The Too Much TV Roundup- August 9th

You know? This was a pretty good day in terms of television watching. Shows that had previously started to let me down have seemingly course corrected.

1) Breeders (FX/Hulu)

English Audio Description Available?: no

I generally really do try and make sure the show on top is an audio described title, which makes this all the more frustrating. but I swear, Breeders feels at times like it might just be the best show on TV. It certainly is the best one that no one ever seems to be talking about. In No more part 1, we are dealing with the fallout of the split between Paul’s parents, and how that’s affecting his home life and his own tenuous marriage as his own wife is clearly getting more unhappy by the day. Watching Jim sitting at home by himself ordering machines from some home shopping channel was sad, but the moment became more dire when it became clear that he was struggling to remember when or if he had taken his medication. Even with Ava stopping by to keep track of her grandfather, this may not end well.

Episode Grade: A

2) The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)

In the 8th outing of the season, Luther and Sloane (who if she survives this season, I will be shocked) tied the knot on their super fast relationship with the apocalypse impending. Meanwhile, Klaus and Hargreaves returned to less than welcome results, but Hargreaves had to learn to be a little nicer to people in hopes of getting what he wants, which is to get his kids (and Lyla) to go back through the mysterious door in the wall in hopes of stopping this current apocalypse. Meanwhile, after being asked by Luther to try and make amends, victor attempted to reach an unresponsive Allison, who has decided to never forgive Victor, and in the episodes final moments, Five sees Hargreaves make a deal with someone off camera to help him get his results. but who? My money is on Allison, who exited the wedding party early, and is in a very scorched earth mood. She could potentially rumor all her reluctant siblings through the door. Allison has the most relatable story arc to make her transition into a villain you could root for, as her daughter was wiped from existence, but that leash can only go so far before there’s no turning back. Then again, they did forgive Victor for the Season 1 apocalypse.

Episode Grade: A

3) Loot (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

In the 4th episode, Molly seems to be understanding a bit more the gravity of her situation after an embarrassing start to the episode. She spends most of the episode building an adorable relationship with her obviously eventual love interest, only to crash that down by finally being responsible when the tabloids catch a photo of them together (innocently), which leads her to make the adult choice to not keep this flirtatious back and forth going on because of the optics of the boss/employee dynamic.

Episode Grade: A

4) The Bear (Hulu)

English Audio Description?: Damn you Hulu.

I swear there is nothing more obnoxious in the world of audio description than the term “FX On hulu”, which is used as a way to circumnavigate creating original content that only appears on Hulu, but is not a “Hulu Original” that would require them to add audio description. They’re cheating the system, as this is all falling under the house of mouse anyway. now, I’ll play nice, and say that this show has an insane amount of dialogue, so even with audio description, it would be sparse. This series, at least the first episode, spent most of the episode in a super busy kitchen with people shouting back and forth to each other, cracking jokes, and generally keeping the pacing at a fever pitch. It’s a very interesting show, but I have to admit, the lack of any audio description did make it harder to understand the setup. Something happens at the beginning, I don’t know what. It was mostly just sound effects. And there would be a few moments that could possibly help us establish this show and its characters, as the pilot takes off running. It’s not terribly interested in giving you a ton of backstory, or introducing you to these characters. It’s almost like you’re dropping in halfway through a season, but this was definitely the first episode. Interesting concept, and unlike anything else I’m watching right now.

Episode Grade: A-

5) Physical (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Well, it took forever to get here, but the show is starting to really get good, and Rose Byrne’s character is reaching all the payoff. I still say, there are characters in this show that could disappear, but where our lead character is headed is a much stronger direction. A warning at the front of the episode about the depiction of eating disorders led to a hotel scene, where Byrne gave her character some of her most human moments to date, and all out of a reaction to her yelling at her daughter, and her fear that she’s perpetuating a cycle started by her own mother. If the rest of the season plays out like this, Byrne could be a contender next season at the Emmy’s. if the show wants to stick around longer, it needs to pair down its cast, or give them better things to do. I don’t care anymore about Travis and Bunny. If they disappeared, I’d be fine with that.

Episode Grade: B+

6) Westworld (HBo/HBO MAX)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I really do not pretend to fully understand this show. A friend of mine on Facebook, who i guess is catching up on the series, just finished Season 3, and was ranting about it. I felt at same way, just back when it was airing. I don’t know what this show wants to be anymore, or where it is headed. But in this weird freaking episode, Jeffrey Wright tried to explain a lot of stuff to a seemingly newcomer, who was given a big character reveal at the end. Maeve looked a little out of commission, but found her way back. And Caleb seemed to go through some programmed hellscape just so Charlotte could understand him better. I would lose zero sleep if this show didn’t get renewed, as I’ve lost faith that there is an actual endgame, though there are characters and actors here in play that I still come back for. Regardless of the nonsensical plot being thrown at their characters, Wright, Newton, Paul, and Thompson all gave excellent performances, and typically do.

Episode Grade: B

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