|9/16/2021 12:26:00 PM|
As I gear up for the Emmys, and what I hope and presume will be a banner night for Ted Lasso (Season two, on Apple TV now), I thought I’d try out a few new series and give another Emmy contender a second chance.
The “thriller” Clickbait is one of the most popular shows on Netflix right now, and it has an intriguing premise. Nick Brewer’s (Adrian Grenier) kidnapping becomes a viral sensation when his captors threaten/promise to kill him if they get 5 million views. Since Nick is posed with a sign that declares he abuses and kills women, viewers don’t have to feel “that” guilty hastening his demise. But Nick has a loving wife, two sons, friends, and a very hyped-up and annoying sister played by Zoe Kazan, who try to find him and prove he’s not the serial womanizer indicated by his online history. Along the way, Clickbait hands viewers many possible suspects, so many suspects. When the culprit is finally divulged in the last episode, it is so ludicrous, I felt like demanding my money back from Netflix (they can afford it). If you’re a fan of red herrings and moderately entertaining thrillers, then there are worse things to watch than Clickbait.
I zoomed through all six 30-minute episodes of The Chair (Netflix) in two nights. The smart and ultra-topical series examines life at the English department at Pembroke University where Ji-Yoon (Sandra Oh) has just been named the first female chair. The show tackles sexism, ageism, cancel culture and children with challenges, with savage humor and smarts. Oh is outstanding as she faces non-stop stress and the realization she will never be able to make everyone happy. Ji-Yoon is rewarded with an episode with David Duchovny as David Duchovny in a bathing suit. The supporting cast of Jay Duplass, Holland Taylor, David Morse and others is superb. The Chair has already been renewed for a second season. See you at next year’s Emmys, Sandra.
I still haven’t made up my mind about Mr. Corman, the wildly uneven Apple+ series, created by and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He’s Josh Corman, a fifth-grade teacher, who abandoned his dream of becoming a musician and lives a life of regret, anxiety, loneliness and self-doubt. Fun times huh? Gordon-Levitt takes chances by introducing musical numbers, stand-alone episodes, and outside-the-box imagery, but it’s basically the story of a thirtysomething semi-failure not too keen to change. New episodes air weekly, so I’m still in.
Who is the cutest couple on TV right now? That would be Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short) in the HULU Series Only Murders in the Building. The long-time real-life celebrity pals portray a couple of adorable eccentrics who live in a massive apartment complex in Manhattan. It’s the kind of building where every episode they need to explain how the residents can afford to live there. They, and a much younger neighbor Mabel (Selena Gomez) bond over their obsession with a true-crime podcast. When a man dies in the building, the trio suspects foul play. The project energizes the laconic Charles, a former TV star, and inspires the excitable Oliver. Since I’m watching in real-time, I can only comment on the early episodes. It’s a joy to watch two comedy legends do what they do best and Gomez holds her own. Did I mention Sting and Tina Fey also star?
I started watching Mythic Quest because Apple TV told me I should. I told my TV, “I think you’re mistaken. I don’t enjoy video games and isn’t that the guy from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? I hate that show. Well, my TV was right. The workplace comedy is surprisingly funny and quirky and you don’t have to know much about video games to understand what’s going on. There are several strong female characters and one incredibly annoying one who I hope is gone by season two which premiered this summer.
I decided to give multiple Emmy-nominated Lovecraft Country (HBO) a second try to see the performance of star and Emmy-nominee Michael K. Williams and figure out why the series was canceled after one critically-acclaimed season. Twenty minutes in and I remembered why I bailed. Lovecraft Country suffers from what I call TMP (Too Much Peril). In the first episode the protagonists are chased and shot at by two groups of racists, attacked by blood-thirsty vampire monsters and two more racists turned blood-thirsty monsters and then more killer monsters. The acting and production values are exceptional, but I don’t watch TV to be terrified and I can’t care about characters I fear are going to get knocked off by episode two.
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