It’s been an interesting summer for the CW’s Supernatural. Not only was it featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly‘s Fall TV Preview issue, but fans have been speculating on just how new co-showrunner Andrew Dabb (replacing Jeremy Carver) will change the show’s dynamic. (Also, the CW’s affiliate changes mean several viewers across the country will now face fewer local sports-related delays.)
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As soon as Netflix approached the idea of rebooting the WB landmark series Gilmore Girls, the Internet went wild: hearts skipped beats and a dormant fandom began to awaken. Recently, across all 50 states, thousands of fans gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the Gilmore Girls premiere on 5 October 2000, at Luke’s Diner pop-up shops. Sixteen years, 153 episodes, and four highly-anticipated 90-minute episodes in the can, fans prepared for the 25 November launch through a unique and clever trip down memory lane.
The third episode of Atlanta further capitalizes on one of the series’ primary strengths; its methodical pace and lived-in atmosphere make the show feel comfortable in its own skin. A typical high-concept series would still be zeroed in on propelling its central plot forwards; if Atlanta was on Fox instead of FX, this episode would be focused on cementing the budding musical partnerships between Earnest “Earn” Marks (Donald Glover) and his rapper cousin Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles (Bryan Tyree Henry), with Earn booking him a show or getting him more radio plays.
Instead, “Go For Broke” continues to establish the importance of the show’s central premise in a more cerebral and natural manner, without skimping on the surreal absurdity. Money (or lack thereof) is the overarching theme here, with Earn taking Vanessa (Zazie Beetz) for a dinner he stands no chance of affording, while Paper Boi and Darius (Keith Stanfield) find themselves tangled in a tense drug deal.
It’s amazing but in just a few short months Preacher has already carved a nice little groove for itself in an overly congested television landscape. It did so by refusing to do all the things that television fans often demand—most notably an easily understood plot—and did so with an almost mocking bravado. It has been an opening season that’s been at its best when it throwing things at the wall to see if they stick, which they have with almost otherworldly consistency.
We all knew this had to come to end. That showrunners Evan Goldberg, Sam Rami, and Seth Rogen had to eventually reign in all the stray parts of the series and build toward something substantial and concrete. Maybe I knew, but it hasn’t helped the fact that the last couple episodes, which feature a show creating boundaries instead of blasting through them, have been just the least bit disappointing.
The A Word is a family drama centered around Joe Hughes (Max Vento), a five-year-old child with autism. The show opens with Joe’s uncle, Eddie Scott (Greg McHugh)—who’s coming home with his adulterous wife Dr. Nicola Daniels (Vinette Robinson) to live with his brother—trying to navigate a car with a small trailer up a driveway. The visual is a great, if unintended, metaphor for the episode as a whole. Writer Peter Bowker seems to be trying to combine a social realism drama with an absurdist farce. Director Peter Cattaneo’s lingering shots and documentary feel add to the weirdness of it all.
It’s an utter shame because the best parts of the show depict the family dealing with coming to terms with Joe’s condition. The other melodramatic stories at best distract and at worst undermine the believability of the family’s central crisis.