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TV Reviews

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  1. Yellowjackets, Season 1

    2022 TV show

    Watched 22–26 January 2022

    Brings me back to when TV shows didn’t take themselves super seriously and writers had to include mini cliffhangers before commercial breaks so you wouldn’t change the channel. I love the bits where you can see the seams, like when characters are driving and you can tell that the road projection framerate stutters because it doesn’t match the camera. If only people weren’t scared of pillarboxing this show could have been shot in 4:3 and look even cooler.

  2. Station Eleven

    2022 TV show

    Watched 21 December 2021 – 14 January 2022

    A miracle unfolding in slow motion. Pure, clear, and brimming with understanding. Every episode destroying me and building me back up, each time a different person. I wasn’t ready.

  3. Star Wars: Visions

    2021 TV show

    Watched 17 December 2021 – 3 January 2022

    Cool animation, but the presence of lightsabers in every single episode reveals a frustrating lack of imagination.

  4. For All Mankind, Season 2

    2021 TV show

    Watched 22–24 April 2021

    Once again this show attempts to strike a good balance between People Drama and Society Drama, but this season’s timeskip tilted the scales and made it clear that the long game is always going to be about the societal outcomes first. Character moments are less emotionally effective as a result, but boy is the spectacle of the alternate timeline geopolitics worth the tradeoff. Season 1 got me invested. But now I’m excited.

  5. For All Mankind, Season 1

    2019 TV show

    Watched 19–22 April 2021

    I’m super into this space trauma and societal progress nerdfest.

    It may sometimes feel predictable and clichéd but I just want to engross myself in this alternate history, and the level of realism is more than good enough to support that by my standards.

  6. The Expanse, Season 5

    2021 TV show

    Watched 16 December 2020 – 3 February 2021

    This series has built so much, and gone so far. The transition from “Game of Thrones in space” to one of the most poignant human dramas in science fiction has been a true joy to witness.

  7. Rick and Morty, Season 4

    2020 TV show

    Watched 11 November 2019 – 2 June 2020

    My diagnosis: Rick and Morty has gone too meta. I want to laugh because the show is funny, not because the writers are clever.

  8. The Outsider, Season 1

    2020 TV show

    Watched 13 January – 9 March 2020

    First half was great: intriguing mystery and plot developments, great characters. Then the mystery is completely resolved, and the second half is mostly seeing the characters catch up with what the audience already knows and doing lots of talking in cars. It ended with a whimper, and I was disappointed.

  9. The Good Place, Season 4

    2020 TV show

    Watched 13 October 2019 – 7 February 2020

    A perfect conclusion to the most wholesome show I’ve ever seen. Life sure is a wave.

  10. Black Mirror: Smithereens

    2019 TV show

    Watched 16 January 2020

    The most boring Black Mirror episode yet. Did you know people look at their phones a lot?

  11. Fleabag, Season 2

    2019 TV show

    Watched 8–9 January 2020

    How can this show be both the funniest and saddest thing I’ve seen in a long time? How can it be so potent, accomplishing so much with just a few short episodes? Now that I’ve tasted the emotional high of Fleabag, I’m afraid I might never again allow a show to waste my time with padded out writing. I absolutely loved the first season, but I had to put myself back together after this one.

  12. Fleabag, Season 1

    2016 TV show

    Watched 20–23 December 2019

    “They shouldn’t have just locked him up.”
    “He pencil fucked a hamster.”
    “Yeah, but he’s obviously not happy. Happy people wouldn’t do things like that.”
    “Fair point.”
    “And anyway, that’s the very reason why they put rubbers on the end of pencils.”
    “What, to fuck hamsters?”
    “No, because people make mistakes.”

    Despite my incredibly high expectations, I was still blown away by this show in ways I don’t even quite understand. Exceptional in every way.

  13. Succession, Season 1

    2018 TV show

    Watched 9 September – 20 October 2019

    Watching Succession I often found myself at one of two extremes: either laughing and cringing at the sheer debauchery of it all, or depressively contemplating how the real world is probably even worse.

    This duality seems to be the show’s core mechanic. The writers know that now, seemingly more than ever, reality is stranger than fiction. If you want to satirize it, you have to take it down a notch first — like putting on those special glasses so you can look at a solar eclipse. So Succession is a very impressive oxymoron: a satire that is also a toned-down version of reality. It’s gripping, though-provoking, hilarious entertainment. I just don’t understand why Connor is there.

  14. One-Punch Man, Season 2

    2019 TV show

    Watched 9 May – 24 October 2019

    One-Punch Man is lost. The charm, variety, and incredibly kinetic animation that set the show apart are nowhere to be found in season two.

    The writing has no redeeming qualities to offer. It’s all over the place. The outrageous premise of the series was fun for a while, but it doesn’t seem strong enough to sustain being prolonged like this. The writers compensate by spending way too much time on a huge number of underdeveloped characters and subplots that I couldn’t care less about. In the end, none of those plots and characters even get any resolution; if there is a cohesive thematic undercurrent to this season at all, I was too bored to notice it. Meanwhile the main characters get so little airtime that I struggle to piece together what happened to them over the course of a dozen episodes. They are on screen only just enough for you not to forget what show you’re watching. It’s maddening.

    This series has clearly been kicked into a lower gear, setting itself up to coast on the merits of season one for as long as possible. I won’t be sticking around.

  15. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

    2019 TV show

    Watched 11 October 2019

    I didn’t know how much I wanted this, just as much as I wasn’t expecting to cry in the end. Yet here we are.

    It doesn’t escape the TV-to-film curse of feeling incomplete and slightly outside its comfort zone and somehow wrong. But taken as the missing Breaking Bad episode that time forgot, it’s absolutely flawless.

    Yet I don’t think it would have worked had the show just included this back then as its final final episode. We needed the wait, and it was worth it.