The Too Much TV Roundup- September 14th

A show returned, and I finished one. So, it’s like one goes out, and another comes in.

1) Blackbird (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

There are scenes in this final episode that would have caused me to hand Taron Edgerton and Paul Walterhouser not just Emmy awards, but also Oscars. They are literal fire in the final episode, with each of them at the pinnacle of their acting performances. Walterhouser has given us a glimpse of this type of capability before, but never to this level, and Edgerton seemed more interested in pumping out stuff like that abysmal Robin Hood for me to take him seriously. But, damn. Not only will this show remain at the top of my list for the year, but these two performances, and the tragic final bow from Ray Liotta, should carry this show to Emmy love next time around. Screw White Lotus, Blackbird is great television, and truly answers why it needed six episodes, and never overstayed its welcome. Nowadays, too many limited shows run too many episodes, or they just feel like an unnecessarily extended film. Blackbird does exactly what this medium was created for, and delivers a punch you won’t soon forget.

Episode Grade: A+, Series Grade: A

2) The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

English Audio Description?: Yes

June is back. I know it’s September, but June arrives when she’s damn well and ready. I had so many little moments that I loved here, from June gobbling up pancakes, to the Crown “having no quarrel”. Of course, the final moments between June and Serena’s handler was a cherry on top. Great villains are created by great actors, and the fact that I felt the need to throw things at Serena is a testament to how well crafted she’s been as a villain this whole time. I didn’t care when she mourned her horrible husband, and I wanted her to be slapped for demanding some kind of trip home to bury a rapist. Read the room. But that means great writing is happening. However, my only nitpick is that this season premiere oddly felt like a series finale, or at least a season finale. it did more to wrap up loose ends than it did to blow open the door into a look at what’s to come this season. in a weird way, June is at peace, or at least the most peace she may ever find and still be alive.What’s next? I have no idea. And, to me, a season premiere shouldn’t leave me feeling like “that’s a wrap”.

Episode Grade: A-

3) Only Murders In The Building (Hulu)

English Audio Description?: Yes

So, while I think the killer (or killers), cause I ain’t spoiling shit, and that reveal was a bit convoluted, I did appreciate the attempt to normalize such an event. It felt like one of those moments where you are at work, and your boss has this “great idea”, but everyone else knows its stupid, but then they have to work overtime to make it not look so horribly stupid? If the point of this whole thing is for the audience to be guessing along, they made that really hard with some giant leaps this season. But, if you’re just showing up for the actors, the comedy, and the ensemble, I have to hand it to the cast and say they really brought home a terrific nonsensical season finale. While the “whodunit” is underwhelming, how they get to it was deliciously entertaining, highlighted not just with performances from our core trio, but the other residents of the building that all came together for this killer reveal. Season 1 had a better villain, for sure, but this one really tries to make up for it in style.

Episode Grade: A-, Season 2 Grade: A-

4) Loot (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Can someone please get rid of the chef? Like, the series was fine, then this chef showed up, and I feel like he’s thrown a wrench into what was an already solid ensemble.

Episode Grade: B+

5) Pretty little Liars: Original Sin (HBo MAX)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Yes, there are still bad actors, but the cop wasn’t anywhere in sight. I honestly, five episodes in, have more of a problem with the adult actors, which is weird. Really, the young cast is doing a great job of being where they need to be for this type of thing, but the adult squad is rife with people who need an acting coach. The head of the dance program was awful this episode. Steve? That dude… it’s not that he was creepy, but his acting was just… not good. And, until this Halloween themed episode, I don’t think I had ever really paid attention to what Mouse was doing with her life, but when you get a glimpse, you kind of go “this can’t end well”. Girl needs to find a new way to make some money. Like, literally any other way. This episode did a lot to dispel who isn’t likely to be a killer, based on where A was, and all the people who got ruled out unless there are two A’s. When I saw it was the Halloween episode, i knew it would be fun, and someone had to die.

Episode Grade: B+

6) The Resort (Peacock)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Shifting further away from comedy week after week, our favorite current time period duo toured the destroyed hotel, while in the past we see things like a skating Santa and a depressed and drunk nick Offerman. Yes, it’s a bit more complex than that, but I can’t ruin the whole damn thing. Oddly, I’m just not feeling the William Jackson Harper/Cristin Milotti part of the show, and think they take up too much time. That’s just my opinion, and I love both those actors. Their relationship is just dull. They dońt have chemistry, which is perhaps the point, but they need to either be developing it so they fall back in love, or develop it so they are pulling farther apart, and right now they feel like neither, and just glorified narrators. Like Gloria Stuart in Titanic was given even more screentime.

Episode Grade B

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