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10 May 2017

True TV: 'I Love Dick' Arrives for a Full Season; 'Downward Dog' Ain’t Worth a Wag

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I Love Dick tells the story of New Yorkers Chris (Kathryn Hahn) and Sylvere (Griffin Dunne), who’ve relocated to a Texas artist town; she’s a struggling indie filmmaker, while he’s a writer-in-residency. They’re both obsessed with local cowboy artist Dick (Kevin Bacon), who couldn’t care less. I Love Dick tells the story of New Yorkers Chris (Kathryn Hahn) and Sylvere (Griffin Dunne), who’ve relocated to a Texas artist town; she’s a struggling indie filmmaker, while he’s a writer-in-residency. They’re both obsessed with local cowboy artist Dick (Kevin Bacon), who couldn’t care less.

I Love Dick (Friday, May 12, Amazon Prime), series debut: Much has been think-pieced about Transparent showrunner Jill Soloway’s follow-up Amazon Prime series, I Love Dick: It’s a showcase for the rarely dramatized “female gaze”; it’s upending standard methods of linear storytelling; it has “Dick” in the title, etc. But … is it funny and/or moving? The first episode, launched last year in Amazon’s up-voting Pilot Season, answered with a hard “duh.” I Love Dick tells the story of New Yorkers Chris (Kathryn Hahn) and Sylvere (Griffin Dunne), who’ve relocated to a Texas artist town; she’s a struggling indie filmmaker, while he’s a writer-in-residency, and they’re both obsessed with local cowboy artist Dick (Kevin Bacon), a rugged bastard who couldn’t care less. If you loved the pilot, you’ll want to spend a whole season with Dick.

Get Me Roger Stone (Friday, May 12, Netflix), documentary: Listeners of Alex Jones and InfoWars … sorry, failing Liberal Media outlet here, never mind … are familiar with Roger Stone, the veteran Republican adviser who first suggested that Donald Trump run for president, and then helped make it happen. He comes off like a dope, but, after 50 years of being a “malevolent Forrest Gump” figure in American politics, he’s proven to be an effective dope. Stone is also a little weirder than you might imagine: He was fired from Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign after being “outed” as a swinger; he’s marched in pride parades; and he’s the proud owner of more than one Richard Nixon bong. He and Trump share eerie similarities, but Stone is the more interesting character—maybe after the Cheeto flames out … Stone/Jones 2020?

Sinister Minister (Sunday, May 28, Lifetime; rescheduled from May 13), movie: No, this is not a reunited ’80s metal band playing the lido deck on that classic-rock cruise you’re booking this summer. Sinister Minister is “based on a true story,” about single mother Trish (Nikki Howard) being lulled into a sense of security for herself and teen daughter Siena (Angelica Briones) by—spot the red flags in this descriptor—“charismatic church minister D.J.” (Ryan Patrick Shanahan). Little does Trish know that D.J. is a “serial wife-murderer” who’s plotting to introduce her to Jesus so he can have Siena all to himself. Which means, if D.J. adheres to his “serial” code, he’ll kill off aged-out Sienna in Sinister Minister 2: Ingénue Boogaloo—and we’ve gotta franchise here!

Mike Tyson Mysteries (Sunday, May 14, Adult Swim), season premiere: Now entering Season 3—yes, really—Mike Tyson (voiced by Tyson as parody or with sincerity … no one knows) is still solving … ? … mysteries with the help of sidekicks Pigeon (Norm MacDonald), the Marquess of Queensbury's ghost (Jim Rash) and adopted Korean daughter Yung Hee (Rachel Ramras—who’s not even Asian; please alert the Cultural Appropriation Police). This time around, the now-homeless Team Tyson meets Mike’s nerdy brother, flashes back to their first mystery, hits the car wash, goes to dinner and, most controversially of all, returns to Adult Swim full-time before Rick and Morty. (Seriously, what the hell?) Is it too much to wish for a Mike Tyson Mysteries/Rick and Morty crossover event wherein Rick faces off against Pigeon?

Downward Dog (Wednesday, May 17, ABC), series debut: Allison Tolman was going to be a star after the first season of Fargo, they told ya, a star! But then what happened? A Drunk History episode here, an Archer voice there, a recurring role in Amazon Prime’s Mad Dogs (don’t worry, no one else saw it, either), and now there’s … this. In ABC midseason-shunted-to-summer filler Downward Dog, Tolman stars as an—everybody say it together—unlucky-in-love single career woman whose daily travails are observed and commented upon by her overly thinky dog, Martin (voiced by series creator/writer Samm Hodges). It may have worked as a one-minute YouTube series; as a half-hour TV dramedy, not so much. There’s no there there, and though she’s a charming relatable everywoman, Tolman can’t carry this dog, or Dog.

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