Pardon my absence, but unemployment can be draining. This is the first thing I’ve felt like writing in a long time, but it’s time to get back in the groove. The Internet needs its snarky vegan waif.*
-American Vandal, season 2: The sleeper hit is BACK in the very best of ways, with one crappy twist- literally. I can’t elaborate without spoiling the whole thing, so you’ll just have to watch to find out #WhoIsTheTurdBurglar.
–Big Mouth, season 2: The most aggressively realistic depiction of puberty continues to deliver. The high point of the season was the Planned Parenthood episode, a whole 20 minutes devoted to explaining the importance of sexual health. The true moment of grace, however, was the show’s deft portrayal of Jessi’s downward spiral. After a season of rebellion in the wake of her parents’ divorce, Jessi finds herself confronted by The Depression Kitty. This anthropomorphized mental health monstrosity leads Jessi into a windowless room, removes the door, and presses her against the floor. As someone with depression, this was so accurate it caused me physical pain. As Princess Weekes of The Mary Sue put it, “Who would have expected that a show with so many dicks would have so much heart?”
–BoJack Horseman, season 5: sweet bagel SANDWICH, I have never cried so much. The episode “Free Churro” alone deserves its own odyssey. My personal favorite line goes to “Why do all these idealistic, vivacious women eventually turn bitter and cruel after being with me? What’s the common denominator?” Who stole my diary and told the writers to subtweet at least two-thirds of all the men I’ve ever dated?
–The Good Place, season 3: Ted Danson is still wonderful, Kristen Bell is still a delight, Jameela Jamil is still an actual goddess. We’re all thinking it, but I’m just gonna say it: if this show had any balls, they’d pair up Eleanor and Tahani.
BAD KINDA MEH:
-The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: I considered giving this show its very own article. I wanted to like Sabrina way more than I did. I adore Kiernan Shipka from her Mad Men days as the precocious Sally Draper. I mean, sis held her own at 9 years old alongside an Emmy-winning cast 30 years her senior. In Sabrina’s case, the cast is certainly not the problem. The blame lies with the show’s patchy confusion about its own genre, which results in an overall sense of unevenness. Is it horror? Is it a teen drama? It’s certainly not a comedy, thanks to the utterly humorless script. TCAOS’s own sister show, Riverdale, manages to weave in enough heart to hit that teen-drama sweet spot, and TCAOS’s failure to do the same makes the show feel empty. Since both shows share the same creators and are confirmed to exist in the same universe, is it not reasonable to assume that they’re aimed at the same audience? I’m hoping season 2 is better, after the show has a chance to find itself.
-The Haunting of Hill House: Ultimately confusing and hard to follow, but a solid premise. Hill House focuses on something I’d often wondered when watching horror movies: how did the aforementioned horror affect the survivors later in life?
–Shameless, season 9: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love Shameless. I do. However, when not one, but TWO, members of the main cast announce their departure, it’s time to hang up your hat. I’m thrilled Ian got his happy ending, though.
–Sierra Burgess Is A Loser: Holy lack of consent, Batman. I feel like “CATFISHING IS WRONG” shouldn’t be something that’s up for debate. Protagonist Sierra (Shannon Purser, who we loved as Barb in Stranger Things) conspires with popular but misunderstood Veronica (the beautiful, luminous Kristine Froseth) to trick gentle jock Jamey (Noah Centineo). Sierra talks to him on the phone, but manipulates him to THINK he’s dating Veronica, going so far as to trick him into kissing her without his consent. Not only is this creepy beyond belief, but allow me to dish out a serving of cold hard truth: no one is obligated to be physically or sexually attracted to anyone else. That doesn’t make them a bad person, it means the physical chemistry simply isn’t there. It happens. To imply otherwise suggests that everyone is entitled to sex with whoever they choose, and no one has the right to refuse. If you ask me, Sierra was the villain, and Veronica the heroine.
-Maniac: Something about it just gave me a headache. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it if I’d kept going, but as it was, I stopped after the second episode.
*no it doesn’t.