The Enthusiasm List for August 2022

So I’m trying to get back into writing about TV, and I’m bringing back a feature from the old site. Every month, I take a look at the upcoming things I’m excited about.TV, movies, comics, all that stuff. So here’s the new Enthusiasm List for August 2022!

August 4 – Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount Plus) – Twenty-five years after the first time they went off the air and eleven years after their last revival, Beavis and Butt-Head are back in a new streaming series. I love these guys and I thought the last series, which updated them just enough to keep them relevant, was great. And while I’m theoretically excited to see them again, I’m not sure that anti-social dipshits oblivious to the harm they cause are going to go down easily in 2022. Like, their targets from the first series are often people who turned out to be right. The dippy teacher who’s focused on making sure everybody feels all right? That guy was doing some killer work. We need more of that guy. Maybe you’re young, but things were going so well in the Nineties that you could get overly mad about something minor and satirize the mildest possible trends. I think Mike Judge is probably a good guy, but I’m also dreading the possibility of the boys dealing with somebody’s pronouns. I guess I’m in the “cautiously optimistic” column on this one.

Battlebots: Champions (Discovery) – This is actually the rebranded second season of Bounty Hunters, the first season of which was a streaming exclusive. It’s fun! Every episode has ‘bots competing for the right to take on a champion and you know what you’re getting with this show. It’s a good time to see robots who haven’t been in the main competition and newcomers who get cut from the main show. If you like Battlebots, you’ll have a great time.

August 5 – Prey (Hulu) – This is weird and might not be good, but what the heck? It’s a Predator prequel set 300 years in the past with an early Predator stalking a Comanche tribe. The fact that this is going straight to streaming doesn’t bode well and the last attempt at a Predator movie was just miserable. But a big switch-up could be fun and maybe shed all the crummy mythology the franchise has taken on. And honestly, on a pedantic level, I’m interested to see what 18th Century weapons can damage a Predator given that, you know, bullets don’t really seem to do anything to them.

The Sandman (Netflix) –  Based on the beloved comic series by Neil Gaiman, and after about a thousand false starts, the Sandman is finally coming to TV. The main character is the Lord of Dreams, surrounded by his siblings who embody other abstract concepts and when I was a sad college boy, this was absolutely my jam. And I still think it’s beautifully written and drawn, but it’s never going to click for me the way it once did. A recent attempt to re-read the series failed when I remembered that Dream speaks in white text on a black background and I’m an old man now and that will never be legible again. Seeing it in a new format might help divorce it from my post-adolescent associations and honestly, I’m looking forward to checking it out. The cast is tremendous and the story it’s based on really is excellent, even if it’s forever associated with a version of me I don’t much like anymore.

I Love My Dad (theatrical release – VOD one week later) – It seems unlikely that this comedy is going to make it to theaters in my neck of the woods, but it stars Patton Oswalt as a guy who tries to reconnect with his estranged son by catfishing him. It looks very funny and also will probably make me want to die.

August 12 – A League of Their Own (Amazon Video) – Remember the movie about the women who played professional baseball during World War II? First off, it totally holds up. Second, it’s the basis for this new streaming series created by Will Graham. I assume he’s a real person and that this show was not developed by a character from NBC’s Hannibal. I often look askance at reboots these days, but thirty years later, this is not exactly a hot property. The fact that somebody wants to revisit this makes me think they have a good idea. It stars Abbi Jacobson and D’arcy Carden (Janet!) and has a deep bench including Dale Dickey, who my people will recognize as Patty the Daytime Hooker. I’ve got a good feeling about this!

August 15 – Better Call Saul finale (AMC) – I don’t want to say too much about the lead up to the finale because I have friends who are weeks behind, but the recent wild swerve shows Saul isn’t going to let up in its waning days. It’s maybe my favorite show and it’ll be weird when it’s over – between this and Breaking Bad we’ve spent fourteen years in this world and I’m going to miss it. There’s something about having a big show that everybody talks about on regular TV and I don’t know if that’s going to happen again anytime soon. I’ll try to write something about the show when it’s all over, but this is the end of our national pastime of being deeply concerned about Kim Wexler.

August 16 – Batman – One Bad Day: The Riddler (comic shops and Comixology) – I’m psyched about this. It’s the start of a series of one-shots focused on different Batman villains, which is right up my alley. Even better, this is coming from Tom King and Mitch Gerards, the team behind Mister Miracle, Strange Adventures, and Sheriff of Babylon, some of the best comics DC has published in recent memory. (King also writes Human Target, which is truly fantastic). I don’t need any more information than that. It’s going to be good and beautifully drawn and the kind of thing that reminds me that comics are actually good sometimes.

August 17 – She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Disney+) – Try to contain your surprise when you learn that I am looking forward to a Marvel thing. Tatiana Maslany stars as Jennifer Walter (Bruce Banner’s cousin) who gets herself Hulked up. Classically, she maintains her personality and intelligence in her Hulk form (kind of like Banner in Endgame) and for a few decades there, she was stuck in Hulk form. More important to this show, she’s also a single female lawyer. She-Hulk is one of those characters who’s fun to play for comedy, and that’s definitely what’s happening in the trailer. Maslany is one of the best actresses around (She won two Emmys for Orphan Black and deserved a couple more) and she’s been super funny when she turns up on podcasts like Comedy Bang! Bang!  The special effects we’ve seen look a little janky but honestly, not that bad. It looks like a lot of fun, and the newest trailer confirms that we’re getting an appearance from Daredevil, the other superhero lawyer. I’m an easy sell on MCU stuff, so take that into account, but I’m really looking forward to She-Hulk.

August 19 – Spin Me Round (In theatres and on AMC+) – Look. In recent years, I’ve gotten out of the celebrity crush game. My in-person crush is farther out of my league than my celebrity crush and who needs the extra stress. That said, Alison Brie will always have a special place in my heart. And beyond that, she’s crazy talented and usually chooses really good projects. She co-wrote and stars in this new movie from Jeff Baena, her Horse Girl collaborator. Horse Girl, if you haven’t seen it, is a movie that I think about all the time even if I still don’t know what it’s trying to say. I love it and I’m mystified by it. This seems more straightforward, with Brie as the manager of an Olive Garden-style restaurant who wins a trip to the corporate headquarters in Italy. I’m pre-sold on this but given how interesting Horse Girl was, this seems like it’s going to be worth your time.

August 21 – House of the Dragon (HBO) – No, this isn’t the Game of Thrones spinoff being developed by Carly Wray, one of my favorite TV writers. And it’s not the Game of Thrones miniseries that Steven Conrad, my favorite TV writer, is writing. It’s the other Game of Thrones spinoff.  This one is set two centuries before GoT and focuses on House Targaryen’s time ruling Westeros. And that honestly seems like an interesting period to cover even if going back 200 years means appearances from established characters are out. I’m not one of those people who turned on GoT at the end, though I’ll acknowledge that some things had to get really inconsistent or dumb in order to wrap up the series. (It got so much easier to travel across Westeros that I have to assume cars were invented after Season Five and we just never saw them.)  I hope it’s good because it’s fun to talk about Game of Thrones and we could use some of that. Also, Doctor Who’s Matt Smith is in it and I’m a big fan. And honestly, he could use our support – in the last few years, he’s had a nothing role in a forgotten Terminator sequel, his character was cut from Rise of Skywalker, and he is reportedly the best part of much-memed disaster Morbius. The poor guy keeps getting so close to the big franchises and none of this is his fault. Let’s watch his TV show!

August 22 – Kevin Can F**k Himself (AMC) – The second and final season premieres today and I’m willing to call this one flawed but interesting. It’s a spin on the dumb husband sitcom, with the guy clearly based on Kevin James. Annie Murphy from Schitt’s Creek plays the wife who’s clearly too good for her husband. And every scene he appears in is shot like a traditional sitcom complete with laugh track. When he’s gone and the focus is on Annie, it becomes a drama about a woman who hates her husband so much she’s willing to have him killed. It’s an interesting presentation and it has its moments, but if part of your premise is that sitcoms are dumb and clichéd, then the drama scenes can’t feel like every just-shy-of-prestige drama we’ve seen for the last fifteen years. The premise is better than the execution but I’m still looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

August 23 – Saints Row (Most current and last-gen consoles and maybe also PC? I don’t know, I’m not GameStop) – My favorite video game series is back and it’s a reboot and I am ambivalent!  The original started as a kind of janky but more audacious Grand Theft Auto knock-off. It’s the second game where it really becomes something special. They didn’t have the prestige or the budget of GTA so they made it bonkers and fun and perhaps most important, funny. Grand Theft Auto thinks it’s funny, but trust me on this one. You fight voodoo guys and survive on foot in the middle of a monster truck ring and swordfight one boss on a boat that’s on fire and heck, put your character in a hot dog suit if you want. It’s so much fun. Saints Row the Third cranks up the insanity with human cloning and missions that involve driving carefully so the tiger in the passenger seat doesn’t eat you and Burt Reynolds (playing himself) is the Mayor. There was a moment in this game when I had to fly a motorcycle over a zombie island to get to my luchador fight. Perfect. By Saints Row IV, your character is the president and then aliens destroy Earth. But you escape to fight them in a simulation where you have super powers. Finally, the DLC for that game has Saints mainstay Johnny Gat killing Satan and rebooting history. (Just so we’re on the same page, in the first game you’re trying to join a street gang.)

So that’s the in-story justification for this reboot, but in the real world it’s probably more that they think a game that’s more Fast and Furious than meta-insanity is going to sell better. And yeah, it’s probably going to be slick and fun but it looks to be a far cry from the scrappy and often ill-advised series that I love so much. If this new one is indeed Fast and Furious, the original series was Crank and that’s the one that has my heart.

August 24 – Archer (FXX) – The new season of the extremely long running animated action comedy is here. This season, in the wake of Jessica Walter’s passing, looks like it’ll put Archer in charge of the unnamed espionage agency formerly known as ISIS. And that’s a solid premise right there. I love this show, and I think I could watch it forever. 

August 25 – Little Demon (FXX) – This animated comedy stars Aubrey Plaza as a single mother who’s raising the Devil’s daughter. Yes, it sounds a little bit like Adult Swim’s Lucy, Daughter of the Devil, but I loved that show so let’s give version 2.0 a shot.

August 31 – Andor (Disney+) – The Star Wars TV shows have been a really mixed bag. The Mandalorian is fine-to-good, I closed the Book of Boba Fett so quickly and I have no regrets, and Obi-Wan was a lot of fun and seems to have made people mad. Racists, mostly. And now we’re heading back for a show about Andor! Famous Star Wars character Andor! You definitely know who that is! I mean, Rogue One is one of my top Star Wars movies and I couldn’t have told you the guy’s name is Andor. And his whole deal is that he’s friends with a funny robot who is apparently not on the show. All the other characters in that movie have their bits but Andor is just the guy. But heck, I’ll check it out. It’s probably a good thing that this character doesn’t have to shoulder a lot of continuity weight. And if Boba Fett has taught me anything, it’s that it’s very easy to stop watching a Star Wars thing if I don’t like it.

In the future, I’ll try to wrap up with things I’m currently enjoying but really that’s just The Rehearsal right now. But let me know what’s good! And check out Tees by Summer for an Ape Hive t-shirt. Even if you don’t care for me, it’s such a good logo!

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One Comment

  1. So excited for the League of their Own series! And thanks for giving me more stuff to check out!

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