Taye Diggs and Daniel Ezra. Image courtesy of The CW.
via What’s New In Streaming For The Next Seven Days — DeciderTV
Hi everyone, how are you? I moved to Sydney two days ago, and the past week has been pretty intense. Amongst all that, I managed to see a couple of shows that are premiering this week. Last night I went to the Will & Grace premiere at a drag bar – I’d never seen the show before, and I didn’t know anyone. Here’s what I can say: it’s a good throwback sitcom, and Will is my favourite (being a good straight man – comedically – is difficult). I also think David Schwimmer did a great job, and I hope he’s around for at least a few more episodes.
I also saw the All American pilot, which I really enjoyed. It’s based on the life of Spencer Paysinger, an NFL player from central Los Angeles who was recruited to play for Beverly Hills High. Because it’s on Stan, I looked up which network it’s on in the United States, and it’s The CW. This isn’t a bad thing, I watch a lot of CW shows. But there are certain points at which you can tell. The other thing is that people are going to compare this to Friday Night Lights, a fantastic show that for some reason became a comedy in its second season. They’re both about high school football, and while Friday Night Lights does some great work with class divisions in seasons four and five, that’s what this entire show is about. So as long as it sticks to these aspects, and doesn’t lean too much into it’s CW-ness (you’ll see what I mean), I’m going to keep watching.
Speaking of shows that lean too much into their CW-ness, Riverdale is back! I’m hoping that the third season rights the ship a little bit – the first season was one of my favourite shows that year, and I fell off around season two. The thing about Riverdale is that the first season was made in a vacuum – they’d filmed the whole thing before it went on air – and then they had feedback for the second season. Yes, people liked the twists, but in season one they were informed by character, and in the second season it was a twist for the sake of it. I love this show, and I’m looking forward to it coming back. Remember this great moment?
I’m also interested in Trust, which FX has renewed as an anthology series about the Getty family. If you have Foxtel and want a little more Getty content, All the Money in the World is about the same story and was added last week.
Well, I said I’d write Riverdale recaps if I got screeners, and I got one today! I got a notification for a screener for last week’s episode, but it didn’t work (also it was only a day before the episode dropped, so it would have been close anyway). So, here we are, with our two couples broken up and the possibility of Betty and Archie happening. Which by the way isn’t allowed, because Bughead forever. Also Betty did a pole dance? I haven’t watched last week’s episode after I heard about that, I couldn’t do it. Let’s move on.
(Before anything happens, I should read the email to check what I can and can’t tell you.)
A few weeks ago, I received an email from Netflix, telling me that I could watch the season premiere of Riverdale ahead of its release. Since then I’ve also had access to episodes 2 and 3, but this is the first time I’ve been organised enough to write a recap. At this point I haven’t received any further screeners, so this may be the only recap for the season.
Before we get into this week’s episode, some thoughts on the first two:
- The Riverdale Hospital looks like it’s out of the 1950s. It’s ridiculous, but it adds to the idea that Riverdale is a town out of time, and reminds me of the bucolic nature of Twin Peaks (I haven’t finished The Return yet).
- Speaking of Twin Peaks, Mädchen Amick is still great as Alice Cooper, even though she spoke about (presumably what would have been) consentual sex as Jughead ‘defiling’ Betty. They chose to write her that way for a reason, but I stared at the laptop in disbelief for a couple of seconds.
- Me when Veronica got in the shower with Archie: “Really?”
- I wondered if the storyline about Pop’s closing would be a reference to last year’s too short run of Betty & Veronica, and there are some elements that are similar, but this is its own thing.
- Just pay the lawyers, Jughead!
- Alice blamed Betty for the serpents and the new drug-dealing Reggie being at Pop’s. Because closing down a diner would eliminate all crime.
- Jughead was still hanging out at Riverdale High in episode 2 but now he’s at South Side.
Onto “The Watcher in the Woods”
The Riverdeal is that Cheryl is always fabulous.
The title says it all, really. Last week I was watching the penultimate episode of Riverdale’s first season, and Liam and Regan invited me to join them to podcast about it. I was on their first podcast about a year ago when we discussed the Lost finale, which was fun. This was even more fun because Riverdale is a zeitgeist show, and we’d just found out who the killer was. About an hour after we finished recording, I posited that perhaps Nana Blossom was the one who killed Cliff, because it’s the kind of crackpot theory I can get on board with – I knew it was basically impossible, but crackpot theories are supposed to be fun. Anyway, you should give it a listen with the rest of the podcast. They watch mystery television shows and try to solve them. Next they’re watching a show called The Sniffer that’s on Netflix. From what they’ve told me it’s not very good. Let’s see where that goes.
Veronica: Football players behaving badly? What else is new – Steubenville, Glenridge. The coach’s son being the ringleader? Just how depraved is this town?
In its third episode, Riverdale elevates from solid teen/mystery drama to must-watch. I’m not familiar with the characters of Archie comics, but the buzz surrounding Riverdale (as well as the teen drama meets Twin Peaks promotion) convinced me to check it out. Netflix has a new deal with The CW that grants them first-run rights outside the US and the rights to promote it as a Netflix Original, so it’s also one of the most accessible shows on ‘television’ right now. Riverdale began with the disappearance of Jason Blossom – football star, beloved twin, and some other nefarious things – and everyone in Riverdale was wondering just what happened. Jason dated Polly Cooper, and the nasty breakup increased the tension between their sisters Cheryl and Betty. “Body Double” sees Betty and Cheryl coming to an understanding, but what they learned to get to that place changed both of them.