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This Week: Really Buzzed

I can't believe it's nearly August.

So... Evil. The show used to totally creep me out, but these days I'm laughing a lot as a defense mechanism. Anyone else having the same reaction? Slowly working my way through the second season of Big Sky, and disappointed in the villain situation. But I'm hanging in, waiting for Jensen Ackles.

After months of new Star Trek every week, I'm experiencing some withdrawal. That is probably what Paramount+ had in mind.

What about you guys? What are you watching this week?

Mark Greig: Haven't watched much lately, but I'm really buzzed about The Sandman next week. Hope it manages to live up to the massive expectations I've built up over the last 20 years. Not sure if I should do a reread now or wait until after I've watched so it doesn't taint the experience.

Baby M: My wife and I just binged Tell Me Your Secrets. It’s a fairly engaging story with enough cliffhangers to supply a tour of the Grand Canyon.

Josie Kafka: I'm still watching Evil and definitely enjoying it. Ben is my favorite character, so I'm really happy to see him get more attention.

I'm going to watch The Northman this weekend!

Mark Greig: Down to the last two episodes of Strange New Worlds and this is by far the best first season any Star Trek show has ever had. 'Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach' has been the only weak link in a consistently strong run.

Shari: Unfortunately, my real job has been insane this week so I haven't watched much. After reading Chris' review I did watch Persuasion. I'm going to chalk up the poor reviews the movie received (other than Chris') to purists who want everything to be period perfect. Maybe it's just my theater background where colorblind casting and modern spins on classic tales are de rigueur but I thought it was fun. They had Jane Austen's snark down pat. Plus, and I know I'm repeating myself, Henry Golding is very pretty.

Oh, I forgot. On a particularly trying day, I watched When Harry Met Sally. I needed comfort viewing.

Lamounier: I'm on the my-job-has-been-insane train, but I did manage to watch a couple of episodes of Shadowhunters this week. It had been ages since I watched the first four episodes, and this week I listened to a song that plays during the very first scene that I watched (I'm a fan of that scene specifically, though it's from an episode I'm yet to watch), and I remembered that I had totally forgotten about the show. Not a good sign at all, but I did go back to it and... It's still not a very good show. Having that said, episode six was the best so far and for the first time ever I want to know what happens next. Hopefully the improvement is permanent.

I'm also looking forward to watching Uncoupled, starring Neil Patrick Harris. Whenever capitalism allows me to.

Victoria Grossack: I've either had guests or have been a guest, so there's been very little time for TV. Have watched a bit of The Umbrella Academy to do reviews.

Samantha Quinn: So I tried the first episode of a limited series called Keep Breathing. I like the lead, but I'm not sure if it'll be good all the way through. It is gorgeously shot and has a solid, if derivative premise.

Onto the final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it is kind of bittersweet. Did they have to go with another story keeping Fitz and Simmons apart? At least we have most of the team together which is nice for a change. Also, I am so glad that they brought back Enoch, he's kind of like their sentient puppy that quietly saves the day... oh god, Enoch is Lassie.

Deeply into the Stranger Things rewatch and I really forgot how good season two was. I am looking forward to season three because of Robin and Steve and the mall plots. But that also means I'll be back at season four before I know it... darn.

Billie Doux: That's it for us. What are you guys watching this week?


  1. I've been watching Evil as well and I definitely tend to swing back and forth between maniacal glee and utter horror while I'm watching. It's one of the few shows that can make me laugh out loud consistently which seems odd for also being one of the few shows that makes me sleep with the light on.
    Just finished Strange New Worlds which had a delightfully meditative season finale.
    Still going with For All Mankind, Westworld (which, is it strictly a show I like? No. Is it a show I enjoy watching? Yes.), and once I'm caught up on those, I need to finish the last 6 episodes of the Leftovers and Watch S2 of Sense8. Busy TV watching ahead of me this week!

  2. coluanprime, I only watched the first episode of For All Mankind and found it frustrating. Do you recommend it? Should I try the rest?

    1. Hmm, I can share some of why I like it and see if that makes you interested!
      - I adore space race stories!
      - The second or third episode introduces a several female astronauts and for me the show really nailed the emotion of that introduction.
      - In general, there are very few shows that excel at incredibly and believably tense and suspenseful sequences as FAM. Something will happen and suddenly all cylinders just start firing and I'm literally on the edge of my seat, wondering what's about to happen.
      - Sub note to the above: the show manages to make it seem like anything can happen without being brutal or uncaring. (It never feels like GOT in that respect.)
      - I just discovered the acronym is FAM which is pretty cool.
      - FAM knows it's characters incredibly well. Every character feels very human, full of exceptional and wonderful characteristics and also frequently flawed. The show is definitely densely plotted but those plots fall out of the characters' nature. Everyone is so precisely portrayed that it's rare for a character to strike an off note.
      - The actors are all so good! Shantel VanSanten is giving an incredibly multifaceted and rich performance. Despite being the first billed, Joel Kinnaman is really good at not pulling focus and sharing the screen with other actors. Sonya Walger is incredible in every scene she's in. I literally could go through the entire main cast and share multiple Emmy-worthy scenes which is p cool.
      - Related, it's truly an ensemble show and Ed, while certainly a major character, is not the lead.
      - The background characters on FAM never seem like background characters. This comes from the writing (main cast never treat background characters as dispensable or less important), the actors (generally, the bench of actors on this show is very deep and all few very specific) and some ineffable quality that makes everyone feel like a real person, with their never being bias to main cast simply because they're the main cast.
      - It showcases a bunch of very different and diverse people.
      - At it's core, it's a bunch of people all struggling for something good and united by the hope that space and exploration, not conquest, are worthwhile aims.

    2. coluanprime, thank you so much for your run down, especially all of the character information. I've been avoiding taking on new streaming services, but if I pick up Apple+, I'll definitely give FAM another try.

  3. I watched about 5 episodes of For All Mankind. The acting was great but after a while it felt repetitive. The Russians are doing X so we have to too! That may have been how the cold war was in the 60s (I'm a 70s baby) but it doesn't translate into edge-of-your-seat viewing.

  4. Started rewatching The Good Place - this is the third time watching the first season for me and I'm noticing even more tidbits which is fun.

    My almost 15 year old rewatched The Flash and had a lot of fun with that.
    A cute story for those interested -- I had asked him a year ago (on his first watch-through) who he thought was the best-looking of all the beautiful pple on the show, because who doesn't love to harass a teenager and make them blush, and he told me "MOOOM I don't care about that, I'm watching it because they have a cool LAB".
    So this time I said "I know why you're REALLY watching that show. It's because of the sexy ...... lab"
    "MOM, NO! .... Wait ... yes? Cut it out!"
    mwa hahaha

  5. I have dropped 'Evil'. It was just too evil for me and I decided to work on my karma and watch more non-evilish stuff. Is that what you do when you are karma-working??

    I just have been catching up on 'The Orville'. This show made me furious when it first came out. It unapologetically stole EVERYTHING from Star Trek, and it wasn't that good at the beginning. But now? Hmmm...season 2 really picked up, and season 3 so far has been amazing. I can honestly say that it is one of the best Star Trek shows that Star Trek never did. Fantastic stuff and I can highly recommend it.

  6. Billie! I remembered what I was going to tell you!

    It was actually something to tell everyone who watches Evil: if you stream it through the Paramount+ app, when you get to the credits and it gives you the option to skip past them, there's a little blurb at the bottom that says "If you skip the credits, you'll be haunted" or something like that.

  7. Finished my mini binge of spy shows: a British TV adaptation of "The Ipcress File", and S01 of "The Old Man". Started out liking "Old Man" better but ended up liking "Ipcress" better. "Old Man" is good but has a couple of character agency issues I'd like to see addressed in S02. And I hope the dogs return. In "Ipcress" Joe Cole's boyish charm won me over. I much preferred his Harry Palmer over Michael Caine's leering arrogance in the 1965 film. One of my college housemates had a cat named Harry Palmer. At last I know why.

    Stumbled across a cowboy-scifi mashup called "Outer Range" (AMZ). Hey it's summer, so what the heck, podner! It has all the usual Ranch Opera tropes. You got your father v son, brother v brother, your roadhouse parking lot beatdown, your misunderstood daughter, and your very taciturn patriarch in Josh Brolin, whose go-to line is "I'll take care of it!" before he rides off to do something plotty. And your matriarch/moral center Ranch Mom, usually the juiciest role in Ranch Operas. Lili Taylor gets the nod here. Will Patton is the head of the rich, land grabby, neighboring mini-patriarchy, and boy does he chew some scenery! Imogen Poots is the "crazy hippie woman" from outa nowhere and munches a few props herself.

    There are tonal shifts. It starts out as fairly serious Ranch Opera but get wilder and weirder, lurching in the vast outer range between "Twin Peaks" and "Under The Dome". There's a county sherriff, an Indian woman named Hawk (nudge), and one minor character is an homage to Benjamin Horne. There's comedy, perhaps some of it unintentional. Josh Brolin's dinner prayer is a fist pumping hoot.

    I won't spoiler the scifi part, but if you're a fan of Vonnegut's story shapes (YouTube it, it's funny) it's one of those. Literally. And if you're into buffalo stampedes this show has some really inspiring ones. So far it's about 70/30 Ranch Opera/scifi so if you're not an RO fan you may wanna pass. Despite all the above snark I really enjoyed the ride. Binged the damn thing in 3 days. Every episode has a twisty cliffhanger, including the end one. No word yet on a Season 2.


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