Last week it was announced that HBO is partnering with the creators of Game of Thrones on a new series, very early in production, that will be about an ahistorical United States in which the Civil War ended with Southern independence. At this point, we don’t know very much about this show, entitled Confederate, but we know it’s set in a world where black people are still enslaved, where racial tension is hyperpresent.
Twin Peaks, Washington seems like a really nice small town. Pretty girls, picturesque scenery, great coffee and pie – what more could anyone ask for?
What lurks beneath that surface, of course, is rape, murder, infidelity, evil demons, and much more.
I wrote about season one of Master of None after its debut; in its first season,this show had already established itself as one of television’s best, most exciting, new shows. In its second season, Master of None continues to be one of the most thoughtful and insightful shows on TV. Between its larger story about the life of lead character Dev (Aziz Ansari) is an attention to characters on the periphery, to stories that we haven’t seen much of in our popular culture. The intellectual curiosity on display here allows the show to create vivid portraits of characters both big and small.
I might be one of the only people in America who came to Lost after watching Damon Lindelof’s follow up HBO series, The Leftovers, a series that is concerned almost entirely with themes and character, and has no seeming concern with its own mythology. It presents an interesting exercise in contrasts, when considering the importance of mythology in Lost, and the importance that many Lost viewers placed in that mythology, even when it was something that Damon Lindelof may not have been so concerned with.
Lost is a thrilling pastiche of genre filmmaking in its own right, blending elements of adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. It’s easy to see why the mythmaking of Lost became such a huge part of what people loved about, and were disappointed by.
I’ve been on board with the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for three years now, ever since it was first announced that Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller was attached to develop the property.
I just watched the first episode of the show, and boy did it live up to my expectations.
So… What did I just witness? Because this was just plain bonkers.
Legion comes from noted writer/director/author Noah Hawley, who also created FX’s adaptation of the classic Coen Brothers movie, Fargo, which I’ve gone on the record as saying is one of the best shows on TV. Legion is (loosely?) based on an X-Men spinoff series, and stars Dan Stevens (The Guest) as David Haller, a mental patient who (spoiler) has some serious superpowers.
Fargo is already one of the more stylistically ambitious and “out-there” TV shows in memory, with suggestive audio and visual choices, and story choices including the appearance of a UFO in a seemingly traditional crime thriller. And yet, somehow, Legion makes Fargo look downright tame. In the process, the pilot for Legion also throws out any TV playbook we’re used to, hewing closer to an indie film.
The Larry Sanders Show is a show that I heard buzz about for years and years but never took the opportunity to watch. I heard all about its legacy as one of the most influential and funny shows in TV history, about its importance in the story of HBO’s development into the premiere network for original scripted TV programming, but it took last year’s death of Garry Shandling to finally push me into watching the show. I should have believed all the hype, because it’s all true.
Friends of mine likely know that the Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, American Gods, is one of the pieces of pop culture I am most excited about in the near future. Check out the first look trailer here.
The series is being adapted by TV genius Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies), with an all-star cast that includes Orlando Jones, Crispin Glover, Peter Stormare, Cloris Leachman, Gillian Anderson; best of all, it stars the inimitable Ian McShane. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed success… But damn if this doesn’t seem close.
An iconic SNL sketch starring the late, great Phil Hartman. Absolutely worth the six minute length.
I’ve had the opportunity to watch a lot of stuff this November and I wanted to give a quick roundup on it all, particularly since it’s been quite good for the most part. So, here are my quick takes, in no particular order: Continue reading “Roundup: What I’ve Been Watching in November 2015”