Welcome back to the TV Week That Was, although it is actually closer to the TV MONTH That Was, as I have had a few weeks where I was unable to find the time for this column. But hey, that just means that this one will be chocked full of TV goodness (and some not so goodness).
Speaking of that not so goodness, I found out this past week that Starz has decided to cancel Ash vs. Evil Dead. What an epic failure in my book. This show has been one of my absolute favorite shows this season, just catching up on Netflix. Season three has been so great that the news caught me completely off guard. I can’t imagine why Starz would make this decision, but it certainly makes my decision to cancel my Starz subscription immediately after the series finale next week an easy choice. Ash is involved in a huge battle with the Dark Ones in next week’s series finale and it looks tremendous. This week was awesome as well as we saw the end of Ruby and everything falling into place for the big knockdown. I have also watched American Gods on Styarz, but I will not be watching that one live on Starz any longer because it made a mistake that I just will not forgive it for.
I started and finished Netflix’s new series Lost in Space over the last few weeks and this was a great reboot and some damn fine science fiction. The interpersonal relationships in the Robinsons were a lot of fun and remarkably deep, and I loved the new Don West played by former General Hospital villain Diego, Ignacio Serricchio. Don was the rapscallion of the crew and he was hugely charismatic and funny. And I was so ready for someone to kill Dr. Smith, played with a ton of wicked gusto by Parker Posey. I was never a fan of the original series, but I found myself strangely tearing up when the robot first said the words, “Danger Will Robinson.” I am unsure the reason, but I was fully engaged in the series, which had a LOST flare to it as well. The 10-episodes featured several moments where it felt as if one of the main characters would be biting the dust. I have to say, after so many teases, I almost felt as if someone important should have died. It is worth a watch for sure.
I also finished the second season of Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. After the first few episodes, I was feeling as if this series might not be able to grip me as the original season had done, because it had too familiar feel to it. It desperately needed some adjusting and fortunately, that adjustment came in the being of Nathan Fillion, as Jacques Snicket. The set up of each episodes changed just a bit and the show was considerably better for it. In fact, I was extremely unhappy to come to the end of the 10th episode as the show left us on a desperate cliffhanger. Season three has been greenlit and will be a final season for the show which should allow a conclusion to the story and maybe even some kind of happy(?) ending for the Baudelaire orphans.
Season 8 of the Walking Dead came to a close ending the weakest season of the series’ run. The finale had the same feel as the confrontation between Rick and Negan had a distinct anticlimactic feel to it. I did enjoy the betrayal from Eugene with the exploding bullets, but I saw it coming a mile away. As soon as he handed Negan that gun to “test” it was obvious what Eugene had decided to do. And then the let’s imprison Negan storyline was not exactly the monumental final battle we thought we might get. I am not against keeping Negan alive, but the manner in which it was done felt like disrespect to Glenn and the other victims of Negan. We also saw Morgan leave to head to Fear the Walking Dead, which had its season premiere immediately after the Walking Dead finale.
Roseanne on ABC has had a pretty good couple of weeks worth of episodes including the return of Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki as David. There still seems to be some weirdness among the actors as some of their lines feel as if they are being delivered woodenly. It is as if they have forgotten how to act. I cringe much of the time when John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf are on screen and they should be the two best actors on the cast. Still, the writing has improved, story wise at least and the characters are coming into their own.
The WWE Network featured Wrestlemania 34, which was a solid show. The last hour or hour and a half was a bit lackluster. After the debut of Ronda Rousey with Kurt Angle vs. HHH and Stephanie, the rest of the card disappointed. However, the clear winner of match of the weekend went to NXT Takeover with Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa. That may be the Match of the Year leader at this point. Following these events, the WWE also had the nights after Wrestlemania, where a bunch of NXT stars debuted on the main roster (as well as Bobby Lashley returning) and then the following week they had the Superstar Shakeup, which moved performers between RAW and Smackdown. WWE has some momentum right now as they are preparing to have their next major show live from Saudi Arabia on Friday morning.
Agents of SHIELD is full blown crazy as the agents are trying desperately to prevent the future from happening that lead to the destruction of the earth. The young villain Ruby tried to combine herself with gravitonium but it only led to her death by the hands of Yo-Yo. Yo-Yo believes that she may have stopped the future, but it looks as if there may be more coming. Still, the scene where Ruby accidentally crushed the head of the young Strucker was another one of those unexpectedly disturbing SHIELD scenes.
HBO premiered the documentary on professional wrestler Andre the Giant last week and the documentary featured much about the life of the Eight Wonder of the World. It featured interviews with Andre as well as some important people in his life. We saw old footage from his early days, heard details about the life of Andre and focused on his Wrestlemania 3 match with Hulk Hogan. The end of the line for Andre the Giant turned out to be a sad one as he died alone in a hotel room in France. The people interviewed clearly had a strong love of the Giant, speaking of him in glowing and kind terms.
Designated Survivor has been picking up pace while finding ways to connect the fictional world of Tom Kirkman to today’s world. Recently, Kirkman has been having therapy sessions about the death of his wife and now those tapes are being leaked to the media, bringing into question the suitability of the President to carry out his office. Designated Survivor has been strong the last few weeks, and it looks as if next week will feature a bit of a betrayal of its own. It looks as if we have the fortunate luck to have Michael J. Fox on the cast of this show for the remainder of the season. Fox is a lawyer who is trying to determine whether or not President Kirkman is able to keep his job and avoid having the 25th Amendment enacted.
Scandal came to an end this week with a whimper. Instead of sending Olivia Pope and President Fitz to Vermont to live happily ever after and to give the happy ending to the Gladiators, Shonda killed off the last good character on the show, David Rosen, by Cyrus’s hand, and allowed Cyrus to escape with nothing more than a resignation of the VP role. It also brought Papa Pope out to speak to the Congressional hearing admitting to leading B613 and basically bragging about how a black man was making all the decisions the past thirty years. I guess that was not info that should come out because they offered up a scapegoat, Jake, as the leader of B613. I guess the theme of this show was that if you were a good person, your life was worthless and if you were a killing lowlife, you have a chance to life happily ever after. I was very unhappy with the end of the series that had never recovered from the kidnapping of Olivia Pope a few years ago. Even with the ending scene where some young black girls walk through the portraits of former presidents and stop at one of Olivia Pope (not sure if that was to mean that Olivia would become President in the future or what) and looked at it with inspiration, that felt flat since we knew all the horrid things that Olivia did in her time in Washington. Major disappointment.
Speaking of scandals, this time a real life variety, former FBI Director James Comey was making the rounds on the talk shows this week to promote his new book that seems to be causing President Trump a lot of tweet-storms. Comey had a one-on-one interview on ABC with George Stephanopoulos, appeared with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show and the View on ABC. He was also with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC this week (and I may have missed a few appearances). I must say though that Comey came off as intelligent, well-spoken, honest, and thoughtful. Prior to these interviews, I did not have near the positive thought of Comey as I did after seeing these.
Gotham may have finally answered the question about who exactly is the Joker, as suspect number one, Jerome, was killed on the show. Prior to his death, Jerome had sent some of his special Laugh-X gas to his twin brother, Jeremiah Valeska, who has become the Clown Prince of Crime. This twist is just one more way to show you that Gotham is really more about the villains than the heroes. The villains, from Riddler to Penguin, from Joker to Catwoman, from Grundy to Leigh, are the most interesting characters on the show. This week, Ra’s Al Ghoul made his return form the dead to reclaim his Death’s Head from Barbara.
I got a chance to see the most recent episode of Riverdale this week after missing several episodes in a row. It did not seem as if I missed much, outside of the departure of Betty’s new brother. This week’s episode seemingly saw the return of the Black Hood, who killed a girl, Midge, during the show’s play. Of course, it was not just any old play. It was Carrie the Musical. And the entire show was a musical. I guess the Black Hood, who had sent a message to the kids to replace Cheryl Blossom in the lead role, wanted to kill those who were bad singers. If that was the case, everyone on Riverdale is in danger. This was not the best TV musical episode ever… by far. I think that still goes to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Once More With Feeling. It was a weird episode to return to, but the eerie murder at the end was pure Riverdale.
Westworld season two debuts later tonight on HBO.