The Masked Singer Love It Or Leave It? Review
January 2, 2019
Readers of PopCultureReview know we don’t usually discuss reality shows, let alone cover or review them. However, we felt that the oddity that is Fox’s The Masked Singer deserved some attention.
A reality singing show with celebrities (“celebrities”?) dressed as animals? A panel of judges?, professional guessers?, which includes Jenny McCarthy and Ken Jeong among its number? Just typing that out, I am thinking, “what the fuck is this show?” Well, our newest PCR contributor drew the short straw, Sheila, volunteered to give The Masked Singer a watch and see what it is about and whether it’s worth the hype that it is receiving.
To give you some context, in its most recent week (Week 3), The Masked Singer was themost watched show the entire night in the key 18-49 demographic. That is a night (Wednesday, January 16) which included brand new episodes of the NBC hits, Chicago’s Fire, PD and Med (these 3 shows did win the night for overall viewers).
This was the night that Peacock, Monster, Unicorn, Deer and Lion performed and Joel McHale joined as a guest panelist. There is a sentence I never thought I’d type. Without further delay, let’s find out if Sheila wanted to Love It Or Leave It? BEWARE OF SPOILERS!
Love It Or Leave It?
November 27, 2018
On December 2, 2018, Syfy will premiere Nightflyers, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s 1980 sci-fi horror novella of the same name. We began hearing about Nightflyers at this year’s San Diego Comic Con but now, having seen the first five episodes, we can hardly wait the few days left before everyone else gets to experience this transformative television experience.
“Transformative television experience” sounds like a particularly lofty goal but, for fans of real science fiction with a flair for horror and psychological thrillers, I am telling you that you have never seen anything like Nightflyers on TV.
Syfy is airing Season 1 of Nightflyers in a “binge-style” with the first five episodes airing on consecutive nights, December 2-6, and then the next five episodes on consecutive nights, December 9-13. All episodes will air at 10/9c. Advice, take those two nights off in between to process.
Let’s dig in to what this show is all about (a generally spoiler free show synopsis follows) …
Love It Or Leave It? The Little Drummer Girl
November 19, 2018
In the Spring of 2016, AMC aired a miniseries adaptation of John le Carre’s 1993 novel, The Night Manager. The excellent series, which starred Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman, brought AMC together with the independent film studio, The Ink Factory (which is run by le Carre’s sons, Stephen and Simon Cornwell) and the vaulted institution of the BBC. Together, le Carre’s work popped from the page onto the small screen in a 6 hour movie, replete with careful plotting, beautifully shot locations, and top notch acting performances. Fast forward two and a half years and the BBC, The Ink Factory, and AMC have now reunited for an all new John le Carre adaptation, this time doing his 1983 novel, The Little Drummer Girl.
Split into a six-part miniseries, The Little Drummer Girl stars Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies; True Blood), Michael Shannon (Waco; The Shape of Water), and Florence Pugh (Outlaw King; Lady Macbeth), and is directed by acclaimed Korean filmmaker, Park Chan-wook (Old Boy; The Handmaiden; Stoker), making his television directorial debut. AMC will air the six parts over three consecutive nights, November 19-21.
Love It Or Leave It? Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
October 26, 2018
Right before Halloween, Netflix released two shows that fit the mood of the season, The Haunting of Hill House and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Both promised spooks and scares but only one successfully delivered on its promise and in fact, far exceeded those expectations. The winner of the award for “best new genre show”? Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Whereas Haunting of Hill House largely failed to be either compelling or scary, Sabrina is both and top notch dramatic television to boot.
YOU “Love It or Leave It?”
Premieres September 9, 2018
YOU, one of the newest shows of the Fall season, premieres Sunday, September 9 at 10pm (ET) on Lifetime. We have been fortunate to see the first several episodes in advance and so we’re providing our (spoiler free) “Love It or Leave It?” review earlier than usual.
Based on Caroline Kepnes’ 2014 novel of the same name, YOU stars Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl), Elizabeth Lail (Once Upon a Time) and Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars). The series was developed for television by Sera Gamble (The Magicians) and Greg Berlanti (The CW Arrow-verse). Gamble and Berlanti are also co-executive producers and sharing showrunner duties, as well.
A quick look at the tremendous acting and creative power at work here and you’re probably not surprised to hear that the show has already been renewed for a second season. If you follow me on social media or listen to the Jay and Mike Show (jayandmikeshow.com), you may already have a sense of how I feel about YOU. Also, I have become very aware of how often I am saying the word “you.”
In short, YOU is a twisted “love” story for the 21 st Century. And it’s fucking fantastic. With New York City as a backdrop (and itself, its own character), YOU boldly dives head first into exploring the hottest button issues in our technology- and social media-obsessed culture. If you’re reading this, YOU willspeak to you on some level.
Killing Eve Love It Or Leave It? Review (Episode 101, “Nice Face”)
April 8, 2018
Killing Eve debuted last night on BBC America and just knocked my socks off. It is funny and sexy and dangerous and most importantly, its a thinking person’s show with involved plot and character design. I want all of those things on my TV all of the time. Love it or leave it? I loved Killing Eve.
Led by a strong cast, but in particular, its three female leads, Eve promises to be a weekly spy adventure in the grand tradition of the good guy chasing the bad guy, EXCEPT its a good woman chasing a bad woman, and maybe the bad woman is not so black and white bad? A 2018 Twist on the spy genre to be sure but also, just as welcomed. Television can only be benefited by having complex women on the screen that don’t wallow in traditional tropes. Killing Eve smashes the traditional idea of the type-cast female in a thriller spy show and puts them front and center.
Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) as the titular Eve and Jodie Comer (star of several UK shows but in America was a lead in the Starz series, The White Princess) as the assassin, Villanelle, crackle when they’re on screen and its hard to take your eyes off of them. Add in the fantastic Fiona Shaw (Americans will know her from her time on True Blood or more obviously as Aunt Petunia from the Harry Potter film series) as the legendary MI-6 operative who will seemingly play an important role in Eve’s life, and you’ve got tremendous women that are hard to ignore.
Killing Eve is brought to TV by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who acts as lead writer, showrunner and is an executive producer) and is based on a series of novels by Luke Jennings which focuses on the assassin, Villanelle, as well as the MI-5 agent that tracks her. I haven’t read them yet but I will because the only thing I like more than a great spy show is a great spy novel! Sold! Also important to note, Killing Eve was renewed for a Season 2 before this pilot episode even aired. BBC America believes in Eve.
There is a hole on Sunday nights at 8pm and my “Hot Take” is that you need to fill it with Killing Eve. If you’re looking for a recap of the first episode, take a gander, after the jump (Beware of Spoilers!)