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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Two years ago, I actually typed the phrase “renegade zoologist” in reference to Jackson Oz (James Wolk), the protagonist of Zoo (Season 3 premiere Thursday, June 29, CBS). Surprisingly, both Wolk and I still have jobs in 2017, even though Zoo has now moved past the material of the original James Patterson novel, wherein animals had taken over the planet because humankind was too weak and dumb to stop it. (Sounds about right.) In Season 3, the sci-fi-ish series jumps ahead 10 years to 2027, when the world population is dwindling due to sterility, but at least animals are no longer a threat—well, except for the new, military-spawned lab creatures that are even more deadly. Way to go, humans!

Nothing prompts me to cheer for a critter apocalypse like the major networks’ continued insistence on digging up long-dead “classics” and repositioning them as summer filler—the latest being Battle of the Network Stars (series debut Thursday, June 29, ABC). Battle of the Network Stars is a ’70s/’80s throwback that “blended TV celebrities with athleticism and hilarious antics” (but not in a literal blender; that, I’d watch). Tonight’s debut pits “TV Sitcoms” (Bronson Pinchot, Tom Arnold, Dave Coulier, A.J. Michalka and Tracey Gold) vs. “TV Kids” (Joey Lawrence, Corbin Bleu, Nolan Gould, Lisa Whelchel and Kim Fields). But wasn’t Gold technically a Growing Pains “Kid”? Christ, whatever.

A trio of sexy-scruffy bounty hunters (Aaron Ashmore, Hannah John-Kamen and Luke Macfarlane) continue to work the interplanetary warzone in what’s essentially Firefly meets Guardians of the Galaxy on a Canadian budget. Killjoys (Season 3 premiere Friday, June 30, Syfy), along with Dark Matter, got Syfy back into space a couple of years before the network decided to (re)become a sci-fi channel, and it continues to be an underappreciated gem in the schedule. Unlike Dark Matter, Killjoys has a sense of humor about itself, as well as a smaller, tighter-knit cast of characters to keep track of (and one, John-Kamen’s badass Dutch, who outshines them all). Catch up now at Syfy.com/Killjoys.

We all diverge on the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks—you say it’s an incomprehensible mess directed by a lunatic who’s just fucking our psyches; I say, yeah, so what? Let’s agree, however, that Naomi Watts is absolutely killing it as Janey-E Jones, OK? Gypsy (series debut Friday, June 30, Netflix) is another cool TV showcase for Watts, if not quite the “thriller” it wants to be. Jean Holloway (Watts) is a Manhattan therapist with an idyllic practice and home life, but she has a problem: She gets waaay too involved with her patients outside of the office, both personally and sexually. Unfortunately, it all unfolds like a straight-to-VHS ’90s semi-erotic potboiler. But, hey, at least we still have Janey-E.

Unbeknownst to, well, everyone, ABC has been airing/burning off a Shakespearean period drama in primetime for more than a month—and it’s a Shondaland production! I know, right? Still Star-Crossed (returns Saturday, July 8, ABC) answers the never, ever-asked question: “What happened after Romeo and Juliet took their dirtnap of love?” As you’ve already guessed, the Montagues and the Capulets are still assholes to each other, and Still Star-Crossed is as tedious as a twice-told tale, proving that the touch of Shonda Rimes doesn’t exempt a show from the vortex of suck. (Anybody remember Off the Map?) At least it’s only seven episodes long, brevity being the soul of shit or however that went.

Snowfall (series debut Wednesday, July 5, FX) has ramped up with some great, ’80-rap-infused promos prior to its premiere, but John Singleton’s dramatization of the rise of crack cocaine in 1983 Los Angeles isn’t as immediately gratifying. First, there’s the story of a young street dealer (Damson Idris). Then, a Mexican wrestler (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) with crime-family probs. And then, a troubled CIA agent (Carter Hudson) caught up with the Nicaraguan Contras and the seductive daughter (Emily Rios) of a crime lord. All of these storylines are unfolding simultaneously, but none are particularly compelling in the initial episodes. Snowfall may be ambitious, but it needs to get to a damned point, pronto.

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After a fall-winter-spring blur of Too Many Shows, you’re thinking to yourself, “Summer is finally here—I can take a break from TV. Praise the Lord!”

Sorry. Your god has abandoned you: Here are 32 new and returning series you’re going to have to watch this summer, because peak TV knows no season.

In the unexpected return of Flaked (Season 2 premiere; Friday, June 2; Netflix), Chip (Will Arnett) heads back to Venice to rehab his ruined Local Hero status, if not his booze problem. Matters are even more dire for the gang on Fear the Walking Dead (Season 3 premiere; Sunday, June 4; AMC), as vigilante Build the Zombie Wall border patrollers won’t allow them to cross back over from Mexico. It could be worse; they could be struggling comedians in 1970s Hollywood—which is the setting for I’m Dying Up Here (series debut; Sunday, June 4; Showtime).

Tim Heidecker re-ups for more ultra-violent spy action in Decker: Unclassified (Season 2 premiere; Sunday, June 4; Adult Swim), while Aussie comic Jim Jefferies takes another stab at ’Merican TV with late-night talker The Jim Jefferies Show (series debut; Tuesday, June 6; Comedy Central). Latina heroine (?) Teresa (Alice Braga) continues her quest to rule the drug trade in Queen of the South (Season 2 premiere; Thursday, June 8; USA), and the ladies of Litchfield are still doing time in Orange Is the New Black (Season 5 premiere; Friday, June 9; Netflix), hackers be damned.

The ragtag crew of ridiculously good-looking intergalactic criminals remain lost in space in Dark Matter (Season 3 premiere; Friday, June 9; Syfy), and TV’s coolest demon hunter is back and gunning for souls in Wynonna Earp (Season 2 premiere; Friday, June 9; Syfy). Meanwhile, the end is near for the Clone Club in the final run of Orphan Black (Season 5 premiere; Saturday, June 10, BBC America), and even nearer for frenemies Billie and Gene in the two-weekend burn-off of Idiotsitter (Season 2 premiere; Saturday, June 10; Comedy Central).

An all-star cast chews scenery and buffs cuticles in new Florida nail-salon dramedy Claws (series debut; Sunday, June 11; TNT), and primetime goes grindhouse with Blood Drive (series debut; Wednesday, June 14, Syfy), about a cross-country death race where the cars run on—what else?—blood. The Mist (series debut; Thursday, June 22; Spike) rolls out more subtle Stephen King-y scares, and the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling finally get their ’80s-spandexed due in the Alison Brie-led docu-comedy GLOW (series debut; Friday, June 23; Netflix).

Fiddy Cent’s nightclubs ’n’ drugs drama Power (Season 4 premiere; Sunday, June 25; Starz) finds kingpin Ghost (Omari Hardwick) caught in the middle of a, yep, power struggle, while Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy finally hit the road looking for God in Preacher (Season 2 premiere; Sunday, June 25; AMC). Liza (Sutton Foster) deals with the fallout of her bestie Kelsey (Hilary Duff) learning her dark, old secret in Younger (Season 4 premiere; Wednesday, June 28; TV Land), and everybody’s favorite ragtag trio of ridiculously good-looking interplanetary bounty hunters gear up to fight the good-ish fight in Killjoys (Season 3 premiere; Friday, June 30; Syfy).

John Singleton’s Snowfall (series debut; Wednesday, July 5; FX) dramatizes the crack-cocaine epidemic of ’80s Los Angeles, while modernized period piece Will (series debut; Monday, July 10; TNT) juices the legend of a young William Shakespeare as he arrives in the, wait for it, “punk-rock theatre scene of 16th century London.” Back in the present, a pair of college eggheads break it to the White House that an asteroid is six months away from mercifully colliding with Earth in Salvation (series debut; Wednesday, July 12; CBS).

Game of Thrones … yeah, nothing more needs to be said here (Season 7 premiere; Sunday, July 16; HBO). In the final stretch of The Strain (Season 4 premiere; Sunday, July 16; FX), nuclear winter is in full effect; the Strigoi vampires have seized the planet; and our heroes are down for the count—but are they, really? Meanwhile, Ballers (Season 3 premiere; Sunday, July 23; HBO) and Insecure (Season 2 premiere; Sunday, July 23; HBO) are paired up for the most incongruent HBO hour ever, while Midnight, Texas (series debut; Monday, July 24; NBC) takes Charlaine Harris’ supernatural novels for a TV spin.

Would you believe … Sharknado 5 (movie premiere; Sunday, Aug. 6; Syfy)? Marvel’s The Defenders (series debut; Friday, Aug. 18; Netflix) finally brings together Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist for a dysfunctional superhero team-up, while the 21st go-round of South Park (season 21 premiere; Wednesday, Aug. 23; Comedy Central) attempts to find the funny in Trump’s America—if he’s still in office at that point. Fortunately, Abbi and Ilana drop the long-long-long-awaited comeback of Broad City (Season 4 premiere; Wednesday, Aug. 23; Comedy Central), and the new take on The Tick (series debut; Friday, Aug. 25; Amazon Prime) may reunify the country, after all. Spoon!

Published in TV