TV: Insecure, Supergirl and No Tomorrow premier; Halt and Catch Fire concludes a great season.

 

Premiers:

Insecure (HBO)

Insecure is a new comedy about an “insecure” 29 year-old African American woman who is looking to change-up her life. It is very well done with a diverse cast led by Issa Rae who is also the co-creator and executive producer. The dialogue is fast paced – particularly between Issa and Molly her best friend – as both women navigate being black in their respective “white” worlds. For those unaccustomed to the conversational speed, you may need to turn on the “cc” but for a diverse audience clamoring for more TV like this, dialogue will be much appreciated.

Insecure has great writing, acting and music that compliments the plot effectively (be prepared for a fair amount of Rap). Issa faces many of the same issues that most of us do and it is the way she deals with her insecurities that makes the show relevant and identifiable to a wide audience. Insecure won’t be for everyone but it is an important addition to an ever-growing body of work featuring diverse characters and storylines that are rich sources of entertainment.

Supergirl (CW)

Supergirl premiered last year on CBS and was not the ratings hit that the network expected. It really doesn’t fit into their demo so was sold to the CW and retooled for Season 2. It premiered this week and didn’t miss a beat. Melissa Benoist is still immensely likable as our heroine; her supporting cast just fine and the new characters that were added, Superman and Lena Luther seem quite good. I love the new understated Superman/Clark Kent (Grant Hoechlin) who plays off nicely against Benoist. Lex Luthor’s cousin Lena, (Katie McGrath), is potentially a much better villain than any we had last season.

The premier was a lot of fun with a couple of exceptions.   The show abruptly ended the Kara/James romance after a full season of built-up with no good explanation. The other bizarre plot line was the guy in the coma who got a lot of attention the first few minutes and then virtually disappeared for the rest of the show. What the heck was that all about? I’ m sure we’ll find out soon although it is very unclear as to whether the guy is friend or foe.  Calista Flockheart is supposed to have a reduced role this year but she was fantastic in the premier, screaming for her new assistant. I’ll relish every moment she is on screen.

I didn’t notice a drop-off in the special effects, which was expected with the transition to the lower budget CW network. I think the fit with CW is much better and like the Flash, there is a lot of heart in this series and it is just fun to watch. Anyone one can view these shows and understand what is going on which is a great given how difficult some of the Marvel shows are for non-comic book readers. In short, I’m in for Season 2!

No Tomorrow (CW)

This show premiered a couple of weeks ago with positive reviews from many critics so I thought I’d check it out. It is the story of a millennial woman (Evie) who lives in a very ordered world but meets a hot guy (Xavier) who has quit his job to focus on a bucket list because he believes the world is ending. Xavier convinces Evie to live life to it’s fullest and create her own bucket list of things she has always wanted to do. The show is upbeat and fun as Evie discovers new ways to live life each week making it a welcome relief to many of the drearier hour-long dramas I’m watching.

That being said, I got back from a mini five-day vacation.   Two of the days were Friday and Saturday (which have only one show that I watch), and there were 19 hours of TV from basically 3 nights that I had to get through on my DVR. Some of these shows have to go. No Tomorrow is one of them as is Pitch. I’m sure there will be more.  It’s not that the show isn’t good but I can’t watch everything.

Finales: 

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)

Halt and Catch Fire wrapped its third season this past week with a blockbuster 2-hour finale that could have been a series finale. At about the same time, we got the great news that the show had been renewed for a fourth and final season so we will get to see our somewhat dysfunctional techies return for a stab at getting the internet in everyone’s hands and hopefully conclude their story in a meaningful way for the small but devoted fanbase.

Season 3 has seen the demise of Mutiny, the estrangement of the two lead female characters, a suicide and Joe’s journey from the head of a wildly successful anti-virus company to a man with nothing but a lot of guilt about his colleague’s suicide. Lee Pace plays the brooding Joe with subtlety and nuance that is impactful. This season continued the brilliance of Season 2 with characters that were deep and complex and a plot that grounded us in reality about the struggles of women in high tech. It is interesting that not much has changed for women in Tech in the intervening couple of decades.

The Season 3 finale left us with our main characters getting together once again (after being split up for the past 2 seasons) to take the early beginnings of the Internet and develop it for a mass market. The scars of their prior relationships are all too obvious. None of them can trust Joe; Gordon and Donna are divorced; Cameron can’t forget what Donna did to her and in one of the most emotional scenes in the series, Donna walks out of the deal so that Cameron can bring it to fruition. Donna is devastated and this performance is certainly Emmy caliber. It will be hard to wait until next summer to see our band of techies try to work together on the biggest project of the century. I certainly believe that Cameron and Donna will somehow find a way back together to bring it off.

 

 

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