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  • Matt Linton

The Hulu Weekend Watchlist

Atlanta (Season 1) – I’ve been patiently waiting for the acclaimed series by writer/actor/producer/rapper Donald Glover to show up on a streaming service. In this, Glover plays a man who returns home after leaving college. He seems to be squandering his potential, and disappointing everyone that cares about him, until he decides to manage his cousin’s promising rap career. What sounds most interesting to me are the descriptions I’ve seen of the show as having hints of magical realism, and I loved the first episode when I saw it back when the show premiered.

The Orville (Season 1/currently airing) – This show baffles me. It undercuts the drama with often sophomoric jokes (which isn’t unexpected given that it’s the brainchild of Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and American Dad). At the same time, it’s such a pitch perfect take on Star Trek: The Next Generation the rest of the time that it’s like seeing a surprisingly great cover band at a dive bar. I don’t love it, and I’m not even sure yet if I’d say I like it, but I’m compelled to watch every episode.

Will & Grace (Season 9) – I really liked this show back in the day (I think the kids still say that). I was a fan of Debra Messing from Ned & Stacy, Sean Hayes was this brilliantly funny person I’d never heard of, and my love for Megan Mullaly - which would be cemented with her brilliant appearances on Parks & Rec (Messing, surprisingly, does not play Rec). My fear when they announced that the show was coming back after a decade was that the politics of the show, which were fairly progressive, and arguably influential, at the time would date poorly. And, they kind of do. But the worse problem is that the entire formal style of theshow feels old and stale. There’s a straight out of 1983-style laugh track (complete with “WoooooOOOOHHH!!!” reactions), predictably structured set-up/punchline jokes, and everyone seems to be having such a great time and is trying so hard that I feel guilty hating it as much as I do. This is sort of an anti-recommendation, but the show is sort of an anti-comedy, so it seems fair.

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