Spring 2019 TV Diary

Since the spring television season is ending I thought I would share my thoughts on some of the new shows I’ve been watching. Most of them have ended their runs by now, but since we’re heading into the less busy summer season you may want to catch up on some of them.

Losers

This is a short 8 episode show on Netflix. They are only about a half hour each, so it’s really quick and easy to get through. It’s a sports show, but you don’t really have to enjoy sports to watch it. Most of the stories are going to be about something you’ve never heard of. It’s all about various sports figures who are the losers and what they went on and did after those big losses. Be forewarned that there are far more subtitles in this show than I was expecting going in since several of the episodes feature people from non-English speaking countries.

Turn Up Charlie

Turn Up Charlie is another Netflix show starring Idris Elba as a washed up DJ who winds up being coming a nanny to his college mate’s bratty kid. Her mother, played by Piper Perabo, is a famous DJ herself and is often on tour and her father is a famous actor who is often away shooting movies around the world, so she of course acts out to get their attention. Idris Elba’s character agrees to babysit her in exchange for help with his music and of course they both wind up helping each other become better people. I pretty muchy heard nothing good about this show. It was not great, but I also didn’t think it was nearly as bad as everyone seemed to make it out to be. I don’t expect that it will get another season, but if it does I’m sure Idris Elba and Piper Perabo will wind up in a relationship together because I’m shocked they didn’t already.

Whiskey Cavalier

Whisky Cavalier was a not great ABC starring Scott Foley as an FBI agent who is super sappy and emotional while Lauren Cohen is a CIA agent with a heart of stone who are forced to work together. They have a whole other team of side characters that I won’t bother to get into. This show was super clumsily written and obviously the recent lack of shows with will they or won’t they romances is showing because the writers for this show obviously have no experience and no real mentorship in writing them because this was some terrible paint by numbers, but all out of order will they or won’t they relationship tropes. I even yelled at the tv that the third episode is way too early for the characters to have to wind up play acting that they are a real couple. Having recently just finished a rewatch of Chuck, which is a first rate will they or won’t they romance between two similar type characters I can tell you that this show is garbage. I was hopeful about it when I first heard about it because on its face it’s the kind of show I wish there were more of, but not if it’s written like this. It’s too bad because I really do like Scott Foley and Lauren Cohen and this show could have been so much better than it was. I have one episode left on my DVR, which I will finish, but I’m not actually sorry that it’s not getting a second season.

Abby’s

I figured that Abby’s was doomed from the start, and I was correct since it was just officially canceled by NBC this past week. Even though we have now ostensibly entered a year round tv schedule, you can still tell that a network doesn’t have much confidence in a show when they not only hold it for midseason, but don’t start airing it until the season is almost over at which point they’ll start burning it off multiple episodes at a time before they start airing their summer shows. I’m sure there are some, but I can’t think of a single show that debuted in this sort of slot that made it to another season. It’s too bad because this show was growing on me. Natalie Morales played an emotionally stunted woman who opened an illegal bar in the backyard of her rental house. The other main characters are all regulars at the bar, which has all kinds of crazy rules and traditions. There is also the new landlord who inherited the house from his now dead aunt(?) who is a straight-laced guy who is at first anti the bar, but then just wants to become part of the gang. I’m sure if the show went on longer he and Natalie Morales’ character would have become a couple. It was a ridiculous show with ridiculous characters, but I kind of enjoyed it. I guess I’ll just have to enjoy the few that are still left to air before it’s gone for good. Also I don’t know why Natalie Morales seems to be a show killer because she’s great. Maybe one day she’ll manage to get cast in a show that goes the distance. Sadly it won’t be Abby’s.

In the Dark

In the Dark is a mid-season show on the CW about again an emotionally stunted, hard as nails (I’m sensing a pattern among female tv characters this spring) blind woman who doesn’t want help from anyone except her best friend and roommate. She supposedly works for the seeing eye dog training organization that her adoptive parents run, but she doesn’t really work and pretty much does whatever she wants and people let her get away with it. She spends a lot of time drinking and pushing people especially guys away from her. She was friends with a small time drug dealer who she stumbles across murdered in the alley where they used to hang out together but before the cops get there the body disappears and there’s no evidence of a murder so no one believes her because she’s blind and couldn’t actually see anything and was also drunk at the time. Since the cops won’t do anything, she decides to investigate on her own. There’s also someone sent to keep her from investigating who she winds up dating for real and a cop who has a mad crush on her and who also has a blind daughter. Plus a whole lot of other people I won’t go into here. I’m not going to lie. It’s not a great show, but I also kind of love it. It’s always one of the first things I choose to watch when there’s an episode on my DVR. There are still a few episodes left in this season. It’s been renewed for another season, although I kind of wish it hadn’t even though I really like it. With the show being based on a mystery like it is I just never have high hopes for the writers knowing where to go after that. I really like the characters and for right now the mystery is decent enough that it’s engaging as well, but they can’t drag it out forever and throwing more things into or throwing a new mystery to be solved in season 2 is always a recipe for disaster.

Boomerang

This is continuation of the movie Eddie Murphy movie Boomerang, which I’m not sure that I ever saw, on BET. The main characters of the tv show are the twenty-something children of the movie characters. It’s mostly a character driven show and reminds me a little bit of Insecure. It literally took me until the final episode of the season to be able to remember any of the character’s names. Now I can tell you the leads are Simone and Bryson, but don’t ask me what anyone else’s names are. It’s weird because it is actually a show I enjoy watching. It will be back for another season, and I’m going to keep watching.

Shtisel

Shtisel is an Israeli show available on Netflix about an Orthodox Jewish family. There’s the widowed father who is being driven out of his job as a teacher because of his age. There’s his youngest son who is supposed to be getting set up for marriage by a matchmaker, but who has fallen in love with a much older, twice widowed woman who is the mother to one of the students in his class. Finally there’s the daughter whose husband supposedly went to Argentina for a job, but ran off when he got there. She is now trying to keep his real absence a secret from everyone while figuring out how to support her 5 kids. I think they’re on to season 3 in Israel now, but we’re only partway through season 1. Given that it’s an Israeli show it’s subtitled, which means when we have other tv to watch we tend to watch that instead. There’s also nothing super compelling plot wise to keep you wanting to watch episode after episode of this show. It is a rich world that I appreciate being able to dip into though, and I do fully intend to keep watching it.

Fosse/Verdon

Fosse/Verdon is based on the lives of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. I gather that it’s based on a much better biography of them. I’ve only managed to watch 2 episodes so far. The rest are building up on my DVR. With the tv season and my travels slowing down I’m sure I’ll get back to it soon. There’s nothing about it that’s super grabbed me at this point, but since it’s a limited series show I will probably finish it out.

Good Trouble

Good Trouble is a spin-off of the tv show The Fosters starring the two daughters from the family now in their 20s and starting off in their respective careers in L.A. I very much liked The Fosters when it was on, but most of the time I preferred the storylines about the parents more than I did the kids, especially Mariana. As a result I was pretty sure this show was not going to be for me as it seemed like all it was going to do was magnify all of my least favorite things from The Fosters. I made it through exactly one episode. I was going to give it a second episode, but before I watched another one someone on a podcast I listen to basically said the exact same thing and said the second episode was even worse at which point I decided I was out.

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