What I Watched This Week: 3 May 2020

NEW SHOWS
The Simpsons – “Warrin’ Priests, Part 2” (B-)
A lackluster ending to a promising episode. The Bible verse showdown and megachurch gags were pretty good, though.

Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill (B)
Exactly what I’ve come to expect from retirement-age Jerry’s stand-up: a mix of genuinely funny, well-observed jokes and some seriously lazy, hacky, borderline conservative jokes.

Mrs. America – “Jill” (A-)
Elizabeth Banks redeems herself for that “Fight Song” video with her performance as Jill Ruckelshaus, the strongest GOP ally in the fight for the ERA, which costs her family dearly when the party nearly splits in 1976. Gerald Ford remained the nominee, but would lose the White House, and give way to much more conservative, religiously fanatical version of the party led by Ronald Reagan.

CURRENT SHOWS
Mrs. America
“Phyllis” (A-)
“Gloria” (B+)
“Shirley” (A)
“Betty” (A)
“Phyllis & Fred & Brenda & Marc” (B+)
Through its first five episodes, Mrs. America is strong, pointed piece of historical adaptation, giving its main women (mostly Cate Blanchett’s Phyllis Schlafly and Rose Byrne’s Gloria Steinem) rich, complicated lives. What’s most fascinating is how its depiction of internal conflict in both parties rings true today.

BINGEING
Ozark – Season 3 (B+ average)
This is big-budget trash TV that occasionally have moments of real brilliance. In that regard, it’s done very well. It’s compelling and well-acted, despite being poorly written and plotted. I was hooked once again. But comparing this to something like Better Call Saul? Not even close.

REWATCH
Community – Season 5 (B+ average)
While its Black Mirror-predicting mid-season episode was a swing and a miss, returning Dan Harmon to pilot this crazy thing brought the show back to life. Even losing Donald Glover after five episodes wasn’t enough to keep it from being wildly creative and heartfelt.

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