Superstore season finale
Oof. This episode (aired May 16, 2019) was a punch in the gut. As one of the few sitcoms that consistently makes me laugh out loud, it took me by surprise with its heartwrenching ending. That’s not to say Superstore has avoided heavy topics in the past; it hasn’t. But this one, for me, was the hardest to watch.
In an effort to stop the store from forming a union, corporate management brings in ICE to flush out — and deport — any undocumented employees. Watching one of the show’s main characters be hunted through the store and then, eventually, be driven away was so emotional. (You can read an article from that actor here.)
I’ve been a huge fan of Superstore from the beginning, and this didn’t change my opinion one bit. THUMBS UP to the Superstore finale for tackling a complicated issue with real-life consequences, breaking my heart while still making me laugh before those final scenes.
This year wasn’t as painful for me as others have been, but my TV-loving heart will always struggle as cancellation announcements trickle in each spring. So, to One Day at a Time, Reverie, Speechless, Timeless, and Whiskey Cavalier: you will be missed. And to cancellations: you get a THUMBS DOWN from me!
You might be surprised to read this. If you’ve been around here for any time, you know I love this show So Much. I’ve joked on my podcast that it’s a rare episode when I don’t mention it at least once. It’s just so good and one of my favorites — current and of all time.
But today? Today I’m giving it a thumbs down. Because I just caught up on the last few episodes of season five, and basically, I cried through every one. Because it was bad? No. BECAUSE IT WAS SO GOOD. Because the people in the show — especially the main character, Elizabeth McCord — ARE SO GOOD. I want them to be real. And they’re not. And maybe they aren’t realistic in the slightest. But as an Enneagram 1 and someone who believes wholeheartedly in possibilities and potential, I think they could be real. (As in, real people could be like them; not that I think TV characters are real. I’m not completely cuckoo.) But that’s not what I see in real life, and as inspiring and heartwarming as it is to see on my screen, it’s also devastating to realize once again how much I long for leaders with the kind of integrity and intelligence I see on this, my favorite show. So today because I’m a little bit bitter, I’m giving it a thumbs down.
A Million Little Things
Another review that’s surprising to me, I’m giving this whole show a big THUMBS UP. If you were reluctant to tackle a show centered around friends grieving the death of someone close to them, I get it. I rolled my eyes HARD when I saw the preview for this show, assuming it would be emotionally manipulative in the ways I can neither stand nor handle.
But I gave the pilot a shot. And then the next episode…and the next. Because yes, the writing is done in that twisty, compelling way that makes it nearly impossible to quit watching. But the characters! And their development! And the writing and the dialogue and, well, all of it! It’s fantastic, friends. It really is. Is it a bit melodramatic and soapy with the neverending onslaught of dramatic situations this group of friends faces? Uh, yeah. But do their reactions to each situation feel real? In a way that informs my own reactions to real-life situations? Yeah, that too.
So, if you do like drama, this is an excellent one. The first season had 17 seasons, and it ends with a reasonable amount of closure. So you can watch it this summer on Hulu, either as a one-and-done or in preparation for season two that will premiere this fall. (And for Psych fans, you are going to LOVE seeing James Roday in this more serious, but still sarcastic, role.)
A Discovery of Witches (insta story, 6.17.19)
Welp. I thought for sure I’d love this one. I did. It’s based on a book series I loved. It stars Matthew Goode, who I like very much. It’s filmed beautifully, it’s kept to PG-13 instead of going hard into the sex and violence of the story, and, unrelated to the show’s quality but influencing my own enjoyment of it, I found it on On Demand and didn’t have to subscribe to another station or streaming network to watch it.
And yet. SIGH.
A Discovery of Witches is based on the book by the same name by Deborah Harkness. The book is the first in a trilogy about the war between witches, vampires, and demons, both in present time and in the past. There’s romance and time travel — two of my favorites! And the books, which are long and detailed and full of history, have stuck with me over the years despite my difficulty getting into the first one. I ended up loving this series and was excited to see a TV show based on it.
But the show itself — 8 hourlong episodes on AMC — was not what I hoped for. The actors are lovely, and as I mentioned, the show looks pretty (minus some requisite vampire gore). But the story is so convoluted and also vague that I could barely keep up — AND I READ THE BOOKS! I can’t imagine someone who hadn’t read the books could possibly know what’s going on. So for that reason, I have to give it a THUMBS DOWN. Sigh.
Blood & Treasure
Gosh, I just love a good treasure hunting story! And, well, I’m not saying Blood & Treasure is a good one. But I’m still enjoying it. It doesn’t hurt that the leads are drop-dead gorgeous and fall into the “opposites attract” and “law enforcement working with a criminal” tropes. Essentially, all the things I’m a sucker for. (See also: Both Sahara and Fool’s Gold. And any future treasure hunting movie starring a grimy Matthew McConaughey.)
This summer show is on CBS and scheduled for 13 episodes. Will it come back for another season? Will it end on an outrageous cliffhanger before being cancelled? Who knows. But against my better judgment, I’m along for the ride and giving it a THUMBS UP.