The Too Much TV Roundup- June 4th

I still feel like I’m trying to play catch up with all these damn TV shows. Today was a cluster of awesomeness though. I’m very happy with the majority of what I watched yesterday.Picking #1 was a challenge.

1) Stranger Things (Netflix)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Choosing the 4th episode of the season to top my random assortment of shows watched yesterday was no small feat. There was a lot to love in several shows, but after leaving us in the lurch at the end of episode 3 with the fate of max, we got an episode that seemed to put her on a long walk toward death as her friends tried against all odds to figure this mystery out. Max essentially said goodbye to everyone, writing letters, and even leaving nothing left unsaid between her and her mother. Plus, what Robin and Nancy did for their side mission was horrifically entertaining and informative, the California kids finally saw some action, Hopper had the most screen time he’s had all season, and Robert England made his guest appearance. What’s not to love? Tandie Alexander’s narration on Stranger Things is also one of the best reasons to check this show out. Great work.

Episode Grade: A

2) Ozark (Netflix)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

after waiting a while to resume the back half of this season, I finally jumped into the last handful of episodes. This first (Episode 8 of Season 4) saw Ruth seeking revenge, absolutely hellbent on making Javi pay for Wyatt’s death. She knows the cost. She knows what she has to give up to make this happen, but the whole episode is somewhat resigned to her complete loss of innocence at this moment in time and her acceptance of her role moving forward. And this episode has a very satisfying conclusion.

Episode Grade: A

3) Gaslit (Starz)

English Audio Description Available?: No

In the 5th episode of Season 5, a LOT happened. The investigation into Watergate really ramped up as one of the initial figures charged seemed to turn state’s witness much to Liddy’s chagrin. Meanwhile Martha continues her crusade, possibly at the expense of her husband, who realizes the White House is trying to shift the blame somewhere. And the stress of this event culminates in a medical event that puts everything in perspective for these two. Meanwhile, it looks like two more people involved are an episode away from cooperating with the investigation. I know this is history being replayed, but the drama written in the in-between moments is what keeps this show kicking.

Episode Grade: A

4) Yellowstone (Paramount/Peacock)

English Audio Description Available?: No

In the 9th episode from last season, Beth finally learns what it feels like to feel her fathers disappointment. That sums up almost the whole episode as it sets up a character most well known for her scorched earth approach to life with a motivation to earn back her father’s love and trust, the one thing she clearly craves more than anything. If anyone gets Emmy nominations this year out of Yellowstone, it had better be Kevin Costner and Kelly Reilly.

Episode Grade: A

5) The First Ladies (Showtime)

English Audio Description Available?: No

In the 7th episode of the season, shot long before the shooting in Texas, one of the stories relived in this episode was the day that the Obamas had to deal with Sandy hook, and later the day Michelle Obama dealt with the loss of one of the girls who sang as part of a choir from the south side of Chicago, also to gun violence. Meanwhile, Cheney and Rumsfeld seem to bafflingly still be employed as they think what they have to say about Betty is important enough to interrupt the first family on Christmas Eve. This show obviously does not like Dick and Don, and neither will you after watching them act like asshats all season long. Eleanor, meanwhile, tries to make headway on eliminating segregation, standing up for black achievements multiple times this episode. If this didn’t feel like a retread of Gillian Anderson’s Margaret Thatcher from the Crown, I’d be more impressed by Anderson’s work.

Episode Grade: A-

6) Roar (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

The first episode of this anthology series takes Issa Rae out to Hollywood as an up and coming black author who has her book optioned for film, only to slowly feel like the world doesn’t even notice she is there anymore. No need to explain that, just watch it for yourself. Very reminiscent of Black Mirror, or even Hulu’s The premise.

Episode Grade: A-

7) The outlaws (Amazon)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

In the third episode, our gang of misfits gets fleshed out a little bit more, with backstories unfolding, and relationships being built. But that drug money is going to come back to bite them in the butt. mostly, this show does good work splitting between the more serious moments and the lighter comedic moments, but this episode felt less hilarious and far more foreboding than the previous two.

Episode Grade: B+

8) Outer Range (Amazon)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Some shows grab me right away, right off the bat. Some shows just show me the promise of a brighter future. Outer Range introduced me to a world that could be interesting, but wrapped it in a pilot that wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m coming back for at least one more episode of this Josh Brolin science fiction Yellowstone, but there were choices made in the first episode I’m not sure I would have made. It opens a lot of doors and asks a lot of questions, but really did a poor job of developing the characters. We’re kind of just told who they are, and what relation they are to each other, but there’s very little character development in the first episode as the series becomes quickly bogged down by the main reason to watch (the Black Hole on their land) as well as too many side stories, from a missing daughter in law, neighbors forcing the family to move their fence, and finally a murder. You don’t kitchen sink the pilot, especially when no one knows who these people are, or why we should care.

Episode Grade: B-

8) Bullshit (Netflix)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

The 6th episode saw someone lose a ton of money. Make good choices people.

Episode Grade: B-

9) The Golden Girls (Hulu)

English Audio Description Available?: No

In an effort to try and cheer Rose up, the girls get her to win the Saint Olaf Woman Of The Year award. But, they had to stretch the truth a bit. Some great one liners. Sophia’s line about which one of those brothers got custody of the brain was perfect.

Episode Grade: B-

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