The Too Much TV Roundup- August 27th

Today, you might say, was a bit of a catch up day. Forgive the ensuing madness.

1) Baymax (Disney Plus)

English Audio Description/: Yes

i bet you didn’t see this one coming. At the top of my list is the short form series for a very good reason. the third episode of the season is one of the best episodes of any TV show this year, taking a thoughtful, honest, and rather realistic look at a young girl’s first period, which she has the misfortune of having at school, where the stalls are out of pads. But Baymax is here to help. Not only does his genuine nature approach all circumstances without any judgement, he never talks down to the girl, and explains everything in rather simplistic layman’s terms. There’s a scene where he has to go to a store to buy a product for the girl, and ends up turning to another woman in the aisle and asking her which she would recommend. And instead of laughing at the absurdity of a puffy white marshmallow asking her this question, she gives him her answer. Really, this animated short is beautifully told, and while parents railed against Turning Red earlier this year, while critics held it’s brilliance, this 15 minute episode of Baymax accomplishes more without ever needing to wrap menstruation in a complex allegory and make somewhat of a spectacle out of it. All girls will reach this moment in life at some point, and I can think of no cartoon character more prepared to teach them than one who promotes nothing but healing and kindness. I do mean this with the wholeness of my heart, but a huge thank you to Disney plus and the producers of Baymax for having the courage to tell this story, and do so without needing to wrap it in a cute red panda. If you haven’t watched Baymax, I’m not surprised, but please check out the third episode. It’s so surprisingly human.

Episode Grade: A+

2) For All Mankind (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Somehow, I feel like things will not work out well for Margot this season. This is one of those you can’t have your cake and eat it too scenarios, and after her character dumped molly, I honestly could care less if she also got the hook. Meanwhile, in seven minutes of hell, you really have to choose which seven minutes. Was it the tense conversation between Ed and Danny over a deck of cards, or was it the landing sequence and race to be the first to step foot on Mars. And in true For All Mankind tradition, they set a tone that broke the record books. Another terrific episode, and rather tense, from this series that deserves Emmy recognition. also, shoutout to Andrew Stanton (Wall-E) for directing this episode.

Episode Grade: A

3) Fairfax (Amazon)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Our favorite foursome of clout chasers were out looking for time at the beach, until they had to go save their favorite designer. Billy Porter’s voiceover work is always welcome in this show, and Fairfax was pretty predictably hilarious.

Episode Grade: A-

4) Reservation Dogs (FX/Hulu)

English Audio Description?: Yes

It’s amazing how much more I’m enjoying Season 1 with audio description than when I watched it without. I’m hearing Season 2 is having similar problems where it’s not getting AD uploaded, which surprises me not. I’ve said it before, but hulu clearly does not care about the blind community. I’ve been told several times that The old Man had a full season recorded of audio description, but they refuse to do more than pickup just the first two episodes, and Hulu would be the only venue for that description. Then, What We Do In The Shadows latest season lost audio description by the third episode. But, my favorite part of Reservation Dogs was when after complaining about stomach pains, she tried to get the nurses to buy her meat pies. The nurses response was brilliant.

Episode Grade: A-

5) The Lake (Amazon)

English Audio Description/: Yes

A show that started off as birth father bonding time has evolved into something a lot more complex, and after seemingly ruining the summer for his daughter, it looks like he’s going to have to choose his next steps wisely. Does he keep going after his sister, who clearly is better at playing this chess game, or does he back off and be a supportive parent? We shall see.

Episode Grade: B+

6) Harley Quinn (HBo MAX)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Don’t get me wrong, this may be the lowest I’ve ever ranked Harley, but what do i do when the title character becomes the least hilarious thing in the episode? The winners here were the surprise appearance of Swamp Thing, and then Batman trying to replace his parents with cats. The show is so good at mocking these side characters that it’s getting to be that sometimes Harley, and her quest for love for Ivy, isn’t always enough. She has a bit of a hard time surpassing the absurdity around her, as somehow this show has turned Harley into the straight man.

Episode Grade: B+

7) Tales Of The Walking Dead (AMC)

English Audio Description?: No

Last weeks episode featured two talented actors in a plot that was strong, but they had no chemistry. This week, once again, no chemistry, but interesting plot. For some reason, two women keep reliving a part of the zombie apocalypse and Everytime they die, it resets. An odd premise for the Walking Dead universe, but unique enough to keep it interesting. But, I guess due to lack of time, no one in this episode ever feels like they’ve met each other before, let alone developed any sort of relationship. Parker Posey is talented, but even that can only go just so far.

Episode Grade: B

8) Pretty Little liars: Original sin (HBo mAX)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Was the original PLL like this? I mean, it’s campy, but it’s a bit too over the top, and more recently shows like One Of us Is Lying and i Know What you Did last Summer kind of did similar things, but did them better. I guess this is just going to be a teen slasher, along the lines of MTV’s Scream, though I’m still not 100% sure why these kids are paying for the sins of their parents. Imogene’s mom is already dead, and she seems now like the protagonist. It’s not a bad series, I just want more from it.

Episode Grade: B-

9) The Last Movie Stars (HBO MAX)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I feel like I know more about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward than I’ve ever needed to. Five episodes in, and the most compelling part was the loss of their son. And, I’m tired of hearing Ethan hawke talk about how daunting this task was. It’s the fifth episode. You can bookend the series with that shit, but not in the middle of the docuseries.

Episode Grade: B-

10) Boo Bitch (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Technically, if this was a movie, I’d be at least halfway into it, and I’d hate it even more. The second episode gave me very little about the rules behind her ghost status, and these characters are all a little too vapid to be distinguishable. Even the main two girls have very little difference in personality traits. This one is close to the chopping block, if not already on it.

Episode Grade: C

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