We’ve passed Memorial Day and May is leaving after today. Summer is here, but before we turn the page toward all summer has for us, let’s reflect on the last week of new shows this Spring. It was a quieter week than we’ve seen, due in large part to the holiday, but we still got one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the year. Did it live up to the hype? Let this weekly post be your guide as I look at the pilot and second episode of new scripted series this Spring. Don’t see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Fridays on Disney+ (Premiered May 27)
About: Fans had to wait a little longer but got a full two-episode debut of the new show centered on the aging Jedi Master and set between Episode III and Episode IV. This is a period of time that’s intrigued fans, many of whom were psyched to get to see some of the gaps filled in. This takes place 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Anakin Skywalker is now Darth Vader and the Empire is flourishing. Luke is being raised by his aunt and uncle, while Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) is being raised as a princess by Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits). Meanwhile, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) is living a quiet and unassuming life on Tatooine. Jedi are being hunted, so he has hidden who he really is. All that is challenged when an inquisitor (Moses Ingram) hatches a plan to bring him out into the open, forcing him to reveal himself and putting his life in danger. The trouble with all prequels is that it’s hard to have real stakes for the characters we know. We know where Obi-Wan, Luke and Leia end up. Their peril in this period is temporary at best. But that doesn’t mean the series can’t be interesting. This one spends a good deal of time setting the stage and world building in hour one, while the second hour is more action-packed, raising the stakes and diving into the adventure. Much will be made of the glimpse we get of an iconic character at the close of the second episode, and while that’s thrilling, what I enjoyed was a resumption of this story. McGregor is great in this role, picking up beautifully where he left off with Episode III. Meanwhile, the star of the early episodes is Blair, who’s delightful as a young Leia. I liked the look and feel here, and I’m excited to plunge into this six-week journey.
Pilot Grade: B
Second Episode: B
Shoresy, Now Streaming on Hulu (Premiered May 27)
About: The newest comedy on Hulu is a spin-off from Letterkenny focusing on the titular character Shoresy, played by Jared Keeso. Letterkenny, the Canadian comedy focusing on small-town life, has run 10 seasons and developed quite a following. It makes sense that Shoresy, focusing on one of those characters set in the same place, would do fairly well. The first season is six episodes, none longer than 30 minutes and most running about 25 minutes. Keeso seems at home in the lead role and most of the first episode is about building the world, introducing the players and setting forward the problem the series will tackle. The second episode dives right in as Shoresy and crew try to turn around their flagging hockey team lest it be shuttered for good. There’s a few amusing moments here but overall, this didn’t feel incredible, unique or special to me. It was OK and mildly entertaining but I don’t have a strong desire to keep going with it, despite the fact it’s a pretty easy binge watch.
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: C-
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.