Friday, September 30, 2022

Pilot Review: Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Take Three: Andor

Andor: Season 1, Episode 3 “Reckoning” (B-)

The last line of my review of the previous episode turned out to be very true, that this is just a series of near-misses with Karn hot on Andor’s trail and likely to keep almost catching him while he just manages to get away. It definitely says something that Andor chose not to kill him and instead to leave him to be found by his soldiers, though that was also part of his misdirect since it allowed him to get away separately since they were focused on an entirely different vehicle. That act of mercy will likely not endear him to his pursuers, and now he’s only going to become a more coveted target. These Star Wars shows do know how to cast their enigmatic characters, and Emmy nominee Stellan Skarsgård is no exception, enhancing Luthen Rael and making him much more interesting than he might otherwise be. It’s hard to know who to trust in this world, and opting to rely on him was definitely a risk. But that’s also what leads to survival, and I have a feeling that Karn might end up switching sides by the time this show wraps up its narrative since he’s so mission-driven but may be more idealistic than the Empire would give him credit for, not willing to merely follow every one of his orders if there’s something about them that doesn’t make sense and, more crucially, if Andor doesn’t appear to be quite the threat he’s been positioned as thus far.

Round Two: Andor

Andor: Season 1, Episode 2 “That Would Be Me” (B-)

I’m really trying to get into this show but struggling quite a bit. It might be that I really wasn’t into “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and that I’m not so fond of filler content, like “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” since it’s not as engaging as fresh stories that take us to uncharted territory. That said, as a young eleven- and fourteen-year-old seeing the first two prequel movies back when they originally came out, I was all for it, and while I know that had to do with being of that age and also having just been introduced to the entire universe a few years earlier when I saw the special edition of the original trilogy in theaters, I would love to find some spark here that will energize me. I can at least appreciate recognizing actors I like, starting with Fiona Shaw, fresh off her Emmy-nominated turn on “Killing Eve” and playing an appropriately frantic character here who didn’t want Andor or her droid giving her any stress. There’s also Stellan Skarsgård, who doesn’t even have to say anything to be intimidating. Andor obviously has plenty to hide and was willing to negotiate quickly to get to the price that didn’t involve any questions, and he has a team of Empire soldiers hot on his trail with the passionate Syril Karn leading them in their quest. Given that this show bears his name, it feels highly unlikely that he would end up getting killed off soon, and this may be a cat-and-mouse battle similar to the title character and Darth Vader in “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

Pilot Review: Andor

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 5, Episode 3 “Border” (B+)

The impact of Hannah being next to Serena during the funeral hung over this episode, with June particularly disturbed by the color she was wearing, unsure of what it might mean. It’s so interesting to see the direct lines of communication that can happen between Gilead and Canada, with Mayday once again introduced with its impressive network of satellites that operate independently so that they won’t be able to implicate other cells. That wall of photos was both heartening and heartbreaking since there are so many people trapped within Gilead, and even those who have found a way to exist, like Nick and his new wife Rose, are still miserable. The notion that Serena and Joseph could help each other by entering into a marriage of convenience is an interesting one, but Serena does seem to think that Joseph owes her something when she’s never really been on the right side of history. Joseph does have to figure out how to maintain his power without having a wife, and his style of international negotiation – like explicitly telling Mark that he has a “no spies allowed” policy – is probably even more productive than Nick being a secret asset for Mark, who needs to watch himself as he’s starting to fall for Serena. It looks like Janine is still alive, and hopefully Lydia will actually protect her rather than putting her right back into service. June showing up to terrorize Serena outside the window of the car was very effective, and I’m eager to see what next steps she takes to ensure the safety of her daughter.

Take Three: Reboot

Reboot: Season 1, Episode 3 “Growing Pains” (B+)

I’m glad to see that this show is really diving into all of its characters, giving them many subplots and humorous ways to interact. Gordon showing up to the writers’ meeting and mistaking everyone for diversity hires was a problematic start, and the two teams of writers were not doing a great job at communicating or coexisting. But seeing Hannah trip as she tried to forcefully quit and exit was a good way to bring them together and remind them of what’s funny, and this will surely not be the last disagreement about what to write. Reed getting too excited on set was a productive opportunity for Bree to bond with Timberly and for the two of them to enter into a romance that’s definitely going to cause friction down the road. Zack leaned fully into the idea of his TV dad being with his real mom, and after Clay scrambled to figure a way out of the relationship, he found out the impressive truth: that Zack’s mom had broken that windshield from the inside of the car with her foot and has absolutely no interest in commitment. That’s perfect for Clay, of course, the kind of personality who unfortunately does surely exist in the real world but really should not given his disgusting habits and generally chauvinistic behavior. It’s fun, however, to see his relationship with Zack, who he can’t stand but also seems to gravitate towards, unexpectedly open to getting burgers together even if he was not about to drive together to get them.

Round Two: Reboot

Reboot: Season 1, Episode 2 “New Girl” (B+)

I’m enjoying the many dynamics that exist on this show and seeing how these actors are and are not similar to their own characters. Timberly’s acting skills were reminiscent of Maria Sofia on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” though she got the job as a result of her rabid fan base from her terrible reality show rather than through blackmail. As Hannah was spinning out trying to figure out how to get rid of her, Gordon dealt with the problem much more stealthily and manipulatively, coaxing Reed into believing that he was a master thespian who could teach her to act. Bree evidently has a history of finding Reed to be too much, and so she got involved, and somehow, it worked out. Gordon writing a last-minute scene where Reed apologized to his daughter and said that he always knew about her was sweet, and I appreciated that this episode still went out on a comedic note with Hannah apologizing for her own misstep as popcorn poured out of the backseat of his car and he admitted that it was too broad. Zack’s relationship with his mother is definitely a bit clingy, and something tells me Clay is going to have a difficult time keeping his newfound sex-reward relationship a secret from his entirely oblivious costar. I’m curious to learn more about the entirely unqualified and frequently-transferred Elaine Kim and to see how her unique perspective helps or hurts the show. She’s certainly not the typical obnoxious network executive and may be able to bring something productive to the table.

Pilot Review: Reboot

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What I’m Watching: The Patient

The Patient: Season 1, Episode 5 “Pastitsio” (B)

So much time has been spent on Alan reflecting back on his fractured relationship with his family, and now we got to see a bit of Sam out in the world with a woman who used to be a close part of his life. Showing up and sharing that he was in therapy was a good way to start, though it is true that he didn’t know what had to happen after that. Leaving with his beloved chair felt like a symbolic parting, and it definitely felt like a familiar space for him to inhabit when he was relaxing in it during his session. Alan and Elias exchanged messages for each other’s families that recognized the gravity of their situation, but unfortunately Alan wasn’t able to keep Elias alive long enough for there to be a chance that he could deliver the message to his family for him. Shouting for Candace to come down and stop him the first time that he nearly killed Elias worked, but just giving Elias the chance to tell his life story and seem more sympathetic had the opposite effect, resulting in Sam killing him right on the spot despite Alan’s horrified protests. Knowing that he’s capable of that and that his therapy hasn’t had much of an effect is only going to cause Alan to despair more, and it means that Sam isn’t listening to him enough to try to change. We’re only halfway through the season, and so it’s unlikely that Alan is going to die anytime soon, but I also don’t things will look up either.

Pilot Review: Quantum Leap

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: Kevin Can F**k Himself

Kevin Can F**k Himself: Season 2, Episode 5 “The Unreliable Narrator” (B+)

It’s always interesting to me when other characters get to interact with Kevin and see him for who he truly is, and it’s seeming like more and more people understand just how awful he is and how, at best, he always has to make everything about himself. Thinking that he somehow knew how to help Sam with his marriage was absurd, though he does seem to have an idea of the things he shouldn’t be doing even though he does them all the time. Accusing everyone of taking the generator after he was the one who took out the power was typically self-involved and delusional, and it was no surprise that Neil found comfort once again in Diane. Like Allison, she’s also in an unhappy marriage that she’s trying to get out of but realizes may not be possible, though Allison fortunately has help from both Sam and Patty, who care for her and are starting to see that this really might be the best option. Patty did seem to appreciate that Allison noticed her haircut and was being generally more tuned-in to her own needs, and the way that they both noted that they wouldn’t live next to each other anymore, because Allison wouldn’t live there either, made it all feel very finite. Patty moving in with Tammy probably isn’t a great idea, but we’ll see if those cops end up mentioning their mid-blackout run-in with her and Allison, which could make things hard for her to explain to her new roommate.

What I’m Watching: Industry (Season Finale)

Industry: Season 2, Episode 8 “Jerusalem” (B+)

It’s head-spinning to consider the duplicity of the characters on this show. Harper went ahead and had sex with Rishi just before he got married while she knew that she and Eric had brokered a deal that would cost Rishi his job, and then she went in to find out that he wasn’t actually going anywhere but she was instead. This whole time, it had felt like Eric was watching out most for his beloved Harpsicord, but he didn’t seem to mind being the one to deliver the fatal confirmation that her forged transcript now meant that she was getting fired. Coming back to Pierpoint to be in-house was a strategic pivot, one necessitated by their lack of effectiveness as a standalone operation, but there are obviously additional concerns like the fact that Jesse was texting Harper while on-air and used insider knowledge to help his company. Gus got fired but didn’t seem to mind that, especially since he’s now set up with a job from Jesse that will keep him afloat if not particularly morally grounded. Yasmin taking a stand against her father brought immediate consequences that she’s going to have to deal with as she figures out how to function as an independent human being, something foreign to her since she’s always had an advantage without having to do anything for herself. After getting arrested, Robert chose to call Nicole since his phone died and he had her business card, but that also represents a connection to her that he’s not ready to completely abandon. There’s still no news of a third season, and I do hope we get one since this show has its own energy and a very strong cast.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Marisa Abela as Yasmin

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

What I’m Watching: House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon: Season 1, Episode 5 “We Light the Way” (B+)

This episode felt a lot more intimate and character-focused than I feel like the original series ever did, with so many glances being exchanged during a wedding festivity that wasn’t nearly as violent as so many other such celebrations have been in the past (well, the future for this show’s universe). The episode got off to a vicious start with Daemon going to cruelly kill his wife (Rachel Redford’s brief performance as Lady Rhea was Emmy-worthy in my opinion), yet he still doesn’t want to take Rhaenyra as his wife, something that she was still suggesting even as she was about to be wed to someone else. Ser Cole was crushed by the dishonor of what he did, and his eagerness to confess when Alicent brought him in to confirm the truth of a different rumor has now set the two former friends on a collision course, with Alicent wearing battle colors to the ceremony she so memorably disrupted and then seemingly convincing Ser Cole not to take his own life for whatever purpose she has planned. Rhaenyra and Laenor seemed set for a mutually beneficial coexistence where they could indulge in their own happinesses, but Joffrey had to try to cozy up to Ser Cole in a move that ultimately cost him his life. Viserys’ seasickness and wailing health reminded me a lot of Robert Baratheon and his untimely demise so early on in the original show. We’ll see if he’s actually dead and how things look different when episode six begins.

What I’m Watching: Atlanta

Atlanta: Season 4, Episode 2 “The Homeliest Little Horse” (B+)

I appreciated that this episode featured our regular main character but also a storyline that felt like it could have been a standalone installment that wasn’t connected at all to Earn or someone else. The big payoff, of course, was that, unlike Earn or another Black person being the victim of someone else being evil or terrible, it was Earn pulling the strings the whole time. It’s great to get so much insight into the character in a way that we really haven’t before since early flashbacks to his childhood, with him going to his therapist and being open and perhaps a bit too honest about what he had been planning. That story about the suit he had lent to his fellow RA which resulted in his entire academic career being ruined was certainly scarring, and his attempt to create new memories related to Princeton was then destroyed by someone else. Setting out to ruin her life was a bold undertaking, and seeing it all come together showed how much it mattered to Earn to somehow right that wrong, and she didn’t see it coming at all, no matter how many warning signs there were and how there was no way whatsoever that her children’s book about a white savior horse was going to be the next Harry Potter. His therapist getting him a mat he could lie down on was probably a sign that he thought he needed to stick around, and that’s probably a good idea given how much effort and money he put into this scheme.

What I’m Watching: Atlanta (Season Premiere)

Atlanta: Season 4, Episode 1 “The Most Atlanta” (B+)

This final season premiere was already a more comforting return than the previous one since it actually featured the show’s main characters. It does have a surreal quality to it, with Darius alone being pursued by the wheelchair-bound store employee when he was trying to return the air fryer during a looting spree and Earn and Van getting stuck in the shopping mall parking garage for an eternity after running into all of the exes they both had trapped there too. Darius always seems to be existing on his own plane, and for once, he was the one acting completely normally, telling the woman who had it in for him that she’s been watching too much Fox News and that he wasn’t involved with antifa or anything. Paper Boi was stuck in traffic and not having any of it, and he managed to find a funeral situation that wasn’t as weird as the event Van went to in season three which was actually quite cathartic and comfortable. It was strange to see Earn and Van suddenly burst out of the closet and interrupt their intimate moment, with Kenya in tow having followed them to make the same escape. Darius giving her the air fryer so that she could bring it to her father as a gift was a clever way for him to get rid of it, but the sound of the wheelchair was still there, suggesting she had just broken free of one hell to be trapped in another. This show can be quite haunting sometimes.

Pilot Review: Vampire Academy

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Monday, September 26, 2022

What I’m Watching: She-Hulk

She-Hulk: Season 1, Episode 5 “Mean, Green, and Straight Poured into These Jeans” (B)

I had the chance to watch the first four episodes of this show back-to-back ahead of the series premiere, and now I’m playing catch up on the rest as they’ve aired in recent weeks. I was enticed by the casting of Jameela Jamil from “The Good Place” as Titania on this show, and we had barely seen her aside from that courtroom entrance in the first episode which forced Jennifer to reveal her alter ego. This was a fun opportunity to do that, and I’d love to have more in the future, since I imagine this unexpected legal loss isn’t going to deter her from harassing Jennifer. It was refreshing to see Renée Elise Goldsberry put to good use as Mallory Book since her TV career, “Girls5eva” exempted, hasn’t known what to do with her, as is too often the case for Broadway stars. I’m also thrilled about the addition of Griffin Matthews from “The Flight Attendant” as Luke the superhero clothing designer, and the absence of a post-credits scene meant that we’ll have to wait until episode six to see what her new suit looks like. That should at least be satisfying since her She-Hulk appearance is somewhat physically awkward, and it will be good to see her become comfortable in her body. Having all of those bad dates trotted out during the trial was not a very pleasant or dignified thing, and it would probably behoove Jennifer to find someone who can shape her public image for her, not just her outfit and her legal caseload.

What I’m Watching: Resident Alien

Resident Alien: Season 2, Episode 14 “Cat and Mouse” (B+)

It’s always a pleasure to see Terry O’Quinn again, though the ending of this episode makes it seem like Peter Bach isn’t going to be around for long. Liv was so honored that he had come there to have lunch with her after she tried to contact him sixty-two times, but he also wasn’t upfront with her about who or what he was tracking since he didn’t want anyone else to get hurt as a result of his investigations. Going to Max was a productive step since he confirmed multiple things before then trying to deny them a second later, but he couldn’t anticipate that Harry would be able to appeal to Max as a friend, something he didn’t do all that well, and get him to set the perfect trap for Peter. We didn’t see what happened to him along with those screams, and it’s possible that Asta will be able to encourage him to find a less fatal resolution to the affair. As I predicted, Asta did take the crushing encounter with her birth mother to give Jay a speech affirming just how much she cares for her and how she’s willing to be anything to her that she wants. D’Arcy just lost her biggest support system since she won’t fully open up to Elliot about what she’s going through, and that’s going to make forging ahead difficult. Kate and Ben’s work rivalry is definitely going to impact their home life, though I guess they’ve always needed something special to keep their relationship going and this could be a twisted way to do that.

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 5, Episode 2 “Ballet” (B+)

One of the most fascinating parts of this show’s world has always been how Gilead manages to function on the international stage. I can imagine it would be quite chilling for someone like Mark to travel as Serena’s escort well aware of the dangers that face him, and how he would say things like the traditional Gilead greetings as a way of honoring the local customs. There was something entertaining about how he didn’t know Lydia’s name and she was shocked that he wouldn’t have known. Serena was smart to position herself as Gilead’s best asset by making Fred’s funeral a way to appeal to an international audience who might be able to see Gilead in a more sympathetic light. June, who was doing pretty well taking a break from agitating Rita and remembering Scrabble games with Fred, was fuming when she saw Serena almost smile at the camera knowing she was watching with Hannah standing there giving her flowers. Both Esther and Janine seemed to be doing well adjusting to the reality of their situations, but Esther was apparently not ready to accept her life. It’s not clear that they’re both dead yet but it doesn’t look good, and if that news reaches June, which it likely will, it’s only going to inspire her to go more on the warpath. I’m continually intrigued by both Joseph and Nick, with the former being admonished by Warren for not following any Gilead customs and the latter being wisely targeted by Mark as a potential asset for the United States government.

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale (Season Premiere)

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 5, Episode 1 “Morning” (B+)

The aftermath of that intense mass execution of Fred isn’t going to have implications in Canada, apparently, since the murder didn’t actually happen within the country and all June got was an $88 fine she could pay online for transporting an unsecured biological sample. Theoretically, it’s that kind of behavior that allows so many nations to get away with human rights abuses since other countries just say “it’s not my problem” or don’t want to wade into potential war-declaring territory. I remember when Emily, who is now no longer part of the show following Alexis Bledel’s departure, first arrived in Canada only to have her record of crimes in Gilead trotted out like she was somehow living in a moral society. That’s what makes Serena’s demand to go bury Fred all the more hypocritical, declaring that any “civilized country” would have the decency to allow it, as if Gilead would do anything like that and not just execute someone on the spot for any alleged crime. June is going to have to find a boundary between being a killer for hire and taking a more nuanced approach to her revenge mission, and Luke, Moira, and Mark are all sending her mixed messages of disapproval and approval. The huge vigil for Fred is indicative of how much support for a totalitarian regime exists out there for those who either don’t understand how bad it is or don’t care. Nick talking to his wife somewhat honestly was interesting, a look at people who are able to survive within Gilead without fully buying into it, not expressing nearly as much disdain as someone like Lawrence.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

What I’m Watching: The Patient

The Patient: Season 1, Episode 4 “Company” (B)

It probably wasn’t a great idea to have Sam go in to work with a new captive in another room and him feeling very much on edge. The fact that he forgot to bring donuts was yet another trigger that could easily have set him off, and at least calling Alan for a phone session helped to prevent too much bloodshed. I’m curious about that letter and its significance, but I suspect that most of Sam’s coworkers don’t actually respect him and feel like he takes his job far too seriously. It’s no surprise that Alan’s new friend in captivity is panicked, and he and Alan did start to connect about their families and the people that might be looking for them. We’ve seen flashbacks so far of the fractured relationship Alan has with his children and a brief present-day interaction with Ezra, but it’s really not clear how much they would be checking in on him and immediately aware of his absence. Candace’s complicity with her son’s actions suggest that any attempts to show up to the house and interrogate the food inspector will end with someone else dying or joining the growing list of people being held there against their will. The brief clues we got to who Sam is in this episode were enlightening and unexpected, with his admiration for No Shoes Nation, revealing himself to be a devotee of Kenny Chesney, one thing he respects more than most and which could be a way in for Alan to be able to get through to him.

What I’m Watching: Kevin Can F**k Himself

Kevin Can F**k Himself: Season 2, Episode 4 “Jesus, Allison” (B+)

A surprise party for Patty probably was not a very good idea, but this episode did reveal some very interesting interpersonal dynamics. I particularly liked how Tammy startled Patty by being open to them spending the night with Allison before she found out about her last-minute idea to throw a party, and how she was actually open to helping Allison plan it once she knew. She was annoyed enough about everything that was happening in the process, including being part of a back-alley menthol deal that should have netted them a discount because she was a cop, and she concluded the evening with a vague threat to Allison about how they didn’t have to be friends and she didn’t want her around anymore. Allison is fast losing friends, including Sam, who wasn’t eager to help her after everything and who is now on Tammy’s radar too. Getting that footage at the end of the episode is bad news too since Tammy is already gunning for Allison and may have Tammy in her sights as well, who she’ll be very upset hasn’t been honest with her. Kevin’s scheme to get his dad to dump Lorraine with the terrible laugh failed, but his unusual efforts to help with the party did mean that Neil and Diane ended up drinking together, with yet another person who might have a reason to kill Kevin joining the ranks of this show’s ever-increasing numbers. They may ultimately end up being loyal to him, though, and so Allison could be on her own.

What I’m Watching: Industry

Industry: Season 2, Episode 7 “Lone Wolf and Cub” (B+)

This episode’s opening was jarring since we suddenly saw three characters – two stars of the show and one seemingly irrelevant player – going out on their own and preparing to pull off the ultimate stealth separation. Rishi still doesn’t like Harper, but Eric thinks that’s actually a good thing. Their initial pitch didn’t go too well thanks to Eric’s attitude, and then Daria showing up to tank everything was a major roadblock. But then Harper went and brought Danny in, which changed everything, and he was very ready to play ball. Venetia’s efforts to sidestep Robert didn’t go well for anyone, and she wasted no time in reporting Nicole’s unwelcome behavior even though she later thought better of it. Yasmin reacted most abysmally, trying to tell her that she shouldn’t report it and then chewing Kenny out for daring to try to do the right thing after his many missteps in the past. This is all setting up an explosive finale with some intense confrontations and leadership changes, followed I hope by a third season since this show really is very interesting and underappreciated. Gus also went to bat for Leo after a sobering meeting with Jesse in which he expressed that he was rich enough to be a Democrat but obviously not politically aligned that way given that statement, and we’ll see where Jesse falls in all of this when he sees what Harper has done to set herself up for success and officially separate from Pierpoint in a dramatic way.

What I’m Watching: House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon: Season 1, Episode 4 “King of the Narrow Sea” (B+)

It’s disappointing to know that Milly Alcock, who I think is the MVP of this show, is soon going to be replaced by another actress playing the older Rhaenyra. This episode was a powerhouse for her, as she enjoyed the company of her uncle a little too much and then ended up spending the night with a different man, only to then be accused of tremendous impropriety. Everything in this kingdom is so incestuous anyway, not just with blood relations but also with Rhaenyra and Alicent being best friends and Alicent’s father being hand to the king. We did get to see that friendship blossom again after some steely interactions given Alicent’s new position, and she fiercely defended her friend to the king, expressing that Daemon might have reason to lie and affirm what he didn’t actually do just because he knew it would upset his brother. Rhaenyra also lobbied her father, apparently successfully, to get rid of Otto as his hand since he had given in to this accusation, something for which he should be commended given how easy it was to come across this damaging information, however true it may or may not have been. Rhaenyra is keeping her newfound relationship with Ser Cole to herself, something that will likely be used against her eventually. Being sent tea from her father to ensure that she wasn’t pregnant reminded her that he still is most concerned with who will inherit the throne from him, with her happiness always to come second.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Pilot Review: American Gigolo

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Pilot Review: The Serpent Queen

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Pilot Review: Monarch

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Pilot Review: Last Light

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Pilot Review: Wedding Season

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: Resident Alien

Resident Alien: Season 2, Episode 13 “Harry, a Parent” (B+)

It’s entertaining to be reminded just how infantile Harry can be, and how Asta and D’Arcy were able to entice him to come to her qualifier by baiting him with churros. He’s also easily intimidated by D’Arcy, hence his willingness to keep propping up her physical health, something Asta is going to be furious to learn about when it eventually comes to light. But she had more pressing soul-crushing encounters to deal with in this episode, as a casual trip to find a clue to the identity of her birth mother put her face-to-face with a woman who didn’t care at all about her. Even Harry was more attuned to the social cues of the situation and how she should have at least feigned interest and politeness. Hopefully, that devastating interaction will just inspire Asta to show Jay that she feels a completely different way, and that she’s determined to fix things before Jay grows to truly resent her. I like that Liv got Mike a Patience snowglobe and enlisted his father to encourage him to stay, while Mike just redirected the conversation to how Liv would make a good sheriff someday, provided she gives up that silly UFO hobby. It’s unpleasant to watch Ben decide to stand his ground with Kate after she tried to convince him to abandon the resort idea, and her next legal move is sure to be a shock to him, though he does deserve it given his boneheaded nature. It’s helpful to learn that crop circles are basically alien emojis, but Harry isn’t doing a great job of advocating for peaceful interspecies relations, or great ones with the humans whose noses he keeps picking to see if they’re really human.

Pilot Review: Tell Me Lies

Check out my one-minute take on every new pilot, which is embedded below and you can also watch by subscribing to movieswithabe on YouTube.

What I’m Watching: What We Do in the Shadows (Season Finale)

What We Do in the Shadows: Season 4, Episode 10 “Sunrise, Sunset” (B+)

This episode brought everything full-circle on Baby Colin, with the news broken to him that he was an energy vampire enough to enable him to return to exactly the person he was before Colin died, with no memory of any of what happened this season. That return was quite the shock to Laszlo, who’s surely going to have a tough time adjusting to having lost the son he so desperately wanted to help and couldn’t and is now burdened again with his enthusiasm-draining housemate. Nandor stepping up to try to get through to him before he switched back to being regular Colin was predictably unhelpful, but it was interesting to see him try to take charge and harken back to his days on the battlefield. The Guide revealing that she could bring souls back to life made for a situation that could have been very profitable and effective for the vampire nightclub, but the talks in multiple different languages with podcast sponsorships turned out to be a real bust. I have enjoyed having Kristen Schaal around as the Guide since she does bring her own specific energy to the role, and I hope we’ll get to see more of her. After taking a backseat to other events in this finale, Guillermo’s decision to take all the money to Derek to make him a vampire is a real game-changer, though something tells me it won’t actually happen right away. This has been a fun season, and I’m happy to come back to watch more of this show next year and beyond.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Take Three: The Patient

The Patient: Season 1, Episode 3 “Issues” (B)

I didn’t know what to expect from the person who was coming down the stairs, and this turned out to be a disappointing non-starter for Alan. I just saw Linda Emond as another mother who can’t quite connect with her child in the upcoming Apple TV+ movie “Causeway,” and here she brought a detached sensitivity to the role, aware that Sam was not in good shape but hopeless to figure out how to help him. Alan, who is very specific with his requests so that the can maximize his chance of having them fulfilled while also acknowledging reality. Sam was not interested in having his mother be part of his therapy since he didn’t believe that she was his problem, and telling Sam that he should stop for his mom didn’t prove to be effective even after he got him to agree to have her join their therapy session. Pointing out that Sam is much stronger than him and should take the chain off does conflict with his imagined flashes of viciously lunging at him and killing him. Sam would rather just hype up the food he’s bringing for his captive, who definitely can’t enjoy them to the proper degree because of his situation. The flashbacks to Beth singing music at her son’s wedding knowing full well that his new community wouldn’t allow it were very interesting, and I’m curious to learn more about Ezra’s path to ultra-Orthodox Judaism and how that clashed with his mother being a cantor at a liberal-denomination synagogue.

What I’m Watching: Kevin Can F**k Himself

Kevin Can F**k Himself: Season 2, Episode 3 “Ghost” (B+)

Falling into an open grave while searching for a dead corpse to help you start your life over can be an eye-opening sign, but I don’t think there’s much that’s going to deter Allison from fulfilling what she’s set out to do at this point. Patty expressing that she wished they were actually going to the movies and that they couldn’t when this was all over indicates just how she’s feeling, which is that she wouldn’t mind being friends with Allison, who’s all set to move on from a life that Patty still can’t escape. Flashing back to Allison’s father’s wake, which was the first time she met Kevin, Patty, and Neil, was an interesting choice because it involved the laugh track with Allison’s mom, played by Peri Gilpin, and Kevin seeming actually charming when he caught sight of her. The timing of “Pal-o-ween” was definitely unfortunate for Neil, who’s still traumatized by being knocked out, and I like that somehow Tammy ended up coming over there to join them because Neil had called her a bunch of times. Tammy does not like Allison at all, but she is very into Patty, and that attachment is going to become more dangerous for Allison as Patty continually gets pulled away for her latest antics. I’m still curious whether we’re going to get to see scenes of Kevin where he’s not accompanied by the laugh track, since him (accidentally) kicking Allison in the face was harsh enough, and I can’t quite imagine how dark and abusive he’ll seem in a different light.

What I’m Watching: Industry

Industry: Season 2, Episode 6 “Short to the Point of Pain” (B+)

Harper is playing a very dangerous game, pledging loyalty to Jesse at the risk of alienating all of her colleagues and supervisors. That didn’t work well with Rishi when she told Jesse to try something that would be deliberately deceptive, and when the numbers started to work against her, he had absolutely no sympathy. And now she’s been told to leave the floor and Jesse is investing his time and energy into rebuilding a relationship with his son, something that isn’t going to make him more likely to want to treat Harper with kid gloves. Eric’s new position allows him to offer a different kind of support to Harper, and it was interesting to see that. Yasmin having a stapler she never used put in jello and Kenny expressing his affinity for having worked with her made for a sentimental sendoff, and she had quite the transformative and salacious experience with Celeste when she left the office to go meet her. The open lines of communication Celeste has with her wife should be eye-opening to Yasmin, who definitely doesn’t have that in her family life and doesn’t employ it at work either. Gus’ time with his family underlined to him that he needs to seize on worthwhile opportunities, and fortunately this one will probably be good for him too, the opposite of the soul-sucking jobs that have now already gotten to Harper and Yasmin, who have a hunger for it, and Robert, who’s still figuring out exactly what is right for him.

Take Three: House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon: Season 1, Episode 3 “Second of His Name” (B+)

This show isn’t skimping on the violence, opening in brutal fashion with that doomed man who, after his hand got impaled, thought salvation had come in the form of the arriving dragon. Daemon is hardly one to be merciful or compassionate, and we saw that in his combat strategy at the end of the episode, ruthless to the end. It’s interesting to see the way that the relationship between Rhaenyra and Alicent has transformed, with the latter now higher-ranking, meaning that she could dismiss the poor musician even though Rhaenyra had commanded him to stay. Both Alicent and Viserys, aren’t happy that ordering her to comply and do things they want is how they have to interact with her, but she’s not budging at all in her cooperative status. Jason Lannister was charming enough, even though there’s plenty of reason to doubt the good intentions of any Lannister, but she was immediately upset by yet another attempt to force her into a destiny she has no interest in fulfilling. All of the fanfare around the hunt was set up to glorify the king who then went and killed the animal while it was restrained so that he could get the expected applause, but it was Rhaenyra who had to face a much more intense run-in which required a knee-jerk response. Her being put in power doesn’t seem likely anytime soon, but she obviously has a better instinct for the battlefield and real conflict than her father and the successor Otto is trying to make sure he appoints.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Drama Series

I had the chance to dive deep into this category for The Film Experience – head over there to read my analysis!

Next up: That’s a wrap! Enjoy the show!

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Comedy Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Abbott Elementary
Pilot,” “Light Bulb,” “Work Family,” “Step Class,” “Open House,” “Zoo Balloon
Season one of the breakout hit starring and created by Quinta Brunson scored seven Emmy nominations, which isn’t a huge haul, but it’s more notable for its revitalization of the broadcast network sitcom. Attending the Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards a few weeks ago, I saw the enthusiasm for the show in the room and how it won so many prizes, and while I don’t think it’s a slam dunk, I do feel comfortable predicting this show to win this prize in the same way that “Arrested Development” did years ago.

forgiving jeff,” “limonada,” “all the sauces,” “710N,” “candy asses,” “starting now
This show is back after far too long off the air. Its fourteen-nomination count is comfortably between its season one and two totals, and though it hasn’t been eligible for the past two Emmy seasons, it came back in a solid way. Better yet, it demonstrated an incredible quality that gives it an unexpected advantage to potentially win this prize for the first time so far into its run. I do think that this show isn’t as buzzy as other new fare, but it may just be able to win, which would be quite exciting and well-deserved.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Five-Foot Fence,” “The Watermelon,” “IRASSHAIMASE!,” “What Have I Done?,” “Igor, Gregor, and Timor,” “The Mormon Advantage
I’m frustrated that this show is here since it feels like merely a tag-on, nominated for just four prizes total over fare that deserved to be here more like “The Great.” I’m also still bitter that this season wasn’t set during the pandemic, since I very much wanted to see that. Despite its insanely erratic airing schedule, this show has managed to get nominated for every season since its second. It had some strong points but ultimately wasn’t all that superb in season eleven, and I think it’s in dead last for a potential win.

There Will Be Blood,” “Quid Pro Quo,” “The Captain’s Wife,” “Retired,” “The Click,” “The One, The Only
This is the second consecutive nomination for a show that I believe likely came in second for this prize last year and may have a shot at taking it home this time around. It added two bids to its nomination total this year, tying for the third-most nominated show overall, which is pretty great (four guest actress mentions is also quite impressive). Season two was fantastic, and this show only has upwards to go as it continues. I’m not sure it has as wide an audience as its main competition, but its creative team and cast are delightful, and wins for writing and directing last year suggest it has the right kind of fans.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Everything Is Bellmore,” “Interesting People on Christopher Street,” “How to Chew Quietly and Influence People,” “Maisel vs. Lennon: The Cut Contest,” “Ethan…Esther…Chaim,” “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?
This show took a big cut in terms of total nominations, dropping down from its season two and three hauls of twenty to a series low of twelve. While it’s lost considerable buzz since premiering strongly and winning this prize for season one, I think it’s still as good as ever. It opted not to submit the first two of its eight episodes for consideration, but while it has a shot at winning for its upcoming final season if it’s well-enough received, it really doesn’t have any shot at triumphing this time.

Only Murders in the Building
True Crime,” “How Well Do You Know Your Neighbors,” “The Boy from 6B,” “Fan Fiction,” “Double Time,” “Open and Shut
This freshman series got off to a great start tied as the third-most-nominated series with seventeen bids, covering a range of categories. It’s definitely a popular and well-reviewed show, one that has already finished airing its second season and been renewed for a third. It definitely has multiple pathways to winning, especially considering the appeal of its three stars, who all surely have different fanbases. I’m not predicting it to win but I do think it’s definitely a possibility.

Ted Lasso
Goodbye Earl,” “Do the Right-est Thing,” “Rainbow,” “Man City,” “No Weddings and a Funeral,” “Inverting the Pyramid of Success
This show is sitting pretty, jumping up from its thirteen nominations last year to twenty this time, tying it for the second-most-nominated series overall this year. While season two wasn’t received with entirely uniform praise, it’s still among the most beloved and appreciated shows, which makes it a good bet to repeat in this category. Its submitted episodes don’t matter much because it does seem like the most watched comedy, and while I’m betting that it’s not going to win again this year, it very likely could.

What We Do in the Shadows
The Prisoner,” “The Casino,” “The Escape,” “The Wellness Center,” “A Farewell,” “The Portrait
This show was by no means a sure thing for a repeat nomination after first being nominated two years ago for its most recent season. It jumped from two nominations in season one to eight for season two and now back to seven for season three. While its writing bids are promising and a sign that it’s well-liked – with quite a cult following – but its continued lack of any nominations for its cast members suggests that it doesn’t have the oomph it needs to go the distance. Its fourth season airing during the voting period probably helps, but not enough.

Who should win (based on entire season): “Barry,” “Hacks,” or “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Who should win (based on individual episodes): “Barry,” “Hacks,” or “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Who will win: While “Ted Lasso” is the easy choice and “Only Murders in the Building” and “Hacks” are certainly potential spoilers, I think that Abbott Elementary will claim this prize.

Next up: Best Drama Series

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Limited or Anthology Series

I had the chance to dive deep into this category for The Film Experience – head over there to read my analysis!

Next up: Best Comedy Series

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, Ozark (Pound of Flesh and Still Kickin’
This is Bateman’s fourth nomination for this role, back in the running after the show’s hiatus last season. His show is also over now, and he just has a win for directing from several years ago. Bateman is certainly excellent but his show didn’t deliver big numbers in terms of nominations. If he was going to win, another year seems like it would have been better, but the lack of a clear frontrunner in him scoring a victory.

Brian Cox as Logan Roy, Succession (All the Bells Say)
Cox is back after being nominated for season two of his show, when he lost to his costar and onscreen son Jeremy Strong. Cox is formidable in this role, and definitely does some of his best work in the season finale. But Strong was able to defeat him last time and I feel like that might happen again, though it’s always possible that he could win this time around for the definition of scenery-chewing and displaying cruelty.

Lee Jung-jae as Player 456, Squid Game (Gganbu)
This is the first nomination for the South Korean actor, who scored a Screen Actors Guild Award victory over both “Succession” leads. Jung-jae is the most crucial part of this show, and he chose wisely with his submitted episode, which finds him interacting with Player 1 and trying to figure out a way to save a man who has been nothing but kind to him. I think that’s enough to net him the win, even if it’s not a done deal.

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, Better Call Saul (Plan and Execution)
It’s hard to believe that Odenkirk, who was nominated for the first four seasons of his show, was passed over for an incredible season five. Fortunately, he’s back now for the first half of season six, and while its nomination haul wasn’t all that fantastic, the back half of the season, which will be eligible next year, aired during voting. Given the strong reception that the Hollywood Critics Association gave the show with its TV awards last month, I think Odenkirk has a much better shot than initially expected. His episode submission is also very strong, which doesn’t hurt.

Adam Scott as Mark Scout, Severance (Good News About Hell)
There are many people, myself included, who believe that Scott should have received multiple nominations for his work on “Parks and Recreation. It’s so great to see him honored now for a very different role, or really, two roles, which he plays so marvelously. His show did better than expected with nominations and a win for him would be a huge endorsement of its quality. I think it’s still a bit too under-the-radar, but it is possible that he could upset.

Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy, Succession (Too Much Birthday)
Strong won this award for his show’s second season and now returns for its third. Reports of his method acting being a bit too intense seem not to have deterred voters, and his submitted episode allows him to be even more off-the-wall and invested in his character’s delusions (its title says it all). He managed to beat his costar and onscreen father Brian Cox last time, and he might be able to pull off the same thing again.

Who should win (based on entire season): Odenkirk or Scott
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Odenkirk
Who will win: I think Jung-jae can win this.

Next up: Best Limited or Anthology Series

Emmy Winner Predictions: Lead Actress in a Drama Series

I had the chance to dive deep into this category for The Film Experience – head over there to read my analysis!

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Emmy Winner Predictions: Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

I had the chance to dive deep into this category for The Film Experience – head over there to read my analysis!

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?) Brosnahan is back after winning this prize for her show’s first season in 2018 and earning back-to-back bids after that. Her show received considerably fewer nominations than in the past this year, but Brosnahan is still formidable, especially in the season finale that finds her looking to a new future and a transformed relationship dynamic. This doesn’t feel like her year – a win for the forthcoming final season feels much more likely.

Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues, Abbott Elementary (Pilot)
Brunson is new to this race since her show is also new, but she’s already made quite an impression, picking up bids for writing and producing as well. At the Hollywood Critics Association Awards, she received numerous prizes, and she’s definitely one to watch. As the creative force behind her show, it’s all about her, and I feel like she’s a real threat to win. It’s far from guaranteed, but watch out for her to take this one home.

Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden, The Flight Attendant (Drowning Women)
I previously lamented the fact that Cuoco would always have to compete with an iconic actress like Catherine O’Hara or Jean Smart and would therefore never get to win a very well-deserved prize for an absolutely committed and zany performance. But then her show went ahead and disappeared from almost all other categories, which means that Cuoco, however amazing she is, has virtually no shot, despite an even more enthralling and chaotic turn in season two.

Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great, The Great (Alone at Last)
I was overjoyed to learn that the star of the best comedy series on television had earned an Emmy nomination after being passed over for season one. Unfortunately, she was joined only by her equally phenomenal costar Nicholas Hoult, with the show snubbed in the top race. Fanning is even more wondrous in season two, but no matter how good she is, it’s hard to see her taking this prize with other actresses with better support for their shows in the mix.

Issa Rae as Issa Dee, Insecure (Reunited, Okay?!)
Rae is back with her third bid in five years for this role after being nominated last year for a guest spot on “A Black Lady Sketch Show. For her show’s final season, she’s here without a corresponding Best Comedy Series bid that existed for season four, which means her chances of winning are slim. But I’m sure there are those who would love to reward Rae for great work both in front of and behind the camera, particularly for an episode that gives her great material.

Jean Smart as Deborah Vance, Hacks (The%20Click)
Smart is the defending champion in this race, and her show did pretty formidably all around. While she’s just as good as ever, and her submitted episode finds her spending a delightful night with a younger woman, I was surprised to see that Selena Gomez, who wasn’t nominated at the Emmys, eclipsed her in the corresponding streaming race at the Hollywood Critics Association Awards. While these organizations are not the same thing, it suggests that Smart’s win may have been reward enough, and though she’s still a good bet to repeat, it’s not guaranteed.

Who should win (based on entire season): Fanning or Smart
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Fanning, Smart, or Brosnahan
Who will win: I’m going with Brunson over Smart.

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Emmy Winner Predictions: Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Anthology Series or Movie

I had the chance to dive deep into this category for The Film Experience – head over there to read my analysis!

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Emmy Winner Predictions: Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Anthology Series or Movie

I had the chance to dive deep into this category for The Film Experience – head over there to read my analysis!

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Anthology Series or Movie

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

I had the chance to dive deep into this category for The Film Experience – head over there to read my analysis!

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Anthology Series or Movie

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

I had the chance to dive deep into this category for The Film Experience – head over there to read my analysis!

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.
Anthony Carrigan as Noho Hank, Barry (forgiving jeff
Carrigan is back for his second nomination after his show took two seasons off, and what a welcome return it is. He’s easily the nicest and most endearing character on his show, and he’s tremendously funny too. While he’s great in the season premiere, I do think he might have a better shot if he had chosen a later episode that gives him some meaty dramatic material too. It’s also hard to see him beating out costar and past winner Henry Winkler, though I would be thrilled. Check out our interview here.

Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent, Ted Lasso (Rainbow
Goldstein is the defending champion, back again for portraying the gruffest and grumbliest member of AFC Richmond as he navigates a new career path and an increasingly serious relationship. There’s little to suggest that Goldstein won’t win again since he’s absolutely terrific in the role and everybody seems to like him a lot. He recently took home prizes from the Critics Choice Association and the Hollywood Critics Association, and I think he’s far ahead of the rest of the pack here.

Toheeb Jimon as Sam Obisanya, Ted Lasso (Do the Right-est Thing
This is Jimoh’s first nomination after a promotion in screentime from season one of his show to season two. It’s great to see Sam explore the meaning behind his participation in the team and sweet to watch him pursue a romance that most people think could never happen. While it’s easy to like Jimoh and many voters are likely to be compelled by his performance, I don’t think he can eclipse his more prominent costar Brett Goldstein.

Nick Mohammed as Nathan Shelley, Ted Lasso (Inverting the Pyramid of Success)
Mohammed is back for his second consecutive nomination. While he’s great both in real life and on the show, I’m honestly a bit surprised since most people I talk to immediately conflate the performer and the performance, too angry at his character’s behavior to appreciate the quality of the actor. Mohammed is a crucial part of his show but I do think that this nomination is his win given the general perception of his character. Check out our interview here and here.

Tony Shalhoub as Abe Weissman, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Everything is Bellmore)
Shalhoub returns to the lineup after previous bids for all three seasons of his show and a win for season two, along with three trophies for his time on “Monk.” Though his show earned considerably fewer nominations than in the past, Shalhoub is as good as ever, particularly in his submitted episode, which finds him making the unfortunate decision to review the production of a family friend. I don’t expect Shalhoub to win this year given his show’s lack of buzz, but he could take this trophy home for the show’s upcoming final season.

Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie, Abbott Elementary (Work Family)
This is the first Emmy nomination for Williams, who gets to play the most frequently irritated member of the staff at his show’s title school. While he typically gets lots of chances to roll his eyes at the camera and seem annoyed by every little thing, he takes on a more sentimental part in his submitted episode. His show is definitely popular and seems poised to upset in other categories, but unless it sweeps, I think the chances of Williams winning here are unlikely.

Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau, Barry (starting now)
Winkler, who had five Emmy nominations for acting between 1976 and 2000, is back after winning for the first season of his show in season one and the next year for season two in 2019. He has a great arc in season three and a particularly astounding role in the season finale, which is his episode submission, but I’m not sure it’s all that humor-laced. But he did win the Hollywood Critics Association prize this past year, which shows that he’s still popular and well-respected, which could lead to another win for the highly-regarded show.

Bowen Yang as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Rami Malek / Young Thug )
Yang is back for his second consecutive nomination, this time the lone representative from his show in this category. While he had a standout scene as the iceberg that sank the Titanic last year, he’s just as memorable in this year’s submitted episode. But it’s hard to judge the quality of his performance alongside the actors playing the same roles all season, and the only actor from his show to win this prize in the past was Alec Baldwin. I don’t think his chances are great.

Who should win (based on entire season): Carrigan or Goldstein
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Winkler
Who will win: I’m betting on Goldstein to repeat.

Next up: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series