'Ted Lasso' fumbles a subplot, plus 'Love & Death,' 'Citadel,' 'Perry Mason' & more
Excellent recaps as always.
Nate, as written and portrayed, is a fucking incel. Giving us 10 minutes of puppy dog Nate from season one doesn't change what he's done and what he's said. Based on his actions to date as written, I expect Nate to 1) dump Jade if she shows she likes him, and then date another model or 2) assault Jade if she shows she doesn't like him or she just pities him, and then use his connection with the restaurant manager to get her fired.
That is harsh, admittedly, but the writers have shown us a Nate with minimal remorse, a fair amount of doubling down, a stunning lack of maturity, no effort to make amends, and no improvement or redemption (short of no longer defacing bathroom mirrors with his spit... bravo!) That's a villain, folks, no matter how much we want it to be something else.
If there is redemption this season, I am unable to imagine how it could be earned. I guess we'll see.
Totally agree on the Nate arc. At one point during the latest episode I turned to my family and asked, "Am I supposed to like Nate again?" Because the show certainly hasn't led me to that point in the least.
Oh, I also loved Perry Mason S2. Liked the way they’re bringing in so many gay characters. What’s Della going to do for 4 months on her own?
I remember way, way, WAY back with Buffy the Vampire Slayer where they made Willow an evil witch because (reasons, Hellmouth, etc.). It was an interesting turn, but I thought they made a mistake because they made her TOO evil and some of the actions she did, even if the characters forgave her, it was really hard as a viewer to forget what she did and forgive her. The show seemed to think she could be redeemed after that, and I never really got over it.
I feel like the same is happening to Nate. He's done his heel turn, and when the forgiveness arc comes I'm sure the characters will forgive him, but its going to be difficult for me as a viewer to forget what he did and forgive him. Even given the idea that maybe he was damaged from the start and Ted will make him a better person, he's done some really mean and petty stuff. I think sometimes a show will go overboard in showing a character being bad, to the point where its difficult to recover, and I feel like they've done that with Nate.
Just my $0.02.
The writing on Ted Lass has fallen off in an incredible way this season. The Nate storyline is absurd - why should we care about him dating this waitress when he's still kind of a sociopath?
But also, no chemistry between Keeley and Jack - and the other queer storyline also feels very tired. I have no idea what's going on with Ted, he's like in emotional stasis or something. All of Roy's bits are old and not funny anymore - like he's still grunting?? I feel like from the beginning of this season we had the whole Sam-Rebecca relationship hanging over from last season (it never felt resolved to me) and it's almost like they're pretending it didn't happen.
Every arc except Jamie's is off for me. And to boot, all the episodes are too long!
Very confused how I'm supposed to feel about Nate (would take a miracle for me to like him again) and also his story line took up way too much of the episode. Agree that Keely needs to be with the rest of the cast. Loved the ending at the restaurant.
The Amsterdam episode felt like it was a week long instead of an hour long. I was so bored. I guess it was necessary to tie up the “let’s work as a team” theme, but it’s a no for me.
Thank you for writing about Perry Mason. We loved this season, far more than the first. Beautifully shot, great acting, and oh those hats at just the perfect angles.
I'm pretty sure Tom was not on Molly. I think you might have misheard Shiv's comments, but she was making fun of his white shoes and said that people are coming down from Molly and have dilated pupils and his shoes are blinding them. I don't think it was an indication Tom was high though
With you 100% on Ted Lasso. The Nate arc is all over the place. Absolutely loved the first season, still like certain aspects of the show, but now a lot of it seems off.
My list of "network shows I still watch regularly" also includes American Auto and Grand Crew. I am curious if Alan has dipped in on either of those lately. I especially think Grand Crew has been very funny and consistently entertaining this season.
Citadel is a classic case of a Hollywood project built to placate a whole bunch of execs' wants before they actually had a great idea or at the very least, a reliable IP. Amazon wanted the equivalent of Law and Order or Yellowstone, something so big and successful they could spin off multiple shows catering to multiple demographics. OK, sure, who doesn't? But its the height of hubris to think you can create the spin-offs before you have the hit show, and there was zero reason to think the Russos were capable of delivering any of that. They have been very successful at working within someone else's creative sandbox but have delivered one clunker after another of their own creation.
I haven't watched today's Yellowjackets yet but I'm hoping this is the ep that finally gets me engaged with this second season thus far. Lauren Ambrose was super smart casting and I'm enjoying the Elijah Woods/Christina Ricci shenanigans but this season so far has otherwise not done it for me. Probably didn't help that so many preseason reviews overhyped the hell out of it.
I loved Perry Mason S2 and enjoy dipping into the period drama. Like the notes they hit and the costumes and the overall feel of that time period in California. I think they do a great job with the character development too. But my wife thinks it’s boring and she thinks the lesbian relationship storyline feels forced and inauthentic. Della and Ham as her beard is fine but she didn’t buy the relationship with the screenwriter at all. 🤷♂️
Agree with your assessment of Nate in this Ted Lasso season but I’m hopeful the writers nail the ending.
Had the same thoughts about Abbott Elementary and Ted Lasso. Not another season of when are Janine and Gregory going to get together! Why is Nate so nice all of a sudden? Totally inconsistent with him becoming the villain. There’s a lot of action away from the team isn’t there? Keeley and her business, Sam and his restaurant, Nate and Jade, Rebecca and her psychic and wanting to have a baby.
I enjoyed the second season of Abbott Elementary on the whole, but I 100% agree on the Janine/Gregory will they/won't they stuff. I'm just over it already. We've seen this particular narrative thread 1,000 times before. Even the fact that they had a pretty grown-up conversation about being in a relationship didn't really help it for me. Seems like the show's writer are still trying to just stave off the inevitable.
On Ted Lasso, I've seen a lot of criticism of the Nate storyline and the length of the S3 episodes, and I think both are correct... but I still enjoy the show and don't hate the Nate storyline, haha. When I want to think critically about the show, I feel that I have to agree, the Nate storyline seems to be attempting to redeem a character who's done some pretty awful things previously in this show and just having him pair up with Jade doesn't really do much to redeem him. We also don't see a ton of his coaching, but I imagine he's still pretty awful to his players and yells/screams at them and is a pretty harsh/hardline coach, just offscreen. I'm not even totally opposed to a Nate redemptive arc, but I think it'd take more than just this 3rd season to make it happen. We would need more scenes that slowly change his character and redeem it, a longer arc, more time to potentially forgive him as viewers. I understand why people don't like the longer episodes or where the show's heading these days (or the Keeley storyline), but I still look forward to the show weekly and enjoy watching each episode. But all the criticisms are well-founded as well.
I gave up on Ted Lasso after Season 2. The show started to slip during the second season for me when it started to become something that it wasn't in the first season. I just think it became a bit insufferable with itself and like the smell of its own poop too much, so to speak. The first season was fun and all, especially as someone who has watched European Football my whole life and it was fun to explain to my buddies what some of the terms and things they were talking about on the show. I'm happy for the people who still enjoy it, but it was no longer interesting to me once it became too serious about itself.