The Too Much TV Roundup- September 9th

So, my top spot today was realy tough. No shade on the second place finisher, it’s jsut that number one gave me that My God moment. Those are so rare.

1) Blackbird (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

In what happens to be a matchup of excellent acting, superb writing, and audio description that is absolutely on point, jimmy got more than he bargained for. He got a flat out confession from Larry. The whole thing. Every detail, And, his mission is still to remain Larry’s friend, so he had to sit there and listen as Larry described heartlessly how he raped and murdered a girl, rather callously throwing around his displeasure that she cried out for her mom. Taron Edgerton’s performance was well supported by the audio description, that captured how he was trying to keep it all together, forcing a smile while tears started to well in his eyes. While the 2nd and 3rd choices on my list were technically great episodes for those programs, nothing topped Blackbird. An incredibly powerful hour of television. And even the little moments, like how Jimmy’s father is camped outside the jail in his pickup because he can’t get a hold of his son. The whole damn thing was perfection.

Episode Grade: A+

2) The Rings Of Power (Amazon)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I consider myself one of the sane people not bothered by the casting directors. I enjoyed the first episode because it started to introduce us to characters, a plot, a mystery, a villain, and was shaping middle earth. The second episode continued to do that, while introducing us to the dwarves, their culture, and some really terrific character work done there. Also, the creepy nature of the mysterious stranger has me concerned, there was a fight with a leviathan, and an Orc got more than he bargained for. Plus, what will eventually lead to the forging of the rings, has started to occur in conversation. This series has long term goals, and it also seems to really want us to know a lot more about middle earth. It’s odd that people don’t like it, because I think it’s quite terrific.

Episode Grade: A

3) Solar Opposites (Hulu)

English Audio Description?: Yes

The 7th episode of Season 3 did something truly unexpected that seemed just for us blind folk. It also signaled to me the first time that a creator has understood the power of audio description, and what it can and can’t do for its show. To have our narrator go off script in the final moments while reading the credits was a brilliant move. I’ve never seen it done before, where the audio description narrator was used for anything more than just narration, but for a show like Solar Opposites, it absolutely fit the tone and humor of the consistently fourth wall breaking show. So clever. And a big thank you to the team behind Solar Opposites for recognizing that your blind fans were welcome to this experience.

Episode Grade: A

4) Harley Quinn (HBo MAX)

English Audio Description?: Yes

After last weeks terrific episode centered around The Joker, we found ourselves in a split plot, with Harley furthering her typical plot, looking to kidnap Batman for nefarious reasons, but also navigating her new friendship with Batgirl (appearing in this show despite WBD wiping her film off the map), with a storyline that gives King Shark a backstory and centered opportunity to expand his character. In an odd way, while I love Harley, I feel like her supporting cast is so strong, that they often end up stealing the spotlight, and while I enjoyed her a lot, King Shark’s B-story was more engaging.

Episode Grade: A-

5) Gutsy (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I mean, it was kind of what I expected. Not that I needed a show where Hillary and Chelsea interview people, nor do I think they are the most interesting people to be doing this, but luckily the topics chosen, the people they interview, and the team behind gutsy often make up for the giggling mother/daughter duo who are just cutting loose. Perhaps, if Hillary had always been this goofy and approachable, she’d be living a far different life. Even when they can’t seem to muster tough questions, their subjects, including Amy Schumer in this episode, always come through. Of course, this episode focused on female comics, so perhaps successive episodes won’t be so giddy.

Episode Grade: B+

6) Virgin River (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Nothing to say here. Except perhaps the interesting convenience that the grandson needed a jacket, but finds financial records instead. Come on writers. You could at least try.

Episode Grade: B

7) Tales Of The Walking Dead (AMC/ aMC Plus)

English Audio Description?: No

Adding Anthony Edwards to the Walking Dead universe as a scientist studying the walkers seems like an interesting episode, until you remember that Lizzie was once fascinated with the walkers in a very unfortunate manner and that did not work out well for her. his character likely would have only survived one episode of the original universe, or gotten others killed. Ultimately, this episodes greatest sin was that it was boring.

Episode Grade: C+ (oh, and it has no audio description)

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