The Too Much TV Roundup- December 19th

no major news to talk about yesterday. It was just like, nothing happened on TV. So weird. Very quiet, no news sort of day. Oh… there was that one thing….

Anyway, here’s the list of my indictments, I mean, the shows I watched yesterday.

7) Wedding Season (Hulu)

English Audio Description?: No

I keep randomly checking in on this show, because it’s so representative of the zero fucks hulu gives about audio description. this show debuted in September. It is actually billed as a hulu original. not FX on hulu. Just a straight up hulu original, for which they are supposed to ahve audio description. When i called this in at the beginning of November, I was told it was, at that time, already a known issue, meaning that at least one other blind individual had tried to watch this with audio description and failed. This was my attempt at Episode 3, and the show *still* does not have audio description. It’s quite likely it never will, and that Hulu was just dumping this thing with hopes no one would watch it, as they have no intention of doing a second season. That’s where my head is at. By now, they’ve already made their minds up about the long term prospects of the series, and investing in audio description for a show they see no future for, is of little importance to them. However, I would argue, if they had done what they were supposed to do from the very beginning, this conversation would be moot, and perhaps a few more people might have been registering as having watched this show.

Episode Grade: C+

6) Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet Of Curiosities (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

i decided to look up the cast list, because I’m not a fan of the acting. i realize that I threw Tim Blake Nelson under the bus for the first episode, and i stand by that. That acting was terrible, but I’m starting to wonder if there’s not some campy vibe they’re purposefully trying for here. When you intentionally try to plan to be campy, it doesn’t work. Camp is something that comes upon you after an audience picks up on your final product vibe. Trying to plan for it just makes it feel cheap. I still didn’t like the acting for Graveyard Rats, even though I’m aware the lead here has worked with Del Toro a number of times. In general, there wasn’t much about this that surprised me. When an episode is called Graveyard Rats, you kind of can guess where this is headed. Yes, there was a tiny bit at the end that was thrown on that I didn’t see coming, and was a bit extra, but I get what this was trying to do. I just wasn’t a fan.

Episode Grade: C+

5) The Crown (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Potentially my least favorite episode of the series? I mean, what was it trying to accomplish? I totally missed out on who Penny was, as a person in relationship to the royal family, and the rest of the episode was just about this book. I think since the cast was pretty limited for this episode, I like Jonathan Pryce as Phillip, though he’s really just being Jonathan Pryce. He’s just really well suited for this role. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Debecki is doing the same thing that drove me crazy about Kristen Stewart’s performance, and whispering her way through the role. It makes a woman who was one of the most defining and empowered historical figures of the last 100 years come across as a shrinking violet. The audio description tries to make up for her performance, by comparing her to an indignant swan, but Debecki should be told that she can speak with full voice. Emma didn’t whisper her way through last season, and she was incredible. I don’t know where they got this idea that Diana sounded like that. That she tried to make as little noise as humanly possible, almost mumbling at times. And she got a Golden Globe nomination for this. Why are we awarding these performances?

Episode Grade: B-

4) Avenue 5 (HBo/ HBO MAX)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I think the last minute of the episode didn’t work for me. The descent into chaos, for the 4th episode, does make me wonder where they go from here. But, there were parts of this that were hilarious, and Hugh Laurie definitely gets the MVP award this episode, because he so dryly delivered some really great dialogue. Can we please revive House? I miss him on House.

Episode Grade: B

3) The imperfects (Netflix)

English Audio Description?: Yes

I’m not sure I’m loving how Alex’s character is developing, but as this is the second to last episode ever, I did think ending it on that cliffhanger was a nice way to leave it.

Episode Grade: A-

2) The Vampire Academy (Peacock)

English Audio Description?: Yes

This vampire drama reached fever pitch in many ways this episode, with Victor trying to stop Tatiana at what turns out to be a huge personal cost for him, and Rose ended up learning a secret about herself she now can’t forget, and is trying to deal with The ramifications of the trip her and the others took with Lissa to get answers about the fifth element. This oddly felt like it could have been a season finale, or at the very least, a winter break. But, no, there’s still more to go.

Episode Grade: A

1) Atlanta (FX/Hulu)

English Audio Description?: Yes

Now, I don’t use this term lightly, and I’ve seen a ton of terrific television. But, from the concept stage to the execution, this might be the best single episode of any TV show this year. Certainly, it had better be recognized at next years Emmys. What a completely oddball choice, but something that Donald Glover and his team made work so incredibly well. It has nothing to do with the plot of Atlanta, nor does it further the characters in anyway. But, imagining this world, and doing a retrospective on a black Disney animator, who became the CEO of Disney for a brief period in time, was a left field pitch. But, to wrap this episode around the character of Goofy, the making of A Goofy Movie, and analyzing so much about that character, and that film, it’s the kind of thing I never expected to see at any point in my life, but was so well done, that I would use this stand alone episode to introduce people to Donald Glover as a creative, and to represent his voice and style. It was funny, both in an obvious way, but also in a very sad, kind of dark way. It’s amazing how much was covered, and how well this was done. It runs a bit longer than your average Atlanta episode, but it does have audio description. I believe this is Season 4, Episode 8. If you’ve never watched Atlanta, Donald Glover very much has something to say.

Episode Grade: A+

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