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Recent TV Roundup (August 2022)

Since the beginning of the year, we have watched a few TV shows. I don’t have in-depth critique or reviews of most of them, but perhaps all of them in some will amount to one good blog post.

Of course, there are lots of spoilers, so skip around.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 4

I saw a reddit comment on an episode thread that said something like, “They should just call it Star Trek Self-Discovery and be done with it.”

I had many issues with this season, and I wish it was an anomaly, but I think this is the direction that this show has taken.

They really focus major themes at the heart of Star Trek, like connection between people and aliens or what the Federation stands for. This season goes too far where everything is solved with feelings.

The main computer of Discovery becomes conscious and has feelings. Tarka is driven by feelings. Proper first contact is done through feelings. The fate of the galaxy depends on Michael figuring things out with her boyfriend.

I did like how the crew figures out communication with species 10-C was a nice touch at the end that felt nice.

Rating: 2/5

The Book of Boba Fett Season 1

I enjoyed the show well enough, but it just felt unremarkable.

I know Star Wars has always had the underworld involved with smugglers, Jabba, bounty hunters, and such. But really, the big focus is on the fight between good and evil, light side and dark side.

I just don’t enjoy Star Wars as much at the gritty fringes.

Most viewers could skip the show, but if you watch The Mandalorian, you must watch this show as well. If not, whatever happens next in The Mandalorian isn’t going to make any sense.

Rating: 3/5

Star Trek: Picard Season 2

My gripe with Season 1 was that it didn’t end very well. They had an interesting premise, but the ending felt rushed. The last 2 episodes just happened, and the Borg didn’t really matter.

My gripe with Season 2 is the exact opposite. Most of the show was messy with too many storylines and themes, but the ending was really nice. I’m not sure if it was worth the payoff for Picard and Q to finally get some resolution.

Rating: 3/5

Moon Knight Season 1

Oscar Isaacs is great. They do a better job with flashbacks and childhood trauma than Picard did.

However, I’m not sure I ever really got invested in the story here.

It was really fun to see all of the Egyptian mythology. I’m not specifically into Egyptmania, but I do generally enjoy Classical Antiquities.

Rating: 3/5

Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 1

This show had a tough premise. If they focused on the important people and events in Star Wars, then we already know too much, and they have no wiggle room to tell a suspenseful story. If they let Obi-Wan go off on an unimportant and unrelated adventure, then it feels like a waste to use Obi-Wan.

However, they obviously had to make this show. Obi-Wan and Ewan McGregor are both tremendously popular, and McGregor is at a good age for this story right now.

And despite all of the criticism of The Force Awakens being a copycat movie, the premise of this show also felt like a copycat.

In The Last Jedi, we see that Luke Skywalker is disillusioned with the Jedi due to having failed a former apprentice. He goes into isolation only to be pulled out because a young girl needs his help. Over the course of the adventure, he must face all of his failures, rejoin the Rebel Alliance, and then regain his strength and connection to the Force.

And that’s the story arc for Obi-Wan Kenobi, too.

I also was dissatisfied with the explanation for Obi-Wan not killing Darth Vader. He says “I will do what I must” when he starts to fight his former apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. Then, Obi-Wan looks ready to kill Anakin, who says that Anakin is already dead, and only Vader is left.

That seems entirely backwards to me. To me, that sounds like Obi-Wan was ready to kill a potentially redeemable Anakin Skywalker, but he didn’t want to kill the purely evil Darth Vader.

The explanation I have seen online is that when Anakin says that only Vader is left, Obi-Wan finds peace with his past decision and has no need to proceed. However, that seems so narrow for Obi-Wan to be okay absolving himself of his own guilt at the cost of all of the lives Vader will take in the future.

Of course, Vader really survives due to known canon and plot armor.

But, I have another idea. If Obi-Wan gets a glimpse of the future through the Force and sees Anakin return to defeat the Emperor and bring balance back to the Force, then Obi-Wan is right to let him live. Obi-Wan is playing the long game.

I’ll keep that as my head canon since nothing in the show invalidates it.

Rating: 3/5

Ms. Marvel Season 1

I got a nice history lesson out of this show. Honestly, I knew nothing about the Partition of India and Pakistan. It’s great that they not only used the show to delve into Pakistani and Islamic culture but also focus on these major events.

The show went by too quickly. I’m not sure that they should have stretched it out more, but it felt like the ClanDestines appeared quickly in the story, then were defeated. The Department of Damage Control keeps appearing, but it felt like a token move to justify them being around.

Rating: 3/5

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1

I highly recommend this show to all Star Trek fans. I’m glad that the current Star Trek show runners are trying different approaches to the franchise, but this one in particularly lands well.

Captain Pike was so popular in Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery that it was obviously right to make a new show for him.

The show divides attention around the entire crew. There are running threads, but most of the episodes narrowly focus on an interesting story. It really just works.

The season finale is also very, very good. It directly references an episode from The Original Series that I highly recommend re-watching either before or after this episode.

Rating: 4/5

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2

After watching those shows listed above, I realized I mostly watch shows with explosions. Those explosions may be caused by aliens, magic, or superheroes, but there are explosions nonetheless.

We starting watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel because I wanted a change of pace and heard about the awards. Also, I got access to an Amazon Prime account.

We are really, really enjoyed this show. The 50s costumes, makeup, and sets are all fun. The dialogue and jokes comes fast. The story and characters themselves are compelling.

I heard that the later seasons tail off, but t’s been good so far.

Rating: 5/5

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