Been kind of out of it these past few days. I had a significant religious experience over the holiday weekend that I won’t bore you nice people with… much.
I have been in what can only be described as a completely stunned state (of the incredibly pleasant variety) for a while, and I totally forgot to post to my blog in between forgetting to breathe. (Am I breathing now? How about now?)
However I promise to remedy that in the next few days starting with a long overdue:
What’s Good? TV 2016 Edition… where I cover my top ten favorite new shows, and list the ones I tried but gave up on. Some other stuff.
And anyway, Buddha says hi.
MY TOP TEN FAVORITE NEW SHOWS (of the past few months)
So many good and clever new shows this year. And as always my favorite stuff is in the Science Fiction section. All but one of my Top Ten New Shows is sci-fi and the other is pretty damn fantastic.
Let’s start with that one.
Created by Donald Glover
Okay, this show reminds me of another of my favorite comedies, Portlandia. Portlandia is amazing. Portlandia is a sketch comedy about the city of Portland with recurring characters played by the two leads; Carrie Brownstein (one of my favorite people) and the amazing Fred Armisen. The way Portlandia sends up the unique characteristics of Portland, Oregon, Atlanta does the same for that city in Georgia, except without the sketches, just the recurring characters. Three friends; A rapper on the verge of minor stardom, His partner in crime (literally), And his cousin who desperately wants to manage his career (played by the almost annoyingly multi-talented writer, producer, actor and musician Donald Glover [aka Childish Gambino])
Atlanta is outstanding. Gritty and real. Poignant and touching. Hysterically funny and irreverent. Funky as all hell. Stupidly political to the point of genius. As subversive as early South Park. As well-written as the first few seasons of Modern Family. As entertaining as a German Shepherd discovering a love for snow for the first time in his dog life. And yes I couldn’t think of a show to compare it to for sheer entertainment value because there has never been a show like Atlanta. Its ten episodes are like ten choice cuts off the début album of the best new artist of the year. It’s just beautiful.
Atlanta is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
The Good Place (NBC)
Created by Michael Schur
The second in my list of Top New Shows is the adorably quirky The Good Place. A show that takes place in one of the heavenly realms. A setting fraught with religious pitfalls but handled with class and respect and painted with deliciously delicate non-denominational brushstrokes that border on brilliance. And so fucking funny.
Kristen Bell’s amazingly self-centered character dies in a freakishly embarrassing accident and finds herself in heaven but… well… she’s not supposed to be there. The show is funny and sweet and sexy (like Ms. Bell herself). But at the same time deep and philosophical and… regrettably… much, much too good for TV. So watch The Good Place before the powers that be make it go away. It’s really good.
People of Earth (TBS)
Created by David Jenkins
People of Earth is a great new comedy from Conan O’Brien and his team of funny people. It deals with the lives of the survivors of alien abduction. It is as brilliant and funny as you’d expect from Conan and crew. And as incredibly silly and insane. It is madcap and it is amazing. It’s just plain crazy.
The cast is sensational and the stories and characters are cleverly written. Wyatt Cenac joins a support group in a small town where many abductions have happened. What they don’t know is that a small band of aliens has taken up residence in the town as part of a larger plan. Invasion? Sheer lunacy. Very funny. (oh shit I just realized what I just did TBS. Very Funny. I get it now).
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC)
Here’s a show that defies description. I could never do it justice. It’s like combining Agatha from Minority Report, The Doctor from Doctor Who and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants into a blender and… I don’t know… putting ’em in a Blade Runner, Back to the Future, Buckaroo Banzai mashup. Dude. I love Douglas Adams (even if I haven’t read these books. sorry I just don’t read as much with no place to go on the subway)
Dirk Gently is some funny, fun and well-written shit. Full of body swapping and time travelling and “Everything is connected.” Just watch it. Okay?
Black Mirror (Netflix)
Created by Charlie Brooker
Black Mirror is a Sci-fi anthology series in the same vein as The Twilight Zone but with a decidedly modern bent. Technology hides horrors. Amazingly dark and beautiful horrors. Do me a favor please. Do not binge this show. These stories stick to your ribs. Don’t pile them one on top of the other. Hell, I still have three more to go in the new series. I’m so glad Netflix picked this up.
I’m looking forward to being creeped-out to the point of not being able to sleep for years to come. Don’t binge it. Let it marinate.
Yes I know everyone has theories. Everyone has opinions. And everyone loves Westworld. Why? Because it fucking rocks. The acting. The writing. The story. The Buddhism. Yeah that’s right I said it.
It’s about a wild west themed resort populated by robots. If you don’t know the premise, I’m going to have to ask where you been.
“These violent delights have violent ends.”
The Exorcist (FOX)
This was done so well. The Exorcist TV series first season was a joy to watch. The first few episodes of the run are sensational. Great cast. Great story. Scary and cool like the original movie (the only good one). Priests versus Demons. The way it should be.
You know the story. Little girl gets possessed. Says the darnedest things to a young priest and an old priest while doing TV friendly things on a bed. Where have you been?
“Time to give the people what they want, Padre.”
Supergirl on the CW (CW)
Okay, I know this isn’t new but it sure feels new. I loved the first season of Supergirl but the show had to do a massive reboot in its second season because they moved the production to a new city when they moved to a new network. And everybody knows what the show lost but what it gained is immeasurable. Crossover appeal baby.
They added her cousin Superman as a recurring character. My girl Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor. As well as letting Melissa Benoist shine in the title role. I love the move. Yes I miss Calista but seeing Kara interact with Felicity and Barry and Oliver more than makes up for it.
And they’re just getting started. They gave her an easy crossover button. So psyched.
No Tomorrow and Frequency (CW)
These are two new CW shows with promising premises and good casting.
No Tomorrow is a romantic comedy based on a Brazilian series called How to Enjoy the End of the World. It’s about a very pretty man who thinks the world is going to end and the woman he meets who thinks he’s just too good-looking and charming to not look past that. It’s very funny and cute.
Frequency is a time-bending procedural based on the movie of the same name. A clever story about a police officer communicating with his daughter (also an officer) in the future. Or is that the other way around. It’s great the way they help each other solve cases in their respective eras. It’s very cool.
What can I say I’ve become a huge CW fan. I pretty much rock their entire line-up now. The superhero shows. Flash, Arrow. The relationship shows. Crazy Ex, Jane. I love it all. They’ve got a formula that really works. Hot actors and good writing. Who knew?
I knew. That’s who. I did. Good writing. Pretty people. And if there’s room left in the budget dress them all up real nice. Wardrobe is key. Surefire hit.
And those are my favorite new TV shows.
I Tried These But Didn’t Like:
Lethal Weapon (too dumb)
Son of Zorn (too silly and dumb)
MacGuyver (too outrageously improbable)
Timeless (too timey whimey and not in a good way)
Conviction (too serious but still great casting) &
Designated Survivor (too cliché… horribly cliché, more great casting)
I didn’t stick around long enough to see if they ever got their shit together.
That’s it for TV
Loving The New Seasons of:
Jane The Virgin
Star Wars Rebels
Life in Pieces
Man in the High Castle
Mozart in the Jungle
Not Liking The New Seasons of:
The Last Man on Earth (stopped being funny)
Legends of Tomorrow (bad writing bad acting still watching)
AHS My Roanoke Nightmare (couple of really cool things mostly crap)
The Walking Dead (enough with Negan already why doesn’t the show just marry him)
NOW I’m done with TV.
I’ve got a bunch of movie posts coming up so… I’ll be back… I promise.