a) "Jessica Jones"
I am increasingly resentful of the whole idea of "binge-watching" and streaming services releasing an entire season of a show at once to encourage it. So I've been watching a lot of these shows deliberately slowly, more or less in the more traditional one-a-week pace, which I find helps me enjoy most shows more. Of course, that means that I've only watched 3 episodes of "Jessica Jones" so far and I'm way behind on the conversations everyone's already had since finishing the season a week or two ago. But I like it so far. I've been rooting for Krysten Ritter since she was guesting on "Veronica Mars" and doing thankless best friend roles in romcoms, so it's been great to see "Breaking Bad" and then "Don't Trust The B" set her up for a vehicle this good. Some of the conflicts and action scenes don't really click, especially compared to "Daredevil," but otherwise it's pretty promising.
b) "The Man In The High Castle"
Because of my anti-binge watching, I'm only 4 episodes into this, but I'm getting close to just giving up on it. It's an intriguing premise, and well done, but at a certain point I just get too depressed spending that much time contemplating a world where the Axis powers won, and watching the Nazi characters be given an inner life and motivations like a garden variety prestige TV antihero. It's definitely one of Amazon's best shows to date, but it just bums me the fuck out.
c) "The Art Of More"
Crackle, a streaming service also-ran whose big original programming moves so far have been "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee" and Joe Dirt 2, has rolled out their first big budget drama, with Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth and intrigue in the world of auction houses. There were some strong scenes in the first episode that held my attention, but it also feels like they're piling on a lot of plot that I don't really care about yet, before they've given the characters a whole lot of personality or dramatic stakes.
d) "Real Rob"
Considering the relatively high bar Netflix originals have cleared so far, I was shocked that they actually chose to buy this show instead of getting saddled with it as part of their deal with Sandler or something. Rob Schneider basically went off on his own and shot a stupid mockumentary sitcom about his life, and it's just as bad as you might expect. Worse, really. The production values are so bad on a fundamental level, like the camera angles and the framing make you think about where the camera is and what mistakes they made in a way that competent television never really gives you cause to ponder. He uses his real family in the show, and though his pop star daughter Elle King doens't show up, his new wife is there, and she seems to be about as young as his daughter, or younger, which is creepy.
This is a British show that airs in the US on Esquire, which is an actual channel now! The premise is interesting, it's about a crime scene cleanup crew, which is a really fascinating grotesque line of work, I'd never even thought about the fact that that job exists until I saw the movie Sunshine Cleaning, and this is very different from that. I kinda wish it was more just about the characters doing the job than all the extra intrigue they've piled on to the plot, but it's well done, I shouldn't complain.
After all my complaining about binge watching, I noticed that Amazon, which released the first season of "Transparent" all at once, has only put out one episode of the 2nd season so far. So I got excited that Amazon is taking a stand against the whole binge watching thing, but then I heard that they're going to release the rest of the episodes all at once in a few days, oh well.. I had mixed feelings about the first season, but the season 2 debut hooked me right in with an episode that wasn't quite like anything they'd done before, so I'm curious where they're headed now.
g) "Code Black"
I've found myself warming to this show in a way that I haven't for a medical drama in a long time, just a good strong cast, a good unshowy storytelling style.
h) "Moonbeam City"
I still have mixed feelings about this show basically being "Archer" via "Miami Vice," but it's got some good writing, the 'cop con' episode was the strongest one yet.
i) "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah"
I like Trevor Noah enough to still feel anxious for him that I really have no idea if his "Daily Show" is catching on or if they're going to just yank him off the air in the next year or two. But I don't like him so much that I can't see what his weaknesses are, how often he grins a little too much and delivers a punchline that just dies. I think I'm seeing some steady improvement, though, his segment this past week where he'd talk shit about Anonymous and then apologize was really well done.