcia Clark didn't pop in every once in a while to tell the audience the proper way to commit crimes, then maybe this would be worthwhile television. But, alas...
"Any prison sentence would be really tough for a suburban mother of five." Who wouldn't it be tough for? "The judge said, 'you're not a bad person, you did bad things.'" Who is a bad person if not someone who does bad things?
Fuck this dumb show.
"Any healthy country, like any healthy individual, should be in perpetual revolution. Perpetual change."
"If you think about: controlling when and if and how many children somebody has, it's... the absolute demonstration of patriarchy."
It has nothing to do with children. It has everything to do with controlling women.
The facts: "Trends in use of effective contraceptive methods are associated with reductions in unwanted pregnancy rates." "Republicans... oppose 'school-based clinics that provide referral or counseling for... contraception.'"