This Week in Television

Well guys, I know I said I would stick it out, but I just can't do it. I've stopped watching The Young Pope. I got to the third episode and I just couldn't continue it anymore because of how Trumpian the protagonist is. This week has been particularly rough in the United States and I'm someone who is very politically involved. I volunteered for the Clinton campaign and on election night I nearly threw up. If this past week is any indication, it's only going to get worse, much worse. As I'm writing this now, a Muslim ban, for all intents and purposes, has been created severally restricting immigration from several different countries. And with this going on, it's very hard for me to separate the character of Pius from Trump. Both individuals seem to have been long shots, ill-suited and disinterested in their respective roles, and appear to be breaking down tradition at every single turn. Television, for now, is an escape for me, which is why I've begun watching Baskets and The Expanse.

Now for those who don't know, Baskets tells the story of Chip Baskets (Zack Galifianakis) who returns home to Bakersfield California after failing at becoming a clown in Paris. The show was created by Louis C.K., Zack Galifianakis, and Johnathan Krisel and the show has a very Louie vibe to it. It's often absurd but some episodes, like the Easter one, really shine. You get a good understanding for the show. Louie Anderson also plays Chip's mom and is relly quite good in the role, earning him an Emmy for this role.

The reason I started watching this show was because it made me both laugh and feel something. The characters are well defined and the scenes often involve absurd situations but this doesn't detract from the real humanity that these characters show. I've laughed and I've been moved by many of the episodes in the first season, so much so that I'm rewatching them with my girlfriend. Have you watched Baskets? Do you like the show? Let me know below!

The-Expanse-on-Syfy.jpg

As I mentioned above, I've also been watching The Expanse. Now I've read a few of the books that this show is based on, I stopped after they appeared to become very repetitive, written by James S. A. Corey and it tells the story of a future where Earth, Mars, and the outer planets are at each other's throats over access to resources. It tells this story quite well, through Detective Miller (Thomas Jane) who lives on a space station investigating the disappearance of a girl, Jim Holden (Steven Strait) who is the captain of the Canterbury who finds himself caught between two warring planets, and his crew mates Amos Burton (Wes Chatham), Naomi Nagata (Dominque Tipper), Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar), and Shed Garvey (Paulo Constanzo) who are along for the ride. The show also displays the tensions on Earth as Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) who works for the UNN attempts to understand the role that Mars, Earth, and the Outer Planets Alliance plays in this potential war.

This show is a Syfy channel show and usually I'm not a fan of them, but you can seen some time, energy, and money went into making this show. The clothes seem authentic and it doesn't have the cheap feeling to it, that sometimes plagues my watching of other Syfy shows.

Why am I watching it now? Because this cast is hella diverse and it depicts people of all races and genders coming together for a common cause, equality. I'm down for that right now. I'm all in for that. Have you checked out The Expanse? If so what did you think?

Written by cwm on Feb 6, 2017

Comments

cwm posted 9 days ago

Yeah, I've watched most of Santa Clarita Diet and Olyphant and Barrymore are good but not great. I'll write a longer review of the show, some episodes have much tighter writing while others seem to struggle to find their footing.

Wynn posted 10 days ago

Aye, am very much looking forward to a decent ending for the series in form of a movie. Even here almost 11 years later. I'm an optimist of course, but also careful not getting my hopes up. After they canceled the show in '06 after season 3, the plan was actually two movies right off the bat to round-up the story. It never happened of course, as everyone had moved on and were busy with all kinds of other projects; but now it's finally looking positive at least :)

Recent word is that Milch should still be writing the script though, so nothing is set in stone yet. I'd really love to see Ian McShane working with Milch again. That is the closest thing we've ever come to modern Shakespeare in my opinion ;) Those two combined, the dialog was simply amazing throughout most of the three seasons. I can only recommend giving it another watch, especially if we get word that the movie is actually happening anytime soon.

; and the same goes for me with Olyphant, for the most part. I very much liked Justified as well. It wasn't fantastic, but it was definitely good, and somehow it always surprised me how it kept up its standards so well throughout 6 seasons. I've only watched the first episode of the Santa Clarita Diet yet though, and I'm not completely sure what to think about that show yet ;) It's definitely quite funny though, and Drew Barrymore can almost always make anyone laugh, so I guess it's a welcome relief as well in these times :)

cwm posted 11 days ago

Shit. Thanks for the catch Wynn. And yeah, the dialogue is a bit cheap, but again this is more escapist for me then anything. Speaking of David Milch, have you seen they are making a Deadwood movie? Any thoughts on that? I loved the show, but sadly, never finished it. I developed a love for Timothy Olyphant from Deadwood and that only grew with Justified.

Wynn posted 11 days ago

The Expanse is definitely not bad at all. The sci-fi is top notch. The effects, the story, the setting, etc. The damn dialog is just too simplified :/

It never really surprises you. You always kind of know the next line, as most of them are just so simple or somewhat corny, without being cheesy though. The characters need much more edge and personality. Otherwise the story just ends up somewhat boring, despite all the great sci-fi, and that's really a shame :/

The Expanse with someone like David Milch at the helm; then you'd truly have the finest sci-fi series in the history of television ;)

JuanArango posted 13 days ago

I think The Expanse is one of the finest sci-fi series in the history of television.

Wynn posted 13 days ago

Loui Anderson, not Louis :)

Anyway, think I'll give Baskets a watch based on your recommendation, cwm :)

As for The Expanse, I think they've given it somewhat of a boost in the second season. The first season actually did feel cheap, some scenes in particular. The first episodes of this second season seem a bit more well made all around. Let see how it looks after 5 or 6 episodes.

Login to leave a comment on this article.