February Roundup, '19
Because this is super late, I was contemplating combining it with March, but the best combo I could come up with to call it was the "Farch" Roundup, which just... no. So, here's a very late submission (apologies) with all the good (extra good in bold), bad, and in between of February TV premieres. (March coming very soon as well.)
Watch This Shit:
It's E! News, except by animated aliens, from space, and obsessed with all of humanity rather than just the Kardashians.
Anyway, the first episode is basically the origin story of 4 misfit non-aging and morbidly-super superheroes who ended up in a mansion with a Professor X knockoff for 50-some-odd years. Eventually Daddy Xavier takes a trip for the weekend, so the kids go to town. Literally. For the first time. Like, ever. And they (completely accidentally, mind you) destroy it. (And then, ya'know, decide to fix and protect it and whatnot. #plot #responsibility)
There's also a donkey. It farts green words into the sky. It seems... significant?
I cannot stress enough how in love I am with Jennifer Carpenter. She is easily and without question my favorite actress, which I know I've mentioned before. In this new series, she's the "Benedict Arnold of our generation." A disgraced CIA agent turned American war criminal is enlisted, Hannibal Lecter-style, by the FBI to help stop more terrorist attacks from happening.
It does give off an episodic vibe, I'm fulling expecting "monster of the weeks," even though there will be an overarching story. But I defy you to watch that school scene and pretend like there isn't enough proper drama in between baddies to keep watching. (Or think of another actress who could have pulled the scene off that way. Jennifer Carpenter for the fuckin' win, y'all.)
Sorry, I can't write about this one, I have to go watch the entire rest of the series right now, k bye.
If only it hadn't premiered the same month as Lorena, it might've gotten more attention. (Or maybe they're hoping for folks to need a new fix of true crime dramz after devouring Lorena like I did?) Anyway, here's you're latest, greatest cult documentary. Jesus Freaks beware.
A bunch of superhero siblings (in various stages of mad at each other) reunite for their adoptive father's funeral. The back story: they were all born on a random October day in 1980-something to 40 some-odd non-pregnant mothers, Virgin-Mary-on-steroids style. The father who died, he tried adopting as many of them as possible (back before his death, obviously), but only got away with seven. They're grown now (mostly), each with dramz of their own, but they all still really love Tiffany. Also, the world is ending in eight days. Ooh, and Mary. J. Blige kicks a bunch of ass (but, fair warning, you're probably not gonna root for her).
Some future sci-fi comedy. With big gay Ed O'Neill! (But only for the first episode, presumably, since it's an anthology series.)
BET does with Soul Train in American Soul what NBC did with American Bandstand in American Dreams, same series creator in tow. It's a lot more maudlin than I expected, even with the knowledge of how Don Cornelius' life unfortunately ends. But it's definitely good enough to not end up in the "Don't" list.
The Netflix rip-off of First Dates. It's a hit in the UK, where it's still going strong, but the US version didn't get past season one. So, I guess Netflix is banking on bingeability turning this one into a success?
Anyway, the plot: you get to be a fly on the wall of a bunch of blind dates.
I'm not sure how to feel about this one. It starts off as just another somewhat uninteresting Anna Paquin vehicle, but eventually becomes low-key super feminist, and pretty fucking powerfully while it's at it. But then it quickly makes sure to head back to being the boring Anna Paquin show.
"When you laugh at insanity, are you crazy or sane?"
A frank and uncomfortable docuseries about comedy in worn-torn areas of the world. Emphasis on "uncomfortable docuseries."
Y'all know I'm a sucker for spooky shit, but this one's just Strange Evidence with a bad narrator and "experts" with jokes.
Honestly... kinda uncomfortable. Two 30-somethings play 7th graders, surrounded by actual 7th graders. Ogling actual 7th graders. Almost-making-out-with-but-ultimately-singing-to(-in-I-guess-a-funny-way?) 7th graders.
Picture Big Mouth if it was live action and less insane, but still pretty ridiculous.
Don't Watch This Shit:
So, I guess... Scandal's back? But this time Olivia Pope's a redhead. Pass.
If you like actors who scream every line and "giant dicks are guns" jokes, then this flaming corpse of a "comedy" show is for you.
Noel's a spy who says things like "I have my feelings, my feelings don't have me." I thought Lauren Cohan would keep me from writing this one off as just a bad spy drama that wishes it was a slapstick comedy, but ... nah.
It's AGT meets World of Dance, though each separately do it better than the "world's best" combination of the two. The judges are great, but only when they're not judges on this show. And James Cordon, as the host, gets on your nerves as much as you'd imagine he would. It's just CBS trying to get their skin in the talent show game.