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It's a HUGE week for TV with a show that lives up to the hype
It used to make sense. The US broadcast shows would finish up in around May, then during the US summer all eyes were on the huge, dumb Hollywood blockbuster product. When cable and streaming started to become dominant, there was also some counter programming with smarter, riskier, more substantial shows during that TV off-season too.
But look at this week: there’s big budget superhero and event films in the cinemas, but debuting this week on TV are big budget superhero and event TV shows. One’s sense of order in the world is all askew.
That said, there is one consistent that holds true. Back in the day there was always a canny movie distributor or two that would drop in a smaller, artier film into cinemas and have that quietly amass a small fortune as the film runs for a few months. That’s happening right now with the release of Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City. But also on TV, there’s a similar, quiet, show of substance that you should be paying attention to…
But we’ll get to that in a moment.
Tights, fights, and bites
For the past decade The Walking Dead has been one of the biggest shows around. So, obviously in this world of commissioning led by IP control, RIP The Walking Dead, long live The Walking Dead franchise extensions. The first sequel series debuted this week, The Walking Dead: Dead City.
It feels like a show made on a shoestring budget with cheap sets, tight camera shots, and an overall sense of desperation that has little to do with the flesh decayed monsters everywhere. The biggest crime is that it just isn’t fun to watch in the way bleak dystopia can be.
Faring slightly better is new Marvel show Secret Invasion. It has Samuel L Jackson front and centre as Nick Fury sans eyepatch (which is like an Elvis show in Vegas where the King was wearing a dinner jacket). It has him fighting with and against terrorist aliens called the Skrulls. Much of the narrative is based in the mostly forgettable Captain Marvel film, meaning I couldn’t really track entirely what was going on here. Couple that with fairly tired action sequences and you have a pretty uninspired espionage action show.
When is the next season of Slow Horses again?
Whoa, big fella!
I mentioned that there was a new show this week with some substance. It’s the new show from director Boots Riley, I’m a Virgo.
About 5 years ago Boots Riley released a low budget film Sorry To Bother You. It was outstandingly good. This is his follow-up and if you can get past the dopey title, you’ll find a show that is crackingly smart and funny.
I’m a Virgo is a comedy about a kid raised by his aunt and uncle who is unnaturally huge. It’s funny, raw, and full of big dick heart energy. Press play on it ASAP over at Prime Video.