I finished watching ‘You,’ and it’s…unsettling. And I was going to say there seems to be no redemption payoff for us watching, but…I read that it has been renewed for a second season, and the season did end with a cliffhanger, so there’s that. And to be honest, I did not expect that ending of Joe killing Beck. I thought she would persevere and live. And seriously, I was rooting for her. But I guess Penn Badgely is the star of the show, and Joe really is the central character here, and Joe, of course is the adorable serial killer character. They do show some balance of him being a ‘good guy,’ by helping out his child neighbor and helping the child kill his mom’s abusive boyfriend, but do we kill good to ward of the kill bad? And Joe posits everything he does as ‘what I did for love,’ and Marvin Hamlisch has never been quoted so off-context there. So all in all, I was engrossed enough to finish all episodes of the series, and at the very least, I will probably be back for the first episodes of Season Two when it comes back.
In case you were wondering, and I was, but ‘The Conners’ seem to be doing just fine without Roseann. I have just seen episodes two and three (the last one being the Halloween episode) and they are getting their groove on. Obviously, Barr was always the focus before, but now, it really looks like Darlene (Sara Gilbert) will be at the center, and it looks like it will focus more on how she is raising her own children. The second episode is good, as Darlene finds out that her daughter has sex while on a sleepover at her ex-husband’s house. I like how they have Darlene get mad first, then be understanding. The series is even brave enough to mention the morning-after pill, and I wonder how conservative middle America would react to that. Johnny Galecki guest stars as David, and I wish he would appear more, as his chemistry with Sara Gilbert is definitely so honed in. On the Halloween episode, we see the series as it moves on more, asserting its own voice. Darlene goes off on the school principal when her son Mark ‘s costume (Frida Kahlo) is deemed insensitive. Darlene does seem to be the kind of parent who will take a stand, and I feel that’s what the series is also doing. I feel emotionally invested in these characters, and slowly I can feel them easing in to their new roles.
Will ‘Roseanne’ survive without Roseanne? That has been the burning question since ABC fired Barr from her eponymous sitcom. And if you go back and read what I wrote earlier this year about the reboot, she was the one that turned me off most about the show. As a matter of fact, I stopped watching at some point. So of course, now that she isn’t there anymore, I am more than happy to give the new show a chance. And after watching the first episode of ‘The Conners,’ I can say that I have hope. This episode isn’t as full of laughs as previous episodes, but I guess I have to give it a little bit of air. There is a bittersweet feeling in the household, and I am sure the energy is the same. Just like them, we are kind of mourning Roseanne the character, who in the series has dies of an opiod overdose. The family deals with it the best they know how, with their acerbic dark humor. Darlene (Sara Gilbert) has seemingly taken over being the female lead of the series, but I think the best actors in there are still Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman (the latter lost so much weight) Even though I didn’t really care for that story line of Jackie rearranging things in the kitchen to deal with her sister’s death, but for sure Metcalf sold it with all her might, and by Golly, darn if it didn’t end up as one of the best things from the pilot episode. And it was a nice surprise to have a nice ‘coming out’ sub story line with Darlene’s son finally acknowledging the fact that he is attracted to the same sex, and Dan reluctantly helping him out with it. All in all, a nice sobering start, and hopefully it lightens up as the season progresses.
Much has been said (and written) about that story about Harry Styles living at his accountant Ben Winston’s attic for two years. He did it to get away from the constant paparazzi so he chose the most ordinary people from his people. The premise sounded too interesting to be true, so of course it is the perfect foil for a sitcom. I was lured into the show by Harry, of course, and I really was not expecting to get much from watching this. But lo and behold, yes, I liked the pilot, and I liked it a lot that I am already looking forward to future episodes – and trust me, that doesn’t really happen often. Maybe because I really liked Marlon Wayans Jr and Amber Stevens West who play Jake and Claire, the couple who adopts Cooper (Felix Mallard) the pop star who wants to just chill in an ‘ordinary’ environment. Harry Styles himself is a producer of the show, and they aren’t shy on basing the character on him, from the flouncy blouses to the coif. Mallard, for now, plays the character a little too cool-for-school (perhaps intentionally) so I am curios as to how they plan on evolving it. I have to admit the show was a pleasant surprise for me: it’s charming and it put a smile on my face.
‘The Neighborhood’ has a premise that’s so retro it could kind of work. Or not. It all depends on how the show evolves. The Johnson family, headed by max Greenfeld and Beth Behrs – move to a predominantly black neghborhood…and, hopefully, hilarity ensues. Their neighbor, headed by Cedric The Entertainer, are kind of wary, but they are also kind of mocking the Johnsons. I thought the pilot showed promise, but I also thought the writing was kind of weak. I didn’t even crack a smile the first twenty minutes of the show, as I thought the jokes were too obvious. But I did like the message towards the end, which was a bit more hopeful. I will give this a chance. I went into this because I like both Greenfeld and Behrs, and I will stay for them, even if I am not really fond of Cedric. I think the show has potential to grow, and maybe even be a modern-day version of ‘The Jeffersons.’ neighborhood
The whole time I was watching the pilot of ABC’s new sitcom ‘Single Parents,” I Was racking my brain who the dark haired young female lead was. She looked very familair, kind of Keira Knightley-ish, but of course it isn’t Keira. I had to pause my watching to google and there it was – it’s Leighton Meester from ‘Gossip Girl.’ Okay, I can breath easy now. The premise of the sitcom – a group of single parents band and help each other in raising their kids. It is kind of corny. and nowadays I get very suspect of shows with a lot of kids. But I didn’t think it was too bad, to be honest. I didn’t really laugh out loud with any of the jokes, but probably this show was meant for anyone BUT me. I will let it sit on my Hulu list, and I bet i never go back to it, but just in case, it will be there.
Narratives dealing with grief is a tricky thing, because all of us grieve differently. Sometimes grief hits us at the most surprising times, a lot of times we are grieving and we don’t even realize that we are. ‘Sorry For Your Loss’ captures big parts of grief, and it does so sensitively, and with truth and honesty. I started watching the pilot with half a heart, but by the end of its twenty nine minute running time, I found I gained a bleeding one. In the center of the show is Leigh (played by Elizabeth Olsen) who plays a grieving young widow whose husband has just passed away. She hasn’t been back in their apartment in months, preferring to be with her sister (Kelly Marie Tran who is recovering addict, and her mother (Janet McTeer !) who owns the fitness tudio where they are all working.
There are a lot of layers to the piece. We don’t really know what caused her husband’s death, and there are hints that he may have kept a lot of secrets from her, and this just adds to the texture of the story line. Olsen is fantastic, and we totally get the messiness of what she is going through – the deep sadness, the confusion, the longing, the surrealness of material things remaining the same as its owners are gone. Believe you me, I have been there. There are times that grief still envelopes me, there are times that I still look for new purpose after grief has taken over. I know and have felt these emotions that the characters here are experiencing – and the writing rings so true. And this makes this show so compelling – and important – for me.