Commercial Break: June

June 15, 2018

 

Commercial Break is a monthly Lot 10 Installment suggesting shows, old and new, that you can watch on the various streaming platforms. NOTE: I do not count Youtube Red as a viable platform because 1) Youtube is meant for 15 hour videos where a pre-teen boy plays minecraft, and 2) I have to draw the line somewhere, (translation: too many streaming platforms, too little money).

Netflix:

 

West Wing:

 

Aaron Sorkin’s creation hovers near masterpiece levels for most of its first few seasons. After that, it has its highs and lows, but the quality hold up pretty well. It is smart, it is witty, the characters are memorable, and the political discussions are surprisingly balanced and thought provoking. There are many memorable characters and guest stars, but Martin Sheen steals the show as President Jeb Bartlet.

 

Watch if… you want a smart political show that doesn’t make you want to give up your right to vote.

 

Voltron: Legendary Defender:

 

The creators of Legend of Kora bring their beautiful animation and smart story telling to this space epic. Voltron was a franchise popularized in the mid eighties. The show brings it to the modern day with a large budget and a cast of creators who clearly care about the product they make. It isn’t as good as Legend of Kora, and it leans towards a younger audience even more so than The Last Airbender did, but it is still really well done. If you let your kid watch this, he or she is probably going to be pretty cool someday. Maybe even cool enough to write posts on the internet that no one reads.

 

Watch if… you are a fan of Studio Mir’s work, or if you or you have always wondered what if Power Rangers was, you know… good.

 

The Office:

 

If you haven’t watched it… well, I can’t even imagine a world where someone exists that has taken the time to read this post instead of figuring out who Creed’s worm guy is. If you have watched it, rewatch it. Seriously, it gets funnier after the fourth time.

 

Watch if… you are a living, breathing, human who thinks laughing sounds like something you might enjoy.

 

Hulu:

 

Pokemon Sun and Moon:

 

Look, as a fan of Pokemon, this is not the show I want. The complaints towards the anime have become like meatballs tossed across home plate. It's just too easy. If you can’t get past the fact that Ash is never going to grow up, or retain the skills he learns on a Journey, or… win, than well, this show isn’t for you. But if you take the show on its own terms you will discover a whimsical, charming cartoon that encourages the heart and sense of exploration that Pokemon is known for.

 

Watch if… you like Pokemon Sun and Moon (the games) or you need some new material for your dark fan-fic where Ash is trapped in a nightmarish coma that started the first day of his journey after Pikachu shocked him.

 

New Girl:

 

This show has brought us many classic characters, from the titular Jess, to Winston and his cat, to Schmidt. But no one stands out quite like Nick Miller. I think there is a little bit of Nick in everyone, but it is a good thing that it's only a little, because Nick Miller in the real world would not be funny… he would be depressingly sad. Not every joke in the show will land for everybody, but there is enough in each episode to leave you with a smile on your face.

 

Watch if… you’ve ever enjoyed a sitcom about a group of friends growing up, learning life lessons, and joking along the way. There’s other shows like that, right?

 

Amazon Prime:

 

Batman: The animated Series:

 

I am vengeance. I am the night. I am… a well made, passion project that tells all ages stories about one of the most popular characters in modern history.

 

Watch if… you are not the Joker. Mark Hamill, your okay.

 

Grounded For Life:

 

There are a lot of family sitcoms out there. Grounded for Life stands out for its blunt realism and sometimes crude humor. It manages to stay fresh through its characters, all of whom deviate enough from the typical archetypes to feel unique, and it gets a lot of comedy mileage through its framing device; a slow retelling of events that happened before the episode started.

 

Watch if… you like Home Improvement, but would like it more if Al was a sketchy Uncle who is often pulling his brother into his illegal (and hopeless) schemes.

 

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