Hey everyone, Zach here, instead of giving you one to two reviews a day and dragging out all my thoughts and opinions through the whole COVID-19 piece of shit summer we are going to have, making you eventually sick of reading my shit, I’ve decided to write one big segment that consists of short and quick one paragraph opinions on a bunch of television seasons (and sometimes series) that ended in 2020. These were mostly not binge-able until now because most of these were episodes that were released on the old fashioned weekly basis (with the exception of Mythic Quest, that came out when I don’t normally do many TV Binge watchin’ reviews and where COVID-19 wasn’t then an issue.) So here are 9 quick reviews on 9 series that ended in 2020 that I didn’t get a chance to chime in on:
THE GOOD PLACE SEASON 4 (SERIES ENDING) (NBC)
THE GOOD PLACE had a great first two seasons (especially the incredible twist at the end of the first season, that I will not ruin here at all) but the last two struggled to find enough storytelling worth a whole two last seasons (although they both had some great moments). The series finale was damn near perfect though. With only 50 episodes, great characters, and a fantastic performance from Ted Danson, this is easily binge-able and enjoyable. Just expect every season after the first to decline a tad in terms of originality and quality. At least it didn’t quite overstay its welcome.
THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 10 (AMC)
The Walking Dead in general has been a roller coaster of entertainment value. The first season is masterful, I did not like the farm based second season, but everything picked back up and was excellent for seasons 3, 4, 5, and 6. Then when Negan, one of the best villains ever to come across our television screens, and one of the best redemption arcs so far on the show, kills two main characters in an over hyped season 7 premiere, the show lost it’s touch for that and season 8 where it killed off Carl for no damn reason. Total snooze fest. Season 9 and 10, mainly dealing with a whole new world, Rick leaving the series and the whisperers has been getting a tad better (just a tad though), but nothing as fantastic as 3, 4, 5, and 6. Unfortunately if you want to binge this you’d have to pay attention to everything that is going on, and in the later seasons you might start to nod off. Might I suggest watching until Rick leaves the show? It was a perfect send off and you don’t need to watch the rest. I just don’t want to quit it now while I’m this far in, especially when I have the sneaking suspicion that 11 or 12 might be its last ride. Oh, and Walking Dead didn’t even finish the season finale post production in time before COVID-19 fucked us all, so it kind of ended right in the middle of a giant cliff hanger. Hopefully the last episode, set to be released later this year, makes up for the absence (although I doubt it). And no, I don’t watch the spin off shows. Fear’s first season was the worst spin off season I’ve ever seen for a television series. So no, not gonna do that.
MODERN FAMILY SEASON 11 (SERIES ENDING) (ABC)
Modern Family had a fantastic 6 or 7 seasons since the premiere but then the last four have just really been going through the motions to get to the pretty damn decent series finale. SEASON 11, like 8, 9, and 10 before it, also goes through the motions until the last couple of episodes. Perfect binge for the first 6 to 7 seasons if you are want to actually pay attention, the last four can be played in the background though and then attention should be picked back up for the finale.
MYTHIC QUEST: RAVEN’S BANQUET SEASON 1 (Apple TV +)
If you bought and only if you bought a new Apple product recently and got a free Apple TV+ subscription for a year would I recommend binge watching this series. Not to say it isn’t good, I really enjoyed it. It’s like a work place office comedy (kind of like The Office) except it isn’t documentary style, there are no confessions to the cameras, but add in more crude humor and language and there you have it. The pilot is okay, but then episode 2 is hilarious and each episode only gets better until the very end. With only ten episodes, its a quick and very easy enjoyable binge watch. It’s from the creators of It’s Always Sunny In Philedelphia, with Mac and Rickety Cricket, except they play entirely different, more sympathetic characters, and some of the episodes are even co written by Mac and Charlie. It’s about the launch of an expansion to a popular MMORPG game, and the crazy shit that happens behind the scenes. I loved it a little to be honest. The only reason why I’m saying only watch it is if you have free Apple TV+ is because it isn’t worth getting a paid subscription to only watch this show. Well…I guess if you can pay for a month and get through all 10 episodes in good time, and then find something else maybe exclusive to watch, like The Morning Show, it may be worth it for just a month. Not for me though, fuck all this streaming subscription shit, it is getting very tiresome.
SUPERSTORE SEASON 5 (NBC)
Superstore had a great first three seasons. Season 4 was meh, and season 5 was meh. The funniest parts of the show is when it deals with weird customer stuff we sometimes see in big department chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target all the time. It stops being funny when the show gets too bogged down in its relationships and the talks of organizing a union for Cloud 9 get very tiresome. Binge the first three seasons and pay attention, the 4th and this current one (that also had to end early because of COVID-Buttfucking-19) can be aired in the background and you wouldn’t miss much. Colton Dunn as Garrett has been the MVP for every season thus far though.
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE SEASON 7 (NBC)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has always been solid. Every season. You can actually pay attention to it and laugh or have it on in the background and still laugh. It’s always been a zany fun series that hits about 90-95% of its jokes every time. Every cast member on there is brilliant (although Andy Samberg is still Andy Samberg, he uses his one note goofy talents to his advantage in this series), but Andre Braugher has been robbed of an Emmy multiple times for his supporting role as Captain Holt. Maybe this is his year as he’s had multiple spotlight stealing moments this year, more than the past couple of seasons combined? Season 7 is fantastic. And while I will say it was better than last season (I would probably argue that Season 6 might be my least favorite even though they are all solid to me), when it transitions from Fox to NBC because Fox didn’t want to give it another chance, the show found it’s footing yet again and is still masterfully smart and funny. It was a smart move keeping it to only 13 episodes a season now. Always keep them wanting more. They are renewed for Season 8, and I’m figuring it’s probably its last due to its ratings, but man if they can keep this momentum and go out on top, we’re in for a truly special final season (if cancelled).
FAMILY GUY SEASON 18 (FOX)
Family Guy has always been 50% hit jokes and 50% miss jokes. Those figures fluctuate a little each season but not by much. Season 18 is no different. Some of the ones that hit can make or break the episode. This is the perfect binge series since there are a shit ton of episodes, but more of a “on in the background” binge than actually paying attention to it. It’s always nice though hearing all of Seth McFarlane’s voice acting. There’s just something about him…
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM SEASON 10 (HBO)
You never know when you are going to get a new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Season 8 ended in 2011 and then Season 9 premiered in 2017, and then Season 10 just ended 2020. Until Season 8 there had never been more than a two year gap in between seasons. Honestly it is just whenever creator Larry David feels like he has some material that he can do a full ten episodes with. Season 9 was funny but stumbled a bit in its execution, but I’m happy to say that Season 10 was a giant step forward back to the fantastic early seasons of yore (3 and 4 to be exact). I laughed hard every single episode this season. To me, Curb Your Enthusiasm makes it seem like Seinfeld never ever left the air. It’s an extension because Larry David, creator of both shows, explores similar things of being a show about “nothing” and complaining about the little things in life all the way through. If you are a Seinfeld fan and haven’t watched one episode of this series shame on you. Do it immediately, if you’ve never watched either, binge Seinfeld first and then binge this. An excellent one two binge punch for what will probably be a very boring COVID-19 fear summer.
THE OUTSIDER SEASON 1 (HBO)
The reason I decided to watch The Outsider because a couple of years ago Stephen King’s novel was first release, and I read it very fast and mostly loved it, except for the anti-climatic ending. The series is okay, but unfortunately it stretches all the material in the book, and adds a few other things, for far too long. This was a ten episode first season (for people that are saying it couldn’t have a second season, if you read the Holly Gibney short 200 page story in King’s new collection of novellas, If It Bleeds, then you can see how they could milk this show for all its worth). This really should’ve been only 6 to 8 episodes. Some of the material is stretched wayyyy too thin. This honestly could’ve been an incredible 2 hr and 15 minute movie. And just like the ending to the book, the ending to the show is a bit anti-climatic as well. Will watch if there is a second season, but kind of hoping there isn’t one. I would recommend reading the novel and skipping the series altogether. And the fact that it doesn’t connect Holly Gibney to her previous adventures with Bill Hodges in the Hodges trilogy of Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and End of Watch was a damn shame. Not even a hint. Again, just read the book.
PARKS AND RECREATION CHARITY SPECIAL
Finaly a couple of quick thoughts of that special charity PARKS AND RECREATION episode that aired last week. If there was no COVID-19, we never would’ve gotten this episode, which honestly, it could’ve gone either way. All the actors in real life are sheltering in place, so the story line (that thankfully doesn’t break any canon the show established in its main series run) deals with COVID-19 becoming canon for that television universe and Leslie Knope is a little sad and depressed trying to keep in contact with her co-workers and friends throughout this very tough time. I liked that everyone that were main players on the series show up. It would’ve been glaringly obvious if there was a major no show. And the story line was, I guess fine, it had its charming moments (mainly callback to better moments in the main series) but the parts that really stole the quick 22 minute special were the fake commercials with Jean Ralphio and Counselman Jamm and Dennis Feinstein. Especially the Dennis Feinstein cologne commercial. That was fucking brilliant. So while it was nice we got one more adventure with Knope and co. and the episode didn’t manage to tarnish the main series, it wasn’t really necessary to revisit the characters in the end and I hope they don’t try and reboot the series. But hey, it raised $3 million dollars for charity during this virus crisis so what the fuck do I know, right?
Special #11 (I basically forgot and updated this post…): RAY DONOVAN SEASON 7 (SERIES ENDING?)
The reason why I put a question mark on Series Ending for Ray Donovan Season 7 is that even though it was just recently cancelled on Showtime (resulting in the series ending on a very frustrating and depressing cliffhanger), there have been talks by the show runner doing a final season or TV movie to wrap up everything on Showtime or shop it to a different Network. The first four seasons of Ray Donovan are incredibly great. Season 5 is easily the worst for spoiler-y reasons I won’t divulge, season 6 is a little better but then the last season was kind of ho-hum, especially after that downer ending. I recommend binge watching the first four seasons, stop there, and pretend that the end of season 4 was the end of the show. Kind of like how I recommend you stop watching Showtime’s Dexter after season 5 and pretend it ended there. It pretty much has an ending at that point so no harm and no foul not completing the rest. Liev Schrieber is amazing to watch a a fixer for the Hollywood elite. But this is one show that definitely overstayed its welcome, and it was do to the fact that Ray’s family got away clean too much.
Extra Special #12 (again, I can’t believe I forgot this one): MCMILLION$ (HBO)
If you haven’t watched this documentary yet on the “detailed account of the McDonald’s Monopoly game scam during the 1990s as told by the participants in the case, including the prizewinners and the FBI agents involved” per IMDB yet, you don’t know what you are missing. It was absolutely astonishing that these people stealing the Monopoly game pieces were able to get away with it for that long and that just a memo on some FBI agents desk unraveled the whole thing. A lot of the people involved in the scam are interviewed and their stories are astonishing. It saves how the main perpetrator was able to steal the game pieces in the last episode of the 6 episode docu-series, and rightfully so, as your jaw with already be agape with what all came after, then once you find out, through the floor and into the Earth. There is one colorful FBI agent you are going to laugh along with and maybe even feel sorry for some of the people reluctantly brought into the scam, but it is a fantastic little one off series that should be turned into a feature length movie. There is enough material that can be condensed to easily do it, a two hour kind of thing. My only complaint: the series was a little too long and got a little tedious by the end, it could’ve been easily chopped down to 3 to 4 episodes. But still a wild ride that might make you want to actually eat McDonald’s while you watch. I know I did.