Fall TV Roundup, Week 16

The final TV roundup of the year. We are nearly to 2023, with the winter set of new shows literally beginning on day one. But before we get there, Netflix, Peacock and Paramount+ wanted us to enjoy some new shows in 2022. If you’re trying to decide how to spend your week, let this weekly post be your guide as I review the pilot and second episode of new scripted series. Don’t see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.

Sundays:
1923, Streaming Sundays on Paramount+ (Premiered December 18)
About
: The latest from Paramount+ is another prequel set in the world of Yellowstone. This one moved the action up, is set at the Yellowstone Ranch and moves into the family line for the modern-day family. Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren take the starring roles and the series showcases how the Dutton family survived and persevered through a difficult era of history. The first episode laid out the players and challenges, while the second episode dove deeper into the conflict. I enjoy the production values and storytelling. This is one that accessible whether you’re a fan of the main series or not. I particularly enjoy Brandon Sklenar as Spencer Dutton and his adventures in Africa. If you enjoy these kind of dramas, this is a fun addition to the landscape to end the year.
Pilot Grade: B-
Second Episode: B-

Streaming Series:
Best Man: The Final Chapters, Now Streaming on Peacock (Premiered December 22)
About:
The final new series of the year from Peacock is another return to a classic film series. Best Man debuted in 1999, with a follow up film in 2013. Now, in 2022, we have a mini series meant to complete the franchise. It jumps ahead to 2024 then winds back to 2015, moving through time with these characters in an eight-episode miniseries. The series returns the stars, Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Harold Perrineau and Melissa De Souza. Original writer/director Malcolm D. Lee is also back, directing half the episodes. For those that have enjoyed these films, this will likely be a fun and cathartic return to the world and a completion for the story and these characters. The actors have a breezy chemistry and it works for what it’s trying to do.
Pilot Grade: C
Second Episode: C

The Witcher: Blood Origin, Now Streaming on Netflix (Premiered December 25)
About
: Just in time for Christmas, fans get a Witcher prequel series. This one tells an original story about how we got to the first Witcher. Don’t worry, I don’t understand what that means, either. This prequel sees the land at war, drawing off the history laid out in the books from Andrzej Sapkowski. There’s no Henry Cavill here, as the continuation of the main series comes next year. This cast includes Michelle Yeoh and Minnie Driver, with plenty of action and magic. It’s also a short commitment, spanning just four episodes, each about an hour. For fans of the world, this will be a nice Christmas present. As someone who hasn’t gotten hooked by the original series, this was OK at times but also confusing thanks to its dense mythology.
Pilot Grade: C
Second Episode: C

Treason, Now Streaming on Netflix (Premiered December 26)
About
: Not content with just one, Netflix didn’t wait long to release its final series of 2022, a limited series starring Charlie Cox as the head of MI-6. At the outset, Adam (Cox) is the deputy of the agency, the right-hand man to the leader (Ciaran Hinds). When his boss is poisoned, Adam suddenly finds himself elevated to the top spot. Immediately, he’s thrown into a conspiracy he doesn’t understand, involving his wife (Oona Chaplin) and family in the drama. He also crosses paths with a former contact, a Russian agent (Olga Kurylenko), who may be more involved in his rise at MI-6 than he’d previously realized. I like Cox, and I like the cast here. The first two episodes lay out the story and spin in a way I wasn’t expecting, especially as the second episode comes to an end. It’s only a five-episode series, with each running about 45 minutes. It’s a quick binge and one that feels worth the investment.
Pilot Grade: B-
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.

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