Commercial Break: August

August 26, 2018

 


Netflix:

 

Jessica Jones: While we recommend the first season in particular, the whole show is definitely worthwhile. It is a dark and mature character study of our titular character,  a self-destructive woman endowed with mysterious super powers. Two things stick out in particular with this show. The first is that the villain, The Purple Man, is terrifying, and thematic. The second, is that the show manages to be dark and mature without sacrificing the likability of its characters.

 

Watch if… you like superhero shows, or also, if you don’t like superhero shoes.

 

Heartland: I am an aspiring writer. I will beat the drum of character resonance, intertwined with plot, and theme all day long.  Heartland is not that. It is a Canadian produced series about a family who live on Heartland Ranch and run their various businesses, including a horse training facility. It is at times cheesy, and often just short of feeling like an after school special. We are talking Full House levels of “lesson of the day” plots and family charm. And here’s the thing, there is a place for that. It is important that our children learn lessons, and TV is a great place for that. In addition to that, it is honestly a bit relieving to watch a show that isn’t so caught up with wanting to feel “serious”. In an ideal world I think we could marry the two ideas, and other shows-- I mentioned Digimon last month-- do it better, but if your looking for a show you can sit down, relax, and watch with your family, you could do alot worse than Heartland.

 

Watch if… you don’t need another show telling you the world sucks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lethal Weapon: The first season of this show is surprisingly sharp. The acting is very good, and the story actually manages to tug at your heart strings. The dynamics of the lead characters are interesting and through their relationship they dive into the themes of life and death with a surprisingly daft hand. Riggs in particular stands out in the show though, and he brings what I thought was a cash grab of a TV show and turns it into something I looked forward to each week. The action is absolutely ridiculous, but it makes no apologies to this, and I think the show runners manage to pull it off decently enough. It does jump the shark a bit in the later half of season one, and this continues to become a problem as the second season unfolded.

 

Watch if… you like prime time television but wouldn’t mind a little more heart.

 

Brooklyn 99: The creators of the Office and Parks and Rec bring another brilliant show to the small screen. This one takes place in a Brooklyn police department and hilarity ensues as our cast struggles to solve crimes. The characters are diverse, and provide different tastes different opportunities to laugh, and as usual with the creators of these shows, you start to care about what happens to Jake and the rest of the crew.

 

Watch if… you aren’t a grump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parks and Rec: Speaking of these guys, this show is absolutely brilliant. It comes off very much as a spiritual successor to The Office, and for a while I wasn’t sure it stood up to the task. I think this was in large part due to unfair comparisons. Once I gave it time to build itself, it succeeded. The characters-- especially the main three or four-- are all more likeable than many of the Dunder Mifflin crew, and the structure is very similar. There are subtle jokes, in your face jokes, physical comedy, and slow burns-- all which combine in a sort of buffet of hilarity.

 

Watch if… you would like to visit the Scranton Branch for the first time again.


 

Bones: This is a primetime forensic science show with a character who is very much a Mary Sue-- especially early on. The titular character is almost laughably good at her job. So why am I recommending it? Because despite these things, it manages to be unique in large part thanks to the relationship between FBI agent Booth, and the titular Dr. Bones (get it?... she’s an anthropologist). There is also a surprising amount of continuity through the show for being what it is, and many of the characters stand out as some of the best examples of their archetypes among the genre.

 

Watch if… your want a decent story, but also want to be able to miss a few episodes and not feel like your watching a new show.

 

 

 

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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