The Too Much TV Roundup- August 15th

I can’t believe it’s already the halfway point of August. With some shows finished last week, the rankings should start shaking up a bit. We’ve got a new first timer on top.

1) The Sandman (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I didn’t think that the pilot did enough to explore the universe, and just exactly who Dream was. It felt, in retrospect, like a preface, and the story starts in Episode 2. There’s a tremendous shift in focus, and Dreams really does take center stage in his own story. The audio description here is working overtime, as almost nothing in this show is based in reality, though I still somehow want more, while understanding that when everything is nonsense, you have to choose which parts to translate in the short window you have. But, structurally, I enjoyed Episode 2 a lot more, and I’m now riding this Sandman train.

Episode Grade: A

2) Rutherford Falls (Peacock)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Coming in a close second was the 5th episode of the Rutherford dynasty, which saw Nathan and Bobby heading off to get political donations from Rutherford Inc (to hilarious results), while the rest of the cast tried to teach cultural sensitivity to the producers of “Not Yellowstone”. Hot take: Don’t you wish that Adirondack was a real parody show? I’d watch it.

Episode Grade: A

3) Love Victor (Hulu/Disney Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

oh good. More Nick. or… wait. Maybe this episode will give Victor some nice time to sit and think about his life. Meanwhile, I’m still pulling for a surprise Love, Raheem spinoff.

Episode Grade: A-

4) Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBo/ HBO MAX)

English Audio Description?: Yes

now, this one is down in 4th because my expectations were not met. When I woke up Monday morning, I noticed a news story on Deadline that had cherry picked a section from this episode letting me know that john Oliver had really handed it to Fox News. I was expecting at least a few minutes, or a simple rant, but it really is just a brief joke at their expense. It’s not a focus at all, and my expectations were that he had really brought down the hammer. It’s funny how when you think you’re about to get something, you get something else, and you’re disappointed. Life. That’s life.

Episode Grade: A-

5) A League Of Their Own (Amazon)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Well, this isn’t the film. It’s really not trying to be either. I have a lot of thoughts about the structure of this pilot, and comparing it to the classic that people have enjoyed now for the past 30 years. first, we get zero backstory. This show assumes you remember history and the movie, so you know that a women’s baseball league is being set up. There’s very little done to set up any of the male characters, like Nat Faxon’s character who seems to be stepping in for David Strathairn, or whoever is the new Candy mogul once played by Garry Marshall. I think we even changed the name of the candy company, but we’ve got the same teams, like the Rockford Peaches. There is no scouting. These girls just arrive. The scouting gave us a terrific character played by Jon Lovitz, this show doesn’t do that. The actual tryouts are minimal. I wonder if these girls actually CAN play ball, or if this is going to be a drama centered off the diamond. While we did get a few character introductions, we were missing one of the most interesting dynamics in that sister duo at the front and center. That, in many ways, is why the film worked to begin with. Instead, our female lead is a farm girl who likes to read books and is running from her husband heading back from war because she’s a lesbian. We tackled that in the pilot, by the way. As a member of the alphabet army myself, even I wanted to hold that reveal for a later episode, after I got to know her better. This episode should have been about baseball, and it wasn’t. What the series got right, possibly fucking with history, was introducing black characters, and attempting to integrate a sport just being created. Max was the standout of the pilot, because she was so clearly talented and ready to play ball. The rest? I wasn’t really sure if they could, or even wanted to. I was really, REALLY, looking forward to this, and this pilot is a bit of a mess.

Final Grade: B

6) Resident Evil (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

When you score the same as Resident Evil, look out. Actually, that’s a jest, because these last two episodes, 5 and 6 have been notably better. In episode 6, Jade stopped being a bad luck charm for everything she comes in contact with. We were shown an entire world where people live normally (Alexandria?) and they focused on teaching art in spite of the apocalypse (Hello, Station 19). But, in true gory fashion, Jade has to go fishing, to some nightmarish results. Also, there are two Lance Reddicks? Somehow, I feel like that’s a win. If this show hired better actors instead off people who seem to be out of work because The Asylum isn’t casting them anymore, we might actually formulate a series worth having around. I’d love to see what that series was like.

Episode Grade: B

7) The Summer I Turned Pretty (Amazon)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I’m really not sure what the point of this show is. I know, it’s rich kids vacationing for the summer, in some random pretty locale where they can go out on boats, and dress all fancy, around all these wealthy adults. But… why? Like, i don’t relate to or like any of these kids. It’s not a bad show, it just feels so inconsequential. I wonder why they went the series route and not a movie. This feels like an elevated CW show. I say that, because even though the acting is better than Resident Evil, it’s still very CW-ish. Where people tend to still not resemble any realistic personality traits.

Final Grade: B-

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