What Amanda’s Watching On TV
Every year, Amanda hopes to find a new series to love. Could this be the season of the next “Mad Men” or “Parks and Recreation”? And every year, well, it isn’t. Last season’s highlights were the outstanding dramas “The Crown” on Netflix and “A Handmaid’s Tale” on HULU. Other than that, not so much. This season I’m still waiting for a freshman stand-out.
9JKL - CBS Remember how Elliot Gould played Ross and Monica’s dad on “Friends?” Well you really don’t have to. Just watch 9JKL because he’s playing the exact same dad. This CBS sitcom stars Mark Feuerstein, (“Royal Pains”) as an unemployed actor who moves in next to his overbearing mother, played by Linda Lavin, and dad. They also live next door to his heart surgeon brother and pediatrician sister-in-law. It’s kind of like “Rhoda” but with more expensive apartments, better education, and fewer jokes.
Great News - NBC Not so great. Even Tina Fey can make a mistake apparently.
The Orville - Fox I’m not quite sure what to make of this “space dramedy” (now there’s a new one) created by and starring “Family Guy’s” Seth MacFarlane. There were so many characters introduced and so much backstory in the first episode, it was exhausting. But six episodes in, the show has grown on me. I enjoy about half of the 431 characters and especially the relationship between spaceship captain Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) and his ship commander who just happens to be his ex-wife, played by the fetching Adrianne Palicki. The show mixes space adventure, politics, humor and romance. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Ghosted - FOX I want to love this show. It stars Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”) and Craig Robinson (“Hot Tub Time Machine”) both very funny comic actors, as small-screen Ghostbusters. Funny right? Except it’s not. Both episodes I saw were more gross than amusing, and people died. I have one rule for comedies, people don’t die. Unless it’s Chuckles the Clown in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
The Good Doctor - ABC I haven’t watched a hospital-based show since ER left the air in 2009. I gave “Grey’s Anatomy” about four episodes and that was only because of my not-so-secret crush on Patrick Dempsey. The “hook” in “The Good Doctor” is that Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is an autistic savant with significant social issues. Highmore’s sing-song delivery is very difficult to get used to and not typical of young adults with autism. Otherwise it’s an effective and nuanced performance. The show is much less bed-hoppy than “Grey” and at least in the episodes I’ve seen, more bloody. Seriously, unless you love operating room scenes, record this and watch it on fast forward like I do. Oh, and “The Good Doctor” has already been renewed by ABC.
At Home With Amy Sedaris - truTV I am a long-time fan of comic actress, writer and humorist Amy Sedaris, who happens to be the sister of writer David Sedaris. “At Home” showcases her home ec and impersonation skills, but I like this description straight from truTV, “”Amy invites you into her home, where she will show off diverse but necessary homemaking skills, from creating popsicle-stick buddies and gutting a fish to making raisin necklaces and entertaining businessmen.” I think of her as the anti-Martha Stewart, with a pet rabbit.
Friends From College - Netflix I can’t explain what made me watch all eight episodes of this half-hour “comedy” about six friends from Harvard who all live in New York City, 20 years after graduation. I guess I kept waiting for the characters to start making smart choices, turn their lives around and act like they actually graduated from any institute of higher learning, or even high school. Ethan (Keegan Michael Key who is literally in everything these days) is a clueless clutz. His wife (“How I Met Your Mother’s” Cobie Smulders) can’t figure out that Ethan’s been having an affair with Sam (Annie Parisse) for two decades! I like Nat Faxon but can’t understand his character Nick at all. Fred Savage as book editor Max, is the most “stable” of the group but as one of the many, many dumb plot twists he ruins his relationship with a doctor (Billy Eichner). I’d take 20-year old episodes of those other “Friends” any day.