Pointless Nonsense

Posted in tv by Bill on June 20, 2021

Kevin Can Fuck Himself is a new AMC series starring Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy that transitions back and forth between multi-camera laugh track sitcom and single-camera drama. But unlike a lot of shows that have mixed formats, this isn’t a show-within-a-show thing, the characters and plot persist as the format changes. It’s sort of an ambitious idea, but it’s not that entertaining to me in practice. For a little bit in the second episode, it seemed like the non-sitcom plot was heading in an interesting direction, but it seems more character-driven and directionless than I’d have hoped.

Posted in tv by Bill on June 18, 2021

sweettoothSweet Tooth is Netflix’s adaptation of the Jeff Lemire comic that I never got into because I didn’t care for the art style, but I always heard it was good. Mad Max meets Bambi is a bold concept that could backfire, but at least based on the first season, it works pretty well. It has a fairy tale air to it but still builds an interesting post-apocalyptic world. 

Will Forte plays the protagonist’s father in a mostly non-comedic role, and he’s quite good. The big black guy who played Daxos on GoT does such a convincing American accent that I began to doubt that he was British. 

Posted in tv by Bill on June 12, 2021

solosSolos is an Amazon scifi sort-of anthology where most episodes are either an actor by themselves, talking to another version of themselves, or talking to an AI. There’s some connection that becomes apparent later on, so it’s not entirely an anthology, but they play out just fine as standalone stories.

It’s an interesting idea, but not one that turns out to be very interesting to watch. I finished the season just to finish the season, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I did object to Amazon’s description of the series as “performed by eight of the finest actors of our time.” Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren? Sure. Anthony Mackie and Uzo Aduba? Maybe. Constance Wu from Fresh Off the Boat and Nicole Beharie, the lead from Sleepy Hollow? Nothing against them even, she’s pretty good, but I don’t think many people are including her on the list of the finest actors of our time.

Posted in tv by Bill on May 22, 2021

Hacks is an HBO Max series where Jean Smart plays a Joan Rivers type. Legendary comedienne, Vegas regular, QVC pitchwoman. Hannah Einbinder, a stand up who gave off a lesbian vibe in a Colbert appearance but plays bi here (wikipedia tells me that she is real life bi, and also Larraine Newman’s daughter), plays a young kinda hip writer who would rather write for anyone else but she’s been “cancelled” so she has no other options. Sweet Dee and Shooter McGavin also make appearances, and they’re always good. 

I think it’s a comedy, but it’s not funny very often. It’s from some Broad City writers, which kinda reinforces the idea that I won’t be checking that show out. But the plot and characters are intriguing enough that I continued on to the second episode and will probably keep going, but I wouldn’t exactly endorse it. 

Posted in tv by Bill on May 10, 2021
jupiterslegacyJupiter’s Legacy is Netflix’s new adult superhero show based on the not-that-good Mark Millar/Frank Quitely comic starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb and their gray wigs, and in lesser parts, an actress I thought as notably cute in the third season of Mr. Mercedes, and apparently eventually one who was cute in Corporate, though I didn’t make it that far, but google image search (pictured) reveals she looks pretty good in this but I miss her glasses. But that’s about all that I can say about it that’s positive. Despite the superpowers and costumes and everything, it’s a more serious drama about a dysfunctional family, and I would not cast Josh Duhamel in any kind of serious drama. Which was basically the same problem I had with the comics, Mark Millar is a writer better suited to shock value and controversial stuff than getting all serious.

Posted in tv by Bill on May 7, 2021

badbatchThe Bad Batch is Disney+’s new Star Wars series spinning out of The Clone Wars, and it’s more of the same. Which is generally a good thing, although the clones all being voiced by the same guy wasn’t a big deal when they were side characters, but when the main characters are all him, he can’t help but making one sound like the voice he does for Klaus on American Dad.

Posted in tv by Bill on April 24, 2021

shadowandboneShadow and Bone is a new Netflix adaptation of a YA book series that is essentially a mix of The Hunger Games and Avatar: The Last Airbender, with a veneer of late 1800s Russia. Kids get tested when they’re young to see if they have magic powers, magic powers come in different types (fire, wind, healing, and gadgetry or something, plus a couple rare special ones), there’s a war going on, and there’s a big black void called The Fold in the middle of their continent put there by a magical fuckup a long time ago. 

I was drawn in by the Russian theme (it gives everything a different flavor than typical fantasy, and even separates it from The Irregulars and The Nevers which are set in a similar time period/technology level), a good score, and some actresses who are easy on the eyes. I found it decent, but it didn’t really improve much as it went, so I think if you’re not hooked early on it’s not worth sticking it out to see if it grabs you later. 

Despite the Russianness everyone has all kinds of British accents, and that combined with an often mumbly sound mix made it unwatchable for me without subtitles. 

It’s a YA story with a female lead, and though I haven’t seen a ton of those movies/shows, I am amused at the familiar story beats. Being taken away from familiar surroundings and the handsome dude who represents home, arriving at a fancy place and getting a makeover, hair and makeup and clothes and making a good impression at fancy parties are somehow important even though there’s life and death shit going on, and everyone being divided up into cliques and the protagonist getting bullied for not fitting in. 

Posted in tv by Bill on April 23, 2021

Rutherford Falls is a new Peacock comedy co-created by Michael Schur, which at this point means I automatically check it out. Ed Helms is the descendant of the town founder who runs a local history museum, and his friend runs the comparably dinky American Indian tribe’s cultural center. As far as jokes go, it’s not that great, making me think Schur pitched in on the pilot and bailed, but it’s funny enough to get me invested in the plot, which is actually pretty good.

The rest of the cast has a lot of Indian actors, but with one exception (the dad who runs the diner in Resident Alien), it’s not the same familiar faces. Ted from Schitt’s Creek plays a supporting character, and a comedian I always thought was hot plays the girl who is into Ed Helms and we’re supposed to find her unappealing in her unbalanced desperation but I still find her hot.

Posted in tv by Bill on April 11, 2021

The Nevers is the show Joss Whedon created and exited just before his reputation went to shit. It is basically exactly Victorian steampunk female X-Men. The first episode is kinda disappointing. There’s plenty of potential, but it was fairly humorless, introduced so many characters that none of them had time to make much of an impression.

It’s high production values superpowers with talented writers (Whedon only appears to have written the pilot, with Jane Espenson and the guy who did Netflix Daredevil and The Defenders taking over from there), so I’ll be watching, but I was hoping for more.

Posted in tv by Bill on April 7, 2021

chadChad is a new TBS cringe comedy where Nasim Pedrad plays a teenage boy. PEN15-style, the other teenagers are played by actual kids. 

It alternates between making Chad an insufferable prick and a sympathetic figure, which is a weird dynamic. I mean, Michael Scott, but I don’t think The Office would have worked if it was all Michael Scott all the time, and this is Chad all the time. 

There are some laughs, but some of it is really painful. The good parts are interesting enough to give it another episode or two, but I’m ready to dump it if it doesn’t improve.