August Roundup, '19
Black women are owning everything this month and, ladies and gentleladies, I 👏 am 👏 here 👏 for 👏 it! The thick list of new shows are as follows with, as usual, the extra good shit in bold:
Watch This Shit:
Do I really need to describe this one for y'all? Just watch it. We're talking full belly laughs here.
P.S. Shout-out to the Donner party.
Another super-clear series title. If you've ever wondered what black women think and want to know why EVERY-FUCKING-BODY SHOULD LISTEN TO THEM... then give this series a well-deserved watch.
(Sidebar: I wonder why the one and only man in the studio full of women has to lead the conversation, but... I suppose we can let that slide since all he's doing is asking the questions.)
The painfully beautiful coming-of-age of a gifted black boy, disguised as a supernatural mystery. It's tough to tell what's real and what isn't at times, but you'll stop caring about half way through the pilot because the storytelling is just that damn good.
Viceland's five-part true crime docuseries about the self-proclaimed Charles Manson of Bible Belt, NC, the murders he and his cohorts committed, and the ineptitude of the local law enforcement.
Patients with seemingly undiagnosable diseases get the help of a worldwide network of other patients, medical students, nurses, and doctors to actually get a diagnosis. Go get yourself some tissues and prepare because, biiiitch, if you don't have an ugly Oprah cry when they finally get diagnosed, then you're officially in the Tin Man club.
A terrifying half-doc/half-dramatization about just how not separate church and state, in fact, are.
(Sidebar: Oooooh, Zachary Booth is prettyyyyy!)
Meek Mill, arrested and/or on probation for 11 years (from the age of 19), shines a light on the criminal justice system. And in the words of a featured investigative reporter: "I have never seen a case built on less."
They're baaaaack! The Travel Channel bitch-slapped the morons that cancelled Ghost Brothers and brought the boys back for this new series. The main difference is that rather than investigating random haunted locations, they're being called in by home owners to investigate where they live.
A six-part docuseries examining the execution-style vigilante killing of a small-town bully in Bumfuck, Missouri, and the floodgates his murder opened. If anyone deserved it, it seems Ken Rex McElroy assuredly did, but the violence he spread across their town didn't end with his death.
Lowkey-super gay Alexander Skarsgård is caught up in [not-]Amway's pyramid scheme bullshit when he gets eaten by an alligator (yup), leaving his widowed wife (Kirsten Dunst) and newborn to fend for themselves.
Kirsten is kill. ing. it. But, y'all, BETH DITTO! I love me some her.
Each episode of this five-part docuseries takes an up-close look at terror organizations around the world, attempting to answer the question of why they continue to grow.
A very Irish woman, who is less mentally healthy and more defensively hilarious, is trying to stabilize her life while unintentionally unstabilizing her sister's. (Sharon Horgan!)
A stand-up series featuring black female comedians hand-picked by future President of the United States, Tiffany Haddish.
Geniusssss. Very short-form creepypastas turned into 20 minutes of TV.
Multi-generational murderous wives. It's delicious.
There's a summer camp, two queen bees, and one of them is some kind of creepy witch or some shit. It wasn't terrible.
So, this one actually aired as a "special" episode of Roswell during it's first season. I guess it did well enough for the CW to turn it into a full-fledged investigation series. It aims to "bring closure to... long-lingering historical puzzles." Spoiler alert: it doesn't. But there are some interesting bits, if you're into weird shit from days of yore.
It's Mysteries Decoded, but... more self-centered? And admittedly creepier. So, even though the host seems like a Zak Bagans/Ryan Buell redux who spends way too much time [falsely] claiming credit for inspiring Stranger Things, it would be higher on the "Meh" list (if it weren't alphabetical [*kiss noise*]).
A celebrity interior designer and stylist power couple cater to their clientele of the most celebrated black female superstars. In their own words: they work with women who are the epitome of "black girl magic," which enhances their "black boy joy."
They're real cute, and I'm definitely going to keep watching, but it's down here in "Meh" because the producers build up drama and don't give nearly enough pay-off. Most of the first episode was "ruh-roh, Taraji's dress has a hole in it" and it ends exactly the same, without a resolution. It's great for a binge-a-thon, but if it wasn't on Netflix, that would've probably pushed this shown all the way down into the "Don't" list. And speaking of...
Don't Watch This Shit:
Amazon's answer to Game of Thrones is part fairy wars, part Jack the Ripper. There's white saviors, fairy sex, and too much shit to remember. Have fun, fantasy nerds, this one's for you (and only you).
It's Diagnosis, but live. And uncomfortable as fuck.
Facebook is paying for thirsty bitches to search for buried treasure... in the Amazon. Might be the worst possible timing of any series release, ever?
I'll admit, it is mildly entertaining watching people "under hypnosis." (Emphasis on "mildly.") In order to really enjoy it, though, you have to convince yourself that the folks who pass the "susceptibility test" (#eyeroll) aren't in fact the ones who are simply better at acting dumb when they're told to.
Rich white assholes being rich white assholes still isn't entertaining, even if you call it a comedy. It's shitting on organized religion, so I have to give it a point for that, but... yeah, no: hard pass. (Even as much as I do love Tim Baltz. [Sidebar: If y'all haven't watched Shrink yet, you're fucking up.])
A documentary about making a documentary about John Szeles while people make documentaries about John Szeles.
Another music history gem!
A look at unregulated religious boarding schools from the perspective of women who were lucky enough to survive them, and their attempts to protect the children still being abused.
Queer El Salvadorian weirdo superstar, Julio Torres, breaks down shapes, live on stage.
One of my absolute favorite cartoons growing up is back with a 45 minute special that, at its core, is about embracing change. Spoiler alert: a trans woman saves the day and it's fucking magical. #nipplesofthefuture
The Shit I Missed:
Kleptomania: The Teen Drama.
William Shatner wants to teach us about weird shit? I'm in.
The Shit I'm Not Sure About, but Am Telling You to Watch Anyway:
I've never seen The Dark Crystal and I don't really have a desire to watch Netflix's new prequel series, but my husband said "Bitch, if you don't recommend this shit...!" So, fantasy nerds, here's something you should probably watch (unlike that dumb faerie shit mentioned above) since it seems to have very much stood the test of time and turns normally calm men rabid with gay anger if it's given even the hint of side eye.