Saturday, May 12, 2018

TV Report: Arrested Development, Killing Eve and Brooklyn Nine Nine

In my continued effort to watch MORE TV, here is a report on some of what I'm watching.  

I struggled to get through all 15 episodes of the original version of Season 4, opting to skip about 6 of them. With the Season 4 Version 2.0 with a new chronological edit, I decided to focus my attention there.

And I'm out. 

2.0 is better. Its 22 episodes but the individual shows are shorter. I read that the total time for the re-edited version of Season 4 is about 8 minutes shorter than the first version. The relative brevity of the episodes makes watching less of a slog. The intercutting between characters means not having to spend a full 35 to 40 minute episode focused on (God help us) Gob or Tobias who definitely work better in shorter doses.

What the re-edit cannot hide is the lack of the ensemble we experienced in the first 3 seasons of the show. Every single character is on their own. Keeping all of their respective plot balls in the air results in a show that is too cluttered. Which leads us to the worst sin of all.

Too much Ron Howard. 

I know, that’s heresy. Ron’s narration has been a key comedic highlight of the show. I wish Ron could narrate everything.

Jesus: Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
Ron as Narrator: Simon Peter was thinking, “Blessed are the disciples who are really hungry and could use a break for lunch”.

Thomas Jefferson: All people are created equal.
Ron as Narrator: Then Tom thought about it a bit and….
Thomas Jefferson: All men are created equal.
Ron as Narrator: Then Tom thought making it “all land owning white men” but decided that might be pushing things too far.

 But Ron as the Narrator talks a LOT in Season 4 to keep bridging the disparate plotlines, constantly reminding us who is doing what where when and why. In the first three seasons, Ron’s narration was a perfect accent to the absurdities playing out on screen. Now, it’s not an accent, it’s ubiquitous.    

Ron as Narrator: Dave-El should really watch his mouth because there’s no such thing as “too much Ron Howard”. 

I think I need to let Season 4 breathe a bit and try again later. Maybe I tried to watch the re-edited version too soon after watching the first version of season 4. 

Ron as Narrator: Dave-El was lying. He only watched part of the first version of season 4. 


One sleepless night  couple of weeks back, I got caught up in an episode of this series on BBC America which was episode 3 of its first season. I’ve since watched the next two episodes. Even with missing the first two episodes, I think I have a handle on this series. 

This series stars Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, the “Eve” of the title I presume. I also presume Eve will not be killed anytime soon as the show has been renewed for a 2nd season. Eve is a desk-bound MI5 Officer who is obsessed with tracking down a talented sociopathic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) who in turn has become obsessed with her pursuer.  

Comer as Villanelle is a fantastic villain. At the drop of a hat, she will shoot you or stab you or back over with a van (repeatedly). Or she will (menacingly) have left over shepherd's pie with you for dinner in your kitchen. You never know.

Sandra Oh as Eve is a unique take on a protagonist for this type of show.  She's no Sidney Barstow from Alias; unglamorous and unsure of herself, Eve is personally tentative but professionally tenacious. There are bad people doing bad things and she's determined to bring them to justice.



Son of a bitch! Fox cancelled Brooklyn Nine Nine after five seasons?!?!


My daughter Randie and I recently discovered this show. We started DVRing the reruns on TBS around the latter part of season 3 and gotten through to the end of season 4.

Jake and Rosa are going to jail?!?!


Ironically (or something like "ironically"), the TBS reruns had come 'round back to season one on our DVR. On Thursday, the day Fox cancelled Brooklyn Nine Nine after five seasons.....


OK, Dave-El, enough of that!

So Randie and I watched the beginning, the pilot episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine which we had never seen before. Which is kind of weird. Everything was familiar but different. The characters were recognizable but the actors haven't settled into their comfortable rhythms yet. It was so strange watching the cast at the beginning of their journey, particularly on the same day that we heard that journey was coming to an end.


Dave-El! Stop it! 

Randie and I were not the only ones upset to hear of the show's demise. Within mere minutes of the announcement, Brooklyn Nine Nine was trending on Twitter with no less than Lin Manuel Miranda (Hey, Lin! Buddy! Pal!) and Mark Hamill weighing in with their disappointment.

Essentially, the reaction of Alexander Hamilton and Luke Skywalker was....


Don't say nothing! That was not me. That was Lin and Mark.

Maybe Fox will reconsider, give the Nine Nine a reprieve. Or maybe another platform can keep it going. Hulu currently has the streaming rights for the reruns; maybe they can pony up some dough for a new season six?* Or maybe TBS? 

*BREAKING NEWS: Hulu says no. 

Hulu says NO?!


Even if it's just for one more season, at least give the Nine Nine a chance to end on their terms. One of the smartest, funniest shows on TV deserves at least that much.  

*BREAKING NEWS: NBC orders Season 6 of Brooklyn Nine Nine!!

NBC says YES?!


No, you moron!!


Yes, there is still some good in the universe.  

It’s Been Two Years Gone Now.

Today is the 17 th of January. On this date, two years ago, Alene Long, my mother, passed away.   About 4 days before her dea...