Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: A.P. BIO SEASON 3 (PEACOCK)

Prepare for a crap ton of reviews today because I am behind. First up is A.P. BIO SEASON 3, and the only reason I am reviewing these quick and funny eight episodes is because I signed up for a month of the new Peacock app for basically $1.99 after cash back, and my main goal is that I wanted to finish this series. Because I do not think it will be back for a Season 4. Not to say that it isn’t a good show, because it is, but because it isn’t a GREAT show. And it’s ratings weren’t that great in the first place. It’s a shame because I think the show was finally starting to find its groove, kind of like Seinfeld Season 2 and 3 back in the day. I wasn’t a fan of the show until about the last couple of episodes in season one and then the second half of season two (both seasons had 13 episodes each). Some people said that they like A.P. Bio more than they do It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (Glenn Howerton is in both series) and I took offense to that because there is NO GOD DAMN WAY this show is funnier than It’s Always Sunny. Just look at the statistics. It’s Always Sunny is going on to its fifteenth season, and A.P. Bio was at first cancelled but then the new and already failing Peacock app brought it back for an exclusive third. I was more offended by the fact that A.P. Bio Season 1 took away Glenn Howerton for a bit from It’s Always Sunny, resulting in Sunny’s worst season because the character of Dennis (my favorite) was barely in it. So when people tell me, A.P. Bio might not be funnier or better than It’s Always Sunny as a whole, it is better than several of It’s Always Sunny’s seasons…no shit Sherlock, it’s only better than the couple of seasons Glenn Howerton is almost nowhere to be found. Let’s get back to the basics though. I do not hate A.P. Bio, in fact, I do kind of like it, especially the latter half of Season 2 where they get Glenn Howerton’s character a cool and sweet girlfriend that has a satisfying story arc, and I really liked these eight new Season 3 episodes (except for a couple of minor nitpicks). In fact, I think these eight episodes were better than the entirety of Season 1 and first half of Season 2 combined.

What’s even more frustrating is that there was supposed to be 10 episodes this season but of course COVID-19 fucked everything up, and even though the show would end up leaving on a high note for me with the “Katie Holmes Day” fucking hilarious episode, I think the last 2 episodes could’ve expanded even more off that potential, and possibly those last two episodes could’ve made a great case for a season 4 to happen. I don’t have any insider information, but I do not think that they are going to be allowed to go and finish those other two episodes and I also think that with all the damn renewal reversals of television shows recently because of COVID-19 (like Netflix’s Glow), I think this will be on the new Peacock app’s chopping block, but don’t quote me on that, and I hope I’m wrong. If you live comfortably in your ignorant sports bubble, A.P. Bio is described by IMDB with the following: “A former philosophy professor who takes a job teaching AP biology, uses his students to get back at the people in his life who have wronged him.” Glenn Howerton plays that philosophy professor and he’s not quite Dennis because his character Jack actually learns lessons from his misdoings and has somewhat of a heart at the end of each episode. I thank God it’s not a retread of Sunny. What mostly didn’t work for most of the first season and some of the second for me was the sadistic, dry, revenge humor. Dry humor in general makes or breaks me. It’s got to be smart and it seemed like at the beginning of the show it was just juvenile and sloppily written. But again, that’s just me. I think, after watching these eight episodes, I should go back and give the first season and a half another try. It’s possible that I just warmed up to the humor and/or started reading in between the lines of the jokes and understanding them better. In essence, I’m saying that if you are a huge fan of A.P. Bio already, well, you are in for a treat for season 3, and if you are kind of lackluster on the series as a whole, since there are only about 34 half hour episodes total, I would encourage you to give it another shot.

I have also started warming up to all the other characters, mainly the students and Patton Oswalt. I do not really much care for, and still don’t, for the three other main women teacher’s that Howerton interacts with and I really still don’t care for and actually kind of hate Paula Pell’s character, the principal’s assistant, Helen. The three other main women teacher’s seem like they have nothing to fucking do and while I laughed at their shenanigans the very final episode of Season 3, which deals with a 55 inch big screen television donation mix up, I thought they have been completely useless time wasters the other 33 episodes. I thank God Paula Pell’s cliffhanger story arc at the end of season two was resolved quickly in the first episode of season three, because if she would’ve been in the class with Howerton and the other students the entirety of these eight new episodes I would’ve gouged my fucking eyes out. She is so fucking annoying and unfunny to me. I think the show knew that they couldn’t have her there that long too and works better with Patton Oswalt’s character, so even though they probably at first meant for her to join Howerton’s classroom for the long haul, they just couldn’t come up with enough material for it to stay that way. The kids’ personalities, while dull in Season 1, picked up great in Season 2, and were just starting to become masterful in Season Three for me, especially Heather, who is played to perfection by Allisyn Snyder. The show’s highlights are definitely whenever Jack interacts with them and whose adventures co-align with theirs. Jack and Heather have one of the series best episodes when they try and outsmart a writer, played by Jon Lovitz, that is getting Jack to ghost write one of his big so that Jack’s book can get published. Whenever Jack and the kids are together, that’s when the show is pure magic.

So let me get quickly to my very minor complaints before I wrap this review up, because it’s getting a little too long. The season three finale doesn’t feel like a finale, even though it is a hilarious episode, but we can blame our buttfucking government and China’s buttfucking government for the way they handled COVID-19 for that. Paula Pell’s character is still so fucking annoying and stupid that she seemed even more annoying and stupid this season because I think she had more screen time than she’s ever had here. I don’t know why I hate her character so much, don’t ask. And then Jack’s love interest, Lynette, first introduced in Season Two and who completely stole that season out from everyone, is barely in this season. Her quirky yet down to Earth personality matched very well with Howerton’s, and their ‘will they are won’t they’ arc in the second season was some of the best romantic half hours of television in 2018/2019. She is in about half of these episodes but those appearances are a bit fleeting. I don’t know whether actress Elizabeth Alderfer wasn’t available or not, but it was disappointing that she didn’t partake in it more. I can only be happy with the fact that the writers didn’t just take the easy way out and have her break up with Jack, but that they are still happy and are still together and she’s just off doing other things. Maybe if we get a Season 4 we can get her in it more. The show is created by Mike O’Brien, who was a featured player on Saturday Night Live for a bit, and I couldn’t stand his humor on that series…whose humor was more miss than hit anyway. While it was just his SNL dry schlock in the first season and a half, I feel like it has transformed into something more…something smarter, and if the series would be given the green light with more seasons, I think it could end up schooling me in what a great television comedy could be.

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Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE FUGITIVE (Quibi)

Yet another Quibi mini webisode television series that if put all together would be a 90 minute to 2 hr movie (closer to 1 hr 45 here). So that means yet another review from me treating it as a movie and not a webisode series. I didn’t think I’d watch anything else on my free 6 month subscription, however I forgot about this little remake that stars Kiefer Sutherland basically playing a toned down Jack Bauer with an in and out southern accent. Which is kind of funny because most of this plays out in real time. It’s like Quibi almost got the rights to 24, but then it slipped through their fingers at the last minute (evidence of this later)? But the real question should be: Do we honestly need yet ANOTHER iteration of The Fugitive? I mean, if you popped the Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones classic into your media player nowadays it still holds up tremendously (it was rightfully nominated for Best Picture as well back in 1993). And didn’t we have a remake tv series not too long ago that stumbled and fell right out of the gate? So why again? Because Quibi needed some kind of content and everyone is out of original ideas? That’s probably always going to be my go to answer for the rest of 2020: that everyone is out of original ideas but when Christopher Nolan comes along and makes a unique blockbuster spy adventure everyone is scared to go to a theater because of a dumb virus that 99% of the world’s population survives even if exposed to said virus. Pfffft. This remake remake remake shit is all on some of you cowards (ranting again I know, I’m just passionate about movie theaters).

Anyway, is this reiteration of The Fugitive any good? Kind of. Yes and no. Do the mini webisodes with constant ads, starts and stops, stop it from being decently good? Absolutely. Does calling this ‘The Fugitive also stop it from being decently good? Abso-fucking-lutely. If this were a movie with no stops and recurring ads of any kind, it would be a very decent one time watch. Other than that it is entirely forgettable, The Stranger on the same service being more worth your time (I reviewed that last week). I guess you could call this go around more relatable to our times as both Kiefer Sutherland’s police squad and the news rush to conclusions and put out ‘fake’ news about our main protagonists character, instead of taking a breather to analyse all the facts. Per IMDB, it describes this The Fugitive iteration as: “With the city in a state of panic and misinformation traveling at the speed of social media, Mike’s life and family hang in the balance as he becomes – The Fugitive.” The city of Los Angeles is in a state of panic because a bomb just exploded in the rail system, and cameras happened to record this Mike character on his phone in a black hoodie while exiting (the real bomber is wearing a black hoodie just like his coincidentally). The reason they jump to this Mike so fast is because he got out of jail 6 months ago because he was involved in a DUI accident that left two people dead…but of course the movie reveals all is not what it seems. This was just so that Mike can be a very, very innocent character everyone can relate to. You can’t have any dark spots character guy, it’s either you are completely innocent after 2017 #MeToo or you are guilty for life! Boyd Holbrook (Logan, The Predator) does his best as Mike, the totally innocent man on the run, but I mean, how hard is it to look exasperated and talk in frantic tones while you are running?

What we really need to talk about here is my theory that this was supposed to be a 24 sequel/prequel but Quibi couldn’t get the rights. Kiefer Sutherland’s character works for the CTB here, Counter Terrorist Bureau, instead of the Counter Terrorist Unit, which was what it was called on the program he is most famous for. He yells the way Jack Bauer does when stressed here, but add on more realistic curse words and a comes-and-goes southern accent just so that Fox/Disney wouldn’t sue. Most of the events play out in real time. His wife in this is said to have been killed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11…Teri Bauer was killed at the end of season one of 24 by a terrorist, which coincidentally, the show premiered in 2001. The director of this entire series, Stephen Hopkins, was executive producer and even directed episodes of…you guessed it…24. The numbers add up. I just ended up pretending he was Jack Bauer and that he had somehow escaped his capture from Russia, headed back to the US under a different guise or went into witness protection and somehow still got a job working for the new organization CTB that rose from the ashes of CTU. The only thing that was really missing here was a mole, ha! (inside TV series joke). If they had gotten the right this could’ve been called 24: Fugitive or something like that. Anyway, the acting is fine for what it is, and this movie/webisode show somehow didn’t just keep hitting you over the head with fake news/police incompetence messages, it was more subtle than just yelling in your face of how and why this show is timely. And anything that has Glenn Howerton, Dennis from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, in it gets a pass in my book, especially if he isn’t playing his character from his show. Which he wasn’t.

You get your cheese-y one liners here, Jack Bauer…err I mean, Kiefer’s characters has this whole dorky thing of getting his fellow officers below him to say, “Copy, sir!” which in turn, too many times to be honest, he replies with, “Music to my ears.” The action and running are fine for what it is, the direction is adequate, and to be honest, I was entertained for the short 14, 7 to 9 minute, “webisodes.” This would’ve worked better as a television movie no doubt. Other than calling this show The Fugitive, my one other complaint is that it seems like the real villain comes off as really stupid all at once, as Mike puts together what he saw when trying to help victims after the bombing before he was chased off by the police, combined with the fact that the villain stupidly reveals himself to Mike when if he would’ve just stayed silent it he would’ve gotten away with it. And then at one point Mike leads the cops to the real villain’s house and the evidence of the bombing is just laid out all on the table. A little too many plot conveniences just to move the story along wouldn’t you say? But hey, people get caught all the time for stupid shit that they do in the real world so who am I to say? None of this surprises me seeing as the main writer and creator of this revitalization is Nick Santora, who is executive producer and writer on other plot convenience shows (yet I still watched them and love them still to this day) such as Prison Break, Vegas, Law & Order, and Breakout Kings. He’s just going by formula and when a paycheck comes your way once you get that formula still going like clockwork, can you really blame the guy? So, before I’m caught ranting again, I’ll run out of this review by saying this is a half way decent entertaining one time watch, but forgettable as convicted small time con artists.