I saw mixed reviews of this AppleTV+ comedy by Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein starring Jason Segal, Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Christa Miller, and Michael Urie. Jason Segal is a father of a teenage daughter whose wife died in a car accident a year ago. He is also a psychologist who has started to provide some pretty unorthodox and probably unethical treatments due to his grief. Harrison Ford is his mentor and colleague. Jessica Williams works with them and was his wife’s best friend. Christa Miller is the next door neighbor who has pretty much been raising his teenage daughter while he’s been MIA as a father, and Michael Urie plays his best friend. It starts off very much focusing on the therapy stuff and then settles into more of the hang out comedy show that Bill Lawrence is so good at. Something happens at the end of the first season that I wish they hadn’t done because it means they are not going to just lean into the hangout comedy stuff in season two like they should. I saw people complain that they didn’t like how delved back into the grief stuff after it felt like you were past it in the show, but I feel like that’s how grief is. You think you’re okay, and then something happens and you’re not. So I didn’t feel like there was the whiplash that others referred to. I just thought it was a great character driven show with a lot of heart. This is all I want from a tv show. Bill Lawrence is married to Christa Miller and keeps casting her in this same sort of role where she is constantly putting down her husband while saying she loves him. Makes me wonder about their marriage a little bit. Also fun fact, Michael Urie graduated from the same high school as me, but 2 years later and since the dumb schools in Plano, Texas are split 9 and 10th and 11 and 12th for football reasons we were never in the same high school at the same time and I didn’t live there when I was younger and we might have crossed paths in a school that you went to for longer than 2 years.
Daisy Jones & the Six
I very much liked the book by Taylor Jenkins Reid that this show was based on. It’s actually the only book of hers that I’ve found to be more than just mediocre despite their popularity. So I was very excited about this tv show. I thought a show about music, which you know I love, based on a book that I really liked. This has a lot of potential. Sadly the show did not live up to my expectations in the least. I thought Riley Keough was very well cast as Daisy, and that’s about it. There are a couple of songs from the show that I liked, but most of them I didn’t think were that great. The show just felt kind of flat and boring most of the time like it was just going through the motions and hit the high plot point so the book without trying to convey why any of the characters would be motivated to do anything they were doing. Somehow I feel like I simultaneously liked it more and less because I read the book because it gave me more insight into the characters, but then made me mad about what they changed or didn’t convey properly. I didn’t really care that they combined two of the minor band characters into one in the show other than the fact that it then made no sense for the band to be called the Six, which made me unreasonably angry. Also, the number of times these people walked into a studio to record without having rehearsed the songs or sometimes even heard them when that studio time would have been astronomical drove me bonkers. Mostly I just hated what they did to Camilla. Her love for Billy was at the heart of that book, and that did not come through in the show. Granted, I think she probably acted in the show more like someone would have actually acted in real life than some of the more martyr like things she did in the book. However, the changes they made really turn her into a different character that changes the heart of the story. I have no idea how this show would play to someone who hadn’t read the book before watching it.
The Last of Us
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this show going in. I’m not super big into zombies or post-apocalyptic survival worlds, so it didn’t seem super up my alley. It was getting a lot of good buzz leading into it though, and I knew my husband would want to watch so I figured I would at least try it out and I could bail whenever I got tired of it. So far at least that hasn’t happened. We’ll see what happens in season 2. They’ve done a good job of making it almost episodic where there is an overarching plot and goal, but then each episode to some degree has been it’s own self-contained little story. They all interconnect to a degree, but at least so far many of the characters from each episode are gone within an episode sometimes two as they either die or Joel and Bella move on. Each story is well told though like a little short story so that they don’t feel like throwaway characters. You actually get a sense of who they are and their motivations.
Bad Sisters on AppleTV+ is about 5 sisters in Ireland who are very close after the eldest sister raised the younger ones when their parents died. One of the sisters is married to a real bastard who is extremely emotionally abusive to everyone, but especially her. The other sisters eventually decide that he has to go, and set out to kill him. You find out that he did in fact die at the beginning of the show, but you don’t know how he was actually finally killed until the final episode. There are also two brothers who run the insurance agency left to them by their father who hold his life insurance policy that they don’t actually have the money to pay out. So they are investigating the death trying to prove that foul play was involved so that they don’t have to pay. I very much enjoyed the show. I feel like maybe it was a couple of episodes longer than it needed to be as I felt like it was spinning its wheels a bit at the end, but I would still definitely recommend watching it. Plus it has some really great house porn. Like I want to live in all of these sisters houses in the Irish countryside.
Extraordinary is a British tv show available on Hulu, though a lot of the actors are actually Irish including Siobhan McSweeney who you will know as Sister Michael from Derry Girls. Here she plays the mother of the main character Jen. They live in a world where everyone has a single super power that they develop at the age of 18. They are not necessarily your typical super powers. Some are quite bizarre. Thus, it’s not always clear what they are right away. Jen is now 25 and either never developed a power or still hasn’t figured out what it is and is very much struggling to deal with that. It’s a fun little comedy with a lot of irreverent humor.
South Side was an HBO show that was set on the South Side of Chicago. It just ended recently after three seasons. It mostly centers around characters who work in a rent to own furniture store and two Black police officers working in the South Side. I loved the first season of the show. The second season got a little less realistic and a little weirder, and I didn’t like it quite as much. The third season was just off the rails and felt like it had a completely different style than the first two seasons. I didn’t care for it that much. The first two seasons are still worth watching though even if you don’t follow through the entire series. And if you can resist chiming in to sing South Side the way they do at the end of the theme song, then you are not me.
Cunk on Earth
Cunk on Earth available on Netflix is an absurdist mockumentary tv show where Diane Morgan plays Philomena Cunk, a clueless interviewer, interviewing real historians about various historical events. They do know what the bit is, but they are meant to answer the questions she asking in a totally serious manner. It’s very ridiculous, but also a lot of fun. There is a recurring bit with a particular song that is the highlight of every episode. There are apparently other Cunk On… series that exist, but this is the only one on Netflix at this point. I hear that some the others are available on YouTube, though I haven’t gone looking for them yet.
Slow Horses is another AppleTV+ show that is a British spy series. I heard a lot of great things about it, but I just couldn’t really get into it. I mostly paid attention through the first season, but I was only half paying attention at the beginning of the second season probably because I was playing on my computer while trying to watch and I very quickly got lost and had no idea what was happening with the plot. Consequently I mostly paid zero attention to the second season while my husband watched it. So I don’t think this show was for me, though your mileage may vary given how much other people seem to like this show.