Still sitting here in quarantine, so I’m watching a lot of television. I mean I always watched a lot of television, but now I really watch a lot of television. That means just a few short weeks since I wrote my last TV Diary entry I’m already back to write about a host of new shows I’ve been watching. It already felt long, so I’m splitting it into two posts. This one is shows I either really liked or I thought were decent enough to watch. The next post will be shows that I didn’t particularly care for. Some of them are objectively bad and some of them are just not for me.
I really don’t understand why Wynonna Earp is not a bigger thing. I mean I guess because it’s a SyFy show, but even so for as much as people love Buffy the Vampire Slayer I’m surprised this show hasn’t broken out more because I feel like they share a lot of the same DNA. There are currently three seasons available on Netflix and the half of the fourth season they shot before COVID shut everything down is premiering on Syfy at the end of the month. We’re nearing the end of season 2, so maybe it goes way off the rails in season 3, but I love what I’ve seen so far.
I think maybe I didn’t pay close enough attention to the first couple of episodes because my understanding of the mythology of the show is a little fuzzy, but the general gist is Wynonna is an heir of Wyatt Earp. Somehow there is a curse that brought the people he killed back to life as revenants and the Earp heir is the only one who has the power to kill them or something. I guarantee they did a better job of explaining this, but I was probably playing around on the internet and not really processing it. There’s more supernaturally stuff that gets added in along the way. Doc Holliday is also still alive somehow and becomes a sort of love interest for Wynonna as does her boss at the secret government agency also trying to fight the demons.
Wynonna is a great strong, sarcastic female character that as I said reminds me a lot of Buffy. If you are someone who is a fan of Buffy I definitely recommend watching this show.
I never read the book that this Hulu show is based on. Apparently it is very beloved, but I somehow had never even heard of it. I don’t know if my thoughts on this show would be different had I read it. I liked the show and enjoyed watching it. However, I’m not sure I felt about the characters the way I was supposed to feel. It follows the relationship of Marianne and Connell beginning in high school and into their early twenties as they get together and break up and get back to together again in several iterations. I think we were supposed to be rooting for them to be a couple and some respects I certainly did want them to get it together and make it work, but mostly I was like these people do not in fact have a functional relationship. I don’t think Marianne is capable of having one without some serious help given the damage her family did to her, and I’m not sure exactly what Connell’s deal is but he’s definitely got some issues too. But also maybe the show also thought that they shouldn’t be together either. It’s not very straightforward. I at least think other people who love the show and book think they should be together.
The show is set in Ireland and is produced by one of the BBCs. It definitely feels very different than American shows in a way that I appreciated. I will warn you that it is practically like soft core porn in a lot of episodes. I would definitely not watch this show at any time you might be in danger of kids walking in on you watching it. I appreciated that there was some equal opportunity full frontal nudity and it wasn’t just the female actor being expected to bare it all. And though there was a lot of sex and nudity it didn’t feel gratuitous or just there to be titillating. The sex was for sure a major part of their relationship. Anyway, I enjoyed watching it and I’m still thinking about it, so that’s probably a sign that it’s a good show.
The Babysitter’s Club
I loved The Babysitter’s Club books when I was a kid, so even though this show is for sure not aimed at me as a 42 year old woman, and I have no kids to watch it with I binge watched all 10 episodes in one day. I think they did an excellent job updating it for today while also staying true to the original stories. It’s been 30+ years since I’ve read any of the books, so it’s not like I remember everything about them, but from what I do remember they seem to be sticking to at least the major plot points and character traits that I remember. Even though I am 100% the opposite of Claudia, she was always one of my favorite characters in the books, and I really adore the actress they have playing her in this show. I think they also did an excellent job casting Kristy. I’m less sold on some of the other casting particularly Stacy for some reason. I am on board with them casting non-white girls to play Marianne and Dawn though because it may be cliche, but it’s also true that representation matters.
The reviews of Upload, which is a show on Amazon, were mixed when it came out so I never bothered to watch it. We have now entered the portion of quarantine where I’m starting to watch stuff that I probably wouldn’t have watched otherwise. This show was better than I thought it would be. Basically it takes place in a future where when you die your consciousness can be uploaded into some sort of virtual afterlife, but the trick is if you want it to happen you have to pay for it and of course how good of a virtual afterlife you can afford depends on how much money you have. The main character dies in a suspicious self-driving car accident, which is a plot point. Since his family is poor, his rich girlfriends decides to pay to upload him into some fancy afterlife, but now he is reliant on getting her to continue to pay for things for him. Meanwhile he’s developing a relationship to one of the people who works for the company who is still alive in real life, but whose avatar he interacts with in his virtual world when she is sent to help him transition into his life there. I’m not sure if there is going to be another season of the show eventually, but I liked it well enough that I would keep watching.
Love Life is one of the few original series that premiered when HBOMax came online. It’s sort of an anthology series starring Anna Kendrick. The premise of the show is that every person on average has some number of serious relationships before they find the one they’re meant to be with. Each episode chronicles a different one of her relationships. There are definitely through parts to the story, but each episode also to some degree feels very self-contained. It was fine. I didn’t love it, but it was a decent enough watch especially when I had nothing else to watch.
The final episode gave me a little bit of an existential crisis though. It takes place on New Years of this past year and is the episode where she meets her true love. I just wanted to spend the whole episode yelling at the characters to enjoy what they have now because in a few short months everything will be different. Instead of just enjoying their happily ever after I’m sitting there thinking about how their fledgling relationship is going to have to endure lockdown in New York and living in a tiny apartment with a baby and her art gallery shutting down. It definitely gave a different feel to the end of the show than they were going for.
I didn’t watch Cougar Town when it was on. The premise of the show to start with seemed very gimmicky and I was not interested in it. I had heard that the show pivoted away from that and just became a show about friends hanging out and drinking lots of wine. That is very true. It really didn’t take them long to make the switch. It happened way earlier in the first season than I was expecting. I’m about halfway through the 6 seasons of the show and it has been an excellent diversion. At least so far it’s a good little sit-com that I would recommend watching if you haven’t already.