It’s new TV season, and there’s a lot to talk about. As with last time, I’m only listing the season and series premieres that I’m into, but by tomorrow there will be a complete list of October premieres on this very website. You can imagine how much fun it is to talk about new seasons of shows I don’t watch!
This is the week when Joker opens, and since literally everybody I know expects me to have strong feelings about it, I’ll talk about it real quick. First off, the way in which I think it’s “dangerous” is, well, it appears to be a movie where a white guy doesn’t get everything they want and uses that as an excuse to be a bad person. The kind of movie that came out every week in the Seventies. But since then, there are a significant number of people who believe the greatest tragedy is a white guy not getting everything they want, which is the reason society is broken. People think Travis Bickle had a point. So I think this could play to a very specifically poisonous segment of moviegoers. Which in real world terms probably just means the worst people you know will talk about it forever, kind of like Fight Club.
But beyond that, it can’t really be a movie about the Joker because it isn’t about Batman. Every Joker story is a Batman story, whether or not he’s in it. Because Batman is the Joker’s whole deal. He’s planning to kill him or planning to kill a bunch of other people by slipping beneath his notice in some way. Even when he leaves town and goes after another hero, it’s to get Batman’s attention. He, like me, thinks about Batman constantly. And Batman has a million things to think about. If Joker’s in Arkham Asylum, Batman doesn’t spare a thought for him because he’s still got Bane or the Ten-Eyed Man or Professor Pyg to deal with. He spends more time thinking about somebody that might be redeemable, like Two-Face. And that just drives the Joker because he needs to be as important to Batman as Batman is to him. So a Joker story without Batman, his entire driving force, is just King of Comedy with greasepaint. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
Here’s what to watch on TV this week!
8-10 Dancing with the Stars – It’s Movie Night! And did you see the sweet velvet tux James Van Der Beek wore to the Emmys? We’re all rooting for him, right?
9-10 The Terror: Infamy – Chester meets a boy who gives him answers and Amy is tormented by a powerful nemesis. I’m still sort of hoping that there’s a tie-in to the first season and the Demon Bear shows up.
10-11 Lodge 49 – Liz gets a promotion while Dud and Ernie meet the famous L. Martin Metz. I just realized that I’m a week behind on this show and I have to remedy that.
9-10 The Deuce – Lori runs into some familiar faces and Candy speaks to her critics at a Women Against Pornography meeting. That can’t be a super comfortable situation for her.
9-10 This Is Us – Well, they’ve introduced another timeline. I mean, we’re seeing the future now, not that there are alternate timelines and maybe there’s a world where Jack unplugged the slow cooker. This show hasn’t turned into What If? yet, but imagine if it did. They’d kill every character at least once!
10-11 Emergence – The pilot was pretty good! But I said that about Manifest a year ago, and as soon as that show took a month off, I stopped caring instantly. We’ll see how this pans out!
8-9 Survivor – We’re only one episode in and there are already too many moving parts. We’ve got Boston Rob and Sandra hanging around, there’s an Island of the Idols, there are some new rules I didn’t understand because I was also playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. There’s a lot going on.
8-8:30 The Goldbergs – Barry and Erica head to college and realize they have no place to live. That’s some forethought right there! And real life Barry is a doctor now.
8:30-9 Schooled – Lainey tries to fix up Coach Mellor, and I kind of want some sort of crossover with Coaches Mellor, McGuirk, and Steve all commiserating over their inability to meet anybody.
9-9:30 Modern Family – Claire is worried about the family making her look bad in front of a magazine reporter. Remember when this show used to be super relatable and now everybody involved with it is a multi-millionaire and they don’t remember what regular people do.
9:30-10 Single Parents – This is one of those shows that I enjoy but I can’t remember anybody’s name so they should just use their real names. Just call ’em Taran Killam and Brad Garrett.
10-11 Stumptown – I really liked the premiere! This is a good show and I would like it to last for a while. You should be cool like me and watch it.
8-9 The Masked Singer – I’m a little sad that Egg was eliminated because I liked that costume design a lot. Also, how many people needed a lengthy explanation as to who “Ninja” is? That, by the way, is the name of a person and not a character.
10-10:30 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – The gang ends up in a focus group for an action movie and I feel like they’ve already done that before, but per IMDB, that has not been an episode. Did I dream it or see the future?
10:30-11 Cake – Apparently at some point this season, this show will include a secret project from John Hodgman and David Rees and that is how you get me to watch every episode with my hopes up.
8:30-9 Perfect Harmony – Another show that I liked! I think we can agree that I needed more shows to watch.
9-9:30 The Good Place – Can’t be specific because my friends are only just starting Season Three, but I can probably mention last week’s baby elephant made of pure light who speaks only truths because that’s not a spoilee. But it was amazing.
8:30-9 The Unicorn – Hey, I also liked this. This was kind of a lock because I like Walton Goggins so much, but it’s actually quite funny and charming. Like me.
10-11 Evil – I haven’t watched the premiere yet, but I did record it. Further details as events warrant.
10-10:30 Mr. Inbetween – “The existence of monsters is pondered”. That is a very good minimalist listing. And the passive voice really sells it. Good job, FX!
Big Mouth – Season Three of Nick Kroll’s animated puberty comedy is here! This is much funnier than you might think, given that foul mouthed kids aren’t actually that funny. But it’s very good and one episode this season features a musical based on the movie Disclosure and I already can’t wait for that one.
10-12 am Gary Gulman: The Great Depresh – It’s a comedy special from the guy that I think is maybe the best joke writer in the business right now. He’s a national treasure.
11:30-1 am Saturday Night Live – I am so excited for this one – the host is Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge! I love her. And I didn’t think she was famous enough to host because the bulk of the audience probably doesn’t know who she is but she won so many Emmy last week and at least that’s got her name out there.
8-8:30 The Simpsons – When Homer is demoted to supervising interns, he ends up becoming a mentor. Can you imagine what dire straits that poor intern must be in?
8:30-9 Bless the Harts – The premiere hasn’t aired as I write this, but after some pretty dire ads, there’s been some good buzz in the last couple of days. I really want this to be good!
9-9:30 Bob’s Burgers – Bob and Gene get into mushroom foraging and Tina’s new glasses convince her she has a superpower. I just got a new prescription and I get where she’s coming from.
9-10 The Walking Dead – SEASON PREMIERE! Once again, we know who’s leaving the show well ahead of time, so that must be fun for the people who are really invested.
10-10:35 The Righteous Gemstones – Jesse deals with the fallout of the dramatic events of Easter Sunday and Baby Billy has some harsh words. This show is very good.
12-12:30 am Primal – SERIES PREMIERE! Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky is back with this dialogue-free miniseries about a caveman. That guy makes good cartoons!
“Why would anyone do drugs when they could just mow a lawn?” – Hank Hill
“I was kinda born to act. And when I do it, I can feel it pleasing the universe.” — Annie Edison