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TV in short form

TV in short form

I’ve watched a few new shows this year! But I haven’t ever really found the drive to press any words about them. So today, rather than anything that tries to be insightful or whatever, here are some random thoughts about a few of them. Think of it as a Month End TV Show Wrap-Up, only it’s for all of 2022 so far, and this is probably the only one that’s going to happen.

Midnight Mass

Horror mini-series on Netflix. Midnight Mass opens with a fella returning to his island home after having been in prison for years. Then you meet pretty much everyone who lives on said island (the ensemble cast is huge!) and follow their Christianity-themed adventures. But of course I told you this is a horror series, so certain elements may not be as they initially seem!

And speaking of things that aren’t exactly what they seem… well, I don’t want to spoil anything, but the villain! You’ll spend a long time waffling over who you think the villain is in this one. There are a lot of red herrings, and thankfully they’re all written in ways that make sense. But also… Maybe there are multiple villains! Or maybe I’m just trying to trick you and there are no villains! The only way to find out is to watch the show!

Definitely dug this one, but it doesn’t really get going until the end of episode five, so it’s going to seem like a struggle for a while. The payoff is well worth it, though! The last two episodes are great! I’d actually like to say more about it, but I watched it in April or something, so most of the finer details have slipped my mind. And also, I want to avoid the spoilers. Telling you pretty much anything about this one is a spoiler.

The Great North

I was casually browsing Disney+ a couple months ago when I came across the thumbnail for The Great North. Initially I felt like it was probably going to be a pass, but then I looked closer and noticed that the animation looks an awful lot like Bob’s Burgers. And if you weren’t aware, I’m a pretty big fan of Bob’s Burgers. And then I saw Nick Offerman in the cast and I was sold. Because I’m also a pretty big Parks and Recreation fan.

So I gave The Great North a shot, and ended up watching all 33 episodes in about two weeks. It’s pretty good! Not like, Bob’s Burgers good or Parks and Recreation good, but certainly good enough that I’ll be watching Disney+ like a hawk for new episodes to spring up.

The Great North is a family sitcom about a single father and his four children and one daughter-in-law. They live together in Alaska and are fisher-people by trade, but very little time is spent dwelling on the whole fishing thing. It’s mostly wacky adventures. And as a contrast to those other two shows I keep mentioning that are all about work, that’s kind of okay! The wacky adventures are funny, and that’s typically what I go to cartoons for.

Downsides? The theme song is very skippable, and Alanis Morissette is a recurring character (but thankfully, she does very little singing). That’s… that’s about it. There’s nothing else that I dislike about this show. At least, nothing that I disliked enough to remember.

Resident Evil

You know how it’s generally accepted (but not 100% true) that all the Resident Evil movies are bad? Well, I think that’s how history is going to come down on this show. I’ll come right out and say it: if you’re not a die-hard RE fan, I don’t think there’s anything here for you. As someone who is a die-hard RE fan, I was desperate for scraps throughout the show’s eight-episode run. In the end, I think I was satisfied, but not enough that I’d ever actually recommend anyone watch this series.

Part of the problem is that this show is not totally sure what it wants to be. Not only is it split between “present” and “past” time periods, but it’s also split over whether it wants to take place in the RE games’ canon or be its own thing. And I know that second part wasn’t intentional. While the director says that yes, the games are all canon in the Netflix series, it’s kinda like he just picked out the games he liked and then ignored the rest. T-Virus? Check. G-Virus, T-Veronica, T-Abyss, Las Plagas, Ouroboros, Mold, etc? Not even casually mentioned. Literally any characters from the games? Not really. There’s an Albert Wesker, but he’s… not really the Albert Wesker we know (but Lance Reddick is amazing, so I’ll forgive it). Only one of the monsters in the show is pulled from a game past RE2, and of course it’s Dr. Salvador. Basically, this show ignores everything after RE2, except for Dr. Salvador and one incredibly specific reference to RE5.

The bigger problem is that I wasn’t able to get especially invested in either of Resident Evil‘s timelines. Like, I don’t care about these kids and their teen drama in the “past” part of the show, and the “present” part is the most generic post-zombie-apocalypse story going. Yeah, there’s a giant crocodile. Yeah, they play “Moonlight Sonata” to unlock a secret thing. But as fun as those nods to the games are, they just didn’t save the show from being underwhelming. At least the acting is very good throughout!

There are a handful of other shows I’ve been watching or have watched this year that I could write about, but to be honest, I’ve had this post, half-finished, in the hopper for at least two months now, and I really felt the need to get something out the door. This happens all too often – I start writing a post, and then it takes longer than I’d expected, starts to drag out, and I sort of forget about it over time. Not this time!

So the long and short of it is, while I suggested that this will be the only post of its kind in the intro paragraph, that may not end up being true. But I could also be lazy and just not do a follow up. That’s another thing that I tend to do! Only time will tell!

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