NVTV21: Manhattan Love Story "It's Complicated", Selfie "Nugget of Wisdom", Marry Me "Move Me", and Hope

Maybe it's because I was up for twenty four hours of trainwreckery yesterday and am basically just eyes and the R-brain today, or maybe it's just Stockholm Syndrome finally setting in, but I thought all three of last night's shows took a big jump. 

Yes, even Manhattan Love Story

All three episodes really deserve their own post, but I'm already super late, and as mentioned my mental capacity right now is somewhere between "drunk toddler" and "Courtney Love" ("drunk toddler" is the best case scenario, for those who don't know who Courtney Love is), so here's all three in as much detail as I can manage. 

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NVTV19: "Cristela" Punishes Me For Hope

After a shockingly strong first week, Cristela this week bore much more of a resemblance to the terribly hackneyed show I was expecting that the sneaky-clever pilot. The office stuff remains mostly strong, if sometimes a little obvious, and the cast is growing on me, yet this episode totally disappointed. Maybe the writing was just softer in general, but I think the bigger problem was that Cristela was no longer in on the joke this time around, and the old sitcoms cliches became just sitcom cliches, instead of winking commentary. 

Thumbs down this week, but I'm trying to be optimistic after the abominations of MLS and A to Z, so I'll hold off on throwing Cristela totally under the bus for now. 

NVTV 18: Bad Judge and A to Z don't feel like changing

Another quick one here, but I'll likely (maybe?) be back to full length pieces next week, assuming any of these damned shows feel like evolving at all. 

First up, Bad Judge maintained its improvement from last week, but didn't add to it (though it was nice to see Ryan McPartlin again). The cast is excellent, the writing is just good enough, and it's an overall pleasant experience but by no means a masterpiece. Kate Walsh is so incredibly strong that it almost doesn't matter what she's being asked to do, from triangle chokes to forgetting a stenographers name, she spins it into gold. Big thumbs up for her, mild thumbs up for her show. 

A to Z is starting to piss me off, though.

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NVTV 17: Black-Ish and the Treadmill of Adequacy

I don't have a ton to say about Black-Ish this week, though it was the best episode yet. They minimized the involvement of the children, leaned into their strong adult cast (including more than two scenes of Lawrence Fishburne!), and the joke-writing improved, however slightly. That said, it's still a very vanilla show that's afraid to take interesting chances or write to anyone other than the cheap seats, and therefore it's still largely a chore to get through. Fingers crossed they eventually punch up the writing and/or audacity and turn the show into something that's worth watching.