TV diary 2020- winter and springby klday | created - 2 months ago | updated - 13 hours ago | Public
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1. BoJack Horseman (2014–2020)
TV-MA | 25 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama
BoJack Horseman was the star of the hit television show "Horsin' Around" in the '80s and '90s, now he's washed up, living in Hollywood, complaining about everything, and wearing colorful sweaters.
The final season.
Great show. This last season feels a bit rushed, and the conclusion doesn’t have the finality I would have hoped for. But it finds a good note to leave off on. Bojack is, I think, slowly becoming a better person. He isn’t done making amends and doing penance, and maybe he won’t ever be done. And maybe he’ll backslide again, and maybe again and again. Maybe the next backslide will be the end of him. Life will go on, or for him, maybe it won’t. C’est la vie. Life still has its possibilities and pleasures, and some of the characters have found happy endings, or at least hard-won reprieves for their old mistakes and bad habits.
2. Friday Night Lights (2006–2011)
TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Sport
A drama that follows the lives of the Dillon Panthers, one of the nation's best high school football teams, and their head coach Eric Taylor.
Season 2 wasn’t bad per se, but it was a bit of a mess, one made all the worse by a writers’ strike that wrapped things up prematurely. It’s a bit jarring that season 3 doesn’t try to pick up where 2 left off, but that seems to have been the wise course.
3. Person of Interest (2011–2016)
TV-14 | 43 min | Action, Crime, Drama
An ex-CIA agent and a wealthy programmer save lives via a surveillance AI that sends them the identities of civilians involved in impending crimes. However, the details of the crimes--including the civilians' roles--are left a mystery.
Season 3. I guess this is just a CBS procedural through and through. Sure, it’s not every cop drama that has a few ideas about our surveillance state and the death of privacy, but the ideas are muddled by the need to create moralistic tales with pat little endings.
By now the show has done every possible variation on its person of the week formula, so to keep things fresh it piles twist on tiresome twist, with red herrings up the wazoo. This results in some dire episodes, like the one with the street smart assistant DA framed for the murder of her husband. Turns out dear old hubby’s still alive, and macking on her bestie, and in the end Reece and Finch... just let the two spouses kill each other? Then there’s the duplicitous rich guy who keeps files on his romantic prospects; one of his girlfriends died, and another has gone missing! But he’s not a serial killer, he just wants to be a daddy! Awwwwwwwww(gag).
This is a show with little faith in the intelligence of its viewers. Few scenes play out without Reese or Finch telling us exactly what’s going on.
4. Locke & Key (2020– )
TV-14 | 48 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
After their father is murdered under mysterious circumstances, the three Locke siblings and their mother move into their ancestral home, Keyhouse, which they discover is full of magical keys that may be connected to their father's death.
5. The Good Place (2016–2020)
TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Four people and their otherworldly frienemy struggle in the afterlife to define what it means to be good.
Too soon, we bid farewell to Team Cockroach, as they in turn head off for their different destinies. A moving finale finds the show at its best, steeped in ribald humor and moral reflection.
6. Primal (2019– )
TV-MA | 22 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
Primal features a caveman at the dawn of evolution. A dinosaur on the brink of extinction. Bonded by tragedy, this unlikely friendship becomes the only hope of survival in a violent, primordial world.
7. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017– )
TV-MA | 57 min | Comedy, Drama
A housewife in the 1960s decides to become a stand-up comic.
9. The Boys (2019– )
TV-MA | 60 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A group of vigilantes set out to take down corrupt superheroes who abuse their superpowers.
Awaiting season 2
10. Sense8 (2015–2018)
TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A group of people around the world are suddenly linked mentally, and must find a way to survive being hunted by those who see them as a threat to the world's order.
11. Samurai Jack (2001–2017)
TV-14 | 25 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
A samurai sent through time fights to return home and save the world.
And now season 5. I knew I should have waited. Those who watched the show when it was first on waited 13 years for the new season. I waited barely more than a day. So I deserve the full force of tonal whiplash. But this is so much more grim than Samurai Jack classic. The animation is crisper and more detailed, though the designs are scrupulously faithful. There’s a bit of the old show’s cheeky absurdist humor, best demonstrated in the premiere in the aggressively French magic robot assassin. He could have starred in an old episode for sure.
But time has passed. Jack has changed, as over the years his quest has taken a toll on him m, and the show has changed, too. I should have anticipated that, respected and waited. But I couldn’t wait. Instant gratification!
12. The Expanse (2015– )
TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A police detective in the asteroid belt, the first officer of an interplanetary ice freighter, and an earth-bound United Nations executive slowly discover a vast conspiracy that threatens the Earth's rebellious colony on the asteroid belt.
Finished season 4 in December of ‘19, actually, less than a month after the premiere. After season 3, which rushed through the events of “Abbadon’s Gate”, it’s a relief that they gave “Cibola Burn” a whole season to play out. Still, things are kind of scattered, with the Rocinante crew mediating a land dispute on the frontier and the other principles scattered through the solar system. The climax on Ilus doesn’t quite measure up to the one in the book, eschewing a thrilling EVA boarding party raid and a daring rescue of the “Barbapiccola”. Frankly, though, the plot with Miller plays out a bit better on screen; it’s still not quite clear what exactly happens, but here we are no more (or less) confused than the characters are. Still, I may have reached the point where my fondness for the books now exceeds my enthusiasm for the show.
15. Miracle Workers (2019– )
TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A comedy set in the offices of Heaven Inc. When God plans to destroy the Earth, two low-level angels must convince their boss to save humanity. They bet him they can pull off their most impossible miracle yet: help two humans fall in love.
Season 2 is far weaker than season 1, with a less developed plot and somewhat lazier humor. The anachronistic shtick on display here has been done before, and though there are good gags now and then, and the performers are game for any silliness, the second season has thus far failed to justify its existence.
The cast feels largely squandered here. Ace supporting players Karan Soni and Lolly Adefope are reduced to sounding boards for the leads. Stars Viswanathan and Radcliffe are usually stuck in different plots, brought together only by labored contrivance.
16. Briarpatch (2019– )
TV-MA | 42 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
An investigator returns home to solve the death of her sister from a car-bombing. The search for a killer unravels a system of corruption in her small border town.
17. Corporate (2018– )
TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy
A dark, edgy look at life as a Junior-Executive-in-Training at your average, soulless multi-national corporation.
Eagerly awaiting season 3. Sadly, I understand that will be the last.
18. Evil (2019– )
TV-14 | 42 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
A skeptical female clinical psychologist joins a priest-in-training and a blue-collar contractor as they investigate supposed miracles, demonic possession, and other extraordinary occurrences to see if there's a scientific explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work.
Good show. I’m getting caught up. The Kings are some of the best show runners on network tv. And prolific, too. I ought to check out BrainDead, their last tv horror project. Luckily, unlike that one, Evil is poised to stick around for a second season.
Finished season 1. This is a show that’s savvily ambiguous about its supernatural elements, but is no less creepy for all that. Ever since her big scene with the kitchen knife, Kristen Bouchard has been my favorite character on tv.
19. Tuca & Bertie (2019)
TV-MA | 26 min | Animation, Comedy
The story of two 30-year old bird women who live in the same apartment building.
Gone too soon. A fantastic cartoon, one which realizes the limitless possibilities of animation in a way that too few do. A barrage of rapid-fire gags, verbal and visual. I hope Lisa Hanawalt gets a new project going soon, and I hope that show gets a chance to find its audience. But this was a show that knew what it wanted to do and did it, finding its voice right of the bat, so it doesn’t leave you wondering what might have been. At first this may seem slighter than Hanawalt’s other big Netflix show, the acerbic Hollywoo satire BoJack Horseman, but it doesn’t take long for “Tuca & Bertie” to establish that it too has important things to say, tackling topics like sexual harassment and substance abuse with gusto.
20. The Mighty Boosh (2003–2007)
30 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical
Vince Noir and Howard Moon have surreal adventures while working at a Zoo run by the deranged Bob Fossil (in series 1) and pursuing a career as musicians and living with the mystic Naboo ... See full summary »
24. Dead Like Me (2003–2004)
TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
After being hit on the head by a toilet seat, a young temp clerk becomes a grim reaper in death.
Season 2. Bryan Fuller left this show pretty early in production of season 1, and since then its quality has plateaued. It’s a strong drama with interesting characters, but it doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere anymore. And that is fine. You’re got Mandy Patinkin as a crotchety grim reaper. You have the divine Delores Herbig. Even Daisy Adair is actually pretty tolerable now that every other line of hers isn’t the name of someone who she has fellated.
25. One Punch Man (2015– )
TV-PG | 24 min | Animation, Action, Comedy
The story of Saitama, a hero that does it just for fun & can defeat his enemies with a single punch.
Season 2 is a mess. A long stretch of episodes finds Saitama easily cleaning up at a martial arts tournament, where everyone is somehow unaware of the rampaging monsters right outside. They really only needed one episode for this; naturally it doesn’t matter who wins a silly tournament when there are monsters wreaking havoc, and the joke of Saitama’s obliviousness to peril would have worked if that setup had been quicker. Much quicker. Tons of characters are introduced who end up getting killed or knocked out; anyway, this is a show that wastes a lot of time on redshirts. The animation is less crisp this season, the fights are manic but their energy is sapped by narration that explains who is winning and why. And the season ends so randomly, with no closure to the Garo arc or that of the Monster Association.
26. Infinity Train (I) (2019– )
TV-PG | 11 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
13-year-old Tulip finds herself on a mysterious train with an endless number of cars, each one its own universe, and must find a way to get home.
Book 2, as the new season is styled, has a new hero. Sort of new, anyway. Original protagonist Tulip has left the train for good, and the show picks up with one of her old rivals: Mirror Tulip, her own reflection who came to life last season in the chrome car, now on the run from brutal “Flecks”, bounty hunters who want to bring her back to the mirror world.
Frankly, MT is a stronger protagonist, one who’s at home on the train and yet must continually fight for her place in the world, and her journey is a stronger story than that of Book 1.
27. The Owl House (2020– )
TV-Y7-FV | Animation, Action, Adventure
A teenager finds herself stuck in the Demon Realm and battles the forces of evil alongside a rebellious witch and a pint-sized warrior.
A new cartoon from an artist who’s worked on Gravity Falls and the Duck Tales reboot.
This was underwhelming. The animation is skillful and the look of the show is unique, but the tone is too silly by half, undermining the awe and horror this fantasy world should evoke. Now, Gravity Falls was a very silly show, but the humor was better balanced there. Strange goings-on were part of the Mystery Shack’s stock in trade, after all. Humor and horror, living in harmony. This is a harder balance to strike in a purely fantastic world, and swinging too far in to jokey territory results in a story with no stakes. A diminutive power-mad demon covets his long lost crown, and Luz agrees to help him get it back, but it turns out it’s a fast food crown, and its magic powers have been overstated. A monstrous shape changing villain is introduced, only to confess a schoolboy’s crush on the witch and get beaten up by a trio of goofy background characters. Some subpar voice acting doesn’t help. Wendie Malick is bit too glib here, though to be fair that seems to be what the people making the show wanted, and the supporting cast is gratingly wacky.
29. Mr. Robot (2015–2019)
TV-MA | 49 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Elliot, a brilliant but highly unstable young cyber-security engineer and vigilante hacker, becomes a key figure in a complex game of global dominance when he and his shadowy allies try to take down the corrupt corporation he works for.
I want to rewatch from the beginning before I start the final season.
30. Fargo (2014– )
TV-MA | 53 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.
32. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013– )
TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Crime
Jake Peralta, an immature, but talented N.Y.P.D. detective in Brooklyn's 99th Precinct, comes into immediate conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Ray Holt.
33. You (2018– )
TV-MA | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
A dangerously charming, intensely obsessive young man goes to extreme measures to insert himself into the lives of those he is transfixed by.
So, this show has some flaws. It’s more of a pulp piece than it needs to be, with a series of hissable villains brought in to make the antihero look better by force of comparison. Still, it manages an impressive high-wire act, thanks in no small part to Penn Badgley’s deft work in the lead: Joe is dangerous and obsessive, but there’s a sympathetic, even a romantic quality to him. At times he is pathetic, or even corny. And he grows, for a bit at least, though he falls back into destructive old habits time and again, and you find yourself rooting for him to be better, or even to get the girl at times. Even when you know you should be rooting for her to steer clear.
34. The Walking Dead (2010– )
TV-MA | 44 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to learn the world is in ruins, and must lead a group of survivors to stay alive.
Getting a late start on the current season. Thus far Angela Kang is running a tight ship; her first season as show runner last year saw a marked improvement in the show’s quality, even as major cast members exited in droves.
In his lucrative but largely boring tenure as show runner Gimple tried intermittently to slow down the pace of the show and deepen the characters. This resulted in some truly plodding hours of television. Remember Darryl and Beth squabbling at an abandoned moonshiner’s hut? If you do, then you have my condolences. Kang succeeds where Gimple could not, introducing a band of dynamic new characters, and giving us a reason to care about the B-listers who are still sticking around for a change. Daryl finally has a bit of substance to go with his redneck outlaw cool. Michonne, Carol and Ezekiel now have stories worthy of the strength of the performers. Hell, I think I might be beginning to come around on Negan, which is nothing short of miraculous.
Alpha I find kind of grating, especially for her labored South’ron accent. Maybe the Whisperers will grow on me as they take on a bit more personality.
35. Take My Wife (2016– )
TV-MA | Comedy
Follows real life couple Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher as they share their lives as stand up comics who are balancing work, relationships, and the breaking down of gender barriers.
Pilot for defunct comedy streamer Seeso. Now on Starz. But wtf is starz lol
36. The Witcher (2019– )
TV-MA | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts.
Uninvolving swords and sorcery hooie. The pilot put me to sleep. This thing nakedly aspires to be the next Game of Thrones. Good luck with that.
37. Dispatches from Elsewhere (2020– )
Four ordinary people feel there's something missing in their lives, but can't quite put their finger on what it is, are brought together by chance - or perhaps it's by design - when they ... See full summary »
38. Devs (2020– )
Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller | Post-production
A computer engineer investigates the secretive development division in her company, which she believes is behind the disappearance of her boyfriend.
FX programming poached by Disney for its failing streamer Hulu. Fuck off with this shit, Mickey.
41. Snowpiercer (2020– )
60 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | Pre-production
Set over seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer centers on the remnants of humanity, who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe.
43. Resident Alien (2020– )
Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi | Active
It follows a crash-landed alien named Harry who takes on the identity of a small-town Colorado doctor, slowly begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his secret mission on Earth.
45. Utopia (2020– )
Action, Drama, Mystery | Active
A group of young adults, who meet online, get a hold of a cult underground graphic novel, which not only pins them as a target of a shadowy deep state organization, but also burdens them with the dangerous task of saving the world.
46. The Orville (2017– )
TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
An exploratory ship from Earth faces intergalactic challenges 400 years in the future.
Poached for Hulu by the mouse. This is one I could honestly do without, a weak Star Trek reprise far too dumb to measure up to its inspiration but too slavish to work as a spoof.
47. Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (2020– )
Drama, Fantasy, Horror | Post-production
When a grisly murder shocks Los Angeles in 1938, Detective Tiago Vega and his partner Lewis Michener become embroiled in an epic story that reflects the rich history of the city.
I’ll catch this when I can.
49. NOS4A2 (2019– )
TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Charlie Manx, a seductive immortal who feeds off the souls of children, has his whole world threatened when a young woman in New England discovers she has a dangerous gift.
Might tune in. Might not.
51. Sym-Bionic Titan (2010–2011)
TV-PG | Animation, Action, Adventure
Three young alien beings with the ability to form a giant robotic warrior attempt to blend into suburbia, all while battling the tyrannical forces that ravaged their home world.
Too late now, maybe, since I watched the premiere, but I’m gonna try to wait on the final season of Samurai Jack for a bit. This should tide me over for a Genndy Tartakovsky fix. Now bring back Primal already!
It’s silly. Knowingly silly, certainly, if not always winningly. It’s got a “Transformers” in “Riverdale” kinda vibe. The big gimmick may well have inspired Pacific Rim. The pilot recalls a season 4 episode of Samurai Jack, the Star Wars homage where Jack meets alien royals on a mission to save their planet. I wouldn’t have guessed that there was enough story there to sustain a show, and I am yet to be convinced.
I see why Tartakovsky likes projects which don’t require dialog. He is a great minimalist, who accomplishes a lot with a little. That goes for his animation, too. Samurai Jack gets an incredible range of stories out of the old Cartoon Network house style. “Titan” seems to have a bigger budget, with 3D modeling and other more advanced cartooning techniques. The animation is vivid and crisp, but the end product seems... slight.
Also, I’m not won over by the attempts at humor here, except of course for the wonderful deadpan of Brian Posehn.
52. BrainDead (2016)
TV-14 | 44 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror
A government employee discovers that the cause of the tensions between the two political parties is a race of extraterrestrial insects eating the brains of the politicians.
Body Snatchers riff from the Kings
53. Duncanville (2020– )