Commercial Break: July

August 5, 2018

 

 

 

Netflix:

 

Longmire:

 

It’s another beautiful day at the Red Pony-- er, right, the review...Longmire is a modern wester with a fairly authentic representation of life on a reservation. This show is a throwback in the best of ways. Walt Longmire is a small-county, Wyoming sheriff whose old-school justice can be his greatest weapon, and also his greatest downfall. It does suffer a bit from a laughable body count for such a small town, not unlike Murder She Wrote.

 

Watch if you… grew up on classic westerns like Gunsmoke and want to know what it might look like if it was a little less wholesome and in a more modern setting.

 

Riverdale:

 

The premise is a laughable example of this era’s obsession with dark with a capital D being synonymous-- and apparently exclusively so-- with adult. I mean they took a wholesome, American comic and turned it into a high school drama so chalk full of cliches and edgy topics like drugs and sex that it is almost painful… and yet… somehow… it is...er… good?... I don’t know if I can go that far, but I will say that if the show has to be what it is, they couldn’t have done it much better.

 

It isas  atmospheric as anything on television, the acting is somehow both good and melodramatic, and the story is so full of twists and turns you’ll end each episode with a wild grin on your face. You might not know what happened, but that is apparently okay. This show is somehow better than the sum of its parts, and for that I have to give it some credit.

 

Watch if you… like Twin Peaks, or CW shows, or the story writing strategy of putting a monkey in the room and having him spin a wheel of random ideas.

 

Hulu:

 

11/22/63

 

Your classic time-travel story while also managing to have a pretty compelling romance intertwined in it, this story about the assassination of the late, and great, John F. Kennedy, is a fairly well intentioned adaption of the Stephen King novel, though it has a few episodes that drag.

 

Watch if you… like James Franco but wished he would do a serious role that wasn’t too serious.

 

Digimon Adventures 01:

 

Mistakenly recognized as a Pokemon clone, Digimon deserves more credit than it gets these days-- especially (mainly) the first season. The show is a fun romp through a digital world full of digital monster (champion!) that includes the expected kid show themes of love, trust, honesty, bravery, etc., not unlike Pokemon. Where it differs-- besides taking place in a world not unlike our own-- is that Digimon isn’t afraid of dealing with death (sort of), divorce, and other far heavier themes that Pokemon wouldn’t dare to touch. Some might argue kids shows should be escapism romps, and there is plenty of that in Digimon Adventures 01, but real kids have real problems, and seeing how other children deal and cope with these problems can help them do the same.

 

Watch if… you are a digidestined in waiting, or if you think that kids show shouldn’t have to be mindless flashes of animation on the screen.

 

Amazon Prime:

 

Legend of Kora:

 

Speaking of all ages, this is an all ages masterpiece. In the beginning you might be led to believe you are watching a beautifully animated, surprisingly well handled successor to The Last Airbender. Quickly though, you realize this is an all ages tale that has plenty for the viewer to chew on regardless of age. It forces you to take it seriously with craftsmanship nearly unrivaled by any of its peers, and leaves you with a story so beautifully crafted that males in their twenties hurry to the internet to wax poetically about it--or so I’ve heard.

 

Watch if… you can accept that animation can be a serious form of storytelling. On second thought if you don’t, watch it anyway. It’ll change your mind.

 

Psych:

 

It elevates the procedural drama genre in a way few other shows have managed thanks in large part to its dedication to never take itself too seriously. The main character is not a psychic like he claims to be, but rather a Sherlock Holmes level deductionist, who uses reason and observation to solve each crime. It has a whimsical sense of humor, and the actors all bring their A-game, which keeps the somewhat repetitive format from every feeling stale.

 

Watch if… you want some humor that doesn’t rely on deplorable characters or the gross out factor, or if you like police procedures but would prefer a little more lighting and a little less gore.

 

 

 

 

LA is Editor-in-Chief and Head Writer at Lot 10 Underground. He is an avid Eagles fan and a weary Lakers one. He grew up sneaking through the halls of Hogwarts after dark with Harry and his more talented friends, stumbling along the dark walls of Rock Tunnel in Pokemon Red, storming through flood riddled ships with Master Chief, and questioning Goku's parenting techniques in DBZ. If you'd like to contact him, you can try an owl, but he prefers e-mail. 

 

 

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