Got my special J.R. Ewing Bourbon last Friday. That’s also they day it was announced that TNT canceled Dallas. While it’s true that I wasn’t happy with the way the show was written, and was pretty much just watching it out of habit, I’m not exactly happy that it’s over, nor sad. I’m just kind of numb, really. There’s currently an ongoing social media campaign to get the show picked up by another network, but I can’t say that I’m optimistic about the odds. Anyway, I won’t get into what I didn’t like about the new series later, I’ve always meant to do a season by season overview of the entire series, starting with the original, it’s about time I finally got started on that. I’ll try to begin next Friday (since Dallas originally aired on Friday nights).
There’s really not much on TV that’s interesting to me these days. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of what I’ve tried to watch recently.
HOMELAND SEASON 4 began last Sunday with a 2-hour episode. I watched it, and can barely remember anything about it. Season 1 was an A+. That was perfect. The drama of whether Carrie was right about Brody or not, with the multiple clues and misdirection, it was some of the most compelling drama I’d ever seen. Season 2 wasn’t quite as good, but it was still better than most shows and kept me engrossed. But that’s when it should have ended. Season 3 mostly floundered, especially during the first half. It picked up a bit during the finale episodes and went out on a high note, but it was ultimately unnecessary. Now, after this premier, I’m done watching for good.
MULANEY premiered last Sunday and, holy moley,it was bad. I was very disappointed in this, because I’d been really looking forward to it. I saw John Mulaney’s comedy special NEW IN TOWN last year and thought he was hilarious. They’re clearly going for a Seinfeld vibe with this show, but it just doesn’t work. The multi-cam, studio audience/laugh track sitcom is just the wrong formula for his brand of humor. I still think he has a bright future, but this show isn’t it.
On the other hand, Brooklyn Nine Nine has just been killing it in its first three episodes this season. I discovered this show late, didn’t actually watch it during season one, but after watching several clips from the show on Youtube, I bought the DVD of Season 1 and binge-watched it all in one weekend. Now I’m hooked. This show is intelligent and funny, with a great ethnically-diverse ensemble cast. DO NOT MISS OUT ON THIS SHOW, PEOPLE!
I initially had no plans to watch this show, until I read “Selfie” Is The Sitcom We Deserve, Not The One We Need by Helen A.S. Popkin So I watched it myself and I didn’t think it was so bad. The first episode was just average, but the 2nd one was a little better. Karen Gillan plays a woman who is more interested in her online life and the reactions she gets via her various social media profiles, but is extremely lacking in a real relationships, so she gets a coworker, played by John Cho, to teach her how to relate to people in real life. The premise is kinda silly, I admit, but it also rings true in this day and age. Gillan and Cho work well together. But I do wonder exactly how long this premise can realistically work?
Airing right after Selfie is MANHATTAN LOVE STORY, and so I caught those first two episodes as well. It’s alright in a stereotypical RomCom kinda way, but I’m not sure the characters have enough depth to keep the audience interested long-term.
When I first heard of this show, I thought it sounded terrible just based on the title. No, Black-ish isn’t quite as bad as BROS BEFORE HOS, but I still think it’s a crappy title. I was envisioning a show full of dumb racial stereotypes. But someone whose views I trust saw an early screening of the premier and said it was good, so I checked it out. And boy am I glad that I did! This show is fantastic! It’s intelligent and witty. It deals with subjects like race and racism, but in a genuinely funny way. And it’s so well-acted. I’m particularly surprised to see how good Laurence Fishburne is in a sitcom, I never really imagined him as a comedic actor, but he fits right in. I’m still worried that the title of the show may turn off some non-Black viewers who will just assume that it’s a “Black show”, but it’s not. It’s a family show, it’s pretty universal. Check it out, you won’t regret it.
And there’s also MODERN FAMILY. I’ve been a fan of this show since the beginning, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to see Sofia Vergara on Television, but I just think it’s lost something. I can’t quite put my finger on it, the cast is still great, but I just haven’t found myself laughing at these new episodes so far. I’m enjoying the reruns much better. Now that it’s in syndication there are times when I’ll catch multiple episodes in a day (2 episodes on USA followed by 2 episodes on Fox) and I’ll watch them all, even though I’ve already seen them. But these past three new episodes? I barely remember what they were about. I think it’s just showing its age, this is the 6th season, it’s not easy for a show to keep up its quality this long. When I think back to all of my favorite sitcoms growing up, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Growing Pains, Fresh Prince of Bel Aire, I think by their final seasons was that I was just continuing to watch them out of habit, but they didn’t remain “must see TV”. Maybe its time for Modern Family to consider wrapping it up?