The Too Much TV Roundup- November 27th

Welcome back to the roundup. I managed three movies in addition to the shows below, so I’d say it was a fairly productive day.

6) Interview With A Vampire (AMC Plus)

English Audio Description?: No

So, I’m going to continue to review content from AMC Plus, as they have made a sliver of audio description available, and they need to know why it’s important to continue moving forward. There is not a single reason this show shouldn’t have audio description. It’s a huge new gamble for AMC, one that earned a second season pickup early on, and comes from a creator of Breaking Bad, based on a well known novel from Anne Rice, that was also an Oscar nominated film. So, why on earth did they not start with this? If you hook people at the beginning, you gain viewers potentially for the run of a show. Adding audio description in a later season does nothing for you except give the appearance of caring. I found this hard to understand and follow. The team behind this are taking their time to establish a cinematic feel for the show, trying to elevate it in a way that it could potentially fill that huge Walking Dead void left behind. There are scenes throughout with no dialogue, there are scenes where I’m not sure who is in the scene, and the show is interested in not just introducing our lead, but also a host of supporting players. Noramlly, that’s a great move for a pilot, but the more new characters I have to follow and learn their stories, it becomes harder to follow. I did like, and I felt this was unique to the story, that it instantly brought in a story about being a gay black man when it wasn’t good to even just be black, let alone gay. Tackling storylines that matter moving forward can only help the show, but I’m not sure I can stick with this. I’m on the fence about giving it another episode. I was struggling a lot, and while the writing in the dialogue heavy scenes was good, and the acting was on point, the style chosen lends me to believe I’ll be committing to a show I’ll never be able to follow more than 50% on a good day.

Episode Grade: C-

5) The mole (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

A reality show like this, which does have audio description, is still somehow less fun. But, then again, I’ve been able to see before, so if you are blind from birth, perhaps you’ve found it easier to distinguish in a reality show between a massive roster of nobodies all thrown at the same time. It’s something I struggle with trying to watch my favorite reality shows like Top Chef and American Idol. Learning about these people takes commitment and time, and a narrator reminding me almost constantly in the beginning who is talking. By the time the elimination came around, I was surprised at how many people were even in the cast, and I felt like I didn’t know who they were. Even with audio description, because I couldn’t match names to voices, I couldn’t follow the elimination. I think the show needs to do a better job at matching names to talking voices, because these aren’t actors, or celebrities. It’s like being thrown in a room with 20 strangers, and 45 minutes later you have to tell everyone who their names are, but you’re pretty sure you haven’t even heard 20 names.

Episode Grade: C+

4) The Santa Clauses (Disney Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

OK. I needed like another whole episode before Kal Penn gets whisked away. I know the correlation there is that Tim Allen’s character used to be a toy maker, so picking someone similar makes sense. But there was such a strong vibe that Penn was the villain of this. I had just started to warm up to the idea that the show was going to get there eventually, because his daughter is adorable and believes in Santa, but damn. Episode 2? Are we in a rush to get Scott home in time for St Patricks Day or something?. Points for checking in on Charlie.

Episode Grade: B

3) A Friend Of The Family (Peacock)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I’m sure that the show will prove me wrong in later episodes, but for a show that has a limited series run, it certainly spent no time getting into it. It almost had the opposite of pacing issues, moving so quickly, I barely had time to figure out who these people were, before this show heads straight into the danger zone. I’m not really sure where you go from here, but maybe this show will prove me wrong. I can’t imagine ripping through the first episode this quickly pays off, but it got to the uncomfortable parts really fast. I just don’t know who these people are.

Episode Grade: B

2) Yellowstone (Paramount)

English Audio Description?: No

Ask any blind person which show needs audio description, and you’ve got a solid 50% chance Yellowstone is that answer. Five seasons in, no audio description. I’ve been sticking with this, because I’ve had the benefit of already being familiar with the voices of a lot of the cast. In the second episode of Season 5, John quickly remedies having a shitty Chief Of Staff, but also starts to learn about the kind of politics he needs to play. he also seems like a guy who doesn’t back down. Meanwhile, tate has more dialogue in this one episode then I think he’s had the entire run of the show.

Episode Grade: A-

1) The Good Fight (Paramount Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

The third to last episode. Things seem to be falling into place, but the riots outside are getting out of hand. I will miss this show, but I will miss the earlier seasons the most. Somewhere about halfway through, it started to evolve into madness, which sometimes works really well, and sometimes doesn’t. This episode mostly worked, but sadly, this was a day where even my top rated show didn’t warrant an A grade.

Episode Grade: A-

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