CVIndependent

Fri11272020

Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Bill Frost

Finally, November. Within days, ’Merica could be in flames and under siege by obese militia rednecks while I’m stowed away on a flight to Any Other Damn Country in search of journalistic asylum. I’ll let you know how it shakes out.

Anyway: A new month (fingers crossed) means new TV shows to stream. Here are 11 series premiering in November to enjoy (or tolerate) in the bunker.

Moonbase 8 (Sunday, Nov. 8; Showtime): After Netflix’s Space Force and HBO’s Avenue 5, is there room for another surreal astronaut comedy? Only if it’s from Tim Heidecker (Tim and Eric) and Jonathan Krisel (Baskets). Moonbase 8 follows three bros (Heidecker, Fred Armisen and John C. Reilly) training for their first lunar mission in an isolated Arizona moon-base simulator, and slowly losing their minds (not that they had much to spare). Don’t think too hard—Moonbase 8 doesn’t.

Industry (Monday, Nov. 9; HBO): If you’ve ever wished Showtime dad-rock drama Billions was less old and white, but sexier and angsty-er (and British), Industry might be for you. New to the shiny world of London high finance, New Yorker Harper Stein (Myha’la Herrold) is thrown in with a pack of hungry, ridiculously good-looking grads looking to claw their way to the top. Do they do drugs and screw? You bet. Do they deal with class, gender and race issues? Between the drugs and the screwing, sure.

A Teacher (Tuesday, Nov. 10; Hulu): Speaking of sexy angst, here’s a teacher-hooks-up-with-student “miniseries” (10 episodes isn’t mini, Hulu) pretending not to be a supersized Lifetime movie. The imaginatively-titled A Teacher stars Kate Mara as a married high school teacher in a torrid (and illegal, because Texas) romance with a senior (Nick Robinson). Because A Teacher is under the usually prestigious FX on Hulu banner, it’s presented as premium cable-level art. Really, it’s just eight episodes too long.

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City (Wednesday, Nov. 11; Bravo): So far, so garbage—the quality’s going to turn soon, I promise! Before then, however, there’s the 10th (!) installment of the Real Housewives franchise/cancer to attend to, and the latest victim of the White Claw of reality shows is Salt Lake City, which introduces six new Botox repositories who are indistinguishable from any other RH coven. The Housewives aren’t “real,” nor is a millisecond of this “unscripted” bullshit bazooka, but who cares? Idiocracy accomplished.

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (Tuesday, Nov. 17; Disney+): “Lego” is a mashup of the Danish phrase “leg godt,” which means “play well.” Nice, but that doesn’t mean you get to insist that your brand name is always all-capped as LEGO when it’s not a damned acronym! Can I demand that I am henceforth FROST? No, because it stands for nothing … and neither do I. Except for this grammatical atrocity—I will die on this hill! Oh yeah: The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is a Lego re-enactment, with newer Star Wars characters, of the infamous 1978 original. Should be fun.

We Are the Champions (Tuesday, Nov. 17; Netflix): The Office’s Rainn Wilson produces and narrates this docuseries about hyper-niche competitions around the world. Episodes chronicle the low-stakes gamesmanship of chili-eating (by heat, not quantity), cheese-rolling (downhill cheese-wheel races), fantasy hairstyling (over-the-top ’dos), yo-yo-ing (self-explanatory), dog dancing (ditto) and frog jumping (ditto-ditto). Sound ridiculous? Playing video games has somehow been elevated to an “e-sport,” so step off.

Animaniacs (Friday, Nov. 20; Hulu): One of the most insane cartoon series to ever air on normie broadcast TV is back, so 2020 isn’t a complete wash. Animaniacs, which originally ran 1993-’98, followed “Warner brothers” Yakko and Wakko, as well as “Warner sister” Dot, as they wreaked pop-cultural hyper-havoc on the Warner Bros. Studio lot. Most importantly, the ’tooned-up sketch/variety show introduced the world to Pinky and the Brain (also returning), two mice bent on world domination. Take it, P&B.

Belushi (Sunday, Nov. 22; Showtime): How has there never been a decent biopic about John Belushi? The rightfully hated Wired, a 1989 film dramatization of Bob Woodward’s equally reviled book, doesn’t count. Belushi finally recounts the former Saturday Night Live star’s rise (Animal House, The Blues Brothers’ movie and music) and fall (death by drug overdose at 33 in 1983). He claimed he’d “rather be an anarchist than a professional,” and Belushi shows the highs and lows of killing yourself for art.

Black Narcissus (Monday, Nov. 23; FX): In 1934, a group of nuns, led by young Sister Clodagh (Gemma Arterton), are sent to the high Himalayas to establish a mission in a palace donated by an Indian general. The catch? The palace was previously a harem house (or sex palace, if you will). Will the Sisters of St. Faith overcome their erotic surroundings? Can Sister Clodagh resist the sexy swagger of soldier Mr. Dean (Alessandro Nivola)? Black Narcissus is predictable, but it’s also gorgeous to look at.

Saved by the Bell (Wednesday, Nov. 25; Peacock): Picking up decades after the 1989-94 series, this Saved by the Bell sequel centers around the political machinations of California Gov. Zach Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and … does the plot really matter? Zach, A.C. (Mario Lopez), Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen) and Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley) are back; Screech (Dustin Diamond) was not invited. A new Saved by the Bell makes about as much sense as a Dexter revival (don’t get me started), but at least Zach Morris is still the worst.

The Flight Attendant (Thursday, Nov. 26; HBO Max): Big Bang Theory escapee Kaley Cuoco (currently the titular voice of HBO Max’s Harley Quinn) is The Flight Attendant, a woman who wakes up in a hotel next to her one-night stand—problem is, he’s a bloody, dead mess. A brisk, back-tracing murder mystery unfolds from there, balancing raw tension and dark humor—with Cuoco dominating the lead. The Flight Attendant is either too smart or perfect to drop on Thanksgiving Day—anything makes sense in 2020, so just roll with it.

Everyone talks up the ’80s as the golden age of horror movies, but the ’90s? More like a golden shower!

Aside from Leprechaun (Jennifer Aniston’s finest hour), 1990-1999 was a bust for scary flicks; scraping together a decade-encompassing list would be a fool’s errand.

Hi. Fool here. Halloween—formerly known as “October”—is a demanding month.

None of these 13 ’90s movies would be considered High Art; tellingly, few of them are even available on proper streaming services (at least not for free). Grab a Zima and some 3D Doritos, and prepare to be underwhelmed—though there are some accidental gems.

Highway to Hell (1992; Prime Video): Lovebirds Rachel (Kristy Swanson) and Charlie (Chad Lowe) are en route to get married in Las Vegas when a demonic highway patrolman kidnaps Rachel and drags her to hell to become a bride of Satan. Charlie follows, encountering hell-dwellers like Lita Ford, Ben Stiller and Gilbert Gottfried (as—wait for it—Hitler). Highway to Hell is aggressively stupid, but entertaining-ish.

Ice Cream Man (1995; Prime Video, Tubi): Creepy Gregory (creepy Clint Howard) takes over the local business of the Ice Cream King and starts sprinkling new ingredients into the product (bugs, blood, body parts, etc.), while also caging up kiddies in his parlor. Despite a few clever kills (a severed head in a giant waffle cone!), Ice Cream Man never earned a slasher franchise, because who wants more Clint Howard?

Tromeo and Juliet (1997; YouTube): Long before Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, James Gunn co-wrote this sleaze-o-rama with Troma kingpin Lloyd Kaufman. Tromeo and Juliet adds new dimensions to the Romeo and Juliet story, like gratuitous violence, lesbian canoodling, closeup nipple-piercing, giant cow schlongs, and narration by Lemmy of Motörhead. Bravissimo!

Zipperface (1992; YouTube): A black-leather-bondage-suited goon is torturing and killing the BDSM prostitutes of … Palm City? Zipperface is a misogynistic mess that plays like Z-grade cable porn, but the writers really crossed the line by setting the movie in San Diego’s worst suburb. There’s not much here that would be out of place in a ’90s cop drama, an ’80s metal music video, or Tromeo and Juliet.

Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999; Tubi): The first of three (!) sequels to Wes Craven’s 1997 original, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies ups the game by pitting a sexy priest (Paul Johansson) and a sexier art thief (Holly Fields) against the demonic Wishmaster (Andrew Divoff, overacting to the nth degree). The gore of Wishmaster 2 revolves around verbal semantics; wishing someone to “go screw himself” is not cool.

Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorway (1993; YouTube): A young woman (Ami Dolenz) moves into a Los Angeles loft, finds a Ouija board, and promptly summons the spirit of the previous tenant, who claims to have been murdered. (L.A. real estate is brutal.) The spirit then starts unleashing death and destruction whenever the Ouija board is accessed, but do they just stop? Nope. Related: Check out The Social Dilemma on Netflix.

Office Killer (1997; YouTube): When Dorine (Carol Kane) sees her office job at Constant Consumer (ha!) magazine downsized to a work-from-home gig, she loses it and begins plotting to kill her co-workers (including Molly Ringwald, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Michael Imperioli), and bring their bodies home for company. Could this be any timelier in 2020? Working from home sucks that much.

Full Eclipse (1993; YouTube): “There’s a new police force on the streets … and they only come out at night.” Rave cops? Nope: There’s a vigilante subsect within the LAPD made up of genetically enhanced werewolves—and Det. Max Dire (Mario Van Peebles) has infiltrated their ranks. Aside from some hilariously wolfed-up sex scenes, there’s not much action in Full Eclipse; 2014’s WolfCop did it better.

Death Machine (1994; Prime Video, YouTube): Set in the far-flung future of 2003, Death Machine is essentially RoboCop with a lobotomy. Genius cyborg engineer Jack (Brad Dourif) is out for revenge against the corporation that fired him, unleashing his ultimate creation, “Warbeast,” against it. (His first project was called … “Hard Man.”) Fun fact: Death Machine was Rachel Weisz’s first film role. Well, sad fact for her.

Embrace of the Vampire (1995; Tubi): Embrace of the Vampire led to the destruction of many a VHS player in the mid-’90s, thanks to horndog teens furiously pausing and rewinding the “scandalous” nude sex scenes of Alyssa Milano, sitcom sweetheart (Who’s the Boss?). Here, she’s a college student stalked by a suave vampire (Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet!); Embrace would be a tame Lifetime movie in 2020.

Bordello of Blood (1996; YouTube): Between his ’80s stint on Saturday Night Live and his current gig as a Republican-adjacent shill, Dennis Miller starred in this Tales From the Crypt footnote. Miller plays a P.I. out to rescue Corey Feldman from a vampire hooker coven led by supermodel Angie Everhart, which really sounds like Feldman’s element. Saving grace: Music by Anthrax, Thin Lizzy and Redd Kross.

Vampirella (1996; YouTube): Turning ’70s erotic-horror comic book Vampirella into a live-action movie was turrible idea, mostly because the costume was physically impossible to execute. Talisa Soto (barely) suited up anyway, resulting in this Blade for Dummies Dumpster fire starring Roger Daltrey as an alien (?) vampire ruling the Las Vegas underworld. Even Roger Corman completists say, “Uh, no thanks.”

Wild Zero (1999; YouTube): Japanese garage-rock legends Guitar Wolf befriend superfan Ace (Masashi Endo) just in time for a UFO-spurred zombie apocalypse. Wild Zero is pretty much Shaun of the Dead, just with leather jackets, transgender equalization, and a rock ’n’ roll-AF soundtrack. Try not to sing along as Guitar Wolf scream “Roaring blood! Exploding blood! Baby, baby, baby! Roaring blood!”

It’s almost fall already? Time flies when you’re … what’s been going on? The spring and summer were a bit of a blur, for some reason.

September is usually loaded with TV premieres, but 2020 is leaner than previous years due to delayed productions and overall existential dread. At least new seasons of The Boys (Prime Video) and A.P. Bio (Peacock) have dropped, though they don’t make up for the cancellations of Drunk History (Comedy Central), High Fidelity (Hulu) and Altered Carbon (Netflix).

But! There are actually some fresh shows streaming in September, pandemic be damned. Here are eight new series, and one returning champion, all premiering this month.

Raised by Wolves (Thursday, Sept. 3 on HBO Max): A pair of androids, known as Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim), are charged with raising a group of human children on newly discovered planet Kepler-22b. Sounds perfectly utopian, so of course humans—from outside and inside the tribe—are going to cock it up. Raised by Wolves is hard, high-concept/higher-budget sci-fi from Ridley Scott, with a side of religious jabs. (Ultra-Christians destroyed Earth!) Set expectations accordingly.

Away (Friday, Sept. 4 on Netflix): If you like your sci-fi a little less science-y, here’s Hilary Swank as an astronaut leading a mission to Mars—but she has to leave her husband and daughter behind! All the feels! Away comes from producers behind TV tearjerkers like Parenthood and Friday Night Lights, so no one’s going to confuse this melodrama with Netflix’s otherwise-very-similar Another Life. Netflix should have just dropped Season 2 of that Katee Sackhoff series and sent this Away.

Woke (Wednesday, Sept. 9 on Hulu): A comedy about racism? The times are (always) right. Woke is based on the life of cartoonist Keith Knight (The K Chronicles/(th)ink, which run in this fine publication), starring Lamorne Morris (New Girl) as “Keef,” a Black artist who avoids politics and social issues in his work—that is, until he’s roughed up by cops for no reason, and the trauma manifests as his cartoons coming to life and hilariously prodding him to finally take a stand. Woke handles heavy topics with a light, surreal touch—watch and learn.

Julie and The Phantoms (Thursday, Sept. 10 on Netflix): Talented teen Julie (Madison Reyes) loses her will to sing after the death of her mother—until cute-boy “rock” trio The Phantoms suddenly appear … literally. Yes, they’re ghosts of a band who never made it before their demise, but now they have a second chance with Julie on the mic. (People can see The Phantoms when they play with her.) Julie and The Phantoms is dumb, High School Musical-ish fun, but just imagine if she’d been haunted by Motörhead instead.

Coastal Elites (Saturday, Sept. 12 on HBO): In what could have also been titled Hot Liberal Porn Action, Coastal Elites is an ultra-now commentary on the state of the union and deplorables in MAGA mode. (Fox News should produce a rebuttal movie called The Deplorables.) Bette Midler, Dan Levy, Sarah Paulson, Issa Rae and Kaitlyn Dever deliver Zoom-style monologues that were meant for the theater stage before COVID-19 hit, some better than others. (Maybe fast-forward through Midler’s rants.)

Ratched (Friday, Sept. 18 on Netflix): Speaking of Sarah Paulson, she’s taking on the classic role of One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest’s Nurse Ratched for Ryan Murphy. Sure, Murphy’s productions have been hit-and-miss affairs for several years, but the 1940s-set Ratched recalls the colorful camp-gore glory of American Horror Story: Murder House and the underrated Scream Queens—and Paulson owns every second of it. Also featuring left-field cameos from Rosanna Arquette (!) and Sharon Stone (!!).

Utopia (Friday, Sept. 25 on Prime Video): It’s way too soon for a conspiracy thriller about a deadly global pandemic, but here’s this: A group of comic-book geeks discover a veiled threat to humanity in their favorite graphic novel, Utopia, and soon learn that’s all too real (and already under way). Upping the prestige, Utopia was adapted by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn from the British original, and co-stars John Cusack as a sketchy biotech mogul and Rainn Wilson as a college professor with The Answer. Damn, 2020.

The Comey Rule (Sunday, Sept. 27 on Showtime): It’s way too late for a conspiracy thriller about the 2016 U.S. election, but here’s this: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (Brendan Gleeson) and then-FBI Director James Comey (Jeff Daniels) go from bros to foes during Trump’s rise to power. The Comey Rule, based on Trump Sucks Book No. 105, Comey’s A Higher Loyalty, is a miniseries with no heroes—just a spectacle of actors playing real-life politicos. It’s for wonks and masochists only; real humans, steer clear.

Fargo (Sunday, Sept. 27 on FX and Hulu): It’s been three years—three years!—since the third season of Fargo, a wrongly derided chapter that I would recommend you rewatch. (It’s better than you remember, not unlike the second season of True Detective.) Season 4 is set in 1950s Kansas City—Fargo is just a state of mind now—and stars Chris Rock as a crime boss employing Black escapees of the Jim Crow South (shades of HBO’s Lovecraft Country). Weirdest S4 casting: Indie-rocker Andrew Bird.

Movie theaters are over. Sure, you might for a minute feel nostalgic for the privilege of driving to the Gigantaplex, buying tickets, forking over a lump sum for an XXXL BladderBuster Diet Coke and MegaButter popcorn, and then being marched to your Assigned Corporate Seat, amongst the other chumps—but you’ll get over it. You probably already have.

Video-on-demand releases during These Uncertain Times™ have proven that good content is venue-fluid. Hamilton on Disney+? Fantastic. Palm Springs on Hulu? Amazing. Extraction on Netflix? Didn’t see it, but it’s there and ready to kick my eyes in the balls with a single click.

VOD isn’t without its downsides—after all, plenty of garbage also slips through the cracks. Here are 10 of the absolute worst movies to premiere over video-on-demand streaming in the past four months: If you haven’t been suckered into watching any of these yet, beware.

Money Plane (VOD): A pro thief (Adam Copeland, aka WWE ’rassler Edge) and his luxurious man bun are forced to pull One Last Job: robbing a flying casino of its … bitcoin? … for crime kingpin “The Rumble” (Kelsey Grammer). Instead of ass-kicking combat (It’s Edge!) and aerial action (It’s a Money Plane!), all you get is interior shots of goons ambling around what appears to be a Days Inn in Reno, along with Frasier chomping a cigar on Zoom. Also starring piranhas (!) and Thomas Jane (?).

Irresistible (VOD): You’d think an election-year satire starring Steve Carrell and Rose Byrne as dueling political consultants would be impossible to screw up. But director Jon Stewart, of all people, somehow instilled Irresistible with fewer laughs and less insight than an NPR segment on the ethics of soy hot dogs. Instead of playing up Red v. Blue, Irresistible is as dull and passive-aggressively preachy as your Libertarian friend on Facebook who won’t stop posting Joe Rogan clips.

The Rental (VOD): Two couples spend the weekend in a seaside AirBnB … and that’s about it. The Rental shifts from a boring relationship quadrangle into a boring horror film after what seems like five hours (it’s only 90 minutes long), wasting a killer cast (including Alison Brie, Dan Stephens and Toby Huss) and enough fog-machine juice for an entire summer of EDM festivals. First-time director Dave Franco almost nails a creepy vibe in the homestretch; good luck making it that far. (For the record, my colleague Bob Grimm liked The Rental a bit more than I did.)

The High Note (VOD): R&B superstar Grace (Tracee Ellis Ross channeling her mother, Diana Ross) clashes with her record label over coasting on live albums rather than recording new material … because it’s 1978? No, it’s now, when no one cares about record labels and live albums. The High Note is a cloying Boomer fantasy about a music industry that no longer exists, and further proof that Dakota Johnson (as Grace’s assistant-turned-producer) should stick to Fifty Shades flicks.

We Summon the Darkness (VOD): In 1988, three girlfriends (led by Alexandra Daddario) rock at a death-metal concert and drag a trio of knucklehead musicians to their remote house to party. Surprise! The girls are part of a Satanic cult (Daughters of the Dawn—eh, not bad), and the dudes are dead meat. We Summon the Darkness could have been a rock ’n’ roll classic, but it never fully commits to the requisite gore and sex—not even Johnny Knoxville as a TV preacher can liven things up. Fail Satan.

Trolls World Tour (VOD): A unity-propaganda cartoon about six tribes of Trolls, each represented by a guitar string, coming together in alleged “harmony”? Puh-leez. In positing that there are only six types of music (pop, funk, country, classical, techno and rock), Trolls World Tour completely denies the existence of the seven-string guitar—there’s no room for Korn in your precious world, Trolls? There couldn’t be a seventh, nu-metal tribe? Korn already looks like Trolls, forhellsake.

Infamous (VOD): Ex-Disney kid Bella Thorne and apparent ’90s Stephen Dorff cosplayer Jake Manley star as an Instagram Bonnie and Clyde, racking up likes and heists on a cross-country crime spree. We all know how Infamous ends, but at least Thorne seems to be trying to make the most of an otherwise phoned-in movie. Come to think of it, her wild-child energy is exactly what We Summon the Darkness needed—if only for this, we’re going to need a do-over, 2020.

Battlefield 2025 (VOD): A random group of campers, escaped convicts, cops—and whoever else was available over the weekend this was filmed—band together to fight off an alien invasion in Arizona. If you’ve ever spent a minute in Arizona, you know it’s a parched hellhole that should just be nuked, paved and converted into overflow parking for California—not worth saving. So who should we root for in Battlefield 2025? Probably the aliens. After this, they should pay a visit to Dave Franco’s Rental.

Force of Nature (VOD): A retired cop (Mel Gibson) takes on a gang of thieves pulling a heist during a hurricane … hold on … wasn’t this already a movie? Literally called The Hurricane Heist? Needless to say, the suckfest of Force of Nature pales in comparison to 1999’s Forces of Nature, wherein a psychotic woman (Sandra Bullock) kidnaps a traveler (Ben Affleck) and dumps him in a pit, from which he emerges as Batman. At least that’s how I remember it; ’99 was a weird year.

Becky (VOD): Thirteen-year-old Becky (Lulu Wilson) takes on a gang of escaped convicts (it’s an epidemic) led by Paul Blart: Neo Nazi (Kevin James) to save her dad (Joel McHale). Becky is sufficiently bloody and brutal, but James isn’t up to playing the big bad guy, which is especially disheartening when you consider that we could have had Simon Pegg (who dropped out before filming) in the role. Hell, maybe Mel Gibson would have made a great Nazi … or is that too on-the-nose?

If you were an HBO Now subscriber prior to last month, you may have noticed that it somehow became HBO Max overnight. Or maybe it didn’t—it’s sheer confusion in the land of HBO streaming. Maybe you still have HBO Now, which is just HBO. Meanwhile, as of the end of the July, HBO Go will be HBO gone.

Anyway: HBO Max is the New Hotness, because it streams all the HBO shows, plus some exclusive originals, though the only one worth mentioning is Doom Patrol, the greatest series ever—seriously, you need it in your life. The rest are just HBO Meh.

The real draw of HBO Max is its deep library of classic shows from HBO and corporate parent WarnerMedia, which is owned by AT&T, which in turn is owned by … 5G Satan? Could be, but they don’t pay me enough here for that kind of investigative journalism. We’ll never know.

Here are nine series from HBO’s past and present worth discovering, or revisiting, on HBO Max (or regular ol’ HBO). Then watch Doom Patrol—have I mentioned how fan-damn-tastic Doom Patrol is?

Los Espookys (Season 1, 2019): A group of 20-something friends run a business staging supernatural illusions in an undisclosed Latin American country, with support and wisdom from their stateside uncle (show co-creator Fred Armisen). Los Espookys is a loveably weird comedy that packs 60 episodes’ worth of story and dialogue (almost entirely subtitled Spanish) into six, establishing a distinct set of quirky characters immediately. Don’t be put off by the subtitles; you’ll be laughing too hard to notice.

A Black Lady Sketch Show (Season 1, 2019): Another new series from last summer, A Black Lady Sketch Show is more than just a female version of Key and Peele or Chappelle’s Show: It’s the first-ever TV show acted, written and directed entirely by black women; it’s not just a clever name. Co-creator Robin Thede leads the cast and numerous guest stars through benign to brutal sketches from a fresh (read: usually overlooked) perspective. It’s “edgy” without even trying, and universally hilarious.

Boardwalk Empire (Seasons 1-5, 2010-2014): Everyone’s lists of HBO prestige dramas—The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Carnivale, Watchmen, etc.—always seem to gloss over Boardwalk Empire. The sprawling 1920s period piece about Atlantic City mobster-politicians, fronted by Steve Buscemi at peak cragginess, is more relevant today than ever; at least the elected criminals of Boardwalk Empire were subtle. A 56-episode masterpiece that’s among Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese’s best.

John From Cincinnati (Season 1, 2007): Speaking of acclaimed showrunners, David Milch closed up Deadwood and jumped right into John From Cincinnati, a single-season “surf noir” series that immediately confused the hell out of everyone. JFC is more of a “vibe” than a coherent drama, like Twin Peaks set against the backdrop of Imperial Beach. Is mystical newcomer John an alien? Jesus? Insane? Doesn’t matter. The scenery is stunning, as is the surfing—just go with the flow, bro. (Yeah, sorry.)

Bored to Death (Seasons 1-3, 2009-2011): Before he stole the show in The Good Place, Ted Danson swiped Bored to Death from Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galifianakis. A Brooklyn writer (Schwartzman) begins moonlighting as an unlicensed private eye, occasionally dragging his editor (Danson) and comic-artist friend (Galifianakis) along on cases. Bored to Death is charming, smart, droll and all the other adjectives that get series canceled, but these actors have yet to top it. Where’s the movie?

Enlightened (Seasons 1-2, 2011-2013): Another lauded actor who arguably peaked with an HBO series, Laura Dern absolutely owns every second of Enlightened, even if no one noticed. Dern plays Amy, an office drone whose destructive lifestyle leads to an ugly meltdown and a stint in a holistic-therapy center. She emerges ready for positive change, but her world is still negative AF. (We’ve all been there … or currently reside there.) Enlightened isn’t really a comedy or a drama, but it is all heart.

United Shades of America (Seasons 1-4, 2016-2019): Comedian W. Kamau Bell was on the journalistic racism beat four years ago—the first episode of United Shades of America was a friendly-ish hang with the KKK! Bell’s docuseries also places deep focus on prisons, gangs, gentrification, megachurches, gun owners, LGBTQ rights and, in a prescient 2016 episode, policing tactics. But United Shades isn’t a downer, thanks to Bell’s quick wit and hopeful outlook. Good luck the next couple of seasons, W.

Arli$$ (Seasons 1-7, 1996-2002): The Sopranos wasn’t the first HBO original, and neither was Oz: In the olden days of 1996, there was Arli$$. HBO funded 80 episodes of sports agent Arliss Michaels (Robert Wuhl) sitcomming it up with real-life jocks and celebrities, and at least half of ‘em turned out funny—not a bad return. Arli$$ is mostly notable for being the first steady gig for an already-sharp Sandra Oh, as well as calling out Donald Trump’s bullshit before it was cool/civic duty.

Dane Cook’s Tourgasm (Season 1, 2006): Just a sobering reminder that Dane Cook was once a thing.

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of These Uncertain Times is the plight of our precious film critics: With no movies in theaters, they’re reduced to covering new releases debuting … on TV. The horror—reduced to the level of a common television critic! Thoughts and prayers.

Meanwhile, over here in the TV streamverse, business is booming. You may think you’re caught up on all the shows—having been stuck in lockdown for months with nothing but a remote and your own existential dread—but no; there’s always more. (TV, that is … well, existential dread, too.)

Here are nine series that debuted recently that you might have missed, a couple of which were brought to my attention by listeners of my podcast, TV Tan. They’re a sharp dozen.

The Dress Up Gang (Season 1 on TBS): L.A. roommates Donnie (Donnie Divanian) and Cory (Cory Loykasek) have a squirmy, surreal dad/son dynamic straight out of the Very Special Episode trope of family sitcoms—and that’s the least weird aspect of The Dress Up Gang. Like a low-key Tim and Eric, their daily courtyard mundanities are hysterically high-stakes (like the terror of a doorbell ditcher, or new white sneakers). Also, for no reason, their apartment neighbor is Andie MacDowell (as herself).

The Midnight Gospel (Season 1 on Netflix): Mashing up the deep-think interviews of The Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast with fantastical animation (by Adventure Time’s Pendleton Ward), The Midnight Gospel is utterly unique. Trussell voices Clancy, a “spacecaster” who visits apocalypse-bound worlds through the multiverse for enlightenment and kicks (and content). The combo of intellectual dialogue and acid-trip visuals should be overwhelming, but The Midnight Gospel is actually soothing.

Robbie (Season 1 on Comedy Central): Backed by a killer cast that includes Sasheer Zamata, Mary Holland and even Beau Bridges, comedian Rory Scovel turns what could have been a throwaway movie plot (small-town-youth basketball coach dreams of glory) into a charming eight-episode series with subtle, bizarre twists. Scovel’s Robbie comes off like a detached Kenny Powers (Eastbound and Down), but the show keeps the Southern stereotypes to a minimum (only one KKK-founded ice cream shop).

Mrs. America (Season 1 on Hulu): A miniseries based on a true, dark political story (the ’70s battle for the Equal Rights Amendment) shouldn’t be this fun. Likewise, ERA opponent Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett) shouldn’t be this sympathetic, but Mrs. America pulls it off. The real-life feminists (played by Rose Byrne, Margo Martindale, Uzo Aduba and more A-list actors) didn’t win on every front, but Mrs. America is a colorful-but-firm reminder to keep kicking against the patriarchal pricks.

Jamestown (Seasons 1-3 on Prime Video): In 1619, more than a decade after establishing a colony in America, the men of Jamestown are finally sent British women to marry. (They purchased them like livestock, more accurately.) Jamestown is a soap opera with beaver pelts and bonnets, a period piece that favors glossy drama over historical veracity—which is what you’d expect from the production company behind Downton Abbey. Jamestown is an engaging watch, as long as you don’t think too hard about it.

Barkskins (Season 1 on National Geographic and Hulu): For a slightly more historically accurate dramatization of young America (1690s French-colonial Canada, that is), there’s Barkskins. Leaning more Deadwood than Downton Abbey, Barkskins juggles multiple storylines of frontier intrigue, most notably those of a hardnosed innkeeper (Marcia Gay Harden) and a gonzo land baron Claude (David Thewlis, chewing all of the scenery). It’s a dark, strange and occasionally funny saga—from NatGeo, of all places.

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (Season 1 on Apple TV+): Not that there’s much competition, but Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet is the best show on Apple TV+. (Yes, it’s still a thing.) Co-created by and starring Rob McElhenney (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), the smartly scripted MQ:RB is set behind the scenes of a videogame company that makes the titular multiplayer, and the workplace is (barely) controlled chaos. What Veep did for politics, Mythic Quest does for gaming—just less profane and far more positively.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (Season 1 on Showtime): Remember 2014-2016 gothic horror series Penny Dreadful? Doesn’t matter; Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is related in name only. The story is a sun-saturated tangle of Mexican folklore, crime noir, Christian evangelism, Nazi conspiracies and racial tensions (whew) in 1938 Los Angeles, but the players sell it. Nathan Lane’s LAPD cop and Kerry Bishé’s radio preacher are on point, but Natalie Dormer’s demonic Magda (among three other roles) is the reason to watch.

Fortitude (Seasons 1-2 on Prime Video): The icy beauty of Fortitude, a small Norwegian Arctic island populated with fishermen, scientists and polar bears, could carry Fortitude on cinematography alone. But there’s also a murder thriller at play here that becomes more eerie and X-Files anomalous by the episode. Everyone in Fortitude has a secret—or, at the very least, a charming accent—and the investigation shifts focus on a dime. A tidy conclusion isn’t coming, but the ride is a rush.

To paraphrase Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, “When the going gets stupid, the stupid turn pro.”

Now is the time for comedy, so put down the Clorox mojito; turn off Contagion (you can wait until after Gwyneth Paltrow’s brain is removed—it’s my favorite scene, too); and open yourself up to the idea of relaxing with some stupid sitcoms. Trust me; I’m a professional.

Dumb comedies have a strange, soothing effect on the psyche that you just can’t get from other modes of TV. (Reality shows with screeching blow-up dolls throwing White Claws at each other might have a similar upshot, but I’m certainly not going to watch that shit to find out.)

Here are 13 recent comedies to stream right now, ranging from the truly stupid to the deceptively dumb-but-subliminally-genius. Or you could just binge the entirety of Friends on HBO Max—you choose your own brain-removal machine. (Cue The Cult riff.)

Alone Together (Seasons 1-2 on Hulu): Before the #AloneTogether hashtag became a pandemic thing, there was Alone Together, a 2018 comedy about platonic besties trying (barely) to make it in Hollywood. Esther (Esther Povitsky) and Benji (Benji Aflalo) aren’t gorgeous, ambitious or even of average height, but their L.A. self-absorption is hilariously on point, and the millennial jabs are knowing, not scathing.

Broke (Season 1 on CBS and CBS All Access): New CBS comedy Broke debuted just in time for Lockdown 2020 in April—captive audience, literally. The story of obnoxious, destitute relatives moving in is nothing new, but stars Pauley Perrette and Natasha Leggero put a slyly fresh spin on salty-to-sweet sister relationships. The real scene-stealers here are Jaime Camil and Izzy Diaz, often in Spanish (sorry, gringos).

Beef House (Season 1 on Adult Swim): You never know what you’ll get from Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim—well, you kinda do, but not really. Beef House is a twisted ’80s sitcom send-up with no love for the genre; T&E deconstruct and destroy it, then build fresh gonzo laughs on the ashes. It’s Full House, but with five middle-aged dudes of questionable origin, which makes as much sense as Full House.

Three Busy Debras (Season 1 on Adult Swim): A trio of suburban housewives—all named Debra and dressed in white—take the surrealism of Beef House, crank it to 11, and rip the knob off. The Three Busy Debras’ misadventures swing wildly from cutely odd to disturbingly dark—straight-up murdering a dude in the first episode, and stuffing him into a purse. (It’s a big purse.) Watch Three Busy Debras, or they’ll “have your tubes tied!”

Dave (Season 1 on FXX and Hulu): YouTube rapper Lil Dicky (Dave Burd) stars as Dave, a 30-something white Jewish rapper who believes he’s the new Kanye West—the old one’s wearing thin, so why not? Dave could have been annoying AF, but the series’ clever writing and Burd’s chill delivery make for an absurdist look at coming up in indie hip-hop. Hell, Justin Bieber and Macklemore make appearances.

Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens (Season 1 on Comedy Central): Awkwafina’s semi-autobiographical series about growing up in Queens, N.Y., arrived to little media noise for a Golden Globe-winning actress running her own show on little ol’ Comedy Central. As stoner-slacker Nora, she’s the Broad City duo wrapped into a single manic package, with brilliant ensemble support from Lori Tan Chinn (Grandma) and BD Wong (dad Wally).

Brews Brothers (Season 1 on Netflix): Brews Brothers is produced by one of the minds from bro-comedy The League, and it shows—it’s like a pilsner-and-pork-tacos pairing of The League and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s not as sharp as either of those, but Brews Brothers, about antagonistic siblings running a Van Nuys brewpub, still delivers laughs. See: a hefeweizen unwittingly named “Weiss Power.”

What We Do in the Shadows (Seasons 1-2 on FX and Hulu): Far from “dumb,” What We Do in the Shadows (based on the 2014 movie) is the smartest comedy ever about supernatural dummies. Staten Island vampire roommates Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), and Nandor (Kayvan Novak) have been around for centuries, but learned apparently nothing—very ’Merican. Silly with a capital “SSSSS!”

Bless This Mess (Seasons 1-2 on ABC and Hulu): Frazzled New Yorkers Mike (Dax Shepard) and Rio (Lake Bell) move to a rundown Nebraska farm; Green Acres-esque wackiness ensues. However, Bless This Mess doesn’t condescend to the county folk, and the solid cast (which includes vets like Pam Grier and Ed Begley Jr.) serves up laughs warmer than a window-sill pie. Way better than flyover-state bait like The Conners.

The Detour (Seasons 1-4 on Hulu): Over four seasons, The Detour evolved from a National Lampoon’s Vacation-like family road-trip farce into a multilayered comic thriller with disparate angles and hidden agendas—but still never went too “thinky.” Nate (Jason Jones) and Robin (Natalie Zea) have secrets from each other, and their preteen kids, and the consequences get weirder (and funnier) by the season.  

Documentary Now! (Seasons 1-2 on Netflix): Before Bill Hader struck critical gold with HBO’s Barry, he and Fred Armisen created Documentary Now!, a fake PBS-style doc series that allowed them to play a feral variety of characters. Documentary Now! parodies everything from Vice News to Stop Making Sense to Grey Gardens, but with an attention to detail that belies the ridiculousness. All this, and host Helen Mirren (!).

The Other Two (Season 1 on Comedy Central): After years of showbiz struggle and failure, siblings Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Helene Yorke) are suddenly eclipsed by the overnight viral-video stardom their 13-year-old brother Chase (Case Walker). The twist: Chase is a sweet kid, and The Other Two zigs when expected to zag at every turn. It’s a hysterical takedown of insta-celebrity culture that also stans the fun side.

Tacoma FD (Seasons 1-2 on TruTV): Super Troopers, but firefighters—that’s Tacoma FD, created by and starring Troopers Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme. The raunch is dialed back for basic cable, but the idiotic antics and glorious moustaches are in full bro-tastic effect. Tacoma FD is proudly D-U-M-B, but earns its laughs through sheer commitment—and yes, of course there’s a weed-dispensary fire.

You’re out of a job. You’ve been stuck inside for weeks. You’ve re-watched Tiger King so many times that you’re starting to ask, “What was the crime here? Loving big cats and the Seth Wadley Auto Group too much? Free Joe Exotic!”

Shut-in delirium can only countered with new streams of entertainment—preferably at no extra cost, because that gub’ment check will only go so far.

This month, streaming TV services Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, CBS All Access, Shudder, Sundance Now, Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel have extended their free-trial windows to 30 days. New streamer Quibi will let you have up to 90 days free, which is nearly enough time to figure out, “What the fuck is a Quibi?”

Beyond all that: There are also plenty of totally free, no-strings streaming TV apps out there to take advantage of through Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast or however you stream (laptops and phones, too). Content Shifter has rounded up 12 for your quarantine needs.

Pluto TV: What was originally just an odd app with a never-ending Mystery Science Theater 3000 loop and a few other iffy feeds (like the Conspiracy Channel—maybe avoid it right now?) has exploded into a rainbow of free TV, movies, docs, music, sports and doggos. (Yes, Dogs 24/7—you need it right now.) Pluto TV was seemingly pre-designed for broke homebodies … conspiracy?

Crackle: Crackle has been around for more than 15 years—and you’ve still never clicked on that orange button. It streams hundreds of old-to-semi-recent movies and TV shows, as well as a handful of originals like tech thriller StartUp, dumb comedy Ski Master Academy, and the sequel no one asked for, Joe Dirt 2. Crackle also has both The Net (1995 film) and The Net (1998 series)!

Tubi: With thousands of movies, TV series and a surprisingly loaded music section (as well as all three Decline of Western Civilization docs!), Tubi is like the last Blockbuster Video at the edge of the world. For every familiar title (Donnie Darko, Minority Report) there are hundreds of obscurities (like 2017 Russian superhero anomaly Guardians), not to mention the Rock of Love oeuvre.

Roku Channel: If your streaming device of choice is a Roku (the unofficial streamer of Content Shifter … still waiting on that endorsement deal), the Roku Channel has stacks of movies, TV series, kids’ stuff, fitness programs and an unhealthy mix of reality shows. (Trees and Forest meditation? Sure. Diagnosis Unknown? No thanks.) Minus a Roku, the Channel works in a web browser.

Shout! Factory TV: A cult-flick aficionado’s digital dream, Shout! Factory TV is stuffed with cheesy action and exploitation “classics” like Bloodfist (parts 1-8!), Cyberzone (space bounty hunter tracks down android hookers!), and Neon Maniacs (self-explanatory), among hundreds of others. If your objective is to shut off your brain, Shout! Factory TV works like a vodka and valium tonic.

Comet: Speaking of sci-fi goodness, Comet is a space-centric channel that broadcasts to rabbit ears (‘member them?) and streams simultaneously. The movies are schlock standards (Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Futureworld, etc.), but the TV series are solid: Battlestar Galactica (the good one), Stargate SG-1, and the underrated ’70s Night Gallery, among others.

Adult Swim: There are well more than 100 original series from the past 20 years available on the Adult Swim app—and a few don’t even require herbal abetment (very few). Currently, AS is streaming full seasons of quintessential series like Metalocalypse, Squidbillies, and the immortal Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule, plus newer shows like Tim and Eric’s sitcom takedown Beef House.

The CW: Unlike most other TV networks, The CW makes all of its shows available to stream the day after broadcast for free—even Dynasty, a reboot no one can prove actually exists. Full seasons to date are available for some newer series, like Batwoman (worth checking out), Nancy Drew (ditto) and Katy Keene (another show of questionable existence). Beats an antenna.

CW Seed: The CW’s secondary streamer, CW Seed, is home to some legit classics that never even aired on the network: Schitt’s Creek, Pushing Daisies, Constantine, Girlfriends, and others. CW Seed also features a few flops that are still good for a laugh, like Hellcats (clashing cheerleaders!), Moonlight (sexy vampire detective!) and Sinbad (not the comic who didn’t play a ‘90s genie).

WhoHaha: Women aren’t funny? Get the fuck outta here. Actress/director Elizabeth Banks created WhoHaha as a “Funny or Die for girls” in 2015, accepting submissions from indie female comics and curating the content. Like Funny or Die, not every digital short lands, but WhoHaha series like Untidy With Marie Kondo (not really Kondo) and No Chill are uniquely hilarious.

Night Flight: Way back in the ’80s, a weekend cable show called Night Flight kept millions of rockers, stoners and outcasts indoors with a slapdash mix of rock ’n’ roll kicks, cult-flick imagery and subliminal anarchy. The Night Flight app recaptures it, but only a portion for free (access to the full library is $40 annually—anarchy costs in 2020). Still, a taste of a rad flashback ain’t bad.

Red Bull TV: The outdoors were pretty cool, from what I remember. Red Bull TV goes to extremes with mountain biking, skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, skiing and some insane shit called “ice cross” that’s essentially frozen Rollerball. It’s all high-quality video immersion with little in-your-face Red Bull advertising; check it out to re-familiarize yourself with air and weather.

In the winter of 1997, great American sketch series Mr. Show With Bob and David revealed the true secret of thespianism: “All acting is, is jumping up and down and screaming a lot.”

I drop this bit of knowledge not to entice you to watch Mr. Show (though you totally should, on HBO Now), but to warn you that Adam Sandler’s inexplicably acclaimed Uncut Gems arrives on VOD this month. Film critics … what the hell?

Anyway: Here are seven TV series that are actually worth streaming in March, the lamest of the winter months. It’s not cold; it’s not warm; assholes are drinking green beer … again, what the hell?

Better Call Saul (Seasons 1-4 on Netflix; Season 5 on AMC): Speaking of Mr. Show, can we take a beat to appreciate Bob Odenkirk? Yes, everyone on Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul is fantastic—Rhea Seehorn in particular—but Odenkirk’s Jimmy/Saul is THE performance of the Bad universe. (Sorry, Heisenberg.) Few crime sagas are as steeped in raw humanity as Better Call Saul; do yourself a favor, and dive in this month.

High Fidelity (Season 1 on Hulu): Nick Hornby’s 1995 book and the nearly-too-late 2000 movie don’t hold up in 2020—think about it if you’re asking, “Why do we need a new High Fidelity?” The record store (“No CDs”) now belongs to 20-something Rob (Zoe Kravitz), and this iteration is less toxic, more inclusive and just warmer. There’s nothing wrong with a playlist where Lescop and Frank Zappa can co-exist.

Hunters (Season 1 on Prime Video): Critics and Jewish historians alike are appalled by Hunters, a comically bloody fantasy about 1970s New York City Nazi killers—but, as show creator David Weil politely replied, “It’s not a documentary.” (I would have added, “Suck it, fun police.”) Hunters’ pulp fiction is highly Tarantino-ized but features minimal scenery-chewing from Al Pacino. It’s that unpredictable.

Devs (Season 1 on Hulu): Nick Offerman steals the Wig of Shame trophy from The Witcher in Devs, a twisty thriller from Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation). Software engineer Lily (Sonoya Mizuno) suspects that her company’s CEO (Offerman) had her boyfriend “suicided,” and soon uncovers a sinister tech conspiracy. (Aren’t they all?) The first two episodes premiere March 5, with one episode being released on each of the six following Thursdays. Garland has eight hours to blow your mind, and he will.

Black Monday (Seasons 1-2 on Showtime): Season 1 was a fictionalized, dark-comedy countdown to the stock market crash of 1987, or Black Monday—why continue? Because the cast (Don Cheadle, Regina Hall, Paul Scheer and a yacht-load of comic pros) is too damned good. Season 2 (premiering March 15) follows the fallout on Wall Street, which somehow produces even more obscene wealth and cocaine.

Westworld (Seasons 1-3 on HBO Now): Remember Westworld? It’s been almost two years since Season 2 dropped a megaton of unnerving info about synthetic humans and also set a few loose in the unsuspecting “real” world. Season 3 (premiering March 15) expands the robo-drama beyond its cowboy confines, and we so deserve it—as Futurama’s Bender once said, “You meatbags had your chance.”

Brockmire (Seasons 1-3 on Hulu; Season 4 on IFC): The first two seasons of Brockmire followed the gonzo exploits of alcoholic ex-MLB baseball announcer Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria); the third sobered him up but sacrificed no profane hilarity. Season 4 (premiering March 18) goes for broke by fast-forwarding to 2035 and naming Jim the commissioner of Major League Baseball (!). Just in time for President Ivanka’s second term, cool.

Like you, I was on the fence about the whole “The world ended in 2012, and we’ve been existing in an eff’dup alternate reality ever since” theory. But then the resurrection of the XFL was announced, so there’s no denying it: This is another dimension, and it is OFF.

For those unaware, the XFL was an “xtreme” football league launched by World Wrestling Entertainment in 2001. You don’t remember it, because the XFL crashed and burned after one mismanaged dumpster-fire of a season … or because your memory was wiped by the 2012 shift.

But now it’s back! Why? Stop thinking so hard. Here are the XFL teams we’ll all be following to glory, streaming on ABC, Fox and ESPN beginning Saturday, Feb. 8.

D.C. Defenders (Debut: Saturday, Feb. 8 on ABC): Washington D.C.’s 68th pro sports franchise will be led to violent, bloodletting victory by head coach Pep Hamilton. The Defenders are also notable for having D.C.’s least-racist team name.

Seattle Dragons (Debut: Saturday, Feb. 8 on ABC): When the XFL failed to recruit Imagine Dragons into its new gridiron venture, Vince McMahon said, “Fuck it, we’ll go to Seattle—they don’t have any football up there.” The readjusted Seattle Dragons are expected to have a strong running game, despite playing in Birkenstocks.

Houston Roughnecks (Debut: Saturday, Feb. 8 on Fox): Two XFL teams in Texas? How big is that state, anyway? The Houston Roughnecks derive their name from a downtown 1980s leather bar secretly frequented by NFL Oilers. In homage, the Roughnecks will play wearing zipper masks and ball gags instead of helmets and mouth guards.

L.A. Wildcats (Debut: Saturday, Feb. 8 on Fox): Early reports have it that the L.A. Wildcats’ coaching staff only wants to use this rebooted XFL season to transition their players into the NFL—which is sooo on-brand for L.A. In 2001, original XFL team L.A. Xtreme won the league’s “Super Bowl,” so … legacy? Like, totally.

Dallas Renegades (Debut: Sunday, Feb. 9 on ESPN): The new sportsball pride of Texas will play their home games in a refurbished Arlington baseball stadium—xtreme! Also, the Renegades will be the first football team ever to be allowed to use guns in defensive play, because, Texas. Sponsored by Alex Jones’ InfoWarsStore.com.

St. Louis BattleHawks (Debut: Sunday, Feb. 9 on ESPN): Since St. Louis is home to Anheuser-Busch, the BattleHawks’ official sponsor is … Bud Select? A 99-calorie light beer? A children’s brewski, at best. Even lamer, the BattleHawks’ hashtag is #KaKaw, a fowl cry not likely to strike fear into the hearts of Guardians or Roughnecks.

New York Guardians (Debut game: Sunday, Feb. 9 on Fox): New York didn’t have team in the 2001 XFL—kind of an insult, considering every franchise has boasted a Big Apple squad, even the Lingerie Football League (New York Majesty, represent!). Fun fact: The Guardians aren’t human, but supernaturally animated gargoyles.

Tampa Bay Vipers (Debut game: Sunday, Feb. 9 on Fox): Tampa Bay already has the Buccaneers, the Lightning, the Rays, the Rowdies, the Titans and Cannibal Corpse—what do the Vipers bring to the table? Lime-green uniforms resembling VeggieTales cosplay and Gatorade-filled bongs on the sidelines, bro. You gonna get Viped!

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