Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Roller Coaster of TV Emotion

There aren't many TV shows that I care about.   There are six, and I'm pretty protective of my viewing list.  People tell me "oh you should watch X" and I'm like "no.  I don't need another thing to care about or take up my time.  I'm good."  My list is brief:

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is the closest thing America has to a genuine moral authority, and consistently pretty funny. 
  • Barry on HBO is far-and-away my favorite new show this year.  This is deadpan dark comedy with excellent performances and Alex you need to be watching this. 
  • I can rely on Saturday Night Live to be absolutely brilliant about 30% of the time, each week.  Did you see that rappers in therapy sketch with Donald Glover last week?  I was in stitches. 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Fox has my favorite cast, characters I really care about at this point, is responsible for general improvements in the .GIF game of the entire internet, and Andre Braugher is a national treasure. 

  • Rick and Morty is the genius, heartfelt-and-nihilistic, insanely creative comedy sci-fi I've been needing ever since Futurama ended, and...
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO is something I never knew I needed until Oliver started doing impeccably-researched long-form socially conscious comedy-reporting.  

I wish I had Hulu just for the sake of seeing Sarah Silverman's I Love You, America, but this remains a pretty short list.  Colbert, Barry, Brooklyn, Rick and Morty, John Oliver.  Six shows - and two of them got very big news over the past two days.  

"Peace among worlds!"

Rick and Morty is famous for three things - the Szechuan sauce, being absolutely excellent in myriad ways, and how long fans have to wait between seasons.  The show premiered in 2013, didn't get a second season until 2015, and its third season didn't happen until last year - that's a long-ass-wait between seasons, equaled only by the (also amazing) Venture Bros.  Adult Swim is famously standoffish about renewing its shows, but this week Rick and Morty fans got some very, very good news.  

Adult Swim announced this week that Rick and Morty has been renewed for another 70 episodes.  That's more-than-double the number of episodes we've had so far across the first three seasons (31).  I have no idea if this means we'll get subsequent seasons in a more timely manner, but either way, it's nice to have a bit of security for one of the best shows on television. 

Elsewhere, tragic news. 

Fox cancelled Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  Always have.  The idea of Andy Samberg headlining a show at first struck me as insane.  I fell in love with Samberg's digital shorts on Saturday Night Live and his comedy band, but I loathed his Adam Sandler-esque mugging on SNL.  I didn't think I could stand a full half-hour with him in the spotlight, but as I turns out not only can I stand it, I adore it.  I love these people.   

I wanted Perraulta and Santiago to get together from episode 1 (I still suffer from a massive crush on Melissa Fumero), Terry Crews is a hilarious beacon of healthy masculinity and honest insecurity, Chelsea Peretti is funnier on this show than she ever is in her stand-up (I'm sorry, I don't enjoy her stand-up - she's like the opposite of Michael Che, who's far funnier in stand-up than he is on the SNL stage), Stephanie Beatriz is excellent, Joe Lo Truglio is absolutely fearless as someone who's the opposite of cool and accepts himself for who he is, and Andre Braugher... well, Andre Braugher makes the show. 

No one in this world can deadpan like Adre Braugher when he's channeling Captain Raymond Holt - he is the bedrock that the zaniness surrounding him bounces off, soaring ever-higher for its impact against the immovable granite of this character, and ironically the show's emotional center.  

It's a reliably-hilarious show with a fantastic, courageous, diverse cast of excellent actors, and I love it.  Fox cancelled Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Thursday.  I was... displeased.  It's like... your favorite coffee shop closing.  I watched my favorite coffee shop close, once - it was a beautiful old three-story house on a riverfront, with locally-produced art all over the walls that you could buy, phenomenal food and a cheerful, colorful staff - and yeah, it was a lot like hearing Brookly Nine-Nine was getting cancelled. 

Brutal.  Absolutely brutal.  I loved that Samberg had found some real success with this show, I love this cast that seems really kinda' joyful in their work, and I hated the thought of never seeing them again - even if I suspect the current season will end with the wedding of Perraulta and Santiago, as all good comedies should, in the Shakespearean sense. 

When the news broke on Thursday, it blew up, started trending and fans flooded their respective social media hangouts with support for the show.  Rumors began swirling that NBC, Netflix, Hulu and others were scrambling to grab the rights to it. 

NBC - where Sandberg got his start on SNL - announced yesterday that they were picking up Brooklyn Nine-Nine for a sixth season.  The cast credited this to the fan response.  What a cliche - where have I heard that before?

Actual dialogue from the show.  This happened.

Over the course of two days.  Thrilled about Rick and Morty!  Crushed about Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  Thrilled about Brooklyn Nine-Nine!  

A roller coaster of TV emotion. 

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