The Old Man
This is one of the best shows out there right now. Intriguing, action packed, top-shelf cast, and expansively shot, the show even manages to perfectly cast much younger versions of its headliners, Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow. However, the best casting choice has to be Alia Shawkat (Maeby from “Arrested Development”) as the daughter. She lights up the screen with noire-like intensity.
For All Mankind
When this is about space, it’s excellent. When it’s about gender studies, not so much.
Never mind those restaurant boot camp shows on cable channels, The Bear puts some great ingredients into the pressure cooker that is a Chicago short-order kitchen, and plates a feast of a story. Fans of “Shameless” might think that Lip went on to open up this restaurant. I would kill to find the sandwich they make, though. Looks even better than the show.
We do like the show, but the action and the scenery is better than the dialogue, which is odd because the show’s creator made his mark in Hollywood with his scripts. The less said by the characters, the better, sometimes, but it’s fun watching the carnage that makes Montana look like Afghanistan.
On the third season now, and the Roys are taking it on the chin. Holly Hunter is gone, and Kendall is on the warpath. (Or is he?) Ultimately, this is as much about the corporate world as the Sopranos was about the mob. More accurately, these shows are about family dysfunction, and in that light, it excels. Unfortunately, they still haven’t tossed Greg from a helicopter.
This show gets better with each episode. While I expect that some of it is an embellished version of what actually happened, it’s fun to see a dramatization of what went on behind the scenes. The guy who plays Brando, Justin Chambers, could star in remakes of all his movies.
Only Murders in the Building
The second season improbably involves yet another murder in the same building minutes after our podcasters solve the first one. That won’t help the property values, but whatever puts Steve Martin and Martin Short on the same screen gets our vote.
Better Call Saul
Damn. It’s over. All over. If anyone bothers to ask me my favorite show of all time, it’s now a tossup between “The Wire” and this show. Not only a riveting story, fine acting, and Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul is a visual masterpiece. It’s a master class in cinematography. You’re going to see its influences on shows for decades to come.
It’s over and good riddance. I don’t know how I missed this, but this is a J.J. Abrams production. Abrams is a guy who’s never met a good franchise that he couldn’t ruin. He wrecked Star Wars and Star Trek. “Lost” lost me by the third episode when it became clear to me that the writers clearly either had no clue where they planned to take the story or didn’t care. That’s kind of the problem here. It’s a lavish production, but confusing as all hell, and it goes nowhere. If you watched only the premier episode and any from the fourth season, you’d wonder if the cast members just got shunted into a different show.