The Bold Type is Still the Best Show You’re Not Watching

I’ve written about my love of the television show The Bold Type before. It returned on Freeform last night for its third season. It’s a miracle it’s gotten this far. I’m pretty sure I am the only one in America watching this show. I never hear anyone else talk about it, and I know it barely came back after the first season because its ratings weren’t great. Somehow after months and months of waiting to hear whether it would be renewed Freeform announced it would be back with new show runners for two more seasons. This is the second of those two seasons, so I’m fully prepared for this to be the final season of the show. I’m still going to be very sad when it’s gone though.

I still adore the show for all the same reasons I’ve said in the past. I love the friendship between the three leads. I also love that their boss is a mentor and not the stereotypical tv/movie Devil Wears Prada type fashion magazine boss. Their relationships are fun, and the show confronts real issues. Last year it started to lean a little too far into PSA territory, but so far this season seems to be a little less heavy handed. The stories of course are not all that realistic because it’s tv, but I really enjoy spending an hour with these characters every week.

I don’t have Hulu, but according to Google that’s where the first two seasons of this show are streaming. I highly recommend watching them and then getting on this third season. I promise that if you like character dramas The Bold Type is the best show you’re not watching.

TV Romances

I have some thoughts on a couple of TV romance storylines. My husband does not care, and since I quit Twitter I feel like I don’t have anywhere to spew these random thoughts out into the world. That is the thing I miss the most about Twitter. Most likely no one would have responded to me there either, but I just want the thoughts out of my head. I don’t feel like Facebook is the right place, and I guess this is sort of what I have a blog for to dump the random thoughts in my head out into the world. So here’s a post that probably no one but me cares about.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will soon sadly be coming to an end. In the last run of episodes they are really playing up Rebecca’s various romances from the course of the show and putting them all back into play. I’m 99.9% sure that she’s going to pull a Kelly Taylor “I choose me” (I am nothing if not a child of my time. This is always my go to reference when a female character decides against being with any of her love triangle choices.) deal and wind up with none of them. I understand the desire to send a feminist message about not needing a guy for validation blah, blah, blah. I on the other hand just want my romantic comedy based show to wind up with an actual romance.

I also firmly on Team Nathaniel with this one. I never cared for Josh as a romantic partner for Rebecca and never believed they would end up together. For awhile until Santino Fontana left the show I thought Greg and Rebecca were end game. “Settle for Me” is still my all-time favorite song from the show. I always liked them together, so I was fine with that then. Now that he’s back I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t like Sklar Astin playing the character as much or if I just moved on with Nathaniel to the degree that Rebecca and Greg don’t work for me anymore. I really like Rebecca and Nathaniel together. Now that they have both worked through their myriad of problems I would love to see them give their relationship a real go. Alas, I suspect that is not going to happen, but I want the world to know that I am going to be very disappointed if Rebecca and Nathaniel don’t end up together.

In other TV romance news, back when I wrote up my post on binge watching Grey’s Anatomy they were just starting to float the love triangle between Meredith, DeLuca, and Link. At the time I said I was firmly against Meredith being with either of these people, but if the show was going to force me to choose I was firmly on Team DeLuca. I still stand by my dislike of Link and am annoyed that they immediately had Amelia get together with him after breaking up with Owen. Also as an aside it may be how I watched the show, but it really never felt like Owen and Amelia together. It seemed like they would get back together for like an episode or two and the be broken up again. It’s a shame because I always liked them together. Anyway, back to my original point on Meredith and DeLuca. I have now changed my grudging participation on Team DeLuca to being all in on this relationship. I am very much enjoying them together so far. We’ll see how the relationship plays out, but for now I’m all for it.

Recent Watchlist

Since I had a snow day and some time to write I figured I would write up a post on some of the things I’ve been watching lately.

TV Shows

Sex Education

Sex Education is a British series that is available on Netflix starring Gillian Anderson as a sex therapist whose teenage son, Otis, has been somewhat scarred by her profession and his parents’ divorce. He winds up befriending bad girl Maeve who convinces him to set up his own sex therapy business at school to help their classmates with their relationship problems. I really liked this show. I liked the relationships between all the characters and the romantic comedy aspects of it as well. I’m happy it’s going to be getting another season.

The Kominsky Method

The Kominsky Method stars Michael Douglas as a sort of washed up actor who destroyed all his relationships, but is trying to repair the relationship with his daughter and trying to keep himself relevant by teaching acting classes. Alan Arkin stars as his best friend and agent who is dealing with his own issues as his beloved wife just passed away and his drug addict daughter played by Lisa Edelstein has shown back up to wreck havoc in his life. Like Grace & Frankie this show seems aimed at Netflix’s older viewers, but I also found it really smart and funny. I’m happy this show will be getting another season as well.

The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard is a six episode British series about a former British army man who is dealing with PTSD while now carrying out duties as a bodyguard for the government. After helping diffuse a terrorist on a train he winds up getting assigned to protect the Home Secretary who seems determined to push her own power in the government. He winds up caught in a tangled conspiracy against her that seems determined to take him down with it. This was a very compelling show for me. I thought it was very well written and had lots of drama and went in directions I was not expecting. Plus it’s nice to have a nice, tidy 6 hour show to watch and be done with.

You

I read about this show when it was premiering on Lifetime, but never bothered to watch it at that point. Then I started hearing about it again when the first season started streaming on Netflix and everyone seemed to think it was a Netflix show. It stars Penn Badgely as a stalker who sets out to do everything he can to get a woman he meets in the book store he works at to be his girlfriend. It took me a little bit but I definitely got sucked into this show. They do a good job of making Joe both a psychopath but also a seemingly awesome guy. Leading into the final episode I did not really understand where they were going to with a second season, but by the end of the episode it was obvious and I’m interested to see where it goes.

Sorry For Your Loss

Did you know Facebook has started making their own tv shows because they have. Apparently it’s a requirement for every entity now. Sorry For Your Loss stars Elizabeth Olsen as a young widow dealing with her grief after the death of her husband. I’m only about halfway through right now, but I’m really enjoying it so far. The subject matter seems like it would be really heavy, but it doesn’t feel like it when watching it.

Movies

Bohemian Rhapsody

Every time I saw trailer for this film in the months leading up to its theatrical release I was really excited about seeing it. Then when it finally came out the reviews were so mediocre that I didn’t bother going to see it. Now that it’s available on streaming we rented it the other night. The reviews did not lie. It was not a good movie, and I do not understand how in the world it is nominated for best picture. I do get why Rami Malek is nominated for best actor though. He fully embodies the character of Freddy Mercury and the Academy likes nothing better than that. I full anticipate that he will win. The musical performances in the movie were pretty good, but the story itself was super Hollywoodized and paint by numbers. Here find out why Freddy holds his microphone like that. Here have a record exec complain about Bohemian Rhapsody and then rue the day he let Queen walk away. The movie ends with a pretty full recreation of Queen’s set at Live Aid. I feel like that set is decidedly the most famous set from Live Aid. I remember seeing the We Will Rock You/We are the Champions piece of that on MTV a ton as a kid. I’m pretty sure it was my first introduction to Queen. At the end of it I mostly wished that I had just watched that set over again and in fact did.

Runnin’ Down a Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

For years I’ve heard how amazing this 4 hour documentary on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is. As anyone who has been reading this blog knows I adore Tom Petty, so I’ve always wanted to watch it. Four hours just seemed like such a time commitment though and I never felt like I had enough time to sit down and watch it. Nevermind that when I’m binge watching a tv show I’ll sit down and watch 6 or 7 hours worth of it on a weekend. Anyway, I promised myself that if I had a snow day this winter I would watch it because I would have no excuse of anything else to do. This year’s snow day came at the perfect time because I’m between binging tv shows, so I really did have nothing else on my watch list. Everyone who ever said how great this documentary is was not lying. It flew by and I totally didn’t feel like it was four hours long. It’s full of great music and interviews with Tom Petty and the band. It’s very much focused on the music and their careers though. In that way it’s a great companion piece to Warren Zanes’ fantastic biography of Tom Petty which delves much more into him as a person. I highly recommend both, especially if you are even the slightest fan of Tom Petty.

Disobedience

This movie stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams as women raised in an orthodox Jewish community. After they had a clandestine relationship in their younger years Rachel Weisz’s character left to pursue life in the outside world. Now she has returned after the death of her father and their characters reconnect. I found it to be kind of a boring movie. I don’t recommend it.

Chuck Rewatch

I recently accidentally started a rewatch for the television show Chuck. I just finished rewatching it yesterday in a weird twist of fate on the same day it aired its final episode in 2012. The only reason I even know that is because I apparently still follow the Chuck Facebook page (who knew?) and they posted something that showed up in my timeline about that right as I was sitting down to watch the final two episodes this afternoon. It’s like it was meant to be.

I’m not someone who generally rewatches tv shows because especially in this day and age there are too many new things to watch. I’ll rewatch episodes here or there. I used to do that more when there used to be more reruns of some of my favorites on and I could just happen upon them when I had a few minutes to kill but wasn’t going to sit down and get into whatever I’m binging. There aren’t too many of those anymore so that’s rare now. The only two other shows I can think that I’ve done a full rewatch of are Veronica Mars in preparation for the movie and Gilmore Girls just because. I think I’ve actually done two full rewatches of Gilmore Girls. I am unsure if either of those was connected to the new Netflix episodes. I feel like one of them must have, but also I don’t remember doing a full rewatch that recently so maybe not.

Anyway, I didn’t really mean to do a rewatch of Chuck. I had recently just finished my crazy binge of all 14 and half seasons of Grey’s Anatomy that existed at the time and hadn’t yet got into anything new. Sometimes I like to sit with shows in my head for awhile before I move on. I was looking for something to throw on while eating lunch one weekend and decided on Chuck because I had just been talking about it on Facebook with my friend Erin in conjunction with Zachary Levi being on the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I had watched the pilot episode again with her when I visited her at some point in the last couple of years and had thought about rewatching it at that point, but I was probably in the middle of something else and then moved onto something I hadn’t seen before instead of continuing on with Chuck. Then Netflix lost it and it wasn’t streaming anywhere for awhile. I only realized Amazon had picked it up at some point when someone on one of the podcasts I listen to mentioned it in passing in an episode last fall. I figured since I wasn’t look to start a new show quite yet I would just throw on an episode of Chuck since I could again. I started with Season 1, Episode 2 and several hours later I knew that I was going to wind up doing a full rewatch.

It’s a good thing that I did because turns out that I somehow remembered only about 85% of what happened on that show. It really surprised me how little I remembered because I adored that show. It was by far my favorite show on television during its run. I nerded out about that show so many times. But apparently after 7 years I only remembered it in the broadest strokes because there were so many plotlines that I did not remember happening until they started and then I was like oh yeah I totally forgot that this happened or other ones where I never really remembered from watching it the first time. I really did not remember that Awesome found out Chuck was a spy way back in season 2. I completely forgot that Casey had a daughter. Even the lead up of the entire episode where he’s trying to save his ex-fiance who thinks he’s dead didn’t clue me until Alex walked in the door at the very end of episode. Then it all came rushing back to me that she existed and winds up dating Morgan. Also by the way I had a completely false memory of Casey and Alex’s mom winding up together but I guess my memory was conflating her and Carrie Ann Moss’s character. I did not remember that Brandon Routh was on this show at all and consequently remember very little of the Ring plot line. I also totally incorrectly remembered that Sarah lost her memory for like half a season leading into the finale. Turns out she didn’t lose her memory until the penultimate episode of the show, so decidedly less time than I thought. I think not remembering pretty much anything made my rewatch more fun because it was almost like I was watching it for the first time again.

The most important thing is that the show completely held up. I sometimes worry about rewatching shows particularly the older they get because sometimes due to times changing or just personally not being in the same place as you were when you watched it things don’t hit you the same way. I have such a strong affection for this show that I didn’t want anything to ruin it, which probably another reason I don’t rewatch too many shows. I didn’t have to worry about Chuck because I still loved it as much as I did the first time. I laughed out loud so many times watching it and it of course gave me all the feels over Chuck and Sarah’s relationship.

In 2019 it’s very obvious how over the top male gaze-y this show is, but I’m choosing to overlook it because at least all the characters being objectified are women who have their own agency and who are decidedly more bad ass than any of the men on the show. I was also a little worried about how I would feel about Casey during my rewatch now knowing what a terrible human being Adam Baldwin in is in real life (allegedly). Casey was my favorite during the initial run and I thought that might be ruined for me knowing what I know now, but it wasn’t. Casey was still the best even if the actor who portrays him is not. I was able to separate the two out in my mind. We can get into the philosophical conversation about whether or not it’s okay to enjoy great things created by not great people some other time.

Chuck is still a really delightful show with such heart that I still adore so much. The first four seasons are still aces. I remember not loving season five as much during its initial run and that held true during my rewatch as well. It’s not like it’s complete garbage like the final season of White Collar. If I ever do a rewatch of that show I’m definitely quitting before I get to that one. In fact if I ever rewatch that show it will probably only be the Sarah years. Anyway, season five wasn’t nearly as good as the seasons that preceded it, but it still had its moments and the show as a whole has definitely stood the test of time. I do kind of wonder how somebody who doesn’t know the history of how the Subway campaign saved the show would feel about all the heavy handed product placement, but I didn’t mind because I know it’s what kept my show on for way longer than it had any right to be on given its ratings.

Since it was threatened with being canceled so many times and half the time never knew if it was going to even get a back 9 for the season there were multiple episodes that were written as stand in finales. This show ultimately had five great finales including the actual one. My favorite episode of the whole series is the season 2 finale, which really is a microcosm of everything that was wonderful about the show. I know some people were mad (and are apparently still mad if you look at any of the comments on that Facebook post I mentioned earlier) that Sarah didn’t for sure get her memory back in the finale, but I really love the end of the show. Whether you choose to believe that Sarah gets her memory back through that magical kiss with Chuck like Morgan theorized or not you know that even if she doesn’t she’s totally going to fall in love with Chuck Bartowski again because who wouldn’t. And of course the end of was soundtracked to the perfect song, The Head and the Heart’s “Rivers and Roads”. They have ended every single one of their concerts that I’ve been to with that song and I never don’t think about Chuck when I hear it. The music in this show was always fantastic. I bought so many songs on iTunes back when I bought songs on iTunes because I heard them on this show. Now it would just be a Spotify playlist, but no matter what this show brought so much music that I love into my life and it’s only fitting that the show would go out on a song that fit it so perfectly.

I am so happy that I rewatched this show. It brought me so much joy and warm fuzzy feelings. I really do miss shows like this on tv. They just aren’t there anymore. Setting aside all the reality shows scripted shows just aren’t like this anymore. You either have your so-called prestige show or shows trying to be prestige shows that are all plot driven or about some anti-hero or you have your almost completely episodic shows where there is all plot and almost no character development. I miss shows like Chuck that are about characters who are allowed to grow and change while also artfully threading together season long story arcs that connect to the also episodic stories that happen each episode. It’s probably why I fell so hard into my Grey’s obsession because it too is that kind of show. These are the kinds of shows I want. I wish someone would start making them again. Otherwise I’ll just have to keep rewatching Chuck.

Grey’s Anatomy

Back in August my husband was away for several weeks in a row for various reasons, so I had a lot of time on my own to watch television. We typically watch most of our tv shows together unless there is something that only one of us wants to watch. At the time I wasn’t currently binge watching any old shows so I was looking for something to binge watch that I knew he wouldn’t care about. I finally decided on Grey’s Anatomy, which I had never watched before.

I didn’t have anything particularly against Grey’s Anatomy. I’m all for soapy drama. However, back in the day when Grey’s started I was in graduate school and working full time, so there wasn’t a whole lot of room in my life for a lot of television watching. Also back in ye olden times the only way we had to watch something if we weren’t home to watch it live was to record it on a VCR (kids ask your parents). I had a few long running shows I would do that for to keep up, but I certainly wasn’t trying to add any new tv to my life at that point. Then by the time I might have realistically started watching the show it was already so many seasons in. Then the number just kept growing exponentially larger and it seemed like a Herculean task to even think about watching the show. But apparently with 14 seasons streaming I decided now was the time to finally dig in. Now please enjoy my stream of consciousness ramblings on my thoughts about the show.

It’s kind of funny watching a show which for such a long time was so very much talked about. I knew so many characters and plot points before even ever watching an episode of the show. Of course some of those things played out slightly differently than I imagined them based on what I knew. I also didn’t know about how the timing of some things happened particularly in relation to characters leaving based on knowing the actors had left the show. For instance I thought Sandra Oh had left the show well before season 10. I thought when Cristina went to work at the Mayo Clinic that was her exit, but she was on the show for 2 more seasons. I also thought it was another year or two before Patrick Dempsey left the show.

It’s also weird the characters I knew about versus those I didn’t. Literally in the first season I thought Alex must not be on the show for that long because I don’t ever remember hearing about him. I couldn’t have been more wrong about that since he’s one of the few original cast members still around. I guess because he for the longest time at least during the hey day of the show never had any good romantic pairings. Plus he was a big jerk in the first 5 seasons so I don’t think anyone was rooting for him to get together with Izzie when they did, which would probably have been the one pairing I might have heard about. I do really like his character development though. I really like when long running shows allow their characters to grow. I loved him as a peds surgeon and his relationship with Arizona as his mentor. I also really love Alex and Jo together (although do not get me started on the stupid season 13 story line where he beats up DeLuca). She is the first good romantic partner they have ever given him in all the seasons of this show. I’ve never liked Elizabeth Reaser as an actress so making her some crazy patient Alex falls in love with was a particularly unpleasant plot.

With the show having been on so long it’s also kind of funny how even though I watched it in a four month time span the characters that left in the first half of the show seem so distant to me. I barely remember they were there compared to characters who joined later but stuck around longer. Even though they were there for five seasons it seems like Izzie and George were barely even on the show at this point. Also by the way I’m still kind of mad that they never really became a thing. I liked them as a couple and was annoyed when they finally got together only to be like oh maybe we’re not actually attracted to each other. That was dumb. I always thought maybe they would come back around because I thought George, not Denny and all that stupidness both before and after he died and definitely not Alex, was her OTP.

The early season relationships were definitely much better than most of anything that has happened in the last 5 seasons. Those early seasons had such intensity and emotion with the couples you were rooting to get together that the show hasn’t had in a long time. I’m guessing partly because as time goes on the characters are already paired up, so it’s harder to do that without making it feel forced which it very much does now. It’s like they have to automatically put together the few single characters left even if there’s no chemistry. See the current season where Meredith apparently has to be either with DeLuca or Linc. Before I caught up to this season I kept seeing things about Meredith and DeLuca before I even knew who DeLuca was. Then when he joined the cast I was like what? He’s a baby. That’s who they’re going to pair Meredith up with? Then we got to this season and I was still like I do not see this at all, but then they started offering Linc as an alternative and they sort of forced me to get on the DeLuca train because if I have to choose between the two of them there’s no contest. At least Linc finally cut his ugly surfer bro hair. They also seem to rush characters into relationships now instead of letting there be a nice slow burn that builds up over time.

When I started watching I wasn’t sure I would make it through all 14 seasons that were available at the time. I knew there were plenty of points where people jumped ship on the show. I know the whole Denny/Izzie ghost sex story line was something that did a lot of people in back in the day. It’s funny to me now because yeah season 5 for most shows would be a point where they were running out of ideas and the show would be nearing the end of it’s run, but in this case it was only 1/3 of the way to where we are now. Even though there’s not that heady excitement of the first half of the seasons, I still mostly enjoy the show. I think binge watching it certainly helped because the story lines that I hated I could get through in a day or two of watching even though it sometimes felt like a slog as opposed to it dragging on for half a year. There was a whole stretch in the middle seasons where I came to dread the season finale because there would always be some giant disaster befalling the people of the hospital that would then result in people having various forms of PTSD that we had to watch them deal with for half a season, which just felt so tiresome. Had I been watching some of those seasons in real time I’m not sure I would have kept with the show. I certainly would have dropped it in season 13 when the aforementioned Alex beating up DeLuca story dragged on for the entire season not to mention that they were obviously trying to save money by doing all these special episodes that only starred one or two cast members doing something outside the hospital. That season was probably the lowest of the low for me.

Now that I’m caught up to season 15 in real time I’m definitely not loving the show the way I did in the first half of its run, nor am I even loving it as much as I did 3 or 4 seasons ago, but at this point it sounds like season 16 will probably be it’s last if Ellen Pompeo sticks to her guns about leaving after her contract is up, so I feel like I should just finish it out. Watching in real time is going to be a whole different experience though, and I think it may be harder to hang on since there aren’t many characters left that I like that much.

Callie and Arizona have always been my favorite characters. I always loved their relationship, and probably my favorite part of the whole series was their little trio as parents with Mark before he died even though I never had much use for him before that. I was super bummed when they broke up. Penny was a super drip of a character and I never bought that she would be the grand love of Callie’s life. I was even sadder when Arizona left at the end of last season even though they intimated that she was going to go to New York and get back together with Callie. The way they wrote that was just kind of dumb because a. Penny’s fellowship was only supposed to be a year, so why couldn’t she and Callie just tough it out or why didn’t they come back when the year was up? Also if Callie and Penny broke up as was suggested when Arizona was leaving why would Callie stay in New York instead of coming back to Seattle to be near Sofia? I know it’s all predicated on the actresses leaving the show and then wanting to belatedly give the viewer some closure on their relationship, but it just bugs me that my favorite characters never got to have a proper happily ever after. I am super missing having at least one of them around this season now that both Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw have left the show.

All along the way there have been new characters I have liked and others that haven’t done much for me. I laugh at myself because after 9 seasons later I still say Mercy Westers are the worst like the characters did in the season where Seattle Grace and Mercy West merged. They got rid of a lot of those characters fairly quickly which was fine by me, but I never really cared that much for Jackson or April. Jackson has just always been boring in my opinion, and the actor’s accent makes it sound like he’s mumbling all the time. April I always found to be annoying. I can’t say I’m missing having her around this season. Jo was the only one I ever really cared about from her class of interns. I’ve like a few other people who have come in along the way like Teddy. I’m glad she’s back this season even though I kind of like where Amelia and Owen are in their relationship. That’s really the only story I care about so far this season. In general Amelia kind of annoys me though as does Maggie because neither of them ever shuts up. They just ramble on all of the time. It was part of my problem with April too. Just shut up for a minute. It’s like the writers decided all the female characters should have verbal diarrhea because obviously that’s how women are. The new interns aren’t doing much for me this season either. I know they’re supposed to be green and not really know what they’re doing, but apparently the writers think the only way to make them interesting is to make them grossly incompetent at everything.

Anyway, as I’m finally nearing the end of this ridiculously long post I feel like I probably need to talk about Meredith and Derek since their relationship was so much the heart of show for so long. Meredith and Cristina too I suppose. Certainly their will they or won’t they was such a driver of what made this show tick in the beginning. It was a really well done love triangle with Addison and all of Meredith’s relationship issues. By the time Patrick Dempsey left the show I wasn’t so much sorry to see him go though. Derek had become kind of a jerk by that point in the show, and I don’t really miss him. However, I can’t really picture Meredith with anyone else at this point. Derek was her one great love, and with the time the show probably has left there is no way they can develop a relationship for her that will ever rival what she had with Derek and I wish they wouldn’t even try. Just let her be happy with her kids and her work.

I don’t know if anyone reading this actually made it this far, but I’m super glad I finally watched Grey’s Anatomy because I really did love it. I have spent the last four months of my life obsessively watching it and now that I’m all caught up I’m not really sure what to do. It’s still on so it’s not quite the same feeling of loss that I normally get when I finish with a long running show, but there’s definitely a little hole in my heart for all the characters I loved that have already come and gone.

Fall 2018 TV Diary

This new fall television season has been pretty lackluster. There wasn’t much I was even interested in watching and a lot of what I tried I quit pretty quickly. But here’s what I’ve been watching or in many cases no longer watching listed in order from best to worst. I’m even sort of cheating with my favorites because they are returning shows although different enough that I’m including them in the list.

Doctor Who

Obviously Doctor Who is not a new show, but we’ve entered a new era with new writers and the first woman Doctor. I was very excited going into this season that we were finally getting a woman Doctor and so far Jodie Whittaker has completely lived up to all my hopes and expectations. She is a fantastic Doctor, and I’m really loving the storylines so far. I like the companions. Prior to this Matt Smith was my favorite Doctor and I think there’s a lot of common DNA there. He had both Amy and Rory rather than a single companion and he had a sense of whimsy that she has too. I’m happy to go on many more adventures with this new crew.

Deutschland 86

This is technically the second season of the German show Deutschland 83, which was one of my favorite shows of 2015. At the time I wasn’t sure we were ever going to get another season, but 3 years later we’re picking back up with the characters who have also had 3 years of their lives pass. The show is about East German spies during the 80s. Obviously this season is set in 1986. If you miss The Americans it will help fill the 80s spy hole in your heart. As a German spy show it would probably appeal to people who liked Babylon Berlin as well. It does require reading subtitles since it’s German like Babylon Berlin. I have seen they are already filming Deutschland 89 which will pick up in 1989. Hopefully we don’t have to wait until 2021 for it. Anyway go watch Deutschland 83 on Hulu and then pick up with this season on the Sundance channel.

I Feel Bad

I’m really enjoying this NBC sitcom about a working mother feeling like she’s failing both her family and her job. I think the family parts of the show are stronger than the office parts. Hopefully they’ll figure that out along the way or maybe do what they did on Mom and mostly drop the workplace piece. At any rate it’s probably my favorite real new show of the season.

A Million Little Things

One of the things that I feel like has been lost in the age of peak tv is all the good family/friend dramas. I had been hoping that This is Us would fill that hole for me, but I never liked it and decided to not keep watching it this season. A Million Little Things is currently what I’m working with to fulfill that need and so far I do like it more than This Is Us. Don’t get me wrong though. This show is complete garbage. It’s completely unrealistic to the nth degree. It’s about a group of friends who are insanely codependent on each other. One of them commits suicide at the beginning of the show, so now there’s all these little clues about why. Their relationships and they way they all act has no basis in human reality, but it just got picked up for a full season and I’m going to keep watching.

Legacies

Legacies is a spin-off from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. I quit The Originals after the first season, but I watched The Vampire Diaries all the way through the bitter end. It was definitely long in the tooth by the time it was over, but I stand by my assessment of the amazingness of the first 3 or so seasons of that show. I wasn’t sure I was going to bother watching this show since I didn’t follow through on The Originals and my feelings on The Vampire Diaries weren’t the best by the end, but I decided to give it a chance at the last second. It follows some of the kids of the characters of the other two shows who are now teenagers and attending the Salvatore School for the Supernatural which was set up by some The Vampire Diaries characters. It’s only had one episode so far, but it I liked it well enough that I will at least give it another episode or two.

All-American

This teenage football drama is no Friday Night Lights. It probably shares more DNA with Beverly Hills 90210 as it revolves around a kid who moves from Crenshaw to Beverly Hills to play football so he has that same fish out water thing Brandon and Brenda did in the first seasons of 90210. Again I’m not sure I love this show, but I’ll keep watching it for now.

Maniac

We’re not quite half way through this Netflix show and we’ve kind of hit a standstill. Since it’s a Netflix show, which means we could have binged our way through it long ago, it’s obvious we aren’t super into it. Perhaps we’ll get back it eventually, maybe we won’t.

Manifest

This is yet one more Lost knockoff with a less interesting mystery and less interesting characters. I watched about 3 episodes of this show and only that many because my husband kept putting them on.

Kidding

I don’t love Jim Carrey, so I wasn’t even sure I wanted to try this show out, but I decided to give it at least one episode. I could not take Carrey or the zaniness of the side characters. I quit this show after one episode.

REL

For some reason I saw REL on a bunch of lists of what shows you should watch this fall. I have no idea why. It was not funny. It was super over the top old school dumb sitcom and I couldn’t deal with the laugh track that was so loud I could barely even hear the dialogue. I also stopped this show after one episode.

 

Cobra Kai

The other week on Facebook I said something to the effect that I hate how Hollywood is just continuously eating its own tail at this point and doing what seems like nothing but  prequels, sequels and reboots. Obviously they keep doing it because the market is there, so I hate myself a little every time I contribute to their reasoning. Despite saying that there was no way I was not going to watch Cobra Kai, the sequel to the Karate Kid movies created by YouTube Red.

I feel like most people I know talk about what movies they watch over and over again Shawshank Redemption is always on the list. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that movie exactly once. The movies I’ve seen a billion times are not nearly as high brow. My most watched movies list consists of Overboard, When Harry Met Sally, Can’t Buy Me Love, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and of course The Karate Kid. So YouTube Red wins. They hit right on my nostalgia button to make me finally set up an account with them. At least I got to watch it all via a free trial.

The series picks up in the present day following the characters of Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso and where they are now 35 years later. In some respects they have switched places from where they were in the movie. Daniel is now the well-to-do one who owns luxury car dealerships and is married with two kids. Johnny is down on his luck going from one menial job to the next, divorced, and a dead beat dad. Despite their different circumstances both of them are still stuck in the past in various ways.

Johnny decides to open up a Cobra Kai karate dojo, but instead of the cool kids that were part of Cobra Kai when he was a teenager his students are now the losers of the school. Meanwhile Daniel unbeknownst to him begins mentoring and teaching karate to Johnny’s estranged son. Neither one of them has let go of what they think the other one did to the other back in high school and are using their respective proteges to fight their own drama.

I did not have high hopes for Cobra Kai actually being any good, but it surprised me a little. Granted it’s still relying at least 60% if not more off of your nostalgia for the original movie. I’ll be interested to see how I feel about it during its second season when they don’t have all the callbacks to rely on because they’ve already used them all.

It’s certainly not high art, but I enjoyed watching it. I will not lie. Most of my favorite moments were tied to callbacks to the original movie. I definitely cheered a little for every one. But the show is not solely relying on those. They’ve actually done a decent job of developing the characters. I especially loved Daniel’s wife who called him out every time he started acting like a high school idiot again. She had my favorite line of the whole first season in the final episode. There is also a lot more nuance in looking at who is actually right and who is wrong as opposed to the very clearcut good vs. evil in the movie.

I will definitely keep watching when it comes back for another season. If you don’t have a strong attachment to the original Karate Kid movie I’m not sure I would bother watching this, but if you loved it like I did I would say it’s worth 6 hours of your time.