The Too Much TV Roundup- November 21st

First, a couple of congratulations to some winners are in order. A big shoutout to Amy Schneider for winning the Tournament Of Champions on Jeopardy last night. It was a really tight finale, and overall an awesome game to behold. It was rather odd to watch someone like Matt get defeated by someone with a much smaller Jeopardy run, but the tournament brings the best of the best. That’s what it is all about, and Amy proved once again, that it is her.

Also, another shoutout to Charlie for winning the Mirrorball trophy. While I would have preferred we keep up with the “Stars” portion, and that the show would stop inviting reality show contestants on here, Charlie was not the least famous person in the final four. Just because you came straight off The Bachelor or Bachelorette shouldn’t guarantee you a spot on DWTS. What is it that you’re famous for? Attempting to date other people? Anyway, Charlie was the front runner from the beginning, so this was the least surprising thing to happen ever.

And now, onto the rankings.

5) The Great North (FOX/Hulu)

English Audio Description?: No

An episode centered mostly around a mega yacht and the ultra rich almost made me wonder if someone thought Triangle Of Sadness was going to blow up before this episode aired, or if this was a callback to The White Lotus. Either way, it was just an average episode.

Episode Grade: B

4) The Equalizer (CBS/Paramount Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

This episode made me wonder two things. First, why hasn’t this dual Equalizer thing happened before until now? And, to that extent, wouldn’t this be a better premise to give a real multi-episode arc to? Instead of starting off with bullets to the heads of drug dealers, why not build it so we eventually get there, after learning perhaps a bit more about Equalizer 2. Meanwhile, I also (between this and East New York, which aired the same night) learned that Fentanyl is instant death, which can’t actually be true. I’m sure it’s highly addictive and fucks you up, but having two CBS shows hit me with this instant death scenario makes me think that’s the safe narrative, but scaring people to not do drugs has never worked. Stay with me for a minute. When Queen Latifah takes a minute to explain the drug to her on screen daughter, like two granules of sand could kill her, she doesn’t really go into the statistics. The truth is, a lot of recreational drugs can kill you. People do them anyway. If you only present the one-sided scare tactic, it’s proven that this didn’t work before. D.A.R.E. Did nothing to reduce drug use, and I believe that during the run of the program, drug use went up, and that’s why the program was discontinued. Instead of just trying to tell everyone how it’s instant death by killing off extras to fuel a one episode story arc, a show like Dope Sick is far more effective, because it showed the reality of the drug, and how someone strong thought they could manage it, and how even a doctor thought they could manage it. No one is dumb enough to believe that the illegal drug trade is mass producing instant death and giving it away. That’s a terrible business model. It’s likely to be extremely potent and highly addictive, but having two shows try to convince me that the illegal drug trade is trying to kill off all their customers on the first dose seems counterproductive to a conversation worth having. Be more honest about things, and believ that your audience has the intelligence to follow, or create more complex characters that get you emotionally involved until they come into contact with this drug.

Episode Grade: B

3) East New York (CBS/ Paramount Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

See below. East New York won out because while it did focus on this idea that the drug is being sold like Skittles, it focused less on being preachy about it. Like, four random extras died instantly, and that was something we had to analyze like I just did with The Equalizer, but I didn’t get a scene where the show comes to a halt to talk about the dramatic effects. I grew up in a time of DARE, and i knew kids around me were using drugs. Abstinence based programs based solely on the scariest statistic ever never work.

Episode Grade: B+

2) The imperfects (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

The gang goes to find Sarkov, and I totally saw the twist coming. Sure, Finch showed up, but we had seen enough that we should have known what was happening. So, even though I can’t see… I still totally called that “twist”. And, I don’t think there was a way for the audio description to make this any better. Drawing attention to certain things would not have worked out, as it would have just led to telegraphing to the audience that we should be paying attention to something.

Episode Grade: A

1) Atlanta (FX/Hulu)

English Audio Description?: Yes

After a week off of audio description, Atlanta is back, and this episode really just played it pretty straight. I know Donald Glover always has a vision of what he is trying to say with each episode, but I think here, he just focused on strained family dynamics. As he and Paper Boi were stuck with their aunt because Earn’s mom wanted to spend the afternoon with her father, who her sister seems to keep total control over, it really just seemed to be about family dynamics.For a show with a lot of big ideas, and lots of things to say, it was nice to just have an episode that just reminded you how much these lives are like yours. The social commentary here is that, we all have this family, and no one gets to choose their mom or dad, their aunts and uncles, and so on. Great episode.

Episode Grade: A

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