I'm a little late with this post - I usually post about new Fall TV shows in early September, and by now some of these shows have aired one (or more episodes). Life has been busy, which I guess is a good thing, but I'm still going to be making some time for some promising new shows!!
1. Speechless - Minnie Driver is a great actress who never really got the credit she deserves. Hopefully this is a stronger platform for her to showcase her talent. I'm watching this show mostly for her, but also if this show is successful, it could be a huge step forward for people with disabilities within the television industry. Diversity doesn't always mean race or gender; it just means showing real people. The first episode aired already, but I haven't caught it yet (it's one of the many shows on my filled DVR), but it seems to be getting some good reviews.
2. This is Us - I wasn't planning on watching this show, but then I saw many people on Twitter comparing it to Parenthood and then everyone on Twitter flipped their shit when the twist was revealed at the end of the pilot episode, so obviously I became intrigued. I have to say, the twist is great - and while I expected all of the characters to be connected in some way, I definitely didn't see that coming. The cast is excellent; especially newly minted Emmy winner, Sterling K. Brown. This is a perfect step for him. Plus, Mandy Moore is perfectly sweet and cheesy (although Scrubs ruined her for me - I will never NOT think of "that's so funny" when I see her in anything). It's not even close to Parenthood (and I don't foresee that happening), but it's still very promising.
3. Atlanta - Donald Glover is a genius. While I saw his comedic talent along with everyone else during his run on Community, it was his first rap album (as Childish Gambino) that I really took notice. It felt so different from every other rap album out there, and no, I'm not a rap connoisseur or anything, but usually when I see people rave about a rapper, I'll listen to a few songs and lately (as in the past 10 or so years), I've been very disappointed. Camp is probably my favorite rap album since Kanye West's debut. It's powerful, honest, and poetic - everything that rap used to stand for. This is exactly what Glover has brought to television - a powerful, honest, and poetic voice that is under-represented in the entertainment industry. Every episode has been perfect so far.
4. Designated Survivor - I just watched the pilot episode and I am definitely intrigued. It could really go either way, but I'm hopeful it doesn't go the way of other recent shows like The Blacklist, Quantico, and Blindspot, where it's just one twist after another until none of it makes sense anymore. I love Kiefer Sutherland, so I will probably watch no matter what, but it would be nice if it were actually a great show, right? The plot is pretty interesting (and surprising that it hasn't been done before, really), and I love the supporting actresses - Natascha McElhone and Maggie Q. I kind of feel like I already know who the "bad guy" is - and I won't spoil it, but I feel like it's really obvious (it's the same bad guy in every movie).
5. The Great Indoors - IT'S JOEL MCHALE. I miss him so much. I watched The Soup every week and I miss seeing him on my television every week (and it used to be twice a week with Community). This show looks dumb, but I don't even care. Also, McLovin is in it too. He's the very definition of adorkable.
6. Better Things - This will probably be my favorite new show of the season. I love Pamela Adlon so much, and I'm so happy that she is finally getting her due. This show is basically a female version of Louie, which is a fantastic idea. I almost wish they played together back-to-back because it's wonderful insight into the loneliness that comes along with being a parent, and also being famous - whether male or female. It's one of those shows that make you laugh, but then you feel bad for laughing. I'm in love with it.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
1. Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and...everyone else - I have a lot of problems with this movie and I'm one of the few who refused to listen to the critics. I went in with an open mind and a hope for a good, fun, summer blockbuster. Unfortunately, it was a mess. And that's putting it lightly. The biggest issue is that the movie only focuses on two of the "squad" - Harley Quinn and Deadshot. Given that Will Smith is the biggest "star" in the movie, I guess this makes sense, but I was expecting an ensemble superhero movie and that's not what was presented. Harley Quinn was heavily featured in the ads, but I thought that was just because of the sudden popularity of Margot Robbie. Instead the movie was just really about them, while everyone else just kind of stood next to them shouting out throw away lines. And it's set up that way from the very beginning with Amanda Waller (the usually spectacular Viola Davis who was the blandest she's ever been) summarizing her group of bad guys (and gals). She gives in depth details about Quinn and Deadshot and then glosses over the entire rest of the group. And since they were never really given any real material, I can't even decide whether I like the rest of the group (Diablo seemed the most interesting of the bunch, to me). But I can fully stand firm in my complete dislike of Harley Quinn. I know nothing about the comics - so this is my only source of information about her, and man is she really fucking annoying. I don't find her empowering for women at all, and yet so many women idolize her. I just don't get it. Also, I love Margot Robbie, but this was not her best work. I know she *can* do a NY (Brooklyn) accent, but it sounded AWFUL here. I think it had to do more with the combination of the awful dialogue and the accent that made it so much worse, but it was horribly distracting. Her relationship with The Joker was intercut between scenes in a really awkward way, and it was all very vague - glossing over the abusiveness of it all (as expected). Leto was an interesting Joker; not necessarily good, but at least interesting. Also, does Quinn not have any powers or abilities? Is her bat a super bat? Because that tiny woman swinging a bat wouldn't really do much damage to someone twice her size. It's just dumb, especially compared to other characters who have actual abilities.Will Smith was probably the highlight (if there was a highlight...). I liked Deadshot's story, I liked his abilities, his intelligence and his dialogue was easily the least cheesy of the bunch.
2. The Musical Cues - I admit, I am a sucker for a great musical cue. The ones in this movie, though, really bothered me. In particular, using Leslie Gore's "You Don't Own Me" to introduce Harley Quinn. The song itself is one of the greatest feminist songs of all time and describes literally nothing about Quinn. It's a song about independence and not being "put on display", while Quinn spends the entire movie attached to Joker (mentally & emotionally), and she is literally put on display several times - she is the epitome of the "male gaze". I thought maybe it was supposed to be ironic, but no-one else got ironic intro music, so that doesn't really make sense. Plus, I think her first intro song was "Superfreak" which makes much more sense. And the bigger problem, she got several "intro" songs. The whole movie was just one song cue after another. It was like they realized they had a shitty movie, and they tried to distract the audience by copying off of Guardians of the Galaxy, which had fantastic music, but it complimented the movie instead of creating a distraction.
3. The plot - I'm not sure it made much sense. I mean, it definitely lost my attention around the middle, so maybe I just missed some important plot points, but I don't understand the whole Enchantress story - wasn't she introduced as part of the Suicide Squad? So how did she suddenly become the "bad guy"? And is Amanda Waller a "bad guy"? They didn't really make that clear. Why was the Suicide Squad's mission to save her instead of stopping Enchantress? If they stopped her earlier, then Waller wouldn't have needed to be rescued...right? And where were the "good" guys? You know, Batman? Wonder Woman? The Flash? (he was shown for a second, but not when it actually counted). It wasn't like the squad was called as extra reinforcements or the "good guys" were captured, they just weren't mentioned at all when it counted. The whole thing is just really dumb.