While the rush of the end of the year seems daunting, it’s good to sit back and relax to take some time to yourself. While I obviously promote reading a lot, television is an easier escape.
Here are eight shows that mostly premiered this year that you can check out in their first and only season so far in their entirety right now. Two shows have their second seasons premiering in December; I’ve notated that in their blurb.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) An Emmy-award winner that takes the best of Gilmore Girls (from the same creators) and Mad Men. Expect fast-paced witty dialogue coupled with cozy melodrama. Transport to 1950s New York City to follow the titular character as her husband leaves her and she finds her own voice through stand-up comedy. Season two premieres December 5, 2018.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix) Halloween may be over, but you can avoid scary political discussions with that uncle by watching some teen witches get real dark. The Melissa Joan-Hart sitcom is far in the review window as this drama chooses to follow a horror comic book version of the half-human, half-witch teen. It can feel a little stiff, but it’s worth the payoff.
Homecoming(Amazon) Based on the popular podcast of the same name, Homecoming explores the psychological effects the war has on soldiers. Julia Roberts was a case manager at a facility that helps transition soldiers back into civilian life. The real eerie twist comes years later when she discovers the real purpose of the facility was a lot more sinister.
Pose (FX) Live. Work. Pose! Welcome yourself into a blooming drag house in the late-80s that was inspired by real life events. The story balances the queer community in Harlem with the Wall Street lives of money hungry businessmen. This was the largest cast of transgender actors ever assembled for a major television production. For fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Joseph Cassara’s debut novel, The House of Impossible Beauties.
Barry (HBO) Bill Hader’s comedic chops are tweaked in this dark comedy. He was a longstanding bright spot on SNL and proved his dramatic skills in films like The Skeleton Twins. He finds the perfect balance as a hitman who becomes passionate about becoming a commercial actor.
Everything Sucks! (Netflix) This show was canceled after this one season. It’s a mid-level teen melodrama set in the 1990s. It hits all of your typical beats (some extremely well and some only so-so), but the characterization of the main characters is extremely unique. The young actors turn out some terrific performances.
Killing Eve (BBC America) Expect a slow, drawn out murder mystery with this one. My sister, who prefers Bob’s Burgers and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and rarely likes anything serious, swears by this show. Sandra Oh turns a brilliant performance as an obsessive MI5 officer.
The Runaways (Hulu) Adapted from a comic series where teens with special abilities discover their parents are basically super villains, this is a good one for you and your teenage relatives to connect over. While it’s a superhero story, the teens are very well written and show the different facets of the world we live in today ranging from depression to immigration. Season two premieres on December 21, 2018 in its entirety.
The finale is here for Survivor: Ghost Island. The season had so much potential despite fervent fans on the deep reaches of the internet hating the theme and being skeptical of a 20-person season.
We started off pretty much filled with action and memorable characters. Fanboy Jacob got 14 (FOURTEEN) confessionals in his only two episodes. Poor Sebastian is in the finale and probably doesn’t even have that. We had the epic Dom vs Chris Cold War that culminated exactly how we all assumed it would. We me the Heir to Ozzy, Malcolm, and Joe’s Golden Boy Throne: a short-haired 18-year-old “realtor” aka model Michael. Let’s just assume he is back for Season 38 or 39; whichever is a returner season.
Poor Jenna. I didn’t really know what she sounded like until the previous episode. Today she finally got some content before… well, getting her inevitable boot. She was an expected casualty. Michael was as well. In a sense. He was a heavy hitter, but I never thought he had a chance.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this twisty season of Survivor. We started with 20 newbies and have whittled that number down to the merged tribe of 13. It may have been slightly boring for some seeing as five original Malolo tribe members have gone home and only two original Naviti.
That means we have eight Naviti and five Malolo. We also have seven women and six men. Those numbers may come into play down the road, but who knows. Since there were numerous tribe swaps, there have been a lot of relationships forged.
For instance, Chris and Wendell have been together every day, but Wendell has already hinted that he is tired of macho man Chris’s actions. Donathan and Libby have also been together. I’d say they in theory have the strongest bond because they have been playing from the bottom since the first swap. That’s unlike Kellyn and Desi, who have been in a power position post swap thus far.
The return of Roseanne was… fine. There were plenty of laughs, but mainly because it was just nice to see such a lovable cast back again. Like many revivals, this was bogged down in having to catch up on too much. The first two episodes did an admirable job trying to give us two decades of background information scattered throughout the runtime.
Queer Eye is no longer about tolerance. It’s about acceptance. Over the course of eight episodes, five new hosts and experts transformed eight men in and around Atlanta ranging from straight white conservative men, hip men of color, and they even helped a gay black man come out to his stepmother after his father passed away.
The early hype surrounding the 36th season of Survivor was mixed. The theme is Ghost Island. No one really knew what we could expect.
It was going to be used similarly to Exile Island – where castaways are exiled from their tribe and sometimes they can find Hidden Immunity Idols, but they lose the ability to bond with their tribe. But because host Jeff Probst kept billing it as a graveyard for bad decisions and promos hinted that previous idols and advantages were going to come into play, fans knew that this would be a heavily twisted season.
None of these suggestions in LISTcavage are really the “best” of anything. This list changed the day I wrote it. I was set on having The Handmaid’s Tale in it. Then I realized it won an Emmy and the majority of America already knows about it. I left off Girls even though it had one of the best single episodes that is more culturally relevant now than ever (“American Bitch”). Critical favorites The Leftovers and The Americans were amazing, and deserve all of the recognition in the world. Hell, even Orphan Black, which I discovered too late just before its final season aired isn’t listed. But, I guess I did list them all in the end.
I love television. A lot. I watch a lot of it. I got paid to review/recap episodes at one point. I’ve interviewed Emmy-nominated actors. I knew the world was going to be abuzz Monday morning with news that Game of Thrones was back. People at work wanted to talk to me about it. I BS’d my way through it, but here’s a not-so-secret fact about me:
I’ve never seen an episode.
So, here’s a synopsis of everything I know. I’m going based off of word of mouth and things I’ve seen on Twitter. I’m not going to Google anything to check for spelling or what have you while I’m writing this. Someone please tell me how close I am.