Category Archives: Television

Is Mr. Robot Still a Better Gotham Than Gotham?

Excuse me, I have a quick question: Have you got the time?

That’s how we left things on the precipice of the second season of USA’s breakout drama Mr. Robot, with new character Leon asking hackers Trenton and Mobley the paradoxical question. I’m here to ask if you’ve got the time to dive into yet another recap of the program, one that begs the question again: Is Mr. Robot still a better Gotham than Gotham? If you’re curious why we’re doing this here at the Interjections website, take a quick glance way back to last July, when I boastfully claimed that Mr. Robot might have a better origin story for a Batman-like figure than its actual Batman-based show.

Before we can check in on hacker genius Elliot and his fSociety friends, I want to briefly go over what’s been going on in that Bruce Wayne-wasting Gotham. Obviously, before you continue – I’ll be mentioning heavy SPOILERS for both shows. If you don’t want to be ruined for either, I would turn back now.

Continue reading Is Mr. Robot Still a Better Gotham Than Gotham?

Advertisements

Podcast October 2 – Ghosted and Big Mouth

Somehow the Interjections podcast won’t back down….

Here we are with yet another hot button topic – gun control, incredibly important in light of the events of October 1st in Las Vegas.

Afterwards Jimmy and Tristan discuss two recent comedy television premieres, FOX’s Ghosted – starring Adam Scott and Craig Robinson as paranormal detectives, and Big Mouth – an animated coming-of-age story that sees Nick Kroll voicing his younger self and John Mulaney voicing a younger Andy Goldberg as they traverse the terrible years of puberty.

Tune in below, and never forget – comment responsibly:

This Will Be Televised – Fall Preview Part 3 – Mid-terms and Beyond

Did anyone see the Jim Carrey video, the one where he spouts existential fervor at a bewildered reporter in the New York Fashion Week press line? It’s just got me thinking a lot about what it means to do pretty much anything. Am I screaming into the void here? Does anyone really expect True Detective to be as good as it was when the McConnaissance was in full swing? Time is a flat circle, after all, and the circadian rhythms of all entertainment distract us from what we should all truly appreciate. Or is it a reflection of ourselves, our inner demons and deepest hopes?

Anyway, since executives at all studios end up pushing some stuff to the side in case they accidentally greenlight an absolute turkey for the fall – here’s what shows have been left for mid-season, if ever:

Alex, Inc. (ABC)

170516-alexinc

Zach Braff has finally given in and is returning to television with this story of a young entrepreneurial radio journalist who quits his job and attempts to build his own startup company. His wife will be played by the rapidly rising Tiya Sircar, who shined in a guest role as the good Eleanor on recent surprise hit The Good Place. It’s great to see Braff back in our homes again, though what this will be beyond that logline is yet to be seen, so there is some trepidation. Hopefully Braff will make this work, or find something new immediately after. Either way, I’m tuning in as soon as it’s slated.

Splitting Up Together (ABC)

VAN CROSBY, JENNA FISCHER, SANDER THOMAS, OLIVER HUDSON, OLIVIA KEVILLE

Emily Kapnek has become one of my favorite showrunners, after developing lighthearted ABC comedies like Suburgatory and Selfie. Yes, before you think that latter show was a waste of time, it most certainly was not, and had such a deft touch to the modern adaptation of My Fair Lady that the distillation and takedown of the distraction that modern technology provides humans was absolutely brilliant. I, of course, digress, since this is more of a preview of her new show – that finds Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Rules of Engagement) preparing to divorce only to find that the proceeding ignite a deep-seated passion within them that had long been lost. It’s a simple premise, that has been done before somewhere, but with Kapnek’s genius writing, I expect at least something left in her that can bring viewers to their screens. Plus ABC keeps giving her chances, for good reason.

 By the Book (CBS)

by-the-book-serie-cbs

This, of all things, has to be my most anticipated show of the upcoming year. This also, of all things, has the potential to divide like the biggest lightning rod on the air. As with Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, this has a semi-religious bent and a markedly different original title. Before, this was entitled Living Bibically, and given that it isn’t quite about a person who runs a mega-church in Houston or anything, it makes sense why the switched it to an on-the-nose name. Jay R. Ferugson (Mad Men) plays Chip, a distraught film critic who decides to literally follow the word of the Bible after the death of his best friend. I imagine some executives, critics, and even general viewers to balk at that premise, thinking it would be more Last Man Standing than anything else, but my guess from the cast (David Krumholtz, Camryn Manheim) that it’s going to be more of a sardonic look at how ridiculous some of the BIble’s tenets have become over the evolution of society. If nothing else, this will be something everyone will be talking about, good or bad.

Black Lightning (CW)

black-lightning

No new shows seem to be premiering on the CW this fall, which isn’t really a bad thing. It just means that the programs already in place are clearly working, so why not let a good thing sustain? Luckily for some fledgling shows, there’s room after a 13-episode run to pop in and run for their own. Black Lightning is one of these shows – and much in the vein of other superhero shows on the network, it’s about a man called upon to once again fight for justice in his neighborhood. This time it’s Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), who retired nine years earlier after seeing the effects his crime-fighting was having on his family. Now that the family is grown, it just so happens that a gang called The One Hundred is out to terrorize his home, and that means getting back into the business. I’m still in season one of The Flash, and I know all of these Greg Berlanti-developed shows are top notch, but I’m probably going to end up catching this later, like the other ones. If you’re a fan of his stuff, and the CW in general, you’re probably in for a real treat.

Life Sentence (CW)

life-sentence

Now this is a darker premise than I would expect coming out of the CW. While they’ve attempted stuff this dark before, it’s always fallen flat (see: No Tomorrow, a show that begged to be on cable but was marginalized into fluff). My hope is that it doesn’t happen here. Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) stars as Stella, a young woman who milked her cancer diagnosis to its utmost, but when the cancer miraculously dissipates, she must face the life she thought she was going to leave behind, in other words all the bad decisions she made when she “lived like she was dying”. This includes a husband who thought he was in it for the short run, parents who had mourned for eight years and thought they were doing the right thing, and many other issues that will likely be worked out. Come to think of it, this sounds like one of the possible endings for a season two of No Tomorrow, but maybe this will go better.

The X-Files (FOX)

x-files-season-11

That’s right, Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully will once again grace our television boxes in the search for the truth. What’s expected is that there will be a little more levity in the writing, while accounting for the likely short amount of episodes once again. The likelihood is also that this will at long last be the final run of cases for the extended FBI pair, as all involved (Chris Carter, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson) have stated that this and the last short season were in place of a trilogy capper that never came. It would actually be great to see Kumail Nanjani involved again, or someone else like the inimitable Rhys Darby, but perhaps it would be better if they don’t go full nostalgia – something like the recent third season of Twin Peaks would work fine. We don’t need to get existential, and it would be nice to get some actual closure – perhaps for Fox’s sister – but I think it will still be nice to see the greatest working federal agents one last time.

LA to Vegas (FOX)

LA_VEGAS_MAY_UPFRONT_PRES_LAV229V1_1280x720_944122435859

Another great premise left by the wayside for January or beyond, this tells the short woeful tale of those red-eye pilots and stewardesses that are stuck on the flight between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Debauchery all around them, the hard-working employees must leverage themselves against their better judgment, although that will likely not go as planned. Dylan McDermott stars as the beleaguered perpetual captain, stuck from rising up to a better flight plan alongside a wacky in-flight crew and weekly passengers that are drunk or hungover. One of them is Peter Stormare, so expect some strangeness.

The Resident (FOX)

MV5BN2RjODYyNTMtZTljZC00ZmViLWEzZmYtZjExNmM2Y2I2MTQ3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTkxNjUyNQ@@._V1_

Matt Czuchry was consistently the best parts of scenes he was in on The Good Wife, holding his own against heavy hitters like Julianna Marguiles, Christine Baranski and the show’s MVP, Archie Panjabi. Now that it’s over (and he made it the whole way surprisingly), Czuchry has the chance to be the main star himself in this hospital drama where veterans like Bruce Greenwood continually tell him that he’ll have to compromise his morals to do the right thing for the hospital to stay in business. Given that he’s a maverick, it’s pretty obvious that Czuchry’s doctor, Conrad Hawkins, will bow to the whim of executives. Instead, he’s definitely going to be in it for his patients. Emily VanCamp will follow his lead as another new resident, and this kind of writes itself…so this may not be the best show. However, with a cast like this, it deserves at least a second opinion.

AP Bio (NBC)

A.P. Bio - Season Pilot

As news broke that this show had been optioned for a slot in NBC’s schedule, the most important thing to note was that star of the series Glenn Howerton still had a job over at FX, namely being the star of their flagship show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. As the season over there ended, Howerton claimed that he wasn’t sure what would happen, but given that all five cast members are signed for at least two more seasons, there’s no doubt that the show will continue. The thinking here goes that they’ll push the next season back since co-star Kaitlin Olsen has her own show over at FOX, The Mick and they’ll see how AP Bio goes. The plot itself is enticing, as Howerton plays a high school teacher (obviously of AP Bio) who was cheated out of his dream position at a prestigious university. He then begins to use his brilliant honor students to enact revenge on his rival who claimed the job, much to the chagrin of the high school’s principal, played by Patton Oswalt. For me, this is a dream comedy, so I’m on pins and needles hoping this comes sooner than later. On top of that, the producing team of Seth Myers and Lorne Michaels seems to be already approved for air.

The Handmade Project (NBC)

150120_2841436_Opposites_Attract__The_Ron_and_Leslie_Mashup

Normally I’m not one to be too excited about a reality show – I’ve never had one in a preview before. This one’s different, however, and one I may give a chance for a handful of episodes. Nick Offerman, star of Parks & Recreation, has always had a knack for woodworking, a love he shared with his alter ego Ron Swanson. He’s built a brand in his comedy on defining oneself by developing and harnessing a skill, such as woodworking. Only naturally, the progression towards NBC giving him a show where he can showcase that skill in front of millions of Americans has finally come to fruition. He’ll be joined by his Parks co-star Amy Poehler as they weave their way through contestants who shall compete to make the best furniture or other wooden products. I look forward to Offerman’s sardonic yet straightforward mentorship, as it has always fit well with Poehler’s bubbly optimism. For once, NBC may have done something right.

Rise (NBC)

Rise - Season Pilot

So many people getting new shows! Here’s Ted Mosby, high school drama teacher! Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) is set to lead a new Glee-esque telecast set within a school that is on the verge of losing its drama program to budget cuts. Radnor rallies the troops with fellow teacher Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing). Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) leads the cast of students, and we’re sure to see her singing skills showcased, among other talented youngsters. This seems like a great idea, and enough time has passed since Glee that it won’t be stepping on any toes.

Law & Order: True Crime (NBC)

Law & Order True Crime: Menendez Murders - Season 1

Are they even trying anymore? I mean, when Law & Order as a franchise first appeared before us all the way back in 1990, everyone joked about how the stories were ‘ripped from the headlines’. They even brazenly started referencing that themselves, and soon no one cared that Chevy Chase was guest starring as a thinly veiled version of Mel Gibson or they were finding three girls who’d been trapped in a basement for decades finally getting free. Obviously, everyone is okay with that by now, and given the current trend of high-profile criminal cases getting their own anthology series, it was somewhat unsurprising the Dick Wolf-produced series would head in this direction. The good news: Edie Falco is coming back to television as real-life lawyer Leslie Abramson, who has defended Phil Spector as well as this 8-episode mini-series subjects, the Menendez brothers. Anthony Edwards (ER) will be coming back not only to television, but his moneymaking home NBC, as the judge who oversaw the case, which sought to discover whether the young siblings murdered their parents in 1996. Julianne Nicholson and Josh Charles will pop in as well, and the whole thing sounds like a nice binge-watch eventually.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Somehow, I must have missed that this was actually premiering September 27 – I believe it was erroneously labeled in the Wikipedia list for the upcoming fall season and I never spot checked before the first part of this preview went out.

Good Girls (NBC)

Good Girls - Pilot

Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes) was set to star in this riff on the Bad Moms situation…except this time the girls decide to plan a heist on their local supermarket. I don’t know what Perkins opted out, but her replacement is a delighful surprise – Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks. She joins original co-stars Mae Whitman (Parenthood) and Retta (Parks and Rec) as the heist goes bad and they’re recognized by the manager, played by Matthew Lillard (Twin Peaks). The premise seems solid enough, and maybe the move to mid-season pulled Perkins, but the messiness still worries me for the show’s prospects.

Later, there will be several shows, that are yet to be scheduled:

True Detective (season 3, later 2017 or early 2018, stars Mahershala Ali!)
Barry (HBO, early 2018, hitman Bill Hader joins a Los Angeles improv troupe!)
American Lion (originally set for 2017, stars Sean Penn as Andrew Jackson!)
Here, Now (undated, probably 2018, Alan Ball returns with a family drama)
The Terror (AMC, set for 2017, historical horror in the Arctic)
Atlanta (FX, 2018, probably setting season 2 at some point in the summer?)
American Crime Story: Versace (FX, 2018, skipping Katrina may have been good?)
Archer: Danger Island (FX, 2018, the seminal animated program does it again)
Jean-Claude Van Johnson (Amazon, unknown, just put it on my television already)

I was going to have a top five worst shows of this upcoming season, but I could only bring myself to discuss one – Widsom of the Crowd, a Jeremy Piven-starrer that has the former Entourage Emmy winner using his technological prowess and endless stream of funds to improve the outdated San Francisco police force’s assets. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s basically last year’s FOX drama APB, which saw former Weeds Golden Globe nominee Justin Kirk playing a rich technology buff that supplied the Chicago PD. Unfortunately for CBS, that did not work, and this version looks even more smug – somehow. The good news is that supporting actors include Natalia Tena (Harry Potter) and Monica Potter (Parenthood) so it may be a bigger hit, but it really shouldn’t be if Kirk didn’t get his chance. At least the car chases will be better in San Fran, right?

wisdom-of-the-crowd.jpg


Well, that’s it. Remember to take heed to my warnings and excitement and then go ahead and spend the rest of the year in front of the tube. I hope this at least provides you with some sort of relief from the outside world, maybe?

Podcast September 12 – The Orville and The Deuce

With the absence of our dearly beloved Cory Taylor indefinitely, the Interjections podcast was thrown for quite the loop. I wasn’t sure how to proceed, what to proceed with, or whether we would ever proceed again. After much deliberation with several of the frequent guests, they conceded that I could continue for the time being with them, and hope that one day Cory would return triumphant over his trials and tribulations with and against the Cars franchise.

In lieu of the traditional podcast, this week’s edition will feature Jimmy, and he and Tristan first discuss new television shows The Orville and The Deuce before diving into the meat of their new direction – current events and politics.

When and if Jeff joins in again, he and Tristan will probably cover an older selection, a classic film they’ve missed out on in the past, but for now the first edition of this new version will feature Jimmy discussing hot topics.

Follow us through the rabbit hole, and remember, as always, comment responsibly.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the above podcast, and all of us here at the Interjections podcast hope that Cory continues down his long road to recovery.

This Will Be Televised – Fall Preview Part 2, The Cable Channels

 

And now, we notice we’re two days closer to our inevitable…..anyway:

With Game of Thrones out indefinitely before its final season airs, and Westworld congruently waiting until 2018 to return, what will the discerning cable viewer demand? Apparently comedies galore, as a slew of returning shows are hilarious – even Larry David is back with new Curb Your Enthusiasm as he attempts to save the American people from themselves, at least in his own little way.

Here’s a whole slew of shows, returning and nouveau, for you to chew on:

Star Trek: Discovery (9/24, CBS, 8:30)

02369c89d06724d0_star_trek_discovery_bridge_1920.jpg

Yes, I know, I’m cheating a bit because this is premiering at the end of the month on CBS, the parent channel of….CBS All Access, a paid access on demand app that will house the newest iteration of Gene Roddenberry’s space epic, Star Trek: Discovery. There’s an insanely great deal riding on this – the future of the franchise, the new CBS app, the idea that we’ll just be paying individually for shows or at least channels in the near future. The funny thing is that this will do bananas business at first, given there are still plenty of Trekkies out there, and enough curious people that will tune in and shell out hard-earned cash for something that will likely be streaming on…alternative channels by week’s end. I, for one, refuse to pay extra for a channel I get in my basic cable, but this is a preview of the show so I’d rather digress. The content shown so far looks brilliant, at least visually, and the casting of Sonequa Martin-Green (You’re the WorstThe Walking Dead) as the lead, a lieutenant working alongside not one, but two captains, is equally brilliant. She’s deserved a leading role for a good while now, and hopefully this can showcase her talents. Her co-leads, in the separate captain’s chairs, are Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never DiesSunshine) and Jason Isaacs (Harry PotterThe Patriot), adding definitive pedigree as Shakespearean actors William Shatner and Patrick Stewart did before them. Doug Jones pops in and does his makeup-alien thing, but has the most lines I’ve seen him employ before. High hopes here, but a long fall if all goes wrong.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (10/1, HBO)

hbo-curb-your-enthusiasm.jpg

It doesn’t seem like it, but Curb has been off the air for an incredibly long six years. Six years without the sardonic stylings of Larry David? How did we manage? Anyway, it all comes crashing down October 1st, as the best show about nothing after Seinfeld left the airwaves rolls its way back into our hearts.

The Deuce (9/10, HBO)

1-x3fpnw3sd_9l-dhk7r8od_-_h_2017

I’m not sure what HBO thought here, given how flat Vinyl fell on its face, but here’s another period drama set around New York City, but instead of drug and booze fueled record companies, we have something that applies itself more to a seedy underworld: the rise of the porn industry in America. Plus you have James Franco pulling his best Tom Hardy, in a double-duty role as twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino, a pair that gets involved as fronts for the Mob. I personally know the guy who’s playing Matthew Ianniello, the Genovese crime boss who influenced the porn industry in New York. His name’s Garry Pastore, and I want him to be better than he was in the film we worked on together, and the potential is there. Beyond them, I’m excited to see what Maggie Gyllenhaal is up to, it’s been too long since we had a sizable role for her to exhibit her skills.

Mr. Robot (10/11, USA)

bobby-cannavale-mr-robot.jpg

If you’ve been a long-time reader of Interjections, then you may have read my extensive look at Why Mr. Robot is a better Gotham than Gotham. I’m going to be following that up in early October with a look back at season two, which went wildly in varying directions none of us fans expected. While it mired a bit in its own conceit, stars Rami Malek and Christian Slater still put in career performances as son and father mentor ghost. While we don’t know exactly what new direction the show will go in season three, hopefully it will pick up speed a bit, as most of the major players are back together, hoping to form an elite squad in order to take down the government. Also, Bobby Cannavale is joining the cast, and we all know how he does in third seasons (Boardwalk Empire…) If you haven’t gotten into this slick hacker thriller, do yourself a favor and catch season one now, before it’s too late.

Shameless (11/5, Showtime)

download (6)

Even though it’s reaching it’s eighth season this November, strangely enough Shameless is still an underrated gem. William H. Macy continually gets Emmy nominations, while Emmy Rossum never gets the due she so justly deserves. The Gallagher clan will likely never get better, but it sure is beautiful to watch them try and escape their inevitable doom and gloom. If this is the last hurrah for the family, I’m sure it will go out spectacularly.

SMILF (11/5, Showtime)

Episode 100 (Pilot)

Frankie Shaw was perhaps my favorite part of the USA show Mr. Robot. Her drug-addled Shayla grounded the who in a bit of romantic reality, but her tragic collateral damage loss was gutting moreso than anything else on the show. Shaw’s performance was the big reason that show worked, and given she wrote and directed the short film this show is based on, I’m more than ready to see what she has in store for us in the series version. I’m glad she’s also performing in it, because it just gives viewers a chance to take in her caustic humor again. If you need an idea of what this is about, imagine a common citizen version of Better Things.

White Famous (10/15, Showtime)

white-famous-2

Jamie Foxx is producing (and will often guest) in this semi-autobiographical look at actor (Jay Pharoah) who is rising the ranks of Hollywood, but is starting to be seen as more of a sellout in his hometown community. It reminds of a television version of the great Chris Rock film Top Five, and with the comedic prowess of both Pharoah and Foxx behind it, this should be an instant classic.

The Walking Dead (10/22, AMC)

download (5).jpg

This show has long oversold its premise, and by giving us slower burns than a magma flow, it’s alienated a lot of fans. Somehow there’s still enough people watching though, and stunt events like the ridiculous episode arc surrounding Negan destroying Glenn’s face will likely keep it going a few more years. For now, we’re watching uber-survivors Rick, Daryl, Michonne, Carol and Maggie attempt to wage war against Negan and his crew. I haven’t been interested in about five years, but if you are still, there’s probably something worthwhilel to watch. Just let me know if Carol makes it. That psychopath is the best.

Halt and Catch Fire (airing now, AMC)

halt__and_catch_fire_s04e02_still.jpg

Last week the final season of this underrated show, tracing the development of the birth of the internet, and I’m sure a lot of us will catch up in years to come. It’s just a shame that we weren’t there as it happened, much like those that regret getting in on the ground floor of the internet.

Legion (February 2018, FX)

download (4).jpg

If you didn’t catch this trippy, visionary mutant story starring Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza, then you have a few months to catch up. Stevens stars as the titular mutant Legion, who is apparently even more powerful than Professor X and his perfect student Jean Grey. I haven’t finished the season myself, so I don’t know how much other X-Men characters play into his story, but in the comics, it appears that he’s even related somehow to the professor. We’ll see if that plays into any part of the second season, but I’m just glad it was a success. I give that claim to it due to the unnerving performance of Aubrey Plaza, who is having quite a year with Ingrid Goes West and The Little Hours as well in theatres.

Better Things (9/14, FX)

pamela-adlon-better-things-620x360.jpg

Pamela Adlon has been having a ball playing up her semi-autobiographical alter-ego, and it’s clearly not as exhausting as she lets it seem in the show. Since we’re not going to get any Louie for the foreseeable future, we’ll have to settle for this female counterpart of his, but what’s wrong with that? We needed a darker family comedy on the airwaves, and this perfectly compliments FX’s slate of gaudy dramas.

American Horror Story: Cult (9/5, FX)

_GFc4F5faW8x.jpg

Speaking of those over-budgeted dramas, Ryan Murphy returned this past week with the latest iteration of American Horror Story. Murphy promised this segment to elaborate on the strange events of this past November, when uber-billionaire hack Donald Trump somehow bested villainous politician Hillary Clinton in the American presidential election. While that will merely color the season, we’ll likely see the effects of the strange cult-like surrounding that politicians end up surrounding themselves with. I’ve heard tell that clowns figure largely in the plot, and Twisty may return, but if I don’t get any Juggalos, I’m not voting this term.

Trust (January 2018, FX)

donald-sutherland-j-paul-getty.jpg

There’s a Ridley Scott film coming out this December, All the Money in the World, that showcases the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, the heir to the Getty oil fortune, off the streets of Rome by the Italian crime family “Ndrangheta”. This upcoming limited series will tell the same story, but probably expand upon the details. Luckily, this will come out after the film, and if the Academy starts to honor the film, that could boost the Getty awareness, or limit people’s expectations. Either way, Getty fever hits screens this winter!

You’re the Worst (9/6, FXX)

youre-the-worst-season-4.jpg

I’ve been slacking on my television viewing. My favorite show on air came back this Wednesday for its fourth season, and I’m stuck halfway through the third. Spoilers ensued from commercials, and it appears that Jimmy (Chris Geere) dumped Gretchen (Aya Cash) at the eve of last season. Since the show was beginning to spin its wheels, it appears that each season in fact does have a theme. Season 1 was getting together, 2 was admitting that you do love each other and dealing with depression, 3 was living together and domestic life, and 4 is what breakups are like. Suffice it to say, this remains my favorite show on television, and I can’t wait to catch up and see what the world has in store for our favorite British author and music producer. Plus Jimmy has a beard!

BoJack Horseman (9/8, Netflix)

bojack-horseman-season-4-promo-image.jpg

If caustic relationships in real life aren’t enough for you, tune back into everyone’s favorite irreverent cartoon, BoJack Horseman! Last we saw our hero, he was driving off into the sunset, abandoning his friends in the aftermath of the overdose death of his TV daughter Sarah Lynn. Left behind and not handling it well is Diane (Alison Brie), who must suffer under husband Mr. Peanut Butter’s newest scheme, becoming governor of California. Antics ensue with him, Princess Caroline and Todd, but the true heart of the show must be returning soon, or Diane will wilter into nothingness, just like he has. Will anyone ever find happiness? Only in Hollywoo, maybe.

Big Mouth (9/29, Netflix)

big-mouth.jpg

Nick Kroll is developing this animated comedic look at his high school years alongside friend and sometime colleague Andrew Goldberg (Family Guy). Kroll will voice himself and Oh Hello! partner John Mulaney will voice Goldberg’s alter ego. Given how ostentatious that play was, I expect hilarious things from this.

Alias Grace (11/3, Netflix)

download (3).jpg

Margaret Atwood is suddenly big business, as the recent Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale was not only remarkably well done, but insanely well-timed in light of the Trump administration. Frenzied fear is the name of the game recently, and this period adaptation looks to continue the trend. The miniseries will tell a ficitionalized version of a historical character, Grace Marks, who nortiously was imprisoned for 28 years as an accomplice in the murder of her wealthy employer Thomas Kinnear and his mistress Nancy Montgomery in the 1840s. If it isn’t metaphorical for our age, it should at least play along our celebrity criminal love.

The Punisher (November, Netflix)

lead_960-1-590x393.jpg

After the success of the five other Marvel series on Netflix, and the intense premiere of The Punisher on the second season of Daredevil, it was a no-brainer to greenlight a series based around Jon Bernthal, who looks to be the best iteration of the dour Frank Castle. I haven’t seen it personally, but I guarantee one of the darkest showcases provided to us by Marvel yet, just as it should be.

Stranger Things (10/27, Netflix)

67d329c9aedc952ed43d67f4f88493da6be3b185

Perhaps the biggest hit of the past television season, simultaneously reviving Winona Ryder’s career alongside raising up David Harbour’s as well as the cast full of children – particularly Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard and Caleb McLaughlin. That whole group will have to figure out what’s wrong with Noah Schnapp’s Will, who spent season 1 in the Upside Down but may have come back with something even more sinister. They’ll also have to solve what ended up happening to Brown’s Seven towards the end, but there’s no doubt she’ll return.

The Crown (12/8, Netflix)

the-crown-queen-elizabeth-prince-philip-season-2.jpg

Meanwhile, grounded in reality, Netflix has been taking prestigious British drama to new levels by playing out a biographical look at the rise of Queen Elizabeth II. Claire Foy won numerous awards for her portrayal as the once and current monarch, alongside former Doctor Who Matt Smith as Prince Philip. This year we’ll take a look at their visit from US President John F Kennedy (Michael C. Hall) and his wife Jackie (Jodi Balfour). I’m sure the show will continue the gorgeous look inside royal life, and we’ll all be lauding Foy’s performance once again.

She’s Gotta Have It (11/23, Netflix)

images (1).jpg

Spike Lee is cashing in after all these years! Well, more dipping his pen back into the same well, and adapting one of his most popular films for the small screen. Not much has been said about it, though I believe it’s a straight adaptation rather than a continuation. I have to say, I’d rather see an update of Do The Right Thing and find out what Mookie is up to. Oh well, Netflix had the money.

Godless (11/22, Netflix)

godless_103_unit_03398r.jpg

The Western we didn’t know we needed – Godless – will star Jeff Daniels as the bandit Frank Griffin, who brings his gang around the desolate landscape in search of his former partner Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell, ’71). Their search brings them to the strange town of LaBelle, which is comprised completely of women. Michelle Dockery, Merritt Weaver, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Scoot McNairy also star in this six-episode limited series, so there’s pedigree oozing out the wazoo. I can’t wait, and this will whet our teeth for the Coen Bros’ upcoming Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

The Man in the High Castle (late 2017, Amazon)

the-man-in-the-high-castle-alexa-davalos-juliana-crain-season-2-amazon

Riveting beyond my wildest dreams, I didn’t expect to get sucked in to the first two seasons of High Castle this past winter. As soon as it was done, we asked when the next season would air, and of course I’d stretched out my viewing so the least amount of down time would occur. That was March. Now we near December, and there’s surely going to be some conclusion to Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos) and her search for her dead missing sister, and perhaps this season will see her reunite with one of her brooding beaus, struggling artist Frank Frink (Rupert Evans) or German wunderkind Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank). The best part, of course, is seeing what happens next to Nazi superstar John Smith (Rufus Sewell). Strange saying that, but…so is the show, and that’s what makes it captivating.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (9/17, Amazon)

Philip-K.-Dicks-Electric-Dreams.jpg

After the success at Amazon of the Philip K. Dick adaptation The Man in the High Castle it was a clear no-brainer to look elsewhere in Dick’s oeuvre to find another gem with which to place in front of everyone’s eyeballs. Electric Dreams is one of his classic compliations, so naturally with the fad of anthologies hitting small screens, it lends itself to being the next choice for Amazon subscribers. Not much is known about this show, premeiring a mere week away, but I sense something in the same vein as the uber-successful Black Mirror.

Search Party (11/19, TBS)

search-party-cast.jpg

I think after the past year, this is my pick for the best new show of the 2016 season. I’m definitely surprised, given it came from TBS, but hey – good for them for snagging a smart, engaging mystery that got everyone talking. Alia Shawkat put in some of her best work as Dory Sief, a millenial floating through life that latched on the myserious disappearance of a classmate acquaintance. Her journey towards discovering what happened brought her path across cults, psychopathic stalkers and general New York nutcases. Along the way she dragged her confused boyfriend (John Reynolds) and two best friends (John Early and Meredith Hagner) through various  escalating dangerous situations. Their steps culminated with the death of Keith Powell (Ron Livingston), a stalker posing as a private invesigator that nearly ruins Dory’s life. Given we left them moments after his accidental death, I can’t wait to see how the gang gets out of this mess.

The Last O.G. (10/24, TBS)

Tracy+Morgan+films+The+OG+NDEdC_vnBLBl.jpg

This comedic take on a thug getting out of prison after doing a stint of 15 years plays like a fish out of water scenario. Since he’s been in prison, all sorts of advancements have been made in medicine, technology, and most importantly social cues. Since he’s the last O.G., he’ll have a rude awakening to a world that passed him by over a decade ago. Even better is that it stars Tracy Morgan, recovering finally from his injuries sustained on route 95 over three years ago…a spot oddly enough I’m writing this as I wait in traffic. Interestingly, back when he was recovering from his injuries, Morgan was developing a pilot with FX that would see him as a pot dealer turned war hero. FX, at the time, said the show would remain with the network and they’d wait happily for his return to development. Instead, Morgan and producer partner Jordan Peele replaced that story with this one, FX eventually passed and it was shopped to TBS and Comedy Central. Their loss is our gain, as either way we’re getting Morgan’s sitcom return at long last.

Marvel’s Runaways (11/21, Hulu)

download (2).jpg

Sure, there’s a glut of Marvel shows. I’ve mentioned that before. But here’s a project that’s been a long time coming – Brian K. Vaughan famously had a run on this comic, and for about a decade afterwards was rumored to be adapting it for film screens. Instead, eventually it mired in development and of course they turned instead to television after the success of shows like The Walking Dead and Legion. The story tells of a group of misfits that don’t quite realize they’re superpowered, but eventually the tale turns dark and existential. I’m sort of avoiding spoilers on what actually happens, but suffice it to say the comic was on the top of many lists, so hopefully the show does similar business.

Future Man (11/14, Hulu)

000260956hr.jpg

Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) plays a janitor who, in his spare time, is one of the highest rated gamers out there. When someone from the future comes and tells him he’s the key to saving the world, he’s obviously game to try and figure out how. The premise alone seems to capture most people’s attention, and I like that Happy Endings’ Eliza Coupe is finding work. I could see this as being the next Wilfred or the next Battlestar Galactica. Why not both?


Tuesday: Mid-season and beyond, and one awful show await.

 

This Will Be Televised – 2017 Fall Preview

As time roils us forth into the ether, there are at least several new entertaining vessels to get us by as we await our shuffle past the mortal coil.

Obviously, several of the comedies will lighten the mood, but those dramas will surely bring us back down to earth. Here are eight of my most anticipated new shows of the 2017-2018 television season:

9JKL (10/02, CBS, Mondays at 8:30)

new-fall-tv-shows-2017-9jkl

Everybody Loves Raymond, but in an apartment. That’s my first impression, although I have to temper that by mentioning the former version lost its luster rather quickly with repetitive plots. I think, in hindsight, and defter hands this will be better. Mark Feuerstein plays a divorced actor who moves in to an apartment sandwiched between his parents and brother’s family. The highlight here is likely to be Elliott Gould, who shined in the shortlived Mulaney, as well as pilot-hopper Liza Lapira. The cast is solid and the plot is pretty standard, so it could go either way. I think Feuerstein (Royal Pains) puts it over the edge, especially given the fact the show is based on his real life situation. Personality can spill through our screens.

Me, Myself and I (10/30, CBS, Mondays at 9:30)

Pilot

Long time SNL actor Bobby Moynihan is branching out, in this comedy that showcases one man’s life over 50 years by highlighting three distinct periods: the youth (Jack Grazer), the middle years (Moynihan) and the older years (John Laroquette!) I’m very, very excited to see Laroquette return to television, and hopeful this will last not just for his sake, but Moynihan’s. He deserves it after so long with SNL, and it’s a high concept with romantic potential that the How I Met You Mother fan in me will love. Also, what’s this? Jaleel White is back too? Urkel? This has pretty interesting potential…

Ghosted (10/01, FOX, Sundays at 8:30)

ghosted-pilot

Adam Scott? I’ll follow him anywhere. Craig Robinson? One of the funniest actors with a great range. Put them together as a ghost-hunting team in Los Angelese and you have my most anticipated comedy of the upcoming television season! Robinson is a skeptical disgraced cop who is forced to team up with a fallen college professor (Scott) to investigate paranormal activity floating through the city for a strange group calling themselves the Bureau Underground. I figure parodies of stuff like Ghostsbusters abound, and I was already there when they started out “Adam Sco-“.

Orville (9/21, FOX, Thursdays at 9)

ORV101_Bridge_30_X_1280x720_986257475870

Seth MacFarlane is a god at FOX, one of the stalwarts of animation in the 21st century. His landmark show Family Guy will go down as one of the best non sequitur pieces of pop art, while spinoff The Cleveland Show and patriotic parody American Dad are apt follow-ups. His live-action efforts? Not so much. He whiffed on reinventing the western with A Million Ways to Die in the West. He barely registers in Hellboy 2 and The Tooth Fairy. He hit it out of the park with Ted and squandered all his good fortune by cashing in on a terrible, unnecessary sequel. So how will his live-action, big-budget, sci-fi soap opera fair? FOX is banking on this being the cornerstone of their freshman fare, and lucky for us previews have left good feelings. I’m wary because I was anticipating West to be the film of summer 2014, but with MacFarlane being one of the biggest Trekkies alive, I think the space parody is safe in his captain’s chair. If nothing else, this should have a great first season.

The Mayor (10/03, ABC, Tuesdays at 9:30)

170806-brandon-micheal-hall-the-mayor

Given the current political spectrum, which is a phrase I’m not even thrilled to type, it’s inevitable that this premise might come up. Remarkable then that this was being developed before the events this past November. The premise is good to begin with, as a young entrepeneurial rapper (Brandon Michael Hall, Search Party) concocts a perfect scheme to boost his visibility: run for mayor of his small California town. When he actually wins, he must put together a viable plan or face the stark reality he stumbled into. Absolutely brilliant premise, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened before (it may have, correct me if it has). On top of that, Yvette Nicole Brown (underutilized on Community) and Lea Michele (Glee) join Hall in the comedy. I’m wary, but have high hopes that this will a breakout hit, the next Parks & Rec or The West Wing.

The Gifted (10/02, FOX, Mondays at 10)

gifted0004

Superheroes have been big business for the past two decades, and as we settle into this latest X-Men franchise piece, we have to ask ourselves, when does the madness end? No, really this family drama disguised as mutant metaphor looks like it has the chance to be pretty good, if for no other reason than the talented actors behind the parents – Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Amy Acker (Angel). With a heavy television pedigree behind the showrunner Matt Nix (The Good Guys, Burn Notice) you can expect there to be fairly solid action, although given it’s on a basic cable channel it may be a bit demure. Crazy exploding Dan Stevens this may not have.

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (10/03, ABC, Tuesdays at 10)

Kevin-Probably-Saves-the-World

I have to point out that this used to have a much better title, The Gospel of Kevin, but apparently that’s too preachy to belong on television. I don’t even think the show was going to be too heavily Christian, but still, the title flowed much better. If they were so hard-up to change it, they could have tried a heaven-related pun like Kevin Can Wait, or Seventh Kevin, but of course no one listens to me when pilot season comes ’round. Anyway, just to remind you of when he was on Joan of Arcadia 16 years ago, Jason Ritter stars as a self-centered man who is visited by a guardian angel who leads him down a better path. Not much different from Joan, but perhaps Ritter’s charm will save this potential debacle.

The Good Doctor (9/25, ABC, Mondays at 10)

the-good-doctor-abc-tv-show-590x328

So here’s the thing: last year’s preview included two shows that were clearly going to be a huge waste of time: FOX’s APB that featured my personal hero Justin Kirk as a genius who helped influence Chicago police with his fortune-infused tech, and CBS’s Pure Genius that featured no one in particular but had an abysmal plot where the rich pretty boy genius who infused the hospital tech with his fortune…was also dying. I hated them, but wanted at least Justin Kirk to have a chance. With that in mind, here’s another one that’s sort of the two combined. Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel) is an autistic(!) savant who comes from his quiet country isolation to a prestigious hospital in order to, I don’t know, save lives or something. One of my favorite actors, Richard Schiff, is the advisor at the hospital that goes to bat for him in the first place, and later when he pisses everyone off. Remember anyone else who couldn’t relate to people but was the local genius that needed to be cultivated by a mentor who believed in him? I may give this a chance for Schiff, but this may not be enough to watch in my House.


Now that we’ve covered the new shows, here’s a quick update on some returning shows I think will continue to bring joy to millions, if not thousands:

Lethal Weapon (9/26, FOX – Tuesdays at 8)

lethal-weapon-season-2-spoilers-mexico

After much debate with my family and friends, I’ve decided that it’s simply okay to have another iteration of the classic cop buddy comedy that follows Murtaugh and Riggs. This version of Murtaugh (Damon Wayans Sr.) is less cohesive, but still charmingly aloof, and the more said about Clayne Crawford’s performance as Martin Riggs, the better. He brings a fresh air that doesn’t overshadow Mel Gibson’s brilliant original, and he makes something completely fresh out of a lived-in role. If you can stomach the fact that this is happening, and separate it from the majestic quadrilogy, you’ll be in for a surprising treat, a deft mix of drama, action and comedy.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (9/26, FOX – Tuesdays at 9:30)

bd1349d6-cf38-4b8e-a7d6-9ec7aed85775.jpg

Falling into its fifth season, this cop comedy procedural has discovered a strange rhythym. As we return to the 99, Jake Peralta (star Andy Samberg) and Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) have been framed for bank robbery, and are stuck in jail – but are likely to be freed by the other misfits in their precinct, including characters played by Terry Crews, Andre Braugher, Melissa Fumero, Chelsea Peretti and Joe Le Truglio. Speaking of Lo Truglio, he’s the character that’s devolved the most – his antics are a bit too ripe for consumption, so here’s hoping they figure out what to do with him. He used to be a well-rounded person, but he’s become a caricature of inanity. Everyone else has luckily maintained their personable charm, so there’s no doubt the fifth season will continue the trend.

The Good Place (9/28, NBC – Thursdays at 8:30)

The Good Place - Season 1

What a surprise this little show turned out to be – the faithful were rewarded with an angelic revelation late in season one that Ted Danson’s architect was not a goodly one, but rather a devil playing tricks on his hellish subjects by pretending that their paradise was intrisically flawed. His game was caught by Eleanor (Kristen Bell), a terribly ruinous human being who thought she was a mistake in the machine, but really she was just one of many terrible people played against each other by the demon Danson. Given the Lost-style reveal towards the end, there’s no telling if they’ll acquire new viewers, but a second season was all we could ask for now that we want to revel in Eleanor’s mission to unseat the nefarous architect. If nothing else, this should flip the script for at least one more year before the idea gets stale. If not, I’m behind whatever these writers throw our way.

Riverdale (10/11, CW – Wednesdays at 8)

gallery-1484930002-riverdale

I’ve unfortunately not caught up on this OC-meets-Twin Peaks adaptation of the fluffy good-hearted Archie series, but I know that it’s been a game-changer for the CW. I anticipate the crew to ramp up the drama, the camp and the suspense for a second season as we watch the friendship between Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) blossom while Archie (KJ Apa) squirms. Now that the mystery behind Jason Blossom has been solved, there will surely be another Veronica Mars style story brewed to continue the trend of mysterious teen adventure on the sharpest channel on basic cable.

Designated Survivor (9/27, ABC – Wednesdays at 10)

170517-designatedsurvivor

I’ve got to admit, I’ve sort of lost track of this show about halfway through the first season, and as of early August have yet to pick it back up. There’s no telling if this show will truly be the tense action drama we all hoped it would be as it started last fall, but suffice it to say Kiefer Sutherland is startlingly dapper as President Kirkman. If only the show had a tighter episode order, maybe they would get to the point earlier. As much as I loved Maggie Q in Nikita, she’s even better here, but she’s stuffed into unnecessary cliffhanger plots that force her to waste time getting to the answer she’s looking for. It’s also as if ABC believes they have another 24 on their hands, when it should look to its own past in the much overlooked Geena Davis vehicle Commander in Chief. If it’s anything like that – and it is – ABC should capitalize on the attention they’re getting and promote the show whilel balancing a tighter script count. This show is a great show stretched into a basic procedural, but it could be so much more.

Gotham (9/21, FOX – Thursdays at 8)

gotham-season-4-trailer-release-date

You’ll see my review of Mr. Robot season two later next month, but you’ll undoubtely know that I’ve tied both series together mentally. I haven’t watched an episode since early in season two, but the show has rolled on with its own ideas. I know I wanted it to go a certain way, that Mr. Robot obviously went, but there’s a certain charm to the camp behind what Gotham has done. Standouts Cory Michael Smith and Robin Taylor have grown to be fan favorites, and they finally figured out what to do with their young Bruce and Selina characters. Gratefully, they seem to have decide on what shall become of this version of Batman, and I may have to check in again to see if they’ve lived up to what we all wanted.

Great News (9/28, NBC – Thursday at 9:30)

Great News - Season Pilot

I caught the pilot episode of this so far, and I was expecting a vapid reeactment of Network played to laughs through star Briga Heelan’s vamping. Luckily there was a quiet dignity behind the 30 Rock-ripoff plots, so I expect there was a good reason to renew on NBC’s part besides the desperation Bob Greenblatt has been exuding by groveling to Tina Fey and Aaron Sorkin. Great News is genuinely a good show, and I expect it to be great despite the expectations to fall by history’s wayside. Standouts Andrea Martin, John Michael Higgins and surprise Nicole Richie are what keeps this middle-tier show afloat.

Bob’s Burgers (10/1, FOX – Sundays at 7:30)

bobs-burgers-1_wide-1cd79c6befe0967353f69ac7c0fdd25ef2e71c3a-s900-c85

Of the many surprises in the past decade, none got me as much as Bob’s Burgers lasting this long. I was a huge fan of Loren Bouchard’s second show Home Movies, and particularly the gruff voice actor who played the anti-Mr. Feeney, Coach McGuirk. Transferring to a basic cable channel looked to be an unexpected and likely short stay, but Bouchard took the family sensibility that Home Movies had and infused it with some Simpsons-esque snark. The charm that resulted is especially exemplified in the adorable relationship with daughter Louise (Kristen Schaal) and her father (H. Jon Benjamin, who voiced McGuirk). It added the remarkably relatable character Tina, who has gone through a slow blossoming puberty over the course of the show. There’s nothing more delightful on basic cable, and it’s a calm animated opposite of darker stuff like Rick & Morty or Archer (also Benjamin!)


Well that’s all for now….tomorrow we’ll take a look at the cable shows, especially that juggernaut Netflix, which seems to debut something new every week. Don’t burn out before you shine, internet!

On Sunday we’ll discuss the mid-season shows we’re most anticipating, and I’ll give you five shows across the board to avoid!

Golden age forever!

Podcast July 7 – The Beguiled, The Little Hours and Okja

After we all collectively celebrated the 241st birthday of our crumbling country, a handful of cinephiles convened on cinemas nationwide to see a film that showcased a time when the people of America were actually split apart.

We at Interjections saw The Beguiled, a remake of the Clint Eastwood Southern gothic film from 1971. Sofia Coppola guides this version with a steady hand, reimagining Colin Farrell in the role of the wounded Union soldier finds himself in a woman’s boarding school run by Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst. Elle Fanning contributes with another patent crazy vixen role.

Our special guest Kris joins Cory in his review of Cars 3 – waxing poetic about the majestic Pixar franchise as a whole. Here Lightning McQueen faces the most difficult challenge of his life – old age. Will Mater muck up the proceedings? Probably.

Speaking of old age, Tristan took in another recent indie film, the Jeff Baena helmed adaptation of The Decameron, The Little Hours, starring Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza and Kate Micucci as conflicted nuns living in a convent run by John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon. Dave Franco pulls his best Colin Farrell impression and hides in the convent as their gardener when he gets in trouble with his serf (Nick Offerman).

Kris brings us both a review of the Will Ferrell-Amy Poehler comedy The House, which has an amazing premise where the pair, finding themselves struggling to pay their daughter’s college tuition, naturally decide to open an underground casino in their basement. Will this redeem the surprisingly unfunny 2017 slate of comedies?

She also brings an overall review of the recent smash hit from Hulu, The Handmaid’s Tale, where Elisabeth Moss must discover what a woman’s true purpose is under the evil regime of Joseph Fiennes and other corrupt men.

Finally, Cory finishes off the week with the latest Netflix oddity – Bong Hoon-jo’s Okja, where Tilda Swinton pulls double-duty yet again as an evil capitalist attempting to turn a human-crafted giant pig into her newest bacon supply. ET be damned, the South Koreans really know how to tug at the heartstrings!

All this and some trailers, if you click on Aubrey Plaza below:

Remember, comment responsibly!