Make it so (nostalgic)!
'Picard' and 'The Mandalorian' end, Betty Gilpin and Keri Russell rule 'Mrs. Davis' and 'The Diplomat,' plus 'Somebody Somewhere,' 'The Mandalorian,' 'Succession' & 'Barry'
A very busy What’s Alan Watching? newsletter coming up just as soon as I’m sick with grief over my fish taco…
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The Next Generation vs. “The Last Generation” on Picard
First up, I had planned to devote this space to a couple of paragraphs about the Picard series finale, and how I felt about Season Three as a whole now that I had seen the whole thing. (My pre-season review was written after I’d only seen six out of the 10 episodes.) But then two paragraphs became three, and more, and a series of bulleted thoughts after that, and at that point it was basically an article unto itself, which we published over at Rolling Stone. Feel free to talk all about the season, with full spoilers, down in the comments.
Mrs. Davis rules
Two streaming shows with spectacular lead performances debuted yesterday, which I liked for very different reasons. The first of these is Mrs. Davis, an absolutely ridiculous, gloriously messy, unbelievably stupid sci-fi comedy co-created by the odd couple of Big Bang Theory vet and Lost/Leftovers/Watchmen mastermind Damon Lindelof. None of its ideas — the premise has Betty Gilpin playing a nun who is on a quest for the Holy Grail as a means to destroy an all-powerful algorithm — make any sense together, and large swaths of the story will leave you, like Gilpin’s character, wondering what the bleep is happening, and why. And yet I kind of loved every bizarre, inexplicable minute of it. The first four episodes are streaming on Peacock now, with the remaining four releasing weekly. If you’ve had time to watch any of it yet, please fire away in the comments. Gonna be fascinated by the response to this one.
Keri Russell rules The Diplomat
Netflix’s The Diplomat, on the other hand, is the near-polar opposite of Mrs. Davis in terms of style and coherence. It is a slickly-produced political thriller/workplace drama/soap, with a heavy dash of Dad TV, even though its main character is played by Keri Russell, and one of its chief themes is how woman and men get judged differently even when they do the exact same job. As I wrote, I liked it a lot, and I expect it to be a big hit. And also, watching it, I am once again dumbfounded that Keri Russell didn’t leave Felicity and become just a huge huge movie star. Because as you’ll be reminded here, she can really do it all: comedy, drama, and a whole lot of scenes that work entirely because of her magnetism.
Whole season is streaming now, so also feel free to go nuts in the comments.
What’s Alan recapping?
These days, I tend to recap at most two shows per week, and often go long stretches with only one, or none. This was a rare week where I had three, but only because Barry premiered a few days before The Mandalorian aired its latest finale. Links ahoy!
This week’s Succession had an almost impossibly tough act to follow, given how incredible “Connor’s Wedding” was. “Honeymoon States” wisely pivoted from tragedy to comedy (as my friend Linda Holmes pointed out to me, on Succession, of course the tragedy would be in the wedding episode and the comedy would be in the wake episode), in very entertaining fashion. Here’s my recap.
Barry began its final season with a pair of episodes dedicated to showing Barry’s life in jail, and the way everyone outside those walls feels imprisoned in some way by their association with him. My recap.
Man, The Mandalorian Season Three was a miscalculation, assuming we would care much more about Mandalorian lore and culture and rules than we would want to simply watch Mando and Grogu have adventures together. The finale felt anti-climactic in so many ways, which I recapped here, but at least the last 10 minutes seemed to recognize that the show we originally all liked is the one that Favreau and company should get back to making. (Though I fear we’ll get a couple of Mission of the Week episodes before we have to get back to setting up Dave Filoni’s movie.)
Everybody should try Somebody Somewhere
Finally, such a hectic week meant I did not get an opportunity to review the second season of HBO’s Somebody Somewhere, which premieres Sunday night after Barry. I have, however, seen the whole season. This remains a small but special show, as I wrote about for Season One, and stars Bridget Everett and Jeff Hiller are so charming and funny and sad. It’s lovely. While I did not write a review, my colleague Lisa Tozzi did, however, get to profile Everett, and it’s a great story.
That’s it for this week. What did everybody else think?
My wife asked, “You would rather watch this silly show than spend time with me?”
Nuns, AI and suspected nihilists won the first round.
I have chosen….wisely
I can't handle all of these shows. Besides must-see Succession, now we have Barry and Somebody, both which I have to see since I've seen all seasons. I'm also watching Lasso and Maisel and Dave. I love Keri but who has the time to watch everything?