Wanda Vision (Disney Plus)-With such mind-boggling layers of symbolism, this is as if the world’s best escape room writers were tasked with writing a sitcom that entrusts viewers to be active rather than passive participants in decryption. The series takes the viewer on a journey through various sitcom tropes on a decade-by-decade journey with underlying storylines dealing with grief, manipulation, and escapism as a form of evil. With all the painstaking detail that the prodution team implants its easter eggs, this is a sure contender for the most intricate show on television if not its most ambitious. I have little familiarity with the MCU but was able to peace most details together.
Great North (Fox)-It’s hard to tell much through two episodes, but the show isn’t off to a great start. It seems like it has the same boundless potential that any animated show begins with in the post-MacFarland/Groening era with the added pedigree of the cast (Will Forte, Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate) and the allure of a cool setting. But part of the problem is I’m not a Nick Offerman fan. Different stars have different comedic personas and the effectiveness of those personas is somewhat subjective. To me, he’s generally a manly man with no comment on any modern image of masculinity. When he sings the theme song dedicated to hard work, or espouses the value of waking up ridiculously early, and having birthdays devoid of emotion, there are characters who serve as reluctant foils to those plans but Offerman’s character (much like his trademark P & R character) doesn’t have that much commentary. One nice detail is the interracial marriage between Offerman’s adult son (Forte) and an import from California (Dulce Sloane).
Call Your Mother (ABC)-Starring Kyra Sedgwick as Jean, it’s an old-school multi-cam sitcom that strives so hard to squeeze a peg into an outdated sitcom format of a round hole that it‘s almost adorable. The show is about an empty nest mother who moves to LA to be closer to her kids and simultaneously rediscover her identity aside from her kids. If you paid close attention, the two parts of that last sentence were complete opposites and that sort of clash of premises is rearing its ugly head quite haphazardly so far. In one episode daughter Jackie tells her mom Jean she feels neglected, and in every other episode Jackie is trying to get space from Jean like a cloying mother. Anywho, this is like Mary Tyler Moore if Moore found her Mr. Right, had kids, spent 18+ years…