Well, shit. I regret to inform you that there hasn’t been a lot of TV this summer. For a few different reasons, but primarily because one of my cats has been very sick and TV just kinda fell by the wayside. Some shows got dropped (I’m so far behind on Legends of Tomorrow that I’ll just have to wait until the season pops up on Netflix), and others never even got started (I promise I haven’t forgotten about you, The Witch’s Diner!). Still, here’s the list of everything I’ve managed to watch over these past few months:
Legends of Tomorrow (Season 6, Episodes 1-5)
Sell Your Haunted House (Episodes 14-16)
Doom at Your Service
Star Trek (Season 2, Episodes 23-26)
Running Man/Classic Running Man (Random Episodes)
Last Week Tonight
Black Spot (Season 1)
Evil (Season 1)
Star Trek: Lower Decks (Season Two, Episodes 1-3)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 8, Ep. 1-6)
A quick reminder for how these work: superlatives may be bestowed upon any show I’m watching, no matter whether it’s currently airing or not. As always, I will do my best to clearly mark all awards with appropriate spoiler warnings.
Let’s get started, shall we?
“Pudsy’s Christmas” – Evil
If you’ve seen the show, you know why.
Honorable Mentions: Zari’s Song – Lord Knoxicrillion (Legends of Tomorrow); “Ever Fallen in Love” – The Buzzcocks (Legends of Tomorrow); “Ever Fallen in Love” – Tala Ashe & Matt Ryan (Legends of Tomorrow); “Timeout” – Marius Lenoir (Black Spot)
MOST FUN TO POTENTIALLY COSPLAY
Mistress of the Winter Constellations – Star Trek: Lower Decks
I thought about making this award Most Likely to Cosplay, but sadly, my cosplay skills are notoriously limited (I’m a “cobble together,” not “make myself” kind of girl), and I’m not sure I’d be up for the head-to-toe green. But if I had, like, a lot of help–and modified the shirt a bit so I’d be more comfortable in it–Pirate Tendi would be a lot of fun. That long burgundy coat with the shoulders, like. YES.
SOBBED THE HARDEST
Kwang-Soo’s Last Episode – Running Man
Running Man made me cry harder this summer than any other show on TV. Running Man. RUNNING MAN.
Like many, I was very bummed when I heard Kwang-Soo was leaving the show, as he’s my absolute favorite. (Ji-Hyo is a close second.) I felt there was a decent chance I’d get all silly and emotional about it, so Mek and I decided to postpone watching his last episode to one of my nights off. This is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Watching half the cast start crying as they tried to keep it together, reflecting on the past eleven years, like . . . God, the emotions. And when Kwang-Soo had to hand his cast member’s letter over because he couldn’t read it without crying, or when he broke down while apologizing for having to leave the show, just . . . I mean, it’s never taken a lot to make me cry, but Jesus, I was bawling. My face hurt for hours after watching this episode, and I’ve only been a fan of Running Man for, like, a year. I can’t imagine how I’d have felt if I’d grown up watching this show.
Leland – Evil
Oh, Michael Emerson is just the best. I loved him on Lost, I absolutely adored him on Person of Interest, and now I’m completely delighted by him in Evil, where he plays the villainous Leland with such glorious relish, such malicious glee. He is a hilarious, unnerving, creepy little shitstarter. He is, well, an evil sonofabitch, and I love him. Thus far, Leland has absolutely no redeeming qualities, and in my opinion, that is excellent. I look forward to more of his sinister shenanigans in Season 2.
Honorable Mentions: Frank O’Sullivan (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Isis – Star Trek
We need more cat sidekicks on Trek, I think. We do get them as pets, at least. Spot on TNG. Grudge on Discovery. But Isis isn’t Gary Seven’s pet (or Spock’s, for that matter); she’s Mr. Seven’s (mostly) feline partner in crime, and together, they’re kinda the best. (In fact, they win DYNAMIC DUO cause come on. Mysterious dude and his cat buddy save the whole planet? Who doesn’t like that? I’m still disappointed that this pilot from 20 years before I was even born wasn’t picked up.)
Anyway, Isis is sadly only a guest star, but she hilariously launches herself at bad guys and occasionally helpfully clambers onto her partner’s back like cats do, so yes. Isis is obviously the best.
SUPPORTING CHARACTER WHO MOST DESERVES A SHOUTOUT
Nounours – Black Spot
Teddy Bear! Yeah, Teddy Bear is great. He’s a policeman, basically our heroine’s right-hand-man (Nounours and Laurène also win for FAVORITE PLATONIC FRIENDSHIP) and is just generally awesome: he’s gay, relatively laid back, compassionate but also a big, bearded dude who could totally knock you out, etc. Teddy Bear won me over in the very first ten minutes of the show when, all quiet and casual, he’s like, “The birds are going crazy. The trees are bleeding. It’s going to be a shitty New Year.” LOVE YOU FOREVER, TEDDY BEAR.
Honorable Mentions for Supporting Character Who Most Deserves a Shoutout: Siriani (Black Spot); Ben (Evil)
Honorable Mentions for Favorite Platonic Friendship: Tak Dong-Kyung + Cha Joo-Ik (Doom At Your Service); Holt + Amy (Brooklyn Nine-Nine); Rosa + Holt (Brooklyn Nine-Nine); Kristen + Ben (Evil)
BEST SCENE STEALER – MAIN CAST
Leila, Sabine, and Hermann – Black Spot
Black Spot has a great cast of characters, and I didn’t really feel like choosing between all of them, so, tie! Leila is a matter-of-fact doctor/coroner with an amazing liquor tolerance and fantastic hair. Sabine is an enigmatic, down-to-earth, and kinda shifty bar owner/maternal figure who absolutely takes no shit. Hermann is the oldest cop on the squad, a mentor to the youngest cop on the squad, and just generally a nice, cranky man who wants to fish in peace. I very much like them all.
BEST SCENE STEALER – GUEST STAR
Kevin – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
I am always thrilled to see Marc Evan Jackson pop up on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He and Andre Braugher are so good together, so effortlessly funny. In fact, Holt/Kevin is my FAVORITE CANON SHIP. The, ah, romantic scene this season where Holt describes what this one rare bird looks like to Kevin, who can’t currently see it? Words do not do it justice. I laughed so hard. I am going to miss this show, and I’m definitely going to miss Kevin’s eternally dry wit.
Honorable Mentions for Best Scene Stealer – Guest Star: Dr. Daystrom (Star Trek); Gary Seven (Star Trek); Isis (Star Trek); Roberta (Star Trek); Jung Yong-Hwa (Running Man); George (Evil); Karima (Evil); Renée (Evil); Orson LeRoux (Evil); Grace (Evil); Frank O’Sullivan (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Honorable Mentions for Favorite Canon Ship: Na Ji-Na/Cha Joo-Ik (Doom at Your Service)
FAVORITE PARENT/CHILD DYNAMIC
Kristen & Lynn, Lila, Lexis, and Laura – Evil
One of the things that surprised me most about Evil is that Kristen has four kids. That doesn’t really sound like something that should win for BEST SURPRISE, but in shows that aren’t specifically About Family, it’s incredibly rare for characters to have more than one or maybe two kids, if they even have kids at all. Kids get in the way of plot. I honestly can’t even think of another SF/F show offhand where the main character has four children, let alone four daughters.
But Kristen does, and Evil does not forget about them. They’ve been in every or almost every episode I’ve watched so far and are incredibly important to Kristen’s life, having their own adventures with all the weird, creepy shit in this show. They also act like, you know, sisters. They each have personalities, they talk over one another all the time, they aren’t written to be just a band of whiny brats whose sole purpose in life is to be shitty to each other and/or their mom, etc. I find Kristen and her daughters really refreshing, actually, and their family unit is genuinely one of my favorite things about the show.
Honorable Mention for Best Surprise: How Jake’s story resolves in “The Set-Up” (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Tak Dong-Kyung & Na Ji-Na – Doom At Your Service
Oh, I like these two a lot. Dong-Kyung is the quiet, sensible friend, whereas Ji-Na is the much louder, more outrageous friend, and they balance each other out nicely. The actresses have great platonic chemistry, and I love all the moments where they gently tease one another, support one another, just hang out and talk, etc. Some scenes I especially like: Dong-Kyung obliquely threatens one of Ji-Na’s crappy love interests (he is very confused about it), Ji-Na finds out Dong-Kyung is sick, the flashback scene to when these two first met, etc. I had some problems with this show, but I really enjoyed most of the core characters. Speaking of . . .
Honorable Mentions: Mariner + Tendi (Star Trek: Lower Decks)
CHARACTER(S) WHO MOST DESERVE A BETTER SHOW
Tak Dong-Kyung, Myeol Mang, Cha Joo-Ik, and Na Ji-Na – Doom At Your Service
Doom At Your Service had a fun concept and a great cast, but I feel like the show suffered from some serious pacing problems. I love Park Bo-Young as our lead heroine, Dong-Kyung. The emotional journey she goes on after getting diagnosed with a fatal disease features fantastic acting and some really great moments, but the story itself is uneven and repetitive, particularly her relationship with Doom himself, Seo In-Guk. These two actually have really decent chemistry, but somehow their relationship manages to feel both too fast and too slow, and I felt like I watched the same scene between them, like, 27 times.
Meanwhile, I like Joo-Ik and Ji-Na a lot, too, and the actors also have very decent chemistry. But their whole relationship feels so unconnected to the main plot, and the love triangle with Hyun-Gyu is incredibly stretched out. (Plus, their romance gets a bit more iffy for me in the second half, which is unfortunate because I really did like them, and not just because Lee Soo-Hyuk, who I’ve liked since White Christmas, looks like this . . . although I can’t deny that’s also a factor.) At any rate, I enjoy all of these characters, and I kinda wish I could watch another story with them that wasn’t this story.
MOST WELCOME RETURN
Star Trek: Lower Decks
I procrastinated watching the first season of this show, but when I finally got around to it, I enjoyed it so much more than I was expecting. I really love all the little nods, homages, and inside jokes to the earlier Trek shows (particularly to TNG), and I’m so happy it’s come back during these ever-darkening times. I need my geek humor right now, please and thank you.
Honorable Mention: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
FAVORITE NEW SHOW
My friend Cory recommended Black Spot to me, and I’m really glad he did because I fell in love with it pretty much immediately. It’s this French, supernatural, weird-shit-happens-at-this-village-by-the-woods murder mystery show on Netflix, and obviously, that’s absolutely my jam. There’s some great ominous shit in there (the birds, the scarecrow, Laurène’s mysterious past, etc.) and a cast of characters I enjoy very much. (I definitely have a soft spot for DA Franck Siriani who hates dust and the outdoors and is allergic to basically everything. I feel you, man.) There’s a Big Twist moment that I think is handled spectacularly well, and Season 1 ends on some definite holy shit developments. Looking forward to starting Season 2 shortly!
But I also finally decided to give Evil a go, and now I’m just annoyed I waited so long. (The initial trailer didn’t do much for me, despite the amazing cast–I think I thought there’d be a lot more court stuff involved?) It’s weird and creepy and surprisingly funny at times, and also just . . . . surprising in general? Like subplots don’t always end where I expected, characters make bold fucking decisions I was not prepared for, etc. I’m obsessed with Michael Emerson, obviously (you’ll hear even more about that in the Spoiler Section, apologies in advance), but also Katja Herbers is a fantastic lead, and I really enjoy Mike Colter and Aasif Mandvi a great deal, too. (More Ben in Season 2, please!) Again, I am very much looking forward to seeing how Season 2 follows up on some of the holy shit developments at the end of Season 1.
Legends of Tomorrow: The Ex-Factor
Sell Your Haunted House: Episode 14
Doom At Your Service: Episode 7
Running Man/Classic Running Man: Find the Best Price Doll: Strict Doll Appraiser
Last Week Tonight: Episode 223
Black Spot: The End is Only the Beginning
Evil: Genesis 1
Star Trek: Below Decks: Strange Energies
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Set-Up
Honorable Mentions: The Satanist’s Apprentice (Legends of Tomorrow); Episodes 2, 4, 10 (Doom At Your Service); Seoul Central Post Office; SBS Broadcasting Center Times Square, N Seoul Tower, Gwangmyeong Station, Seoul Metro Subway Yard, Three Meals Jae-Suk, Choose the Fate From Your Own Hands: The First Filial Piety Shooting Operation (Running Man/Classic Running Man); Episodes 231, 224 (Last Week Tonight); What Do Wolves Dream About, In the Abyss, The End of the Road (Black Spot); 177 Minutes, 3 Stars, Exorcism Part 2, 7 Swans a Singin’ (Evil); Blue Flu; The Lake House (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
All right, time to get into the Big Secret Stuff!
Last chance to look away!
BEST BADASS MOMENT
Kristen cuts open Leland’s neck – Evil
A thing to know about Kristen: she doesn’t fuck around. After finding Leland at home playing with her daughters, she doesn’t even hesitate before she all but shoves him into her office, holding a butcher’s knife to his throat–and then actually slices his neck open. I mean, carefully, not enough to kill him outright, but certainly enough to get his (and the audience’s) attention. Like, whew! Is it a risky escalation? Maybe, but still, I highly approve of this kind of decisive action.
Honorable Mentions: Hong Ji-Ah vengefully imprisons Big Bad’s ghost, rather than exorcising it (Sell Your Haunted House); Old Lady takes out two bad guys with her shotgun before they can kill Laurène (Black Spot)
BEST HOLY SHIT MOMENT
Oh In-Beom gets possessed by the egg ghost – Sell Your Haunted House
Sebastian accidentally blows the back of his head off – Evil
It probably shouldn’t be so surprising that Oh In-Beom gets possessed, just like he did when he was a kid, but it works really well here because that’s not where your attention is. Or anyway, it’s not where mine was. See, In-Beom is following a woman into a building that’s about to blow up a little, and even knowing that egg ghosts are formed by multiple sudden deaths, my focus was more on, like, “Oh, no, is In-Beom gonna get hurt in the explosion?” or “Shit, what if the bomber attacks him?” But then Ji-Ah arrives, and you see Possessed In-Beom turn around, and it’s like, “Oh, shit,” because the potential ramifications here are HUGE. The cliffhanger gets resolved way too fast for my liking, but still, it was an excellent cliffhanger.
Meanwhile, Sebastian, a deeply annoying and worthless piece of shit, is all hurt and angry because women don’t like him. Over the course of a few episodes, Leland successfully manages to manipulate Sebastian into shooting up David’s prayer circle–or agreeing to do so, anyway. As he’s getting ready for the Big Day, though, Sebastian is playing around with his guns, rehearsing what he’s going to say in the mirror, generally acting like the dangerous, pathetic loser that he is, etc. And as soon as I said, “Watch him accidentally shoot his fucking face off,” he did. (I mean, technically, his face remained fine. But he was very, very dead.) I didn’t actually think they were just gonna kill this guy after a three-episode buildup, but holy shit, they did it, and HA! You dumb incel motherfucker. Obviously, this also wins for BEST DEATH.
Honorable Mentions for Best Holy Shit Moment: Kristen cuts open Leland’s neck (Evil); A bunch of schoolgirls spontaneously stab themselves in the ear (Evil)
Honorable Mentions for Best Death: Camille (Black Spot); Spartacus (Legends of Tomorrow)
YOU’RE KILLING ME, SMALLS
“The Omega Glory” – Star Trek
Yup, I’m giving this one to a whole ass episode because, seriously, what in the racist shit. The Enterprise encounters a planet that evolved almost exactly like Earth, only in this one, the Kohms (or Communists, or brown people) won this big war, while the freedom-loving Yangs (the white people/Yankees with their actual Pledge of Allegiance and American fucking flag) were defeated and forced into the wild to live like “savages” . . . ugh, God, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, it is the absolute worst, what even is this?
Honorable Mentions: Laurène keeps defending Bertrand (Black Spot)
Mayor Bertrand Steiner – Black Spot
Ugh. This fucking guy. Where do I even begin with him? He tries to protect his liar rapist friend. He doesn’t tell the police about important evidence in his daughter’s missing person investigation. He announces a policy change at a teenager’s funeral. He’s possessive with Laurène, jealously telling her not to hook up with random people, even though he, himself, is married. (The fact that Laurène actually likes this tool was a constant source of emotional pain for me.) And, of course, he leaves his grieving wife all alone so he can go lie to the whole town about toxic waste.
Obviously, Bertrand wins for CHARACTER WHO REALLY NEEDS TO JUST DIE ALREADY. Season One let me down in this regard, but since I haven’t gotten to Season Two yet, it’s okay. There’s still hope.
Honorable Mentions for Chief Asshat: Roman (Black Spot); Bertrand’s Dad (Black Spot); Hyun-Gyu (Doom At Your Service); Sheryl (Evil)
Honorable Mentions for Character Who Really Needs to Just Die Already: Roman (Black Spot)
Sheryl – Evil
Wow, Sheryl sucks. Which is kind of a bummer, actually, because I liked her in the beginning, but like, once she hears proof that her boyfriend, Leland, is actually a ridiculously terrible person, you know, not just the kind of asshole who sabotages her daughter’s work, but also the kind of irredeemable fucker who gloats about the possibility of a Black teenager getting A) tried as an adult, and B) sexually assaulted while in jail? Yeah, that’s when you dump the guy and take a long shower to wash the stench of oh my God, I was fucking an actual monster off of you.
And yet Sheryl decides to stick with Leland, presumably of her own free will. I mean, this is a show about literal demons, so I guess there’s a possibility of evil brainwashing sex magic or something, but at this point, it seems more like Sheryl just makes terrible asshole decisions because, secretly, she’s a terrible asshole. Influenced by Leland, sure, but her choices seem to be her own, and her choices wholeheartedly suck. I’m frankly relieved Kristen slammed the door in her face at the end of the season. WTF, Sheryl?
Honorable Mention: The Mayor’s Dad (Black Spot)
Camille killed Marion – Black Spot
I regret to say that I didn’t call this one at all. Once it became clear there was a leak at the police station, Mek and I figured it had to be Camille, but neither of us jumped to Secret Killer. And while I did consider there might be something up with those birds, I guess I was thinking more, like, ominous foreshadow? Maybe a bleak end for Camille, but not that they were actually tormenting her ass. (Which, in retrospect, annoys me cause damn it, we had like a whole season of Nature’s Violent Vengeance Against Shitty People, and why didn’t I put the clues together, why?!) Anyway, it’s kind of a bummer because I liked Camille? But it’s also a surprising and well-supported twist.
BEST WTF MOMENT
Leland meets with his actual demon therapist – Evil
We’ve seen Leland play the role of therapist before, most notably with Sebastian, but after Kristen cuts off Leland’s gloating/monologue of threats by, well, basically cutting off his balls and feeding them to him, verbally–oh, it’s fucking glorious–Leland goes to his own therapist/Presumed Big Bad. Who is, like. An actual demon, just sitting in a chair with a notebook and pen in full furry, gigantic, horned CGI glory. We’ve seen a lot, a LOT, of weird shit up to this point, but nothing quite like this, not outside nightmares and visions and drug-induced hallucinations. Not a literal demon saying shit like, “We’ll eat her heart, together. Now tell me about your dreams.” It is straight-up amazing.
Also amazing: Leland’s plaintively complaining, “Why do people make fun of marching bands? That’s a worthy entertainment.” HA. I liked that almost as much as I enjoyed his hilarious temper tantrum after Sebastian’s death. Christ, I love the humor on this dark and weird little show.
Honorable Mentions: Astra, the Legends, and the house go animated – Legends of Tomorrow
That’s about all I’ve got, today. We’ll see what autumn TV brings. Until next time!
7 thoughts on “TV Superlatives: June, July, August – 2021”
I’m very sorry to hear about your cat. Do you know if they’re going to recover?
Evil and Black Spot sound interesting. Though I watched the trailer for Evil, and it looked so tonally different from what you’d described that until Michael Emerson showed up, I thought maybe it was a different show by the same name – like I couldn’t have imagined the show, as presented in the trailer, featuring that song about Santa doing drugs, or a CGI demon therapist.
Best New Show, for me, is going to Taskmaster, which I’ve been binging on Youtube. I found it at just the right time – some sad life stuff meant I wasn’t in the mood for anything the slightest bit upsetting for a few weeks. Watching a bunch of funny people try to complete a bunch of very silly and ambiguously worded tasks was the sort of lighthearted, stakes-free silliness I needed. I got so into it that I’ve been using a VPN so I can watch American Youtube, which has the the earlier seasons uploaded.
Side note, you guys have weird ads. I got one with Ben Shapiro begging me to fight censorship by giving money to his shitty website. His website also apparently is starting a movie streaming service, which I know because Youtube also showed me a trailer for a popcorn action movie they’re streaming called Run Hide Fight, wherein a teenager goes all Die Hard during a school shooting and saves the day. It seemed tasteless.
I’m not caught up on Legends Of Tomorrow, but I did finish Season 4, and greatly appreciated the hellish saga of Gary’s nipple. And the Puppets Of Tomorrow. And the fairy godmother.
He’s been out of any immediate danger for a few weeks now, but he’s not really going to get better. We don’t have a great idea idea for how long we have with him, partially because he has multiple things going on, partially b/c communication with the vet has been a nightmare. (They’ve been wildly backed up because of Covid, which I get, but it’s been . . . frustrating.) We’re just taking it day by day. Today has been a good day so far!
I was curious so I re-watched a trailer for the first season of Evil. I don’t know if it’s the one you saw (this was just, like, a minute teaser), and none of it’s wrong, exactly, but . . . yeah, absolutely downplaying the surreal weirdness factor. (To be fair, the show definitely gets weirder as the season goes on. Both the song and the demon therapist happen late in the game, so to speak.)
I’m so sorry you’ve been going through sad life stuff. I definitely get the need for light stakes silliness–this is pretty much how Running Man has found a place in my heart. I’ll have to look more into Taskmaster! This is the first time I’ve heard of it.
Ew, I’ve never had to watch a Ben Shapiro ad before. (I mostly run into weight loss ads, which are awful but not, like, Ben Shapiro awful.) Although I’m afraid that’s going to change because I decided to watch the trailer for Run Hide Fight without thinking of the possible consequences. Yes, that looks incredibly tasteless to me. I have zero problems with stuff like Hunger Games, Battle Royale, etc. but when it’s a modern day story about a school shooting in America, I think it should actually be ABOUT that, not some kind of gross, ill-considered, teenage Die Hard wannabe movie.
The Legends seasons blend in my head, but I definitely remember liking the fairy godmother and the Puppets of Tomorrow. (Can’t remember how I felt about the nipple. I think I did laugh at that–but I do know, in general, Gary annoys me way more than most fans.)
Oh, that sucks. And IIRC, your cats aren’t that elderly, so that’s extra rough. The sad life stuff was getting our older and grumpier cat euthanised – she had an irremovable cancerous growth, and it got to the point where it was fucking with her brain – but she was 18. So it was sad, but also to be expected.
The Evil trailer I watched was this three minute one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf0ggynR0sc
I can’t say that trailer grabbed me – especially since I’m not super into straightforward exorcist horror – but I watched a couple of clips that were more enticing. I might check the full show out eventually, since I found where it’s streaming here.
Taskmaster is a delight. One of the things that’s fun is that there’s a lot of potential for loophole abuse, because generally, anything which meets the requirements of the task without breaking a stated rule is allowed, regardless of whether it goes against the “spirit,” of the task.
I was actually relieved when I looked into Run Hide Fight and found that it appears to be content to be a dumb, insensitive action flick, instead of Making A Statement. Given the platform it’s being streamed on, I was expecting the potential statement to be about how gun control is somehow to blame for school shootings.
I’m mostly fine with Gary, but the bit that got me was when they had to play along and placate him like he was an abusive spouse, then he punished them when they weren’t sufficiently enjoying themselves, and they all ended up apologising to HIM once he frees them. And he said something about how they should’ve been grateful that he wasn’t using the fairy godmother to do something worse to them.
Did love the fairy godmother’s growing annoyance at having to serve him, though.
Yeah, mine are both nine. And I’m so sorry to hear about your cat. I’m glad she had a good, long life, and I’m sure she was very happy with you. But also, losing a pet after almost 20 years is its own kind of awful. She’s been a part of your life such a long time that of course losing her must have been incredibly hard. Hugs from halfway across the world.
Yeah, again, that trailer isn’t wrong, exactly, but it’s definitely cutting out the weirdness and the humor and the family dynamics for something that feels a bit more mass market thriller? It’s also heavily if not entirely focused on the pilot. (Which, to be fair, I did very much like.) If you do ever get around to watching the show, though, let me know what you think.
This is a good point about Making a Statement, considering the platform. Still, I have to admit that I am . . . extremely reluctant to see stories about school shootings where the message seems to land on “heroes are the kids who fight back,” even if that’s not, like, a stated thesis. It’s sorta similar to the problem I had when 13 Reasons Why had their MC talk a school shooter out of killing anyone, then hid him from the cops, then became responsible for monitoring that potential shooter’s mental wellbeing. That was actually worse than this, but in general, I find myself wary of school shooting stories where the teen is expected/encouraged to “do more” than just try to survive.
Ah, I’d forgotten some of that storyline! Yeah, Gary, you sucked right then. For me, he works best in extremely small doses; sadly, that’s not the direction Legends has gone with him. I DID enjoy the fairy godmother’s annoyance, too, though. 🙂
I do get that about Run Hide Fight, and even if the filmmakers themselves aren’t seriously trying to claim that students reenacting Die Hard is the solution to America’s frequent mass shootings, I suspect that might be why a right-wing propaganda site decided to purchase and stream this particular movie. It seems like the pro-gun crowd over there is pretty desperate to propose any solution that isn’t gun control.
I ended up binging Evil as I dissassembled and reassembled Jeremy Bearimy’s cat tree – while she sporadically tried to climb it – to figure out why it had started leaning over. The last one I saw was the Christmas episode, and it’s mostly pretty fun. I like Kristen and Ben a lot. (David is fine, I’m just not that interested in his emotional arc thus far.) The scenes you’ve described here were indeed awesome. I also loved John Glover’s scenery-chewing tantrums about muffins and the like being used as evidence of possession.
I was somewhat leery of the exorcism in the Halloween episode, where it was ambiguous whether they were helping a possessed woman, or denying a sick woman medical care. It’s just that it reminded me of cases like that of Anneliese Michel, in which people have actually died in similar circumstances – either because the would-be exorcists accidentally killed them, or because the medical and mental health conditions which made people think they were possessed went untreated. The movie The Exorcism Of Emily Rose was explicitly based on the Michel case, and ultimately took the position that the corresponding character was legit possessed and the priest was a hero – in real life, that guy deservedly went to jail for negligent homicide. It was super gross, and I know that demons are definitely a thing in this show, but I don’t want them to do a similar thing here. This definitely wasn’t nearly so bad as The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, because the exorcism finished before the lady’s life was actually in danger and it didn’t explicitly portray her as possessed, but IDK how I feel about it.
I am pleased that, for a show doing the believer/skeptic dynamic, they’re not doing the X-Files thing where the skeptic will always insist a paranormal explanation is impossible in every episode, get proven wrong, and then have the same thing repeat the next episode. It renders the debate a bit pointless because the believer is always right, and it also just makes the skeptic look like a moron. Thus far, some of the episodes have had a mundane explanation, and in some it’s been more ambiguous – and even the stuff that Kristen/Ben haven’t been able to explain hasn’t been actual proof of the supernatural.
I could be totally wrong on this, but I actually did get the impression that there was some evil brainwashing sex magic going on with Sheryl? Leland seemed to know that spending the night with him would change her mind about them breaking up, and then that led to the bizarre fiery sex scene. With that being said, there was also pre-sex evidence that he was a shitty person – not just the tape, but the fact that he picked her up by giving his edgelord monologue about kindness being hypocrisy and telling her to run out on her date.
Cats are helpful like that. 😸
David is also my least favorite of the three, although I do like him. Mike Colter lands a lot of the small, quiet moments of humor that work really well for me . . . but it must be said that I’m also not desperately excited by his storylines. And agreed, John Glover was pretty amazing in that.
I think I tend to be more disturbed by stuff like movie/TV exorcisms when they are explicitly based on real historical case. Like with The Exorcism of Emily Rose (which I’ve never seen, so I appreciate the heads up!) or with The Conjuring. Like, I genuinely enjoyed aspects of that movie, but I felt very squicky about the whole evil witch backstory and also after learning a little more about the real life Warrens. The Halloween episode of Evil didn’t bother me so much, personally, but I am a bit trepidatious to see how they handle stories like this moving forward. If you end up finishing the first season, I’d be curious to see what you think of the ninth episode.
Agreed 100% on the believer/skeptic dynamic. And you’re possibly totally right about the evil brainwashing sex magic, I mean, I wasn’t sure how literally vs. metaphorically to take the fire-sex scene? For me, it’s mostly because of the pre-sex evidence that you mentioned. First because of the tape because holy Jesus, gross, and also because Sheryl found that edgelord monologue sexy and freeing instead of creepy and off-putting, like I did. Which is . . . IDK, that could be a me problem? I don’t wanna be a judgmental shit, and I do sometimes struggle with what people find sexy and WHY, so, that one might be on me. But I feel a lot more confident about judging Sheryl for the tape cause, yeah, no, what the hell?
Agreed on The Conjuring. BTW, after watching that movie I told my friend – who was already familiar with the Warrens – about the movie. When I was describing a big What An Idiot moment that annoyed me, he was deeply amused that even in the extremely historically inaccurate movie about how the Warrens are heroic, altruistic ghostbusters instead of scam artists, they still sounded incompetent.
I finished the first season of Evil. It really tickles me that the big plan for LeRoux to murder Kristen failed because LeRoux was a dummy who took his time acting like the villain from the first half of a slasher movie, with the stalking and the threatening phone calls and the ominous gifts, instead of just getting it over with. Even if he didn’t expect her to go to his house and kill him first, she knows who he is, and he’s made it obvious he’s planning on murdering her whole family – obviously she would do SOMETHING instead of just waiting around all terrified and helpless until he reached the grand finale.
Leland must be pretty annoyed that twice now he’s put all this work into having other people murder the protagonists, only to have them get themselves killed first because of their desire for theatricality.
Yeah, I also didn’t know how literally to take the flaming sex scene, or I’d be much surer about the sex magic. Though I think Sheryl sucks either way.