We’re past Easter and heading toward May. The Winter/Spring season of new TV shows is nearly up. But we’re still getting new series making its debut throughout the month. How many, though, are worth your time? Let this weekly post be your guide as I review the pilot and second episode of new scripted series this Winter/Spring. Don’t see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.
The Last Thing He Told Me, Streaming Fridays on Apple TV+ (Premiered April 14)
About: Jennifer Garner takes the lead in this limited series, adapted from the novel by Laura Dave. The season is seven episodes, the first three of which dropped Friday with additional episodes dropping weekly. In the series, Hannah (Garner) is a wife and artist who is trying to forge more of a connection with her stepdaughter, Bailey (Angourie Rice). When her husband (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) disappears at the same time his business is raided, Hannah is left alone, hounded by the police and trying to corral Bailey. She gets a simple note, reading “Protect Her.” So, Hannah sets out to do just that while trying to get answers, which leads down a path toward her husband’s mysterious past. Garner is solid in the lead role here, with the first two episodes moving along at a good pace. I liked the interaction with Garner and Rice in the early going, laying seeds for that relationship to grow. There’s a deepening mystery here that unfolds at a decent pace through the first two episodes. The pilot is the longest episode, with most of the rest clocking in at 40 minutes or less, making it a quick watch. Apple TV+ has offered a slew of quality series the past few years and this looks like a solid addition to the lineup.
Pilot Grade: C+
Second Episode: C+
Waco: The Aftermath, Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime (Premiered April 16)
About: A few years back the Paramount Network offered the miniseries Waco, which featured Taylor Kitsch as David Koresh and chronicled the siege at the Branch Davidian compound. The series also featured Michael Shannon as the FBI hostage negotiator whose tactics couldn’t end the siege fast enough. This new sequel series, which is now airing on Showtime and runs five episodes, follows the story on two tracks. In one, we’re seeing the aftermath of the siege at Waco. Survivors are on trial, while Shannon’s Gary worries about what’s coming next. It’s all leading to another infamous massacre. Meanwhile, we get flashbacks to how Koresh first came to be, then going by Vernon (Keean Johnson). This is like the Godfather Part 2 approach to the material, with a flashback and a continuation. The pilot plays out both of these approaches, while alluding to what’s to come for Gary. It’s a short commitment, but the question is if we need more of this story? It’s been 30 years since the siege at Waco and we’ve seen plenty of explorations of what happened. This is a novel approach but there is work to be done.
Pilot Grade: C
Am I Being Unreasonable, Now Streaming on Hulu (Premiered April 11)
About: This new comedy comes from star Daisy May Cooper, who co-created the series and stars as Nic, a wife and mother mourning the loss of her lover. She’s something of a train wreck in this series, which originally aired last fall in the United Kingdom. It’s something of a similar type character to the one she played in the HBO Series Rain Dogs, which began airing earlier this Spring. She gives a solid performance, but the style of the comedy and storytelling wasn’t really for me. The series is six episodes, each less than 30 minutes. If you enjoy this style of chaotic British humor this is a quick binge. If not, it could easily get lost in the shuffle of content available right now.
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: C-
Florida Man, Now Streaming on Netflix (Premiered April 13)
About: This new Netflix series features Edgar Ramirez as a former cop who lost his badge through a series of bad decisions as a result of his gambling. Now he’s working for a boss (Emory Cohen) to pay off his debts and having an affair with the boss’s girlfriend, Delly (Abbey Lee) on the sly. When Delly takes off and runs away to Florida, Mike (Ramirez) is sent to bring her back. It turns out to be trickier than he’d imagined, as he’s also forced to return to his hometown and the family he left behind. The series is seven episodes, making it a quick binge. All the episodes are less than an hour, and Ramirez makes for an affable lead. I liked the pairing of him and Lee in the first few episodes. This one has some action, humor and mystery, making it a decent addition to the Netflix streaming landscape.
Pilot Grade: C+
Second Episode: C+
Obsession, Now Streaming on Netflix (Premiered April 13)
About: Netflix offered an interesting streaming series and a disaster of a streaming series on the same day. Obsession is that disaster. It’s a four-episode offering that follows a married man, William (Richard Armitage), who is having a torrid affair with his son’s fiancé, Anna (Charlie Murphy). Yes, you read that correctly. The series is short, which is a positive. But it’s more than a little unsettling, including plenty of nudity and sex scenes, both with people and pillows. And that was just in the first two episodes. I didn’t like this at all and, more importantly, I’m not sure what we’re supposed to take out of this series. This is a miss and one that should be safely skipped.
Pilot Grade: D-
Second Episode: F
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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