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18 Oct 2017

True TV: 'Great News' Improves; 'Superstition' Debuts; 'At Home With Amy Sedaris' Skews

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By the time the newsroom comedy wrapped its initial 10 episodes, Great News had had found its goofy groove. Season 2 continues the subtle-but-sharp transformation into 30 Rock 2.0. By the time the newsroom comedy wrapped its initial 10 episodes, Great News had had found its goofy groove. Season 2 continues the subtle-but-sharp transformation into 30 Rock 2.0.

Way back in April, I dismissed the debut of Great News (Thursdays, NBC) as an inferior Tina Fey production that lacked the snap of 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and I saw no point in the casting of Nicole Richie. But by the time the newsroom comedy wrapped its initial 10 episodes, Great News had found its goofy groove, and Richie proved herself to be an adept comic actress. (Let’s just pretend that VH1’s Candidly Nicole never happened.) Sure, Andrea Martin could dial it down a little—OK, a lot—but so what? Season 2 continues the subtle-but-sharp transformation into 30 Rock 2.0, meaning Great News is no longer the worst sitcom on NBC … here’s looking at you, Will and Grace.

Like Ghost Wars, Superstition (series debut Friday, Oct. 20, Syfy) is an effectively creepy Syfy show saddled with a lame title: C’mon, Ghost Wars sounds like a reality series about haunted storage units, and Superstition sucks hard enough for Freeform. The setup for Superstition, however, is solid: The Hastings family (patriarch-ed by series creator/producer Mario Van Peebles) runs the only funeral home in a small Georgia town, and they also specialize in “afterlife care” for souls who met mysterious deaths by demonic “Infernals” (there’s your title!), and generally kick supernatural ass. Bonus: Where the wildcard of Ghost Wars is singer Meat Loaf, Superstition has pro ’rassler Diamond Dallas Page. Spooky!

We’ll always have October, and we’ll always have The Walking Dead (Season 8 premiere Sunday, Oct. 22, AMC). Like the zombie apocalypse and Christianity, it’s never going away, but we must keep fighting to vanquish them anyway. Eight seasons is plenty, though I would argue that Showtime’s Shameless should run at least 20, because it is the greatest series on TV, and I’d win the argument, so shut up. As for TWD’s Season 8 premiere, it’s more of the same: blood, action, dripping flesh, more blood, flannel, homoerotic glances between Rick and Daryl, etc. Me, I’m curious to see if the righteous morons who were outraged at Season 7’s “family unfriendly” violence—in a cable show about zombies!—will be back.

Too much has been written about why Kevin Can Wait (Mondays, CBS) killed off a perfectly good wife character in order to reunite Kevin James with ex-King of Queens co-star Leah Remini in Season 2, and not nearly enough about why this piece of shit is still on. So … why is this piece of shit still on? It’s a forced, painfully unfunny sitcom that’s an insult to even the intelligence of CBS viewers who’ve allowed four seasons of Scorpion to just happen, and the addition of Remini makes little difference when the writing is nowhere near the caliber of King of Queens’ writing (which wasn’t gold, but at least it was, you know, comedy). Please join me again in 2026 when I rewrite this paragraph for KCW’s Season 10 premiere.

Like a bizarre collision of Martha Stewart Living and the comic actress’ cult favorite Strangers With Candy, At Home With Amy Sedaris (series debut Tuesday, Oct. 24, TruTV) is the how-to crafting, cooking and hospitality show of the end times—or, at least, the weirdest thing on TruTV. Modeled loosely on Sedaris’ books I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence and Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People, At Home combines utterly useless homemaking tips with sketch comedy and game guests (like Paul Giamatti, Jane Krakowski, Sasheer Zamata and the infamously humorless Michael Shannon). This takes the surreality of Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner to a whole ’nother level.

Speaking of Snoop, what’s this all about? Snoop Dogg Presents The Joker’s Wild (series debut Tuesday, Oct. 24, TBS) is based on ’70s game show The Joker’s Wild, which involved a giant slot machine and trivia questions; in Snoop’s house, the slot machine remains, but the trivia has been replaced with “giant dice, playing cards, streetwise questions and problem-solving.” At least it’s kinda new, unlike Drop the Mic (series debut Tuesday, Oct. 24, TBS), which is just a celebrity rap battle rip-off of Nick Cannon’s Wild n’ Out given a cheese-glaze finish. Then again, Lip Sync Battle looked none too promising when it debuted, and that gave us … well, Chrissy Teigen’s boobs.

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