March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but in the meantime, there are a bunch of pop culture things to be excited about. As I do every month, I went through the release schedule to find the TV shows, movies, podcasts, video games, and comics I’m looking forward to and I hope to share my enthusiasm like a virus. Let’s see what March has to offer!
Hollywood Handbook – The Boys Try For a Month (Tuesdays, beginning March 5) – I have a surprising number of podcasts to talk about this month. That’s one medium that doesn’t really announce events ahead of time, but this month I have some info. In this case, Hollywood Handbook is one of my favorite podcasts. Hayes Davenport and Sean Clements host a show that is sometimes a parody of Hollywood insiders and more often is just them being silly and forcing a premise on a guest. It’s wonderful and you should either listen to “Triumph at the Comic-Con” or “The Masked Engineer” and know true joy. Anyway, they’ve announced that after years of coasting, they’re going to try for a month. I don’t know what form that takes or who the guests are, but if they’re making it an event, I have no reason to dispute that. (Earwolf)
A.P. Bio (March 7) – The Glenn Howerton / Patton Oswalt sitcom returns for a second season. Howerton is a disgraced Philosophy professor forced to teach high school biology class. You should know that I originally said “chemistry class” despite the title. I’m good at remembering. Anyway, it’s a funny show with a great cast and I’m looking forward to Howerton being mean to high school students again. (NBC)\
The DoughBoys Munch Madness: Tournament of Chompions (Thursdays beginning March 7) – More podcast news! On DoughBoys, Mike Mitchell (The Birthday Boys) and Nick Wiger (Comedy Bang! Bang!) review chain restaurants and argue. It is a very funny show that I’m going to write about in the near future. Every March, they host Munch Madness where they pit similar restaurants against one another. Over the last three years they’ve had hamburgers, chicken, and pizza. They haven’t announced this year’s food, but I’m thinking Mexican seems like a likely choice. These episodes are always fun because they have a bracket system and so there are (sort of) stakes to their reviews. It’s when Mitch and Wiger are at their most contentious and I love it. (Headgum)
Captain Marvel (March 8) – Hey, a Marvel movie! Their weird scheduling means they pile three movies into the first half of the year and then leave you sitting for a while, so I’m glad they’re back. Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers, the titular Captain Marvel. We know the movie is set in the Nineties and offers de-aged versions of Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg, and we know Carol is a key character in Endgame. The thing I like is that Carol has such a messed-up continuity in the comics. Her origin is based on characters who aren’t in the movies, desperate retcons, and Chris Claremont’s array of fetishes. So this thing we see in the trailers where she thinks she’s Kree but she remembers a childhood on Earth? I don’t know what that means and I’m going to learn her origin along with you! I like Brie Larson, I like Captain Marvel, this looks rad. And here’s my guess at the post-credits scene – Ant-Man pops out of the Quantum Realm in the Nineties to tell Nick Fury and Carol about Thanos and maybe he’s got some other time-lost heroes in tow. Fingers crossed!
Arrested Development (March 15) – Look, I’ll come right out and say that last years Season 5A was the weakest Arrested Development yet. (Why are all of Portia de Rossi’s scenes greenscreened?) Some of it has to do with working around everybody’s schedules, some of it has to do with the fact that parts of the original series haven’t aged well, and some of it is just that the original series was so for ahead of its time but now TV caught up to it and the new episodes don’t really innovate. But that said, I still had fun watching them and I still love the Bluths. There’s this thing they do where two people are having a conversation and they’re so self-focused that each of them thinks the conversation is about their thing and they’re both leading it to the resolution that they want. And that kills me every time. This is likely to be the last batch of episodes, and I’m hoping my Bluths go out on a high note. (Netflix)
Hello from the Magic Tavern – Season 2, Episode 100 (March 25) – Yes, another podcast! Now, this is just a guess because they might throw off their numbering (they did an unnumbered interlude this week that pushed this listing back a week) or maybe they’re not doing anything special for this episode, but I’m still listing it. Hello is an improvised podcast about a guy who fell through a dimensional portal and ended up in a fantasy world. And rather than exploring the world or trying to find a way home, he does a podcast with a wizard and a shape-shifting badger. So, you know, it’s my jam. They ended the first season at episode 100 with a battle against the Dark Lord, and since then, they’ve been stuck in a prison town (sort of). Some of the long-percolating storylines have been moving forward lately, so I’m willing to bet that they’ll have a big event for this episode. Chunt’s wedding? One of the many quests they’ve promised to complete? Who knows? (Earwolf)
Happy! (March 27) – Hey, remember this show with questionable taste levels? Chris Meloni as a drunk ex-cop turned hitman? Patton Oswalt as an imaginary blue unicorn? Created by Grant Morrison and developed for TV by Morrison and Crank‘s Brian Taylor? Yeah. This is everything I love. The first season greatly expanded on the comic and the second season, set over Easter, is going to be completely new. I know some of last season’s creeps return, but I don’t want to find out any more than that. (SyFy)
Detective Comics 1000 (March 27) – That’s right, it’s the 1000th issue of the series where Batman first appeared, coinciding with Batman’s 80th anniversary. (Yes, technically he first appeared in issue 27, so really 1026 would be 1000 issues of Batman, but let us have our round number.) It’s set to be a huge issue with contributions from a host of great creators, both past and present, and I’m really looking forward to sitting down with a big book of Batman. (DC Comics)
Abby’s (March 28) – Michael Schur is a producer on this show, which always bodes well. Natalie Morales (who is great) plays the titular Abby, a woman who opens an unlicensed bar in her backyard. From all I’ve heard, it’s a Cheers-style sitcom about the regulars at this outdoor bar with a cast that includes favorites like Neil Flynn, Nelson Franklin, and Jessica Chaffin. It’s shot in front of a studio audience, which worries me a little, but I really like that the audience and the set are actually outside. I hope this is good and finds an audience because the fact that Natalie Morales doesn’t have a regular TV gig means that we have failed as a culture. (NBC)
Barry (March 31) – Oh, boy. One of my favorite shows of last season returns. Last time we saw Bill Hader’s Barry, he thought he could make a clean break from his past as an assassin, until he had to kill a cop / friend who found out the truth. (Though we didn’t see the shooting. Maybe there’s a twist, but it’s more this show’s style to keep putting Barry through hell.) The first season was so good, and if you watched it, you’re probably most excited about the return of Gotham‘s Anthony Carrigan as NoHo Hank. (HBO)
Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments!