TV Superlatives – June, July, August – 2022 – PART II

Hello again! It’s time to dive back into TV Superlatives, this time with ALL THE SPOILERS. (You can check out Part I if you missed it.) Here’s a quick reminder of all the shows I’ve been watching this summer:

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Another
Floor is Lava (Season 2)
Last Week Tonight (Season 9, Episodes 13- 22)
Running Man (Episodes 63-75 and 606-618)
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Stranger Things (Season 4, Volumes 1 and 2)
Evil (Season 3)
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
Tomodachi Game
The Great Shaman Ga Doo Shim
Inspector Koo
Harley Quinn (Season 3, Episodes 1-7)
The Sandman
Soundtrack #1
Adamas (Episodes 1-10)
KinnPorsche (abandoned)
Baking Impossible (abandoned)
Resident Evil (abandoned)

Again, SPOILERS abound in this post. We’re gonna start off real light (the first award barely even counts as a spoiler, honestly) and then bounce straight into character deaths, so please do scroll with caution.

FAVORITE TITLE CARD/OPENING CREDITS

Evil

I love Season 3’s updated opening credits, particularly because some episodes hilariously warn that you’ll be haunted if you skip the intro. Also, The Pop-Up Book of Contemporary Demons continues to be amazing. This season, we even get to literally flip the narrative and see The Pop-Up Book of Contemporary Angels, which was a delightful surprise (and honestly, no less creepy or weird).

BEST SURPRISE

The Monsignor dies, not Grace – Evil

It’s not that I wanted the Monsignor to die. It’s actually pretty sad, particularly in the next episode when Father Ignatius comes back and sees the body, like, that little noise Wallace Shawn makes? Oof, my heart. Still, I was relieved that Grace didn’t die, partially because I really like Grace, and partially because her death would’ve been both incredibly predictable and kinda cheap, considering they only just got her back. Killing the Monsignor instead is a nice surprise and actually hits the Feels a bit harder, considering A) he’s a regular supporting player, and B) he gives his life to save Grace, allowing the character a more meaningful death than Grace herself would’ve gotten.

Honorable Mentions: Lexis isn’t manipulated by the stupid animal game; instead, she and her sisters are fucking with Leland, defeating him with their chatty chaos (Evil); Una wonders what Pike would’ve thought about the llyrians if she hadn’t saved everyone (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds); Zhang Cheng is very nice, even when he obviously disbelieves the time loop story (Reset)

BEST WTF MOMENT

Horror Demon GIF by Paramount+ - Find & Share on GIPHY

All of David and Sister Andrea’s various visions – Evil

Look, I can’t only pick one, I can’t. In fact, they collectively win FAVORITE VISION OR MEANINGFUL HALLUCINATION because they’re all too good. In one episode, David is saved from a giant bat demon thing when the very air rips open and an angel appears, only the angel is kinda like an animated Renaissance painting? David has a similar vision the next episode, only the serene angel that he sees hilariously yells, “RUN!” startling the hell out of him. (His visions get especially interesting here because after speaking to a woman who’s seen a Black angel, David’s serene angel also appears as Black, leading David into a crisis on whether his visions are even real or if he’s just been influenced by racist Renaissance art.)

We also get a look at Sister Andrea’s visions this season, like when she finds the red-haired demon, or when she kills multiple demons infesting Kristen’s house—all while having a conversation with Kristen’s oldest daughter, Lynn, who’s considering becoming a nun. Lynn, mind you, can’t see the demons, so from her perspective, she’s just accompanying an older woman around the house who’s occasionally attacking the floor with a shovel for no reason, and just decides to roll with it. I cannot begin to tell you how delightful all of this is.

Honorable Mentions for Best WTF Moment: George and Lexis floss in Kristen’s nightmare (Evil); Kristen and Leland are gonna have a baby, kinda (Evil); Kurt’s demonic victory against writer’s block (Evil); The Manager (Evil); Spock and T’Pring switch bodies (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds); Butler Kwon donated her dead son’s heart to Chairman Kwon (Adamas)

Honorable Mentions for Favorite Vision or Meaningful Hallucination: K’s visions of the dark shadow, especially the one where she sneezes and a woman goes over the side of the building (Inspector Koo)

WORST PLAN

TIE!

Basically, any and all of Obi-Wan’s plans – Obi-Wan Kenobi
Xiao He Yun leaves without a word after killing the bomber – Reset
Literally every poor decision Porsche makes in Episode 2 – KinnPorsche

We already discussed Porsche’s poor decision making skills in Part I, so let’s focus on the other two here. Obi-Wan, for instance, cause sweetie, baby. What are you doing? First, our Jedi arrives on planet and waits around for a whole minute before deciding that he and Leia must have been betrayed/abandoned, so they take off. (Obi-Wan, clearly, has never taken public transportation in his life.) Naturally, this means they almost immediately run into danger, which would not have happened if they’d just stayed put for five damn minutes. Then—so far as I can tell—his and Reva’s entire plan to kill Darth Vader boils down to Obi-Wan escaping, which will apparently distract Darth so much that he won’t notice Reva sneaking up behind him with her lightsaber? I don’t even know; I was so sure Obi-Wan had something else up his sleeve that it genuinely felt like he’d abandoned Reva to die here. And finally, when Obi-Wan does later defeat Darth Vader in battle, he just . . . lets him go, which like. Look, I get that dude has complicated Feels here, and Ewan McGregor is excellent in this episode—I did not expect to be nearly as moved as I was by this scene—but still, this is Darth Vader we’re talking about. Sparing him doesn’t just feel like a mistake; it feels, frankly, like criminal negligence.

Meanwhile, Xiao He Yun is stressed out, I get it. He’s been stuck in this time loop where his bus keeps exploding, and now he’s just accidentally killed the bomber in self-defense. Guy is probably in shock, and that’s deeply understandable. However, his decision to firmly take Shi Qing’s hand and stride off the bus without A) checking on the bomb, B) telling anyone that there is a bomb, C) confirming that the bomber is actually dead, or D) waiting around to explain to the police that yes, there is a bomb, and he didn’t just straight-up murder some random woman for no reason is just . . . nope, that’s just inexcusable, especially because he has every reason to think that this might be the final loop. Xiao He Yun. Buddy. What are you doing?

BEST WEAPON

Adamas – Adamas

I mean, if you’re gonna stab someone in the eye, might as well do it with style. Throw out that old, tired switchblade and grab yourself a big ass arrow. But not just any big ass arrow! You need one with a diamond tip, and not just any diamond tip. You want a fucking rock. You want that shit to be as ostentatious as possible. Remember, this is murder we’re talking about. We want sophistication. We want symbolism.

(Okay, fine, the Adamas is mostly a weapon of opportunity, and also the diamond isn’t even real. Still. Imagine this shit being your signature weapon. I think it’s amazing.)

FAVORITE FIGHT SCENE

TIE!

Obi-Wan vs. Darth Vader, Round 2 – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Lucifer vs. Morpheus – The Sandman

The fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader in the finale is pretty epic, culminating in an intensely emotional scene that I—as previously mentioned—was not expecting to hit so hard. It also had Obi-Wan raising his arms wide in one of those Big Damn Power Moves, lifting a shit ton of rocks to launch at his former Padawan. This moment wins for FAVORITE BADASS MOMENT because I’m a simple girl who’s always been weak for the raise-both-arms power move.

But I also really enjoyed the weird, like, conceptual/psychic fight between Lucifer and Morpheus, battling each other with competing “I am” statements. (I am a dire wolf, I am a wolf-stabbing hunter, etc.) I will admit that I am not at all convinced by the conclusion of this particular fight—hope is crushed all the time, I would never put money down on hope against anti-life—but that’s probably just because I’m a cynical bastard. It was still a very neat, very imaginative scene, possibly one of my favorites in the show.

Honorable Mentions for Favorite Fight Scene: Kyung Yi vs. Yi Kyung in Yi Kyung’s hideout (Inspector Koo)

Honorable Mentions for Favorite Badass Moment: Beru sneak-attacking Reva (Obi-Wan Kenobi); Knocker kills Mr. Angel (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?); Kristen breaks the shit out of the trucker’s scare equipment (Evil); David says if the Church fires Sister Andrea, they’ll have to fire him, too, one of their very, very few Catholic Black priests (Evil); Yong Sook power-strolls past the reporters with her face half-burnt (Inspector Koo); Je Hee calling the reporters on Yong Sook (Inspector Koo)

CREEPIEST MOMENT

Extreme fucking measures – Evil

In “The Demon of Money,” people are cursed after receiving a specific stock tip. There seems to be only two ways to get rid of the curse: pass on the stock tip to someone else, or give back everything you used your newfound riches to pay for. One man goes the latter route, which is why he has gauze over his nose and eye—because he used the money for LASIK surgery and a nose job. His hacked off nose is horrific enough, but then this guy says quietly, “It was the only way to keep the demon away. I had to give it all back . . . the worst thing was my wife’s breast implants.”

People. I literally covered my boobs and sank back into my couch in horror.

Honorable Mentions: The umbrella death (Another); The doll shop (Another); Everyone killing themselves in the diner (The Sandman); Dude, anytime anyone smiles (Tomodachi Game); The increasingly closer Wandering Jack photos (Evil); Andy’s abduction (Evil); Logan murders Valerie to “save” her from the growling fetus (Evil)

FAVORITE REVENGE

Kristen gives That One Jerk the cursed stock tip – Evil

Yes, That One Jerk has returned again, but thankfully in a badass moment of revenge, Kristen cheerfully takes the cursed stock tip from Ben (who, in turn, had taken it from Karima) and passes it on to this asshole. Is that the morally correct thing to do? Probably not. Was it still hilarious and awesome? Yep, it absolutely was.

THE STANNIS AWARD (AKA, THE BLOOD THIRST LETDOWN)

Jed’s abusive stepfather is killed offscreen – The Sandman

Look, some characters are the absolute worst, and if you’re gonna make us suffer through all their miserables scenes, we at least deserve to see their bloody and brutal demise. What is this offscreen shit? Unacceptable. We the Bloodthirsty demand better.

WORST RAPE SCENE/SUBPLOT

Kinn and Porsche have sex after Porsche has been roofied – KinnPorsche

Look. I know this is a hugely popular ship. I’m not here to jump up and down on anyone for enjoying it. And my understanding is that this scene is considerably toned down compared to the noncon in the book, but . . . folks, personally, this is about where I had to bow out. I can handle some dubcon, but if I’m supposed to ship a dude who has sex with his conscious but very drugged, very high, very unable to consent bodyguard? That’s a hard pass from me,  even if Porsche was already attracted to Kinn. I stuck it out one more episode to see how they handled the fallout, but when it became clear that Porsche was mostly just upset that Kinn was cold towards him afterwards, I figured it was time to move on to other shows I might enjoy more.

BEST BODY HORROR

The death of Chrissy – Stranger Things

I have heavily mixed feelings on Stranger Things this season, but credit where credit is due: Chrissy’s brutal, bone-snapping death was sad, creepy AF, and made a very effective jumping off point to the strongest storyline of Season 4. Chrissy, you died so that one plot line, at least, could truly thrive. RIP.

GRAND PRIZE FOR SURVIVAL

TIE!

Max – Stranger Things
Kyung Yi – Inspector Koo

Max is not in good shape at the end of Season 4. She’s gone blind. Vecna has snapped all her limbs. And she even temporarily dies, which damn, that scene: Max desperately saying that she isn’t ready to die, as Caleb and Eleven weep over her—that scene is a very rude kick to the Feels. Still, at the moment, Max is alive; comatose, but alive. Considering that the Duffer brothers originally planned to kill her off for good, Max definitely earned her Grand Prize for Survival here.

Kyung Yi, thankfully, is in much better shape than by Max by the end of Inspector Koo. Still, in Episode 9, Kyung Yi survives pretty incredible odds when she not so subtly hits rock bottom. First, she’s stuffed inside a giant barrel and kicked down a large, rocky hill—which is when we transition into a video game sequence where, whoops, Kyung Yi dies. (We even get a “Game Over, Thank You For Watching Inspector Koo” message. It’s the best.) Fortunately, there’s a Continue option, so this time she lives, but still ends up in a pretty precarious situation, landing on top of a . . . you know, I don’t even know what. She’s on a very narrow beam across, like, a gigantic cylinder in a landfill or something? It’s hard to describe, but yeah, it’s bad. And then she plummets down the cylinder while trying to cross the beam, nearly dying again. While Kyung Yi is eventually rescued, the fact that she survives at all is, whew. Deeply impressive.

Honorable Mentions: Steve (Stranger Things); Grace (Evil)

FAVORITE DEATH

The Umbrella Death – Another

This is why I never use umbrellas.

Okay, not really. But it’s definitely an additional reason to avoid using umbrellas. I immediately sought this anime out after finishing Yukito Ayatsuji’s novel, and while there are obviously a ton of creepy, gory deaths in this show—as will happen, when you’re a student in a cursed class—Yukari falling down a staircase and impaling herself on her own umbrella remains my absolute favorite one.

Honorable Mentions: Mr. Kubodera (Another); Junta (Another); Chrissy (Stranger Things); Monsignor (Evil)

WORST DEATH

Eddie – Stranger Things

I mean. It’s not the absolute worst death. (The Crowned Clown, I am STILL looking at you.) But it is extremely predictable, and it’s kind of a worthless sacrifice, as Eddie’s death doesn’t actually do anything: nothing is changed and no one is saved by Eddie’s big heroic moment. Mind you, that kind of futile tragedy can be done well, but like—you have to actually address it, and this show never does. Instead, Stranger Things just does what it’s known for: introducing a few new likable characters each season and brutally murdering one of them by the end of it. I feel like Eddie deserved better.

Honorable Mention: Ms. Lee (Adamas)

JIMMY, NOOOOO!

TIE!

Dr. Alwyn Thomas – Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
Ms. Lee – Adamas

Okay, they sort of had to kill off Dr. Alwyn Thomas, considering it’s Bobby Jones’s whole motivation for getting involved in the first place. Still, I was all sad when they inevitably revealed the good doctor’s body. I’ve only ever seen Conleth Hill in Game of Thrones, and it was a wonderful surprise when he popped up in this. He’s very charming and funny in the role, and I would happily watch more mysteries with him.

And damn it, I liked Ms. Lee! She was all practical and cool, and she was the only female agent we’ve met in the SIH. I also really liked all her scenes with Kim Seo Hee and was sort of hoping we’d get more moments with the two of them. I was definitely bummed that she died so quickly. I ultimately didn’t pick her for Worst Death because at least she was killed by Sun, not  some random nameless henchman or something. Still, I really wish she’d had the chance to put up more of a fight. A real battle between Sun and Ms. Lee could’ve been awesome to see; unfortunately, this really wasn’t that.

Honorable Mentions: Eddie (Stranger Things); Tala (Obi-Wan Kenobi); Jung Jeong Yeon (Inspector Koo); Mr. Baek (Adamas); Agent Kim, possibly? (Adamas)

LEAST FAVORITE SUBPLOT

The Russia Storyline – Stranger Things

I’m not saying there weren’t good moments, here or there—Winona Ryder is always fantastic, I genuinely liked Dmitri (Tom Wlaschiha), and the scene where Hopper squeezes his broken ankle through the chain was legit horrifying, like, that definitely wins MOST OH-MY-GOD PAINFUL OW MOMENT—but overall, I found the whole “save Hopper from Russia” subplot overly long and deeply unnecessary, and I zoned out a LOT during these scenes. The way it supposedly ties into the Big Battle at the end . . . nah, didn’t buy it, not for one second. And the way we just drop Dmitri and Yuri at the end with no goodbye, no wrap-up, nothing? Bah. How can you spend this much time in Russia and not bother to give these characters a good ending?

Honorable Mention for Least Favorite Subplot: Basically, everything that happens in California (Stranger Things)

Honorable Mention for Most Oh-My-God Painful Ow Moment: Three of Yuichi’s fingernails are pulled off (Tomodachi Game)

WORST PRIORITIES

Woo Soo ignores his sobbing BFF for his love interest – The Great Shaman Ga Doo Shim

The Great Shaman Ga Doo Shim is a cute show about destiny, high school, and subduing evil ghosts, but it’s also a very rushed show—like, this is the rare K-drama where I actually want longer episodes. Hasty storytelling, I suspect, is why Woo Soo—generally a pretty nice kid—becomes the shittiest best friend on the planet. His BFF is Il Nam, whose dad died years ago saving his son’s life. Doo Shim, who can see ghosts, tells Il Nam that his father is sorry for dying on what should’ve been a happy day, leaving Il Nam with only guilt and sad memories. Unsurprisingly, Il Nam starts bawling, and to comfort his one and only friend, Woo Soo gets up, pats him once wordlessly on the shoulder—and then immediately leaves to follow Doo Shim,  currently in no emotional distress, outside. Thankfully, Doo Shim’s mom (the amazing Bae Hae Sun) hugs the poor kid, but what the actual fuck, Woo Soo? This is unacceptable.

BEST KISS

First Kiss/Last Kiss – The Great Shaman Ga Doo Shim

OTOH, here is one of Woo Soo’s better moments:

An evil ghost is haunting the school, targeting whichever student has the worst exam results. Doo Shim decides to get a terrible grade in order to save another student. She also decides to kiss Woo Soo the night before, knowing that this could be her first and last kiss. Unfortunately, Doo Shim’s plan doesn’t work because Woo Soo knows what she’s up to, and secretly interferes. It’s revealed that he also secretly flunked the test, consequently shocking everyone because he’s the top student. None of this is particularly shocking to the audience, mind you, but it’s still a nice moment as Woo Soo smiles, quietly satisfied, and we flashback to the kiss from his perspective, where he’s also thinking, This is my first kiss and probably my last one, too.

FAVORITE SCENE STEALER – GUEST SPOT

TIE!

Father Frank Ignatius – Evil
Grace – Evil
T’Pring – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

I’m primarily familiar with Wallace Shawn from more comedic work, so I definitely didn’t expect him to pop up (as a good guy, even) on Evil this year. But he did, playing a terminally ill priest who agrees to undergo a whole 21 grams experiment and somehow ends up miraculously cured. The scene where Father Ignatius is confused and scared and dying . . . like, Jesus, that one got me. And his relationship with the Monsignor, their secret feelings for one another, got me, too. I really liked Wallace Shawn’s understated performance, particularly Father Ignatius’s honest and pragmatic response to grief. I’m not sure if Wallace Shawn is coming back for Season 4, but they’ve certainly set it up so that he could, and I personally really hope that he will.

Meanwhile, Grace (Li Jun Li, who was introduced in the first season) has returned! I honestly wasn’t sure it would happen, but I’m excited it did, and—as previously mentioned—absolutely ecstatic that she didn’t die. I really like this actress a lot: I enjoyed her in The Exorcist (the TV show), I adored her in Wu Assassins, and there’s just something about her as Grace—a kind and quiet prophet who occasionally uses balloons to better hear the voice of God, as one does—that I find extremely compelling. I don’t know if this is the end of her storyline or not, but either way, I’m really happy we got to see her again this season.

Finally, I always kinda liked Arlene Martel as T’Pring in “Amok Time”—this woman knows what she wants, and she’s damn well gonna get it—but I’m especially enjoying Gia Sandhu’s portrayal of the same character in Strange New Worlds. She has a lot more time to make the role her own, which is why she’s also winning MOST IMPROVED CHARACTER. T’Pring is logical (obviously), dedicated, nuanced, and clearly trying to make her relationship with Spock work, even when she’s immensely frustrated with him. I honestly like these two so much, I’m kinda bummed they canonically don’t work out, and I’m hoping to see more from her in Season 2.

Honorable Mentions: Lord and Lady Marcham (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?); Hari Singh (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?); Dr. George Arthbunot (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?); Roman Commander (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds); Victor Le Conte (Evil); Victor Creel (Stranger Things); Melonmusk35 (Inspector Koo); Johanna Constantine (Sandman); Erica (Sandman); Death (Sandman); Rosemary (Sandman); Ethel Cripps (Sandman); Brian Cox as God (Last Week Tonight); Eun Soo’s Mother (Soundtrack #1)

CHIEF ASSHAT

Evil GIF by Paramount+ - Find & Share on GIPHY

Kurt – Evil

Kurt. Buddy. Pal. What’s happened to you?

Yes, I know you saw a demon. Yes, I can imagine why that would shake you up. What I fundamentally do not understand, however, is why you’re suddenly so weirdly desperate to write a book on the supernatural (possibly non-fiction, possibly a ghost story, and absolutely terrible either way—dude, your writing sucks, with or without demonic inspiration) that you decide to get rich quick with Leland Townsend, a man who has done ALL sorts of evil crazy shit, some of which you don’t know about, some of which you definitely do. More to the point, though; some asshole tells you to tap into the Dark Side and write your novel by singing a super creepy version of “Alouette” while literally bleeding onto your computer . . . and you’re just cool with that? You’re just gonna keep going even after your arm turns all hairy and demonic? Dude. Dude. What the actual fuck is wrong with you?

(It must be said, though: Sister Andrea’s face when Kurt tells her that he wants to write a book is a thing of beauty. Again, Andrea Martin is a goddamn gift.)

Honorable Mentions: Angela (Stranger Things); Brenner (Stranger Things); Kim Won Sik (Inspector Koo); Sam Kirk (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds)

FAVORITE VILLAIN

TIE!

Yi Kyung – Inspector Koo
Yong Sook – Inspector Koo

One of my favorite things about Inspector Koo is how all the power players are women. That includes our two primary antagonists, Yi Kyung and Yong Sook, who are both fantastic. Yi Kyung (aka K) is a serial killer, but she’s also frankly adorable, and it’s sort of impossible not to root for her. After all, she only targets shitty people, and she’s just so endearingly awkward at times! (Other times, of course, she is creepy as shit.) You just really want her and Kyung Yi to team up together, even though they’re very much on opposite sides. I’ve really liked Kim Hye Joon since watching her in Kingdom, and her work in Inspector Koo has only solidified just how much I adore this actress.

Meanwhile, Yong Sook is the director of a charity foundation and, also, a secret crime boss who’s determined that her oldest son will win the upcoming mayoral election. Crime bosses, especially, tend to be dudes in crime shows, so it’s especially nice to see a woman in the part—and damn, what a woman. Kim Hae Sook knocks it out of the park in this show. She has this energy about her: confident, immovable. She steals every scene she’s in with the sheer presence she brings to the screen—her final scene, in particular, is a thing of beauty—and I want to see more of her work immediately.

Honorable Mentions: Tao Ying Hong (Reset); Darth Vader (Obi-Wan Kenobi); Roger Bassington-ffrench (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?); Leland (Evil); Vecna (Stranger Things); The Corinthian (The Sandman); Sun (Adamas)

WORST VILLAIN

Lt. Colonel Jack Sullivan and all the other evil government dudes – Stranger Things

I get why nobody liked Jason and the Jocks in Stranger Things. I even agree, actually: they do feel a bit unnecessary in what’s already a very overstuffed season. Personally, however, I actually find the evil government guys hunting down El even more annoying. Arguably, they’re far more important to the plot: they’re why Dr. Owens comes back to save El, they’re the dudes who (kind of) give Will, Jonathan, Mike, and Argyle something to do, and they’re the ones who kill Matthew Modine (for real this time).

However, the closer you look at them, the more unnecessary they seem. I feel confident that Dr. Owens could learn about recent problems re: Hawkins and bring El to the super secret facility without Lt. Colonel Sullivan interrogating him; after all, Dr. Owens seems to still have plenty of government connections. We definitely don’t need these evil government dudes to attack said super secret facility because we already have an antagonist here: Dr. Brenner, who—to absolutely no one’s surprise—goes back on his promise and imprisons El. There’s absolutely no need to throw a third party into the mix; it especially frustrates me because once El escapes, the bad guys don’t give chase, like, “Oh, she got away; I guess we won’t bother trying to follow her, then. It’s not like we know exactly where she’s going or anything.” And as far as the California C Plot goes  . . . I mean, let’s face it: that plot barely holds together as is, right? I think a whole rewrite is definitely in order.

Honorable Mention: Jason and the Jocks (Stranger Things)

WORST PARENT

Sheryl – Evil

Let’s face it: Sheryl is probably going to win this award whenever Evil is on air. Like, you think your relationship with your mom is bad? I mean, it totally could be! I’m not here to invalidate your family trauma. I’m just saying that, probably, your mother didn’t help abduct your husband and keep him conscious but paralyzed for months while doing unspecified weird demonic shit to him; she also probably wasn’t in cahoots with the evil dude who stole your egg from a fertility clinic and impregnated another woman with it. She probably hasn’t introduced your pre-teen daughter to her literal demon of a boss. She might not even work selling NFTs! If your mother has done any of those things . . . I’m very sorry, very worried, and I sincerely hope therapy is helping you.

Honorable Mentions: “Papa” – Dr. Brenner (Stranger Things); Sakakibara’s utterly useless dad (Another); Lu Di’s mom (Reset)

And . . . holy shit, I think that’s it! Thank you anyone and everyone who’s actually read this far. I hope you’re having a lovely day, and please feel free to write about whatever you’ve recently been watching on TV in the comments.

5 thoughts on “TV Superlatives – June, July, August – 2022 – PART II

  1. I seriously hope that after Robin finishes high school, she and Steve move to a nearby city and rent an apartment together. I think it’d be really good for both of them to get out of Hawkins, and it’s sort of hard to imagine them apart now.

    Like a naive fool, I truly believed that the Steve/Nancy/Jonathan love triangle was over after Season 2, so I was incredibly disappointed to see it cropping up again here. I think I too am in favour of Single Nancy, but I’ll take whatever if it means we can kill the love triangle faster.

    I actually liked Jason & the Jocks, which sounds like the name of a band that a bunch of football players started in their spare time. Jason really worked for me, as an antagonist who clearly thinks he’s the hero of this story, especially because his wrong conclusions kinda made sense, and because the show surprisingly refrained from portraying him as someone who was a bullying Eddie & Co. *before* things with Chrissy went down. I agree on Sullivan though – I’m assuming half the reason he was there was to set things up for Season 5 – and the Russia and California storylines. On the bright side, at least Hopper isn’t being an enormous asshole anymore?

    Eddie’s big heroic moment also bothers me because I don’t even understand what he was trying to do. I get him leading the swarm of bats away from Dustin, but then he decides to stand and fight them, even though that is a sure death sentence that does absolutely nothing to help anyone, and actually works against the purpose of leading them away? I get that Eddie was having survivor’s guilt about running from Chrissy and Patrick’s deaths, but I don’t think he was meant to be SUICIDAL, geez.

    Andy’s abduction really got me. I’d been waiting for something horrible to happen to him in Nepal, obviously, and I’d started to realise something was up with the video chats, but I’d never suspected for a second the horrible thing had happened before he even reached Nepal and that the chats had been totally fake all along. Anyway, I’m glad Andy seems to be more involved in the show’s plot, finally.

    The girls’ shenanigans in the animal game were hysterical, and definitely my favourite revenge.

    It was incredibly frustrating watching Kurt make a lengthy series of terrible decisions, because it felt like he should be smarter and better than this. I understand people who are so greedy or ambitious or desperate that they decide to make a deal with the devil, trading long-term consequences for short-term gains. But Kurt hadn’t seemed like someone who was particularly greedy or ambitious or desperate. Worse, he somehow didn’t even seem to understand that there might be any consequences whatsoever to any of this, or that Leland could have a motive beyond altruistically helping aspiring authors with their writer’s block.

    To my glee, Andrea Martin briefly popped up playing Steve Martin’s love interest on Only Murders In The Building, and it seems like they’re setting her up for a bigger role in Season 3. There is a possibility that she killed Paul Rudd.

    I watched a show called From, about a bunch of people who are magically trapped in a weird town surrounded by a forest full of vampires. “Town you magically can’t leave,” is a horror trope I like a lot, and I like the way it’s executed here – they actually haven’t explored that much of the area they’re trapped in, beyond the town and the road in and out of it, so they know the road loops back in on itself but have no idea if that’s the same for the the forest, because they can’t take cars through the woods and long hikes are problematic when the vampires come out after sunset. I am getting kind of concerned that it’s going to be one of those sci-fi mystery shows that collapses under the weight of it’s ever-expanding myth arc – like there just seems to be an fairly large variety of weird shit going on, and I can’t really see how it connects ATM, so this could be mystery writing from The X-Files School of Making Shit Up As You Go Along. But I can’t really criticize it on that yet, in the first season.

    Anyway, my Best Surprise, ATM, is that there are two loose factions in town – one who’re basically trying to carry on like they would at home, and the others who have figured that since they’re trapped and likely to get killed by vampires pretty soon, and they might as well party before they do. And I initially assumed that this was so the latter faction would be the “bad,” faction in some fashion. And then the show just… doesn’t do that? They’re not portrayed any more or less sympathetically than in town, the woman who runs their faction seems like a pretty good leader, possibly the sweetest and kindest character on the show is the casually bisexual lass who grows their weed and has an open relationship with her boyfriend, none of which the show portrays as a bad thing. And they seem just as functional as the faction living in town – the only thing that really seems like a negative is that all sleeping together in one big-ass house means that when the vampires tricked some moron into inviting them in, there’s a higher kill count than when the same thing happened in the town, where people are more spread out.

    Most Painful Cancellation, for me, is Kevin Can Fuck Himself, primarily because I liked a lot of shit they did with the ending, but it did feel overly rushed. (In fairness, IDK if I should be blaming that entirely on the cancellation, since I feel like they could’ve spread what happened in the last episode out, making the last two or three episodes more of a two-or-three-parter.) It does get Best Ladymance and Favourite Non-Canon Ship though, with it’s main two characters Patty & Allison, and their weird, forked-up friendship.

    • Yeah, if Nancy and Jonathan end up together, that’s fine. I don’t really care, so long as it’s finally OVER, and so long as Steve doesn’t get killed off for it to happen. I will be VERY annoyed if they kill off Steve. (I love the idea of him and Robin moving out together! They would make awesome roommates. They are meant to be platonic soulmates, damn it.)

      You’re right, Sullivan probably is a setup for the following season. I guess I’m kind of in between on Jason? I liked him less than you did (although that’s a very good point, about him not bullying Eddie prior to Chrissy’s death), but definitely didn’t hate him as much as most of the internet. It might just be that I didn’t care much about him in general, and since the season is SO overstuffed with characters, I was more annoyed having to watch his scenes? And THANK GOD Hopper is not being a gigantic asshole right now. Let’s bring that non-asshole energy into Season 5, please!

      I’m 100% with you on Eddie’s Big Moment. I don’t get it at all. Like, I think I get it thematically—he ran away from Chrissy being murdered and he’s been running away from Jason all season and now he’s not going to run anymore, he’s going to make A Stand—but like, “Master of Puppets” was that stand. This didn’t need to be THAT literal. (Plus, Eddie really didn’t do anything wrong before, but yeah, that’s survivor’s guilt for you.) Maybe if Eddie had run up against a cliffside or something, was at a literal dead end, or injured and physically couldn’t run anymore . . . but the way it’s shot, it’s totally baffling.

      Oh my God, Andy’s abduction was so upsetting (in a good way), and I don’t even care about Andy! (Actually, the actor has some great expressions. I don’t hate Andy; I’m just not into love triangle drama, so I’ve been kinda rooting for him to die since Season 1. I was not expecting to feel so bad for him here!) I did 100% think the chats were fake, but I thought he got straight up murdered, not, like, consciously paralyzed and locked in his own body.

      Kurt’s very sudden downward spiral is utterly bizarre. I’m willing to go with it, but I also agree that it makes absolutely NO sense for his character. I honestly think this happened because either the actor wanted more to do, or the creators suddenly realized they had managed to create an extremely weird show with Kurt Fuller, of all people, somehow playing the straight man and were determined to get him into the wackiness.

      (I’m going to carefully skip over your Only Murders in the Building comment because I finally started watching that and haven’t quite gotten to Season 2 yet. I really like it so far, though! At the moment, it’s easily winning Favorite New-to-Me Show.)

      Oooh, I’ve never even heard of From, but that sounds interesting! I, too, enjoy the “town you magically can’t leave” trope, and I haven’t seen Harold Perrineau in anything in a while. And yay for not having the obvious Good Faction vs Evil Faction dynamic.

      • Right? I understand what the writers were doing thematically, just not what *Eddie* thought he was doing.

        Them wanting to give Kurt more to do makes sense I guess. I just wish that they’d done it in a way that made sense with his previous characterization, or what he already had heard about Leland – the ethics of working with Leland aside, he should just be waaaaay more suspicious of his motives. I guess he could think maybe some of the shit Kristen’s told him about Leland is biased, but even then.

        I don’t dislike Andy as a character, but yeah, his role in the show isn’t exactly the most interesting to me. Although now that he’s actually got something plot-related to do, I’m genuinely excited to see what happens with him, which isn’t something I thought I’d be saying.

  2. I watched Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? That was very charming, and yes, the cast list was terrific, and Frankie and Bobby’s banter was top notch. (Although Frankie’s jealousy of what seemed to be an abused woman was gross.)

    I did find it hilarious that the villains were trying to kill Bobby to cover up Cliff Guy’s death, and then they killed the doctor to cover up Bobby’s attempted poisoning, and then it finally turns out that they’d only killed Cliff Guy to cover up a different murder. Plus Roger also killed his brother – not for any reason relating to the rest of their plot, but just because he disliked his brother.

    The cover up mostly wasn’t even necessary! Alright, they probably did have to kill Cliff Guy, but there wasn’t much reason to try to kill Bobby at first, and even less reason to kill the doctor. These people have the itchiest trigger fingers in all of history.

    Also, Roger definitely shouldn’t have introduced himself to Bobby, right? Like if he’d kept his mouth shut, he could’ve gotten away without anyone learning his name, and Frankie wouldn’t have been able to find him.

    • Yeah, I was happy they kept the jealousy to a relative minimum, but . . . yeah.

      Also, agreed, these are not master criminals here, LOL. If you’re going to be killing people left and right (or hiring people to kill others left and right), maybe don’t lead with your extremely singular real name. Like, you absolutely don’t need to actually spell it out, for God’s sake. 🤣🤣🤣

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