The Too Much TV Roundup- December 4th

More Covid reviews, now brought to you in part by the drugs I’m on to fight Covid. Some good stuff.

6) American Gigolo (Paramount Plus/Showtime)

English Audio Description Available?: No

Since paramount Plus has quietly told me to go fuck myself for three months, I’ve decided to continue to review Showtime content despite the fact they won’t import the existing audio description. Yes, if you subscribe directly to Showtime, they have been making an effort to add audio description to all of their newer shows, going back at least as far as Yellowjackets. So, here we sit with American Gigolo, a show I was actually excited for, as I’m a fan of Jon Bernthal. But sadly, the folks at paramount don’t care about accessibility, and have zero interest in ever resolving any issues. This show was really hard to follow, at least the pilot. I got the fact that he was in jail for what turned out to be a crime he didn’t commit. However, after that? Perhaps there were just long moments of him enjoying life outside the prison, but there are long moments with no dialogue. In fact, there isn’t much dialogue in this series. Yes, they do speak, but some shows have non-stop dialogue. I was able to keep up with billions, as an example, because that show is pretty much nothing but dialogue. This is far more introspective as our Gigolo tries to decide what his next steps are. And through that, this meditation on life, becomes rather unwatchable for a blind audience. I really wish Paramount would take a serious commitment to audio description, instead of just telling us to sit in the corner and play with the small list of predetermined titles, even though there are ones we might be interested in if they just had some fucking accessibility. I’m not asking for you to make a VR experience or something, I’m asking for accessibility. Why you can’t provide that? That’s the insane question. As much as I love Jon Bernthal, his show was such a challenge to complete even the first episode. I actually understood more of Interview With A Vampire. Sorry, Shane, but I won’t be returning, until Paramount Plus is willing to make a commitment to audio description they seem unwilling to make.

Episode Grade: D+

5) 5) Shantorum (Apple Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Man, this show goes for broke in the pilot. A lot of ground was covered in such a short period of time, where we are first introduced to our main character (played by Charlie Hunnam) seen first in jail. He’s even got a jail buddy, and you’re like… Ok. So this is what this show is about. These two guys, best friends… and then, No. Hunnam escapes, meets up with a person from his past who reminds him that he used to be a good person, and gives him a little bit of money to escape and start his new life. So then, we’re down in India, where Hunnam now has a fake name, lin, and is trying to start a new life. but of course, he gets pulled into the Bombay underbelly. Then he starts plotting how to escape this… and it’s ALL IN ONE EPISODE. I don’t know what the plans are for one season, but holy shit this guy’s life is flying past. Side characters pop up, and I can’t even trust they’ll be around long enough for me to care. This guy could be in Brazil in the next episode. Because the episode moves so fast and crams so much, he has to connect with people almost instantaneously, which takes a bit out of those relationships. I’ll still watch another episode, because I’m curious to see where this show was headed, but I didn’t think this was a good pilot. Pilots should tell me what the show is, what it wants to be, and who the major players are, but because the show moves so fast, i don’t know the answer to many of those questions. not fully, anyway.

Episode Grade: C+

4) The Santa Clauses (Disney Plus)

English Audio Description?: Yes

This whole Kal Penn becoming Santa thing is happening really fast. I barely know his character. I’m not sure what the rest of this season looks like, but it kind of feels like they just did the whole thing in three episodes. Maybe there is a reason, and the show will turn around, but right now, I just wanted so much more.

Episode Grade: B

3) One Of us is Lying (Peacock)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Not so much a referendum on the first episode as it was on how long between seasons actually caused me to forget the whole show. i jumped back into the first episode of Season 2, and that recap was not enough. I still can’t remember why Jake had to die, even though they cut back to that moment. I know I liked the first season but I can’t remember it at all, which just put me in a weird place at the start of this season. My mind was not jogged quick enough. We’ll see where this show is headed.

Episode Grade: B+

2) Avenue 5 (HBo/HBo MAX)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I think I was the only person watching this when it first came out, and the second season is still very funny. now, because of a little kid, their trip is even further delayed as they now fly straight for the sun. Hugh Laurie and josh Gad are both great in this series.

Episode Grade: A-

The Watcher (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

First, on an audio description note, I do need the AD community to pull out a thesaurus and find an alternative to use sometimes other than thrusting. I’m worn out of thrusting. Now, about the show. I’m late to the party here, but so many people have talked this show up to me. It’s a good show, with very creepy elements, and about a thousand MacGuffins. Everyone around them is weird. So in a “based on a true story” show, did the original people really move into a neighborhood where everyone around them was weird? I feel like the reveal of who the Watcher is will be bonkers, but at the same time, this show is already a bit much. I know nothing about the show, but my prediction is that somewhere in this house, as there are multiple references to “discovering all the house has to hold” that allows the Watcher a way in that isn’t the front door. I’m thinking like Barbarian, some random hidden door off to somewhere. But, for a Ryan Murphy production, it’s pretty decent. It’s got an excellent cast, and I’m always a fan of Cannavale.

Episode Grade: A

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