RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,
RS
rainbowstevie

TV 2021

As evidenced by how desperately I struggled to even remember what I'd watched while doing last year's fandom in review meme, I need to start writing down what I watch. And since I've clearly given up doing TV reviews forever, I started keeping track on the reading/movie list, but I can see how quickly that will grow out of control. Ergo, I think that every two months (or maybe monthly, if I'm super fired up), I'm going to do one of these "TV roundup" posts so I can at least sort of talk about it what I've been watchin'. List format first, then more detail below.

January
* = rewatch

*Sister, Sister: 5x14-6x13
*3rd Rock From the Sun: 1x06
Call Me Kat: 1x01-04
The Chase: 1x01-04
Celebrity Wheel of Fortune: 1x01-04
The Hustler: 1x02-04
*The Office: 5x23-6x07 (minus 6x05. i hate it so much)
The Mandalorian: 2x01-03

Commentary
Sister, Sister: 5x14-6x13
Continuing the project I began basically the second it hit Netflix -- which was interrupted by a long stretch of watching The Parkers instead, because it was better to fall asleep to -- I've been rewatching this sweet show whenever I need some nice comfort TV. Season 5 was a pretty painful slog of Dumb Boyfriends + Here's Some Social Commentary + a super annoying-faced new best friend, but season 6 (at college) has been a lot more fun.

*3rd Rock From the Sun: 1x06
Randomly browsing the HOLY MOTHER OF ARMAGEDDEN THERE'S SO MUCH FREE CONTENT I CAN ACCESS VIA STREAMING ON THE SWEET NEW ROKU TV, I decided a random episode of this would perk me up nicely. Somehow, I never got back to it...

Call Me Kat: 1x01-04
This looked WAY better to me than Miranda, a show I've never been interested in because a) horrible secondhand embarrassment, and b) I don't like plain people being on TV because it shatters my illusion that I myself am naturally TV-pretty and reminds me I'm actually as plain and bland without makeup as I look in the mirror, but Mayim Bialik is much prettier, even with short hair (AND ALSO THERE ARE CATS) (AND ALSO SWOOSIE KURTZ). It's an okay way to pass the time. So far, though, the characters just seem like live-action cartoons. And also, Max is not hot.

Celebrity Wheel of Fortune: 1x01-04
NOTHING ABOUT THIS TITLE IS NOT GREAT. Not all the celebrities have been, but they've been good for the most part; only rarely do I not recognize them. Chris and I have officially made a standing date to watch all 3 hours of ABC's gameshows on Thursdays, and we actually get really excited for it every week. Most weeks we even splurge on a fun dinner, like a frozen pizza or fast food, both to Treat Ourselves and to ensure that cooking does not get in the way of the fun times. It's more fun than doing it on Friday, because it gives Chris a nice pick-me-up on the night he's most worn out from the week but still has one more day of work.

The Chase: 1x01-04
THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST NEW SHOW I HAVE SEEN IN A YEAR. I don't love the host and the scripted taunts from the Chaseres are so painfully fake and badly acted, y'all, but I love said Chasers otherwise, the Banter Room featuring whichever two of them aren't onstage was a great idea because their chemistry with each other is fantastic, I love their strut out to the stage ("Brad 'the Buzzsaw' Rutter" is never not hilarious to hear), and most importantly: there are so. so. SO. many trivia questions, and so little time-wasting. The variety of formats with those trivia questions adds to the excitement.

The Hustler: 1x02-04
[edit: whoops, guess we missed the premiere]
I don't really like the type of game this show is based on, and I know that I would be extremely bad at it, but I actually really like this show? It's by far the weakest of the three and I don't expect it to last beyond this season, but Craig Ferguson is always a great host, and the elaborate Fancy Library set design is second to none. The "are you the hustler?" and "why d'you think the hustler eliminated you?" rigamarole is so dumb, because all their responses are mealy mouthed and pointless, but I still like the trivia.

*The Office: 5x23-6x07 (minus 6x05. i hate it so much)
Project Rewatch (for me, first time for him) With Husband continues. Even though we were RUDELY interrupted by the discovery that I apparently don't own season six on DVD, which I was SURE I did, so we had to wait like three weeks to get it. Because we got to season 6 like a week after it left Netflix, and the library's ONLY REMAINING COPY was marked "lost," and the best price we could come up with anywhere was $10 on Amazon, because free shipping and I could cut it to $5 with a gift card I had.

Anyway, it's been great! I flatly refused to acknowledge the existence of the dumbass Mafia episode that has no Jim and Pam (except for their voices, where we can hear their honeymoon being ruined!), but as for the rest? He loved the "Murder" episode. The wedding made us both awww (it also is funnier and doesn't suck as much I remember. still hate the aisle dance tho! also the existence of pam's sister). And we agree that "Parkour!" is the best cold open ever and laughed until our sides hurt. Also I can't believe this season aired ELEVEN years ago...

The Mandalorian: 2x01-03
I haven't seen season 1, but what happened was I told Chris he could go ahead and watch his next episode on the TV (he usually watches stuff on his phone; I have NO IDEA why he would subject himself to a tiny screen?? not even a laptop screen??) while I read my book, so we could hang out together. And then the first episode featured these UBER CUTE WOOLLY YAK THINGS and was just generally a wild west adventure in the extreme, so I kept sneaking peeks. And Baby Yoda was so cute that by the second episode, I'd put my book down entirely and just started watching. It's addictive! It's so much better than any of the two or three Star Wars movies I have seen.


================================
================================


February
*The Office: 6x08-14
The Mandalorian: 2x04-08
*Sister, Sister: 4x17; 6x14-22
*The Rules of Engagement: 3x01-03
Call Me Kat: 1x05-08
The Chase: 1x05-07
Celebrity Wheel of Fortune: 1x05-07
The Hustler: 1x06-08
Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?: 2x02-11
All Creatures Great and Small: 1x06
Just Shoot Me: 2x04-19
various episodes of Storage Wars Texas: 10 total
L.A.'s Finest: 1x01-02

Commentary
*The Office: 6x08-14
Between alternating Office & Mandalorian during our TV Together time, progress on this has slowed a little bit, but it's still wildly fun. I forgot how much I love Michael going to David Wallace for advice about how to deal with the new boss, and David Wallace -- whom I'm pretty sure is Chris's favorite character -- just being an unemployed schlub drifting through his days (except when creating: you take out, your Suck-It and you suck it! (Yeah!) Suck it! (YEAH!). Also, the creepy waving while following him down the driveway as he leaves!! AMAZING.

The Mandalorian: 2x04-08
It's getting a little more Star-Wars-y than adventure-y as it goes along, but I loved it to the end (which made me cry, and also go WTF SORCERY HOW IS THAT GUY HERE, which is also when I finally learned WHEN this series is supposed to take place in Star Wars canon's timeline). I was bummed about Gina Carano's firing because it happened like 2 days after I decided she was my favorite character after Baby Yoda -- I love how she's tough and badass and reminds me of Sara Ramirez before the latter did the hideous half-shaved undercut thing and otherwise made her hair a catastrophe.

Otherwise, Baby Yoda has continued to be an absolute delight, and the best part of watching with Chris is me interpreting all of Bb's expressions into words. ("But I want tasty critically endangered frog eggs!") We agree that The Adventures of Space Dad And Baby Yoda is the true reason for this show's existence and that it would be pointless without the latter. I did enjoy Giancarlo Esposito bein' evil, though.

*Sister, Sister: 4x17; 6x14-22
I finished! Mostly in two sprints. I also went back to one I'd remembered purposely skipping over during the earlier watch, so I'd have something post-finale when I knew I'd need a pick-me-up to simpler times, and BOY, DID I. I knew how it as going to end, but I still was not prepared to choke up and shed a tear during the finale. I did not think I was that emotionally invested in these characters, even though I love 'em all (the original 4-person family, that is), but it was just SO heartwarmingly well done, and not a little devastating to think of them no longer living together under one big roof as a blended family, even when it means better things and places for all of them.

(Also, I really liked the episode where they find their biological dad. I knew about that from Wiki too, but it's still such a freaking gut-punch. And weird and fascinating in a way I now kind of want to read in a book, how undoubtedly different their whole upbringing and maybe even sense of self would have been being raised by a white father, versus being raised in entirely Black households).

*The Rules of Engagement: 3x01-03
Definitely one of those "I wanna watch a sitcom but my timing sucks and I keep ending up with nothign but Goldbergs, who are fun but also not sufficiently Familiar enough to be comfort-sitcoms, sooooo, hey look what I can watch free on demand" things.

Call Me Kat: 1x05-08
FEELINGS UPDATE: my mood is gradually souring to the point that Swoosie and the rare glimpses of cats are the only thing keeping me going, and the undoubtedly best part is the fun waving they do to the camera/audience at the end. Because otherwise, I have never seen a show look MORE OBVIOUSLY like a set in my life. I don't buy them as real characters -- I see actors playing characters like it's literally a theater production.

[spoiler cut for far more unkind qualms]And the shaved undercut on the young employee is really bugging me; I have always hated that look and having to see it on a regular basis just fills me with disproportionate but nevertheless real "WHY MUST I BEHOLD SUCH UGLINESS" rage. And also, Max is not only not hot -- an opinon on which I doubled down when he took off his shirt and I was baffled by how someone so muscular could still not be hot to me -- I truly have not bought him as straight for a single second, and that has not improved.

Plus, to put it mildly, I was...Not Thrilled about the one where they all agreed that Phil's favorite childhood book that "might be" racist was DEFINITELY RACIST, sight unseen, as soon as they heard it was from 1937. (people dismissing old books because they're racist in some way -- usually meaning "used a term that was considered correct/not offensive at the time" or "used a stereotype in the process of teaching equality" -- is a very touchy subject for me)

So generally, yeah. I'm still watching it, but now it's in a grudge-match-like, stubborn, chore-like way. I have been enjoying the New Girl guy addition, though.

------------------
The Chase: 1x05-07
Celebrity Wheel of Fortune: 1x05-07
The Hustler: 1x06-08

The trio of champion game shows remains outstanding, and our Game Show Date Night intact. [edit: DEVASTATED to realize how short-lived these runs were. Even though "winter games" probably should have been a clue.

Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction?: 2x02-11
Oh my god y'all, I LOVED this show when it was on TV way back in the late 90s/early 2000s. LOVED IT. It was the best summer show. I was so excited to find it on a free channel that for one night I had a marathon episode run when cramps made doing anything else too painful, and another night on semi-background status while Achieving Progress in my newest cell phone game addiction (Evermerge, but we'll talk about that another day). I love when the occasional TV character actor pops up among the slew of nobodies.

Hilarious to me now how terrifically BAD both the production values -- product of its era -- and some of the acting are, but I gotta say, the animatronic gorilla story has been my favorite. (why did we as a society ever stop pursuing animatronic greatness?? they're so scary even when they're not supposed to be, it's the best. BRING BACK ANIMATRONICS.)

P.S. Yes I started on a random episode. I wanted to avoid season 1 because it had a different host, and it felt more like ~discovering it in syndication~ if I didn't start right at the beginning. Plus now I have a "bonus" episode if I ever finish.

All Creatures Great and Small: 1x06
My parents love this show, Dollsome loves this show, I loved the books (though I remember very little of the human characters in them); there is no reason for me NOT to love this show, but since we inexplicably can't get a signal for Regular PBS on our Roku TV, I haven't been able to watch it live. I caught this random rerun on 2.3 and gave it a shot, but I was boooooored. The cow was super cute when not having surgery done one her, but my biggest takeaway was "GOOD LORD, I HAVE NEVER SEEN A TRIO OF PLAINER, MORE BLAND-LOOKING MEN IN MY LIFE. Why should I care about Sad Dotor's unrequited love." (although said love was extremely pretty; I might watch if she were a bigger presence)

Just Shoot Me: 2x04-19
Found this on the free channel and happily launched from Old David Spade Sitcom to Young David Spade Sitcom (according to the thumbnails that show up under Continue Watching, anyway). I have theoretically seen some of these before, because I was introduced to this show via syndication in the early 2000s and I really enjoyed it, but I don't know which ones and I remember only one or two of the slew I've seen so far.

[edit: HOW EXTREMELY RUDE. They had season 2-5 available before, and now that it's March they've abruptly flipped it over to seasons 5-7 only. I can't jump ahead like that! I'm in a goove now! SPOILERS! Anyway this is why syndication > binge-watching as a way to find old shows. in syndication you never have a sense of chronology so you can roll with it. but now I'm ENTRENCHED.]

Storage Wars: Texas: 10 episodes so far
I said I wasn't going to track any shows I see in syndication, where I don't pay attention to what the episode numbers or even seasons are, but I need to shout out my newest addiction here beause my parents have started watching this -- quite a comedown from the other show they watch every day, Escape to the Country, lmao -- so I watched one episode with them and then it immediately became MANY episodes. I have never seen the original version but I love this one!

Most of the men are gross and awful but I really love Jennie and Mary. Especially Mary -- she is livin' my dream life and is also someone I wanna be friends with in real life. I COULD just go watch YouTube videos of people who've bought storage lockers, but those always give away the coolest thing in their clickbait titles. I like going into the storage locker blind, and also seeing them consultant with experts on cool finds.

L.A.'s Finest: 1x01-02
I had never heard of this show before it popped up on Netflix, and I started watching with really no information at all beyond the 30-second preview clip that plays there, but I was IMMEDIATELY hooked. This is honestly  the best scripted new-to-me show I have watched in over a year. I love the characters -- the casting is on FIRE; even beyond Major Draw Jessica Alba I know and love almost everybody, but especially Zach Gilford -- and the plot is instantly compelling, a good mix of action and personal stuff.

I love female partners in law enforcement. And there are so many layers of secrecy already! It helps that Bruckheimer and Pam Veasey are both on the EP list, and that it was originally developed for NBC before passing to Spectrum Originals. I winced a few times at the beginning when I wasn't sure which channel or streaming service had produced it, but broadcast standards of modesty have been very much in play, so that's awesome.

Also I can't believe I want McKenna to run away from her pretty suburban family for ex-con ex-boyfriend Dante, but WHOOPS I do. Childhood sweethearts! Robbing stores for noble reasons of giving her and her brother a better life, where their fridge always has food in it! He was super-cute then, kind of a babyface Tom Hiddleston vibe, and he's still cuter now than her current husband, the very nice and technically handsome but also has-always-been-blandly-pretty-like-Ryan-Seacrest guy who played the brother in law on Chuck. Plus her stepdaughter is such a whiny Feminist Buzzwords cliche of an annoyingly proressive teen, that'd no big loss. (he's gonna get horribly killed along the way, isn't he)
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