The Too Much TV Roundup- July 24th

I finally got around to starting a few new shows, as well as getting back into Evil (so I’m a little behind this season). But with the new shows, which one managed to top the list?

1) The Orville (Hulu)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Well, I rarely head with a spoiler warning, but we need to talk about this Season premiere. First, it’s been a minute since we’ve had the pleasure of the crew from The Orville after it moved to hulu. Covid delays and such. I’m actually surprised at the amount of people I know watching this. I heard the cast has already been released from their contracts, even though this show hasn’t officially been cancelled. That was even before the season premiere. So, when I jumped into a new season, from a sometimes comedy, I did not expect Seth Macfarlane of all people to write such an impactful episode about suicide. It’s a gamble in itself to start off the season with the suicide of a series regular, but with all the complexities surrounding the why, as well as the science fiction elements thrown in, it was surprising how resonate the episode managed to be. I would not have had the balls to start off this way after that long of a hiatus, to trust in the audience, and handle such delicate subject matter with care. Typically, nowadays when a TV show features a suicide, we get a trigger warning, but I believe this episode was missing one. Of course, the spoiler here is that the character in question is able to be saved and brought back because this is a science fiction show, and the rules here are different. But, for the middle part of the episode, the grief was real, and the cast did a solid job expressing emotion for an ensemble typically chosen for their ability to crack a joke. I was quite surprised by this, and I know it won’t be for everyone.

Episode Grade: A

2) The offer (Paramount Plus)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

In the penultimate hour, The Godfather is almost done, and Robert Evans is nowhere to be found. In the meantime, watching Colin Hanks’s asshat of a character run a movie studio like a petulant child was excruciating. Seeing scenes where he would mock and trash the sheer audacity of a film that would go on to become legendary, like Chinatown, highlighted why someone like him should never be anywhere near that job. If he doesn’t understand the art form, how can he produce it? That’s what made Robert Evans a legend. He understood movies. The episode finished with a nice moment where Miles Teller’s Ruddy heads off to kiss the ring of someone he never expected to be so fond of, and I found myself realizing how much this show has grown on me. Just please, no more impressions of famous actors.

Episode Grade: A

3) Fairfax (Amazon)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Season 2 of this hilarious animated comedy picked up right where the last one left off, with our foursome looking to grab the next hottest swag, and believing they are old enough to stand in line. Incidentally, even though the sheer existence of this show owes everything to South Park, I finally watched the Streaming Wars part 2, and while i always appreciate the intelligence of the satire that Trey Parker and Matt Stone manage to bring in every once in a while, this Fairfax episode was funnier than Streaming Wars part 2.

Episode Grade: A-

4) Evil (Paramount Plus)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

While this episode certainly had an interesting premise, i always appreciate when the show isn’t so locked in to wanting us to actually see the Evil. This show works best when it spends the bulk of its time letting our trio investigate, only for us to be left at the end trying to figure out if this was true evil or not. Remember the girl with the Halloween mask from Season 1? That episode was next to perfection. Seeing the demons at the murder houses ruined the nuance of this episode for me.

Episode Grade: B+

5) The Lincoln Lawyer (Netflix)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

I was all on board until the end, when it JUST SO HAPPENED that the guy Sisqo was following got randomly pulled over by the cops. Actually, apparently for no reason. Just some random asshole. Then that cop escalated the hell out of the situation, even though the guy said he was a former cop. Then we ended with the guy being hit by a fucking Barbie doll. “Like, OMG, I didn’t even see him.” You did’t see the fucking cop car? You’re supposed to get out of the lane next to the cop car whenever possible to keep the cops safe, let alone the civilians. I hope there’s a secret episode where the dumb girl in the car gets sentenced to life in prison for being useless to society. That whole scene was so poorly written, it dropped an otherwise solid episode a full letter grade. If you need to kill a character off, you have to make it feel like it’s not the dumbest thing ever.

Episode Grade: B

6) Physical (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description available?: Yes

So, since I wasn’t around doing this for the first season, you need to understand, this is about how I feel about Physical. it’s a good not great show. I watch mainly for Rose Byrne, because she is terrific. But the show around her is just OK. It’s how I felt about Ted Lasso in the very beginning, but that managed to evolve into one of my favorite shows. I stuck with Physical for season 2 jsut in case. I’m still optimistic, since she’s finally expressing her thoughts out loud, but I need more from the ensemble.

Episode Grade: B

7) South Park: the streaming Wars part 2

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

While The Streaming Wars as a singular thing would qualify as a feature length film, neither episode is long enough, so I count it as a TV show still. I did laugh a bit, but the fact that we had managed to get away from Tegrity Farms, and the future was starting to look bright again only for us to get screwed… I’m not happy. Look, South Park hasn’t kept a concept as long as Tegrity in the history of the show. When was the last time we saw Coon and Friends? They do have killer ideas, that work for a moment, and then they move on. Seeing Tegrity Farms survive for multiple seasons and now into these Paramount Plus episodes, has actually really put a damper on easily one of my favorite shows of all time. Except, I feel like I’m starting to not be able to say that anymore. This past year, in alignment with the Emmy’s, I did my list of my favorite programs in multiple categories, and I couldn’t even find it in my heart to put South Park in my top 10 animated. Please, just do better. I’m fucking tired of Randy Marsh.

Episode Grade: C+

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