The surprising Show of the Summer, plus 'Reservation Dogs,' 'Killing It,' and more
This week’s What’s Alan Watching? newsletter coming up just as soon as I have mixed feelings about my feelings…
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The summer of Suits
It’s never an ideal time to be out of commission with health stuff, but this summer has been more optimally suited to that than most. Because of the double-strike, which the AMPTP knew might be happening around now, all the networks and streamers have been very stingy with big premieres, which means there’s been less to write about than in a normal July and August. And things are about to get even leaner, which I imagine we’ll talk about in the coming weeks. (It’s also the reason this week’s newsletter is a fair bit shorter than last week’s opus, which was catching up on multiple weeks of stuff, on top of various dispatches from my time in the hospital.)
But perhaps as a result of this sparse environment, the show of the summer of 2023 has improbably turned out to be… Suits, a USA legal drama that debuted a dozen years ago and last aired a new episode back in the before times of 2019. Why have reruns of this, of all shows, become so ubiquitous over the last few months? I tried to get to the bottom of this mystery in the first of this week’s three stories. Personally, I remain much more Team Burn Notice and Team White Collar, but I’ll be curious to see whether the resurgence in Suits popularity leads either Netflix or any other outlet to lean harder on making shows like USA’s classic “Blue Skies” era of the mid-late 2000s.
Reservation Dogs hangs out
This week’s Reservation Dogs posed something of a challenge for me as a recapper. On the one hand, “Friday” — with the kids being put on punishment detail for going to Los Angeles without telling anyone — is a damn delight. On the other, it is a delight almost entirely because of the vibe of the episode — and, to a degree, from the disgusting comedy of Big and Bev throwing themselves at each other — rather than anything that actually happens in it. So there wasn’t a ton to write about it this time out, though I tried my best. It happens. One of the reasons I’ve been stingier with recaps these days — aside from the fact that the rest of my job consumes so much more time than it used to — is that there’s always the danger of running into episodes like this where there’s not a lot to say. But I love the show, no matter what.
Comedy vs tragedy in Killing It
Finally, one advantage of the relative wasteland of this summer is that it’s given me an excuse to catch up on shows I missed the first time around. Case in point: Killing It, a Peacock comedy starring Craig Robinson and Claudia O’Doherty, from Brooklyn Nine-Nine vets Dan Goor and Luke Del Tredici. I was swamped when the series debuted in April of 2022, but gave it a shot over the last week, and very quickly binged both Season One and the new season, which began streaming in its entirety yesterday. As I say in my review, the show’s portrait of income inequality and predatory capitalism can at times play more like horror than satire, but it’s whip smart, and O’Doherty brings in just enough sunshine to make the darkest parts bearable. And I found the new season funnier on the whole, thanks in part to great guest stars like Dot-Marie Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, and Tim Simons. If you’re a Peacock subscriber, I highly recommend.
That’s it for this week! What did everybody else think?