Posts Tagged Lethal Weapon
The Emmy’s air this Sunday, which means it’s that time again to present my awards of the Best (and Worst) of the 2018-2019 television season. (See previous Awards – 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013)
We start as always with more traditional categories, and over the next two days will continue with additional categories for moments that resonated with me in some form or another over the past television season.
Best New Series: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
I usually like to wait as long as possible before choosing the best new series of the year, as you never know when a gem will arrive. For the last several months, New Amsterdam was holding onto the top prize, and I was about to solidify its position as the number one show of the 2019-2020 season…. Then, at the tail-end of summer, I decided to try Netflix for the first time (mainly to see the new season of Lucifer) and discovered a glorious new show: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The 1982 film has slowly turned into a cult classic, and although there are good aspects to it, it can be extremely slow and meandering, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this new prequel set in the time before the evil Skeksis wiped out all of Gelfling kind. It did take some time to get used to, but by the end of the second episode, the show truly hit its stride. From then on, I was hooked. Though we know where everything will eventually end up, the wonderfully distinct characters, masterful puppetry, terrific set designs, perfect flow, a brilliant mix of practical and CG that blend so well together you don’t know where one begins and the other ends, and wonderfully crafted scripts with plenty of twists keep your interest peeked and your investment worth every minute of time.
Worst New Series: Murphy Brown
I didn’t care for the original Murphy Brown when it aired in the late-eighties/early nineties, so it’s probably no wonder why the reboot didn’t grab my attention. In a year where most comedies, such as The Conners and The Cool Kids, failed to live up to the hype and the talent involved (or get canceled way too soon; keep reading for more on that), at least those shows had a few moments of pure joy and heart. Murphy Brown seemed to me to be one long tirade of bitterness. I’m not against political comedy, but to sustain humor, you need to be more diversified and come from a place of respect, which Murphy Brown was incapable of committing to. It’s no wonder they were eventually voted off the television lineup.
Series that shouldn’t have been this good: The Purge
Based on the four-film series, which started with an intriguing premise and devolved into a routine horror show that kept getting worse with each new installment (leading to a movie that failed on almost every level), it was hard to believe that I’d be interested in a series based on the franchise. However, television, it turns out, is the best medium for The Purge because it has the time to develop the premise in much more intriguing ways. Episodic television allows the writers to explore what’s happening with each character and help us connect with how and why each of them makes their decisions before and during the purge. It’s not a perfect show, nor is it the best thing on television, but it did do what it promised and lifted the franchise to a whole new level.
Series that should have been better: Nightflyers
Nightflyers had all the makings of a stellar sci-fi space opera: an intriguing premise, some interesting technology, a killer opening sequence and George R.R. Martin as executive producer. But the show itself ended up to be as lifeless as its ghostly A.I. Starting with the characters, who all solemnly trudged along through the swamps of sadness, the show couldn’t find a rhythm to hold your interest. The characters that were intriguing, like Thale (Sam Strike) or Lommie (Maya Eshet), ended up being wasted by a series of scripts that couldn’t even make sense of its own language. By the third or fourth episode, I had to force myself to hit play in hopes that the show would somehow find its groove. It never did.
Best New Character: Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold), New Amsterdam
I was sorely disappointed when it was revealed that Tom Keen had officially died on The Blacklist. Tom started the show as a spy infiltrating Elizabeth’s (Megan Boone) life and turned into one of the best characters on the show as he tried to redeem himself. A spinoff eventually failed, but that wasn’t because of Ryan Eggold, who made Tom Keen the only bright spot in an otherwise generic spy thriller. But then he showed up in New Amsterdam as a doctor who becomes the head of a public hospital while also fighting throat cancer. From his first act of firing the entire cardio department to requiring Dr. Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman) to stop spending her time making television appearances, Eggold infused Dr. Max Goodwin with a brain, a heart and courage to fight a system that cares more about money than its own patients. Always moving, never wavering in his resolve, Max is a force to be reckoned with, and every moment he is on screen shines with a spirit you want to embrace for all time.
Worst New Character: Gutierrez, aka “The Gute” (Paola Lázaro), Lethal Weapon
When the powers that be decided to fire Clayne Crawford from Lethal Weapon, everyone knew the show wouldn’t be the same. But if I was to put money on who would be the worst part of a Martin Riggs-less Weapon, I would have bet on Seann William Scott. However, although Scott was definitely a step down from Crawford’s Riggs, he was able to turn on just enough charm to keep things running smoothly. What I wasn’t expecting was a new addition to the team named Gutierrez. Self-proclaimed “The Gute”, Gutierrez was neither funny or charismatic. I believe the show wanted to use this character to bring back some of that naughty rule-breaking left behind by Riggs, but whether it was the character or Paola Lázaro’s infusion of pompousness, Gutierrez just never fit in with the rest of the cast. She tried too hard to be “edgy” and never quite hit the rhythm needed for the character to truly fill another character’s beloved shoes.
Best Ensemble Cast: New Amsterdam
Beginning with Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin (see above), the cast of New Amsterdam fires on all cylinders. Tyler Labine is beautifully resonant as Dr. Iggy Frome, the head of the psychology department, who respects every patient no matter what they may say or do to him; Anupam Kher as Dr. Vijay Kapoor is funny, knowledgeable and is always there to listen no matter his own problems; Freema Agyeman as Dr. Helen Sharpe only wants what’s best for everyone, doctor and patient alike; Jacko Sims as Dr. Floyd Reynolds is the voice of diversity; and Janet Montgomery as Dr. Lauren Bloom proves that everyone is fallible, and isn’t always willing to admit it. The show has found a few pairs it likes to keep together, but it’s for a very good reason, as each one works wonderful together. Individually each actor brings something new and fresh to their character, and together, they blend perfectly into a musical symphony that breathes new life into a saturated genre.
Worst Reboot: Roswell, New Mexico
Using basically the same premise as the original Roswell, Max Evans saves Liz after she’s shot in the Crashdown diner, exposing himself to be an alien from the 1947 crash. All of the familiar faces are here. What’s missing is the spirit that made the original show so fascinating and relatable. Julie Plec may have found magic with The Vampire Diaries and their off-shoots, however, when you take a show that worked so well with teens and update it with a pack of adults with hardly any charisma and zero chemistry, it simply made me want to grab the pilot of the original and revisit Roswell the way it was meant to be seen.
Worst Premiere Episode: The Conners
Despite the decision to fire Roseanne from her own show because of a stupid comment on social media, I wanted to give this new iteration a chance. Overall, The Conners (much like the roboot itself) was an uneven attempt at moving forward without its controversial matriarch. There were a few highlights, mostly when it came to Laurie Metcalf’s Jackie and the appearances by Johnny Galecki as Darlene’s (Sara Gilbert) husband, David, but overall the show had a hard time finding its footing. And it all started with the initial episode, which picked up weeks after Roseanne’s death. From the jump, this felt odd, as we weren’t allowed to experience the immediate reactions from each character to that major life event. We hear about what each character felt, but it simply left me feeling a bit cold about the whole situation. Not to mention that a couple of episodes later, we see instances of grief (mostly by Dan (John Goodman)) that would have been better suited to appear prior to this episode, which also begs the question: was this actually the pilot? Whether it was or episodes got switched around, this particular episode set a poor precedent for the ultimate tone of the series moving forward.
Most Disappointing Cancellation: The Kids Are Alright
I wasn’t too excited about The Kids Are Alright when it premiered, but over time, the show found a rich, loving rhythm, and through that, the characters grew into their own one-by-one. From two parents who show their love by not caring about what their children are doing from one minute to the next, to kids who are always getting into trouble in one way or another, the show depicted a large family growing up in the seventies in the most honest, respectful way it knew how. All of the cultural references were subtle and the quarks of each kid, which started out grating and obnoxious, only became more endearing with each episode. It’s a shame ABC didn’t give this show a second chance; I have a feeling it could have grown into a phenomenon with a little more time and a little more love.
Check out Part 2 of our Television Awards, which includes the Best Multi-Character Twist, Most Surprising Death, and Most Vile Creatures of the 2018-2019 season.
Now that we’ve gotten through some traditional awards (check out Part 1), we begin the awards for specialty categories, starting with ones geared more toward the writing side of things.
Best Twist: The Exorcist
I don’t know about you, but I did not see this coming. Throughout the first five episodes of The Exorcist‘s second season, we got to know a handful of foster kids with individual personalities and troubles. One of those kids, Grace (Amélie Eve) was a shy, agoraphobic little girl afraid to step outside or meet new people. Her safety net was the love for her foster father, Andrew Kim (John Cho), as well as the potato sack she wore over her face to feel protected. At no point would I have ever thought this little girl was a figment of Andrew’s imagination. Perhaps it was the distraction the show gave us by keeping the priests’ story line separate for the first few episodes. As we all wondered when, how and why the two stories would come together, we forgot to notice that no one but Andrew ever actually communicated with Grace. The producers set this reveal up perfectly and makes you wonder… was M. Night Shyamalan somehow involved?
Most Poetic Story Arc: Niska (Emily Berrington), Humans
For three seasons, Niska, one of David Elster’s (Stephen Boxer) original sentient AIs, has been almost completely disconnected from the main story lines. Yeah, her stories occasionally weaved in and out of the overall arcs, but she was always an outsider, someone who wanted to be human, to fit in and be judged not because of what she was, but who she was. So it is very poetic that as Mia’s (Gemma Chan) journey comes to a devastating but necessary close, Niska’s journey has just begun. Once disconnected from everything, Niska has now literally become connected to everything (love those new purple eyes!), and is the key to leading Mattie (Lucy Carless) and her new hybrid offspring (who better be named Mia, or so help me…) into a brave new world.
Biggest Bombshell: The Blacklist
Ever since the first season of the series, producers of The Blacklist were adamant that Raymond Reddington (James Spader) was not Elizabeth Keen’s (Megan Boone) father. So it was a little disheartening to learn last season that, lo and behold, he actually was. There was always the lingering question as to whether Reddington somehow altered the DNA test results, and one big reason for this was the season-long mystery of what was in the duffel bag Reddington was hell bent on keeping secret. In the final moments of the season finale, we finally learned the truth — Reddington is in fact Liz’s father, however, the man we’ve come to know as Raymond Reddington is a complete fraud. It turns out the contents of the duffel bag belong to the real Raymond Reddington, so now the question is, why was he killed? And what reasons did the fake Reddington have to assume his identity? We’ll just have to wait for next season to find out.
Oddest Refocus: Kevin Can Wait
In what has to be the most blatant attempt at recapturing the magic from a previous show without rebooting that particular show, producers on Kevin Can Wait decided to dump female lead Erinn Hayes and hire Leah Remini as a full time member of the cast. How did they handle the situation? By killing Kevin’s wife without ever explaining what happened and then forcing Vanessa (Remini) into Kevin’s family as if she had been part of their lives forever. I never watched King of Queens, and there was a reason for that… I never cared for the chemistry between Kevin James and Remini; and based on this new iteration, I don’t think I ever will. Kevin Can Wait was never the best show on television, nor was it the best comedy — most of it was all rehashed and convoluted — but at least it had a spark that kept me interested. That spark fizzled with the change in focus to Kevin and Vanessa’s relationship and their new business venture. All I can say is, I’m not surprised the show was finally put out of its misery, giving Hayes the last laugh.
Most Heartbreaking Moment: This Is Us
You’d probably expect the most heartbreaking moment of the season to come from a show like This Is Us. But in a season of many heartbreaking moments, one stood out as being the most devastating, and no, it wasn’t Kate (Chrissy Metz) losing the baby. After Kevin (Justin Hartley) is injured on the set of his newest movie (and being triggered back to memories of his dad), he starts spinning out of control, leading to a deep depression where he’s all but drowning his feelings in alcohol. While doing so, he manages to ruin another relationship and have a one-night stand with an old high school friend. When he leaves this drunken fling in the middle of the night, he realizes he’s left the necklace his dad gave him behind and goes back to retrieve it. Cue the most powerful breakdown of the season. Because the woman is so angry with him for leaving, she refuses to give it back, leaving Kevin to hit rock bottom and wallow in her front lawn. Hartley did a terrific job building to this moment throughout the season, and as he sinks ever lower, screaming for someone to help him, you feel the devastation burrowing into your bones and can’t help but want to do just that.
Nice Try Award: Rise
In one of the closing moments of the final episode of Rise, Josh Radnor’s character’s son tells him that, “What you did here was amazing.” In regards to the final episode, this sentiment couldn’t ring truer. The episode that showcased the performance of the controversial play “Spring Awakening” was magnetic, heartbreaking, inspiring and full of passion. It’s a shame the rest of the series was so uninspired. Trying to capture the same dramatic magic of This Is Us, with the grit of Friday Night Lights, Rise came off as pandering to as many different groups as it could think of instead of being honest with itself. If the producers really wanted to make a mark, they would have taken a page from the play it was promoting by breaking the rules of convention. Instead it played it safe, and that is ultimately why it failed to gain the notoriety it so desperately desired.
This season’s most noticeable trend: Bad Military Dramas
With the success of TNT’s The Last Ship and History’s SIX, it was only a matter of time before the networks jumped on the bandwagon to produce their own hit military dramas. This season attempted to ignite that trend with three offerings that all felt basically the same without any clear distinction between them (which is probably why only one of them is returning). NBC kicked things off with The Brave, a contrived series that desperately tried to push a sense of tension, but failed to deliver because of its phony characters and lack of consistent story line (note to showrunners: when you set up an intriguing moment in the last minute of your first episode and then abandon that thread in the second episode with a throwaway line, it’s not a good sign that you’re ready to commit); CBS then brought us Seal Team, a bland attempt at showing us the ins-and-outs of what makes the Navy Seals tick. With drab, boring characters that had weak chemistry puttering about in a monotonous tone, I almost fell asleep waiting for something exciting to happen; and finally the CW tried to ignite a new arm for itself with Valor, a show that screamed CW all over the place, but couldn’t quite find the right balance between military intrigue and the lovers quarrel.
Best Christmas/Homage Episode: Lethal Weapon
I was quite disappointed with Lethal Weapon‘s first season Christmas episode when no one drive a car through Murtaugh’s living room. Well, the show made up for that this year, as producers finally paid homage to the film in some very fun ways. The story beats and circumstances are much different, but you could feel the vibe of that original film throughout the entire episode. Not only does Riggs drive his truck through Murtaugh’s living room, but the episode started with “Jingle Bell Rock” playing over the first scene. We got to see Riggs in a Christmas tree lot, as well as a twist on Riggs jumping off a building that not only moves the character arc forward, but makes fun of both the film and the series up to this point. To finish it off, the show also sent some love to another classic eighties cop series, Beverly Hills Cop, when Murtaugh goes into a strip club that just happens to be playing Vanity 6’s “Nasty Girl.” Good job, Lethal Weapon. Let’s hope next year, you wont receive a Chaos award for the wrong reasons.
Weirdest Shout Out: Superstition
There are a lot of shows — mostly spinoffs — that make call-outs to their sister shows to not only give their worlds depth, but remind people about where they came from. Sometimes, call-outs to other shows can go a little meta, as with Supernatural‘s fun shout-out to ex-cast member Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s affinity for a barbed wire bat. What you don’t see very often (if at all) is a call-out to a show that doesn’t have any relationship to that particular show. In Superstition‘s first episode, Mario Van Peebles’ character is about to go out on a hunt for some supernatural being. After his son (Brad James) pulls the car around, Peebles opens the trunk and asks him, “You have an arsenal back here like Sam and Dean?” The reference came so out of left field, I had to rewind to make sure I heard what I heard. As far as I know, no character on the show has any relationship to the hunter brothers, and at no time were they ever connected to Supernatural, so why this reference would randomly pop up is beyond me. Does this signify that the producers of Superstition were hoping one day the worlds would collide, or was it just a lame attempt to associate itself with a much better show that this one tried to mimic to no avail? Based on the first episode, I’m guessing the latter.
Nice Recovery Award: Mr. Robot
After the incredible 1st season of Mr. Robot blew us away with its mystery of who Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) was and his relationship with Elliot (Rami Malek),the show went into a major sophomore slump, wherein I was almost ready to give up on the show. It had lost a lot of its first season edge and didn’t seem to know what it wanted to be anymore. Even the first few episodes of the third season dragged a bit as it tried to clean up its second season mess. But half-way through the season, it finally started to once again find its voice, culminating in one of its best episodes to date. As Elliot tries to stop the Black Army from executing its plan, we follow the action in what appeared to be a single shot during a hectic forty-five minutes that played so well — with great intensity and a pace that never let up — it reaffirmed why so many fans loved Mr. Robot in the first place.
Jump to the final round of awards for the 2017-2018 season, including the most surprising death, the most promising career potential and the most morbid game.
It’s that time again! The Emmy’s are right around the corner, so herewith are the best of the best of the 2016-2017 television season. Remember, these are NOT picks for who should win the Emmy’s — that show is so biased, I can’t watch! These are awards I give for the best and worst moments of the television season from the shows I actually watch (so no Game of Thrones or Empire moments; sorry). So please, leave your comments and choices in the comments section at your leisure. (For more fun, check out 2015-1016, 2014-2015, 2013-2014 and 2012-2013 awards.) Check out the full list of awards!