Recent TV Shows - My Reviews | Sarah Wyland
Entertainment | Television

Recent TV Shows – My Reviews

It’s no secret that I love TV shows. I have a love/hate relationship with this streaming culture we live in. A new season of a show I love comes out, I binge it, and then… I have to wait months for the next season. I sometimes miss the anticipation of waiting a week for what happens next for my Netflix/Hulu/Prime/etc. shows. Yet I’m all about instant gratification when I can get it, even if it means waiting months to find out what happens next.

Such is the world we live in. 

I’m always talking about my favorite shows to friends and on Instagram, so I thought I’d start compiling the occasional blog post of what I’m watching and my thoughts. Be warned: there may be spoilers ahead. 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Part 3 

I daresay Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is one of my favorite shows. So much so I even got back into the fanfiction writing game for it. It has a fearless tilt to its writing that I love and puts women in positions of power. Part 2 ended with Sabrina and her family and friends trying to stop the Dark Lord – who she finds out is her real father – from taking over the world. Her boyfriend, Nicholas Scratch, sacrifices himself to both save her and to make up for betraying her by trapping Satan within him. He’s then carted off to Hell, setting up Part 3 to be about Sabrina rescuing him and figuring out her identity. Is she Sabrina Spellman? Or Sabrina Morningstar? 

Part 3 started off a bit slow in my opinion but really picked up midway through. While I was *devastated* over Nick and Sabrina’s breakup, I have to say I’m Team Nick. Sabrina’s characterization was interesting and I’m curious as to where they take her in Part 4 – to me, her sudden interest in having power didn’t really jive, but I think there were enough hints, such as Nick’s “But you’re a Morningstar now” line and her struggle with realizing she was letting her family down to show there’s more to come with that. Part 3 left a lot of unanswered questions and months to wait for Part 4. Here’s to a “Nabrina” reunion. At only 8 episodes, I do think they tried to pack a bit too much in at times. 15 extra minutes per episode or, better, 10 episodes, would have really rounded things out. 

Rating: 8/10

Spinning Out

After finishing season 2 of You, I was looking for a new show to binge and Netflix recommended Spinning Out. A show about ice skating? Sign me up. It’s about so much more than ice skating, however. Kat and her mother are both bipolar and the portrayal of mental illness and its effects on the entire family is well done. I was also caught up in the romance story of Kat and her skating partner, Justin, as well as the story of Kat’s younger sister, Serena, which takes a “Larry Nassar” turn. Plus, Johnny Weir is a guest star and I adore him. 

Unfortunately, Netflix canceled the show after just one season. Netflix is a lot “Fight Club” about their viewing numbers, but they typically take the first month of viewership for a show and compare it to the cost of making the show to decide what to renew (such is my understanding of how they make decisions). Spinning Out didn’t make the cut. Still, it ends in a way that, while you want more, you’re also okay with how it ends. 

Rating: 9/10

Medici 

I had Medici on my “to watch” list for a while and got around to it recently. I loved it. Season 1 stars Richard Madden as Cosimo de’Medici as he navigates the politics of Florence in the early-mid 1400s, including finishing the dome of Florence’s cathedral. Season 2 picks up 20 years later with Lorenzo de’Medici, grandson of Cosimo, played by Daniel Sharman. Lorenzo finds himself as the head of the family and has to stop a threat from the Pazzi to take their family down. There is a really excellent scene following the death of Lorenzo’s brother where he stands before the crowd and delivers a gut-wrenching speech that really showed Daniel’s talents. 

Season 3, the final season, has already aired in Italy and will hit Netflix sometime soon. I’m eagerly awaiting it and may or may not have gone out in search of other projects by Daniel Sharman – he’s quite the actor. 

Rating: 10/10

The Stranger

The Stranger got a lot of hype ahead of its Netflix premiere and it looked enthralling, so I gave it a go, pushed over the edge by an interview on TODAY with the author of the book that inspired the show. Essentially, a stranger approaches a man to let him know his wife faked a pregnancy and the loss of said pregnancy and things spiral from there with this stranger and her accomplice disrupting a number of lives through lies and blackmail. 

It’s set in England – I do have a soft spot for British TV shows – and has the accents to go along with it. It’s quite a large cast with a lot of pieces to follow. I watched the whole series, but ultimately, I never quite got into it. It was just compelling enough to keep me watching, but it was missing something for me. I don’t know what that something is, but I wanted a little more. Nearly each episode ended on a cliffhanger and I think that’s what kept me coming back 

Rating: 6/10

Locke and Key

Given my love of supernatural TV shows, I thought I might like Locke and Key. The series begins with a sinister phone call that says “Randall Locke is dead,” prompting a man to say “I know what I must do,” go inside his home, take out an elaborate skeleton key, stick it in his chest, and proceed to blow up himself and his home. The remaining Locke family – Randall’s wife Nina and their three kids, Kinsey, Tyler, and Bode – make the cross-country journey from their home in Seattle to take up residence at Key House, the Locke family home. It’s big and Victorian and in need of repair. Almost right away, Bode, the youngest Locke, finds an “echo” in the well and learns there are “magic” keys hidden throughout the house. Things get weird from there.

Overall, I really liked Locke and Key. It moved a bit slow at points, particularly early on. While I thought Sabrina needed another episode or two to truly tell the story, I think Locke and Key could have been 8 episodes instead of 10 or else better filled those 10 episodes with more robust storytelling. . 

Rating: 7/10

That’s all I’ve got for today on my recent TV shows. I’m currently catching up on This Is Us after stepping away mid season three. Good gracious, that’s some incredible storytelling… I dream of writing something like that. I’m very much looking forward to season two of The Umbrella Academy and moving on to season two of The Man in the High Castle.

What are you watching? What TV shows do I need to put on my “must watch” list? Suggestions from any and all streaming services welcomed! 

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