CVIndependent

Sat12032016

Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

TV

30 Nov 2016
by  - 
Pacific Heat (Friday, Dec. 2, Netflix), series debut: Much has already been written about how animated Australian import Pacific Heat looks a hell of a lot like long-running American series Archer—and now here’s one more, damn it. First of all, the animation isn’t as slick as Archer’s; Pacific Heat more resembles a haphazard Microsoft Paint attempt at a tribute than a calculated rip-off. Second, the real stoopid-genius of Archer lies in its writing and voice talents, which are among the best on TV, cartoon or otherwise. The Gold Coast law-enforcement agents of Pacific Heat aren’t particularly clever or distinct, and every joke can be seen coming from a kilometer away. You could blame an Aussie/American disconnect, but remember Danger 5? That was some Down Under funny—time to bring it back, Netflix! Mr. Neighbor’s House (Friday, Dec. 2, Adult Swim), special: You probably know actor Brian Huskey as “that guy” from…
23 Nov 2016
by  - 
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Friday, Nov. 25, Netflix), return: Do not, repeat, do not, watch all four seasonal 90-minute installments of what is technically Gilmore Girls’ eighth season in a single binge—even writer/producer Amy Sherman-Palladino doesn’t recommend it. But you’re going to anyway. This return to Stars Hollow has everything a Gilmore Girls fan could possibly want, and Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory’s (Alexis Bledel) caffeinated banter hasn’t lost a beat since the end of the original WB/CW series nine years ago. Like all nostalgia wallows, however, A Year in the Life (the Netflix run’s unnecessary subtitle) has a few problems balancing ’Member This? with Here’s a New Thing! plot points. But it still hits all the feel buttons with a sentimentally deadly accuracy that lesser revivals like Netflix’s Fuller House crapfest can’t touch. Stretch it out over the Thanksgiving weekend, because this a lot of Gilmore…
16 Nov 2016
by  - 
Lovesick (Thursday, Nov. 17, Netflix), season premiere: The British series formerly known as Scrotal Recall returns for a second season as Lovesick. Admittedly, that’s not as catchy of a name, but how could one ever top Scrotal Recall? Dicks for the Memories? Poundtown Abbey? Doctor Strange? Anyway: Lovesick is still a romantic-ish comedy about sexually prolific Dylan (Johnny Flynn) contacting his former bedmates episode-by-episode to inform them that he has an STD; perhaps he will come across … let’s rephrase that … happen upon a Miss Right whom he may have blindly overlooked before. It’s charming-enough fluff, worth binging over the holidays after you’ve torn through Gilmore Girls, and you won’t have to explain the (new) title to the parental units. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Fridays, The CW), new season: We’ve recently learned a hard, orange lesson about trusting polls and ratings, but the numbers show that no one is watching the…
09 Nov 2016
by  - 
Better Things (Thursday, Nov. 10, FX), season finale: Like the just-wrapped Atlanta, Better Things is a comedy like no other—on FX or elsewhere. Pamela Adlon’s semi-autobiographical story of a B-level actress/saint-level mom (her daughters are the worst) delivers no overly grand statements or sitcom-wacky situations; it just makes it through another day and drops subtle, been-there wisdoms. Better Things swings from sweet to sad to snarky with an assured precision that her creative partner Louis C.K.’s Louie never quite nailed, and Adlon subverts the first impressions of her co-stars beautifully. (OK, her daughters aren’t that bad.) Hell, FX aired the 10 episodes in random order—a note to future on-demanders—and it still worked. Thank goodness the show has been renewed for a second season. People of Earth (Mondays, TBS), new series: It’s not as instantly defined as recent TBS comedies like The Detour or Angie Tribeca (you know, as Vacation and…
02 Nov 2016
by  - 
Election Night 2016 (Tuesday, Nov. 8, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS): You could trust the Lamestream Media to give you accurate, unbiased coverage of voting results across the country, just like you could trust a urine-scented man in a ratty clown costume to baby-sit your kids in a windowless van under the overpass while you attend your political party’s “Victory!” bash at the local bar. Just sayin.’ ABC’s Your Voice Your Vote, CBS’ Campaign 2016, Fox’s You Decide 2016, NBC’s 2016 Election Night and PBS’ Newshour Election Night can’t even come up with decent titles, much less disclosure that their Liberal Media reporters and analysts are all Team Hillary. Except for that dreamy Shepard Smith, anchor of Fox’s recycled broadcast from Fox News … Election Night 2016 (Tuesday, Nov. 8, Fox News): The Make America Great Again™ crowd will be glued to Fox News tonight, grabbing for any crumbs of…
26 Oct 2016
by  - 
The Great Indoors (Thursday, Oct. 27, CBS), series debut: Well, this is uncomfortably familiar: Outdoor-adventure magazine editor Jack (Joel McHale) returns from—what else?—an adventure, only to find that the print arm of his company has been put out of its dwindling misery, and he’s now in charge of cranking out “web content” with the “digital daycare division.” Everybody knows that print is dead (pause for audible sigh from this tabloid’s publisher … and … moving on). The Great Indoors is just an excuse for hack gen-x sitcom writers to lazily mock millennials, and a waste of McHale as a snarky shadow of his former Community self. Besides, we gen-xers need to just lay off millennials and concentrate on making fun the real enemy: baby boomers. Pure Genius (Thursday, Oct. 27, CBS), series debut: A tech billionaire (Augustus Prew) enlists a maverick doctor (Dermot Mulroney—not Dylan McDermott) for his cutting-edge Silicon…
19 Oct 2016
by  - 
Black Mirror (Friday, Oct. 21, Netflix), season premiere: Charlie Brooker’s near-futuristic Black Mirror anthology series has been creeping out both technophobes and technophiles since 2011, kicking off with an episode wherein the prime minister of Britain was forced to have sex with a pig on live TV. (That seems quaint given our own Election 2016 cycle, doesn’t it?) The series’ third season is only slightly less pessimistic about today’s/tomorrow’s oversharing online society; one out of the six episodes actually highlights some positive, non-horrific application of smartphone tech, so that’s … something. Among the doomed digerati of Season 3 are Bryce Dallas Howard, James Norton, Mackenzie Davis, Eve Alice, Wyatt Russell and Hannah John-Kamen, starring in a swath of stories that subtly filter film genres through a “Social Media Can and Will Kill You” narrative. At least there are no pigs this time around. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Saturday, Oct.…
12 Oct 2016
by  - 
Falling Water (Thursday, Oct. 13, USA), series debut: In the time of Too Many Shows, it’s almost suicidal to drop a new series that won’t get to the damned point by the middle of the first episode; USA needs to hook ’em fast, because viewers have a dozen other choices tonight (except for Notorious, which still sucks). Falling Water follows three seemingly unrelated people (Lizzie Brochere, David Ajala and Will Yun Lee) who come to realize that they’re all dreaming parts of the same dream, and said dream relates to “the fate of the world.” How? That’s annoyingly unclear, but the three are definitely dreaming—so much so that it’s impossible to tell what’s “real,” but at least the imagery is gorgeous. (If you have access to 4K HD and “herbal” medication, you’ll probably enjoy this more than most.) Falling Water has nine more episodes to establish a plot; otherwise, there…
05 Oct 2016
by  - 
Divorce (Sunday, Oct. 9, HBO), series debut: Hopeless romantic Carrie Bradshaw is dead; meet Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker), a far-less-perky shadow of her former Sex and the City self. HBO’s new dark comedy Divorce delivers exactly what the title implies: 10 episodes of Frances and husband Robert (Thomas Haden Church) doing their damnedest to separate, or reconcile, or just figure out why and how they should do either. Like another of creator Sharon Horgan’s series, cult British import Catastrophe, it’s as messy as it is funny, and Parker and Church are fantastically nimble at darting between emotional states and situations. Unlike similarly black-to-absurd-and-back comedy You’re the Worst, however, Divorce doesn’t always work when the focus is off the central pair: Molly Shannon and Tracy Letts don’t add much as Frances and Robert’s married friends. (Hell, Church’s mustache is a more fully developed character than either of them.) Still, Divorce is…
28 Sep 2016
by  - 
Marvel’s Luke Cage (Friday, Sept. 30, Netflix), series debut: No, I don’t know what the Netflix/Marvel release schedule is anymore, either, but here are Luke Cage; Iron Fist, The Punisher, more Daredevil and Jessica Jones, and the long-teased Defenders will show up eventually. Luke “Power Man” Cage (Mike Colter) is now a few months removed from the events of Jessica Jones, relocated to Harlem and trying to lead as normal of a life as a mega-strong, bullet-proof, street-level superhero can. He’s soon drawn into a soul-of-the-neighborhood battle with a charismatic gangster (Mahershala Ali, House of Cards), which only sounds like Daredevil’s debut season. Luke Cage was Marvel’s first-ever black headliner in the ’70s; appropriately, this series is the most ’70s, the most New York, and the most straight-up black entry into the modern Marvel cinematic universe yet. It’s also a worthy follow-up to Daredevil and Jessica Jones—you’re three-for-three, Netflix. Now…

Page 1 of 18