The Too Much TV Roundup- June 8th

I was highly anticipating the new entries, but it ended up with the same predictable show on top anyway.

1) The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

in the series finale, time is not on Ptolemy’s side. Still, it’s amazing that this miracle drug managed to give Ptolemy the kind of final closure he needed on his life so he could finally be at peace with himself, knowing that he left everything the way he wanted, instead of wondering what that nagging feeling was at the back of his mind. It’s a great performance from Samuel l Jackson, and it will be interesting to see if it can make the cut at this years Emmy Awards. I know I didn’t love this show from the start, but I’m glad I gave it a chance.

Episode Grade: A, Series Grade: A-

2) Atlanta (FX)

English Audio Description Available?: No

In the 5th episode of the season, Paper Boy is trying to find his cell phone that went missing during his concert, as he has a lot of important stuff on there since he refuses to use the cloud. A rather silly series of events, full of some great writing, leads us to a rather uncharacteristic serious moment from Brian Tyree Henry, possibly the one scene they might use for his Emmy campaign this year. Even though he’s running for Comedy, it’s a scene like this that gives his character more emotional range and depth.

Episode Grade: A-

3) Miss Marvel (Disney Plus)

English Audio Description available?: Yes

There were aspects of this show I loved, and aspects I didn’t. I loved that they went their own way with Kamala Khan and her story, making her a fan of Captain Marvel that attends conventions dressed up as her favorite superhero. It puts her squarely in the MCU, and introduces us to a new casting discovery with an actress who attacks this role with all the right amount of teenage obsession. I didn’t even mind that the series went tV-PG, because even that makes it different. She doesn’t even really have a villain or a plot yet. This episode just introduced us to Kamala and her powers. What I wasn’t such a fan of was the retread of a distinctly familiar storyline about a girl dealing with her Asian culture that has a mother with a secret that she is keeping from her daughter, instead choosing to project her overbearing and unrealistic expectations onto a young girl without choosing to relate to her on any level. She’s once again disapproving, and the closest thing we have to a villain. And this story is also wrapped in the similar story of the girl in question wanting nothing more than to attend this one event, because her and her friends share a like minded love of this thing, but the parental disapproval is once again real. It’s not necessarily fair to point out that Miss marvel hits the same beats as Turning Red, but it does. The sad truth is that Hollywood continues to treat these stories as novelties, so much so that they seem Ike events in and of themselves when they are released. They become groundbreaking because of representation, which absolutely matters. But if you come from a marginalized community, and the first story that seems to always come to mind is how disapproving your mother is, and how this mother/daughter dynamic is harmful to our protagonist’s growth in discovering who they are during their formative years, then it becomes this element that unites an entire class of people, when it shouldn’t. I’m positive there are women who grew up in these cultures that had mothers who weren’t overbearing and borderline nasty, but those aren’t the stories being told. We always hear “write what you know”, but also not to reinforce negative stereotypes, and it seems like this is the crossroads where writers keep writing what they know, which in turn is also representative of a negative stereotype. It’s probably out of a lack of featuring this kind of story, where our main character is a teenage girl trying to find her way in life, but whether it’s Turning Red, Never Have I ever, or Miss Marvel, they all seem to have something to project upon us about the traumatic ad tumultuous relationship between mother and daughter. Mother’s just don’t understand, and perhaps, these stories should seek a different angle. It’s the parallels that I can draw between Miss Marvel, which should be, and has every right to be an earth shattering piece of art. It’s a Muslim American superhero. A future Avenger representative of fans that likely has loved comic books forever. It’s the same reason why Black panther is so important. Because heroes can come from anywhere, and have any background. Perhaps, in the coming episodes, they can break away from this idea that she needs to also have a mother who is the closest thing this series has to a villain right now, and show us something we haven’t seen before. Or at least, something we didn’t just watch in march.

Episode Grade: B+

4) Obi Wan Kenobi (Disney plus)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

In the 4th episode, the big dramatic moment where Obi Wan was dragged all through the fire is quickly brushed aside as obi Wan is on a mission still to rescue Leia. He has the determination of a terminator at this point, with one goal in mind, to get that girl out of there. This episode made me like Leia a bit more, and Reva MacIntyre a lot more. She’s a very complex villain that the internet needs to calm down about. Honestly, at the rate she’s getting screentime, Reva seemed headed for a spin off, and I’m not entirely convinced she won’t be seen again somewhere in spite of the internet racists. Reva’s the most interesting thing this show has going for it right now.

Episode Grade: B+

5) Minx (HBO MAX)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

As Joyce tries to enjoy her new life without Minx, Doug keeps pushing forward in a manner that makes it clear that he never understood what made Minx so special. Since taking the reigns, he loses his photographer, an Bambi (who had been a long time employee of his before Minx even started). He’s burning down his house and he can’t smell the smoke, but with a second season already greenlit, when will Joyce step back in and save the day?

Episode Grade: B

6) All Rise (OWN)

English Audio Description available?: No

Now that the shows third season has moved to OWN instead of CBS, audio description is a thing of the past apparently. I’m not even sure where OWN streams its shows. But the first episode was so awkward, as it was bogged down by resolutions to plot lines from over a year ago, new cast additions, recasting, missing cast members, and at least two major cast members willing to come back for one episode just to say goodbye. As excited as I was to see Lola Carmichael back, this episode was a cluster fuck. And to make matters worse, it didn’t have audio description. Now that they’ve gotten all the changes out of the way, maybe they can get back to doing what got this show saved in the first place, but for now, that episode was barely an episode as it was just trying to tie up every loose end.

Episode Grade: B-

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