34 Best TV Shows Similar to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The final season of the Star Wars side adventure goes to some unexpectedly moving places.
Into a television landscape suddenly devoid of Star Wars content, The Bad Batch swoops in with its third and final season, a darker yet not grittier adventure that loops its way into the greater Universe’s timeline while still managing to surprise an audience who knows how much of this story ends.
Picking up some time after the end of Season 2 (though there are several short time skips throughout the initial eight episodes), Omega (Michelle Ang) remains imprisoned in the Imperial scientific testing facility in Mount Tantiss. Ostensibly there to assist cloning expert Nala Se and fellow female clone Emerie (Keisha Castle-Hughes), it’s clear to both Omega and the audience that she’s there for more nefarious purposes, including mysterious bloodwork that Emerie has been conducting on all of the clones and of which Nala Se is insistent that Omega not be a part. Omega is the shining star of this season from the first episode; determined, loyal, and brave (not to mention generally smarter than all of her brothers), Omega is the sort of female character on which Star Wars (and internet controversy) thrives. Decried from her very introduction, Omega has cemented her place as the heart of the Bad Batch, both the series and its namesake group. Continue Reading →
In the Know
Peacock’s claymation sitcom is at its best when it skips the satire for the strange, but “best” is grading on a curve.
To its credit, In The Know resists dropping the term “woke” to describe its characters. Unfortunately, in a fairly disastrous opener, that’s the only “those silly sensitive liberals” signifier it lets go past. The premiere’s big joke, one it repeats OFTEN, centers on the proper terminology for someone without a place to live. Because, of course, it's a goofy waste of time to worry about language. Only Zach Woods’ ever-increasing profane frustration at being corrected by Fabian (Caitlin Reilly) saves the bit. His voice performance as “NPR’s third most popular host” Lauren Caspian is just sly enough to make it unclear if his anger comes from his inability to remember the correct term, someone having the nerve to interrupt him, or the thought that someone in the office might be more progressive than him.
It isn’t that mocking blowhard radio hosts can’t be a rich comic vein. Just check out the original Frasier series, a show with a strangely intense cross-generational appeal that persists even over 19 years after the final episode aired. It’s centering that mockery on NPR, particularly an NPR that has more in common with a conservative’s fever dream of what the company is like rather than anything resembling reality, feels like a weak tea. Fortunately, things improve for In The Know as it quickly moves beyond what initially seems like an exercise in sticking it to those caricatures of public radio employees. Continue Reading →
Disney+'s animated exploration of what could've been continues to intrigue in Season 2, but not all episodes are created equal.
With What If…? Season 2, the time seems right to take a look at both seasons and rank them for your entertainment. Is it wrong to rank art? Possibly, but we’re of the mind that something that feels this good can’t possibly be bad.
On that note, let’s not waste a moment more and start counting down from worst to best. The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) hates to be kept waiting! Continue Reading →
The Prime series remains its big, fun, very violent self.
Jack Reacher (Alan Ritchson), the “has toothbrush, will travel” man, has returned to television and not a moment too soon. Reacher Season 2 is exactly the kind of low-commitment viewing one craves as the year ends and the holidays overtake everyone’s lives. While a large, jolly man busies himself filling many of our stockings, who better to enjoy than a large, angry man knocking bad guys out of their socks? Especially when, like this time, it’s personal!
Reacher and Neagly (Maria Sten, back from Season 1 and fully second on the callsheet this time, thankfully) first met when they were members of the 110, an investigative military police unit. As seen in flashback, the group is the last time Reacher had anything approaching a stable group of friends. In the present day, several team members have gone missing, suggesting that perhaps someone is targeting them. Reacher connects with Neagly and the two join up with the only other two 110 members they can find. O’Donnell (Shaun Sipos) is the unit clown and womanizer turned family man and inside the beltway fixer. Dixon (Serinda Swan) is a forensic accountant/warrior who shares an obvious but unconsummated crush with Reacher. Continue Reading →
One of the common complaints about Marvel’s attempts at multiverse storytelling is that it renders everything meaningless. If there is another Ikaris of the Eternals out there—or a possibly infinite number of them—why should one care if the one in front of us dies? Generally, this writer finds the argument unconvincing. If I told you there were infinite versions of your friend out there in the multiverse you might someday meet, you’d still care quite a bit to see your version die in front of you. Continue Reading →
Through the haze of nostalgia, someone might find themselves thinking, “I remember Twisted Metal being a fun video game. I don’t remember there being a story to it though.” If that’s you, good news: your brain is not playing tricks on you. While the series gained complexity over time and each character took on backstory and better-defined goals, the on-screen experience essentially boiled down to a demolition derby in which the victor received an ironic fulfillment of their biggest wish. Continue Reading →
In its first season, Cruel Summer was a roller coaster of a television show. It offered a new twist, loop, or drop around every corner. Cruel Summer Season 2, by contrast, feels more like the Slingshot. For one, the journey is much easier to understand and anticipate. Of course, there are still thrills to be hand. Still, it lacks a certain gonzo quality. As a result, this season is better and more logically plotted, but also significantly less likely to leave a viewer’s head spinning. Continue Reading →
Walt Disney Animation Studios: Short Circuit Experimental Films
This year's first program of Chicago Critics Film Festival shorts focus on the dark side of family, community & living with mental illness.
The films in the first program of shorts at this year’s Chicago Critics Film Festival all concern those mythic American values of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And they do this in both content and form. Though these films never exceed twenty minutes, they are unbounded examples of the human imagination.
We open on the “happy family” of Nicole Daddona and Adam Wilder’s deliciously unsettling The Mundanes. This surreal nostalgic PSA about the ideal American family is a delightful work of surreal suspense. What begins as a richly designed comment on the facelessness of the perfect family in the white nostalgic imagination soon amps up into an amusing work of comedy horror. Unspeakable delights feed the happiness of the Happy Family. You can bet ambrosia salad won’t be the most unappetizing thing on this 50s-inspired tablescape. The Mundanes serves up a sensational visual style and keen directorial perspective on a silver platter with a healthy helping of disturbing social commentary on the side. Continue Reading →
Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Welcome to 2023, Star Wars fans, and welcome to another season of The Bad Batch. Our band of unruly brothers (and sister) is back again, still running less-than-legal missions for Cid (Rhea Perlman) and finding themselves in every possible scrape as they do so. The first season of The Bad Batch was an adventure-filled romp through the aftermath of the Clone Wars and Order 66 (though not without its issues, as we’ll discuss later) and Season 2 is off to a strong start with its two-episode premiere: “Spoils of War” and “Ruins of War”. Continue Reading →
One of the hardest things in television is creating the impression of change without breaking the show or making it feel like half-assed window dressing. That’s the problem facing Mythic Quest at the start of Season 3. Continue Reading →
Star Trek: Lower Decks
When Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) began this season, she harbored nothing but mistrust for Starfleet and resolved to rescue her mother all by herself, even as it turned out Mom didn’t need saving. Now, at season’s end, Mariner returns, ready to fight for both the people and the idea of Starfleet, and she enlists the help of her comrades and colleagues to rescue Captain Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) in a moment where she could really use the save. Continue Reading →
We Own This City
The easy move in discussing We Own This City is to compare it to co-creators David Simon and George Pelecanos’ The Wire. After all, they both concern crime, police, and politics in Baltimore. However, to do so diminishes both. Continue Reading →
One Perfect Shot
The @OnePerfectShot Twitter account, bought in 2016 by Film School Rejects, has over 680,000 followers. It has become synonymous with Film Twitter, a subset of the app’s users that are dedicated, for better and worse, to the cinema of past and present, along with all of the awards and critical consensus in-between. I’m one of those 680,000 followers, and a big fan of the account for its dedication to spotlighting both obscure and blockbuster films, known and unknown directors, while highlighting unhonored cinematographers, editors, and production designers. Continue Reading →
What if they made an MCU show with almost no stakes? Would that be inviting or off-putting? Continue Reading →
Hollywood's year-long hiatus on major comic-book adaptation movies has left ample room for streaming services to pick up the slack and then some. Amazon, for example, has wisely curated high-profile releases from existing superhero stories that subvert the genre in ways that would probably ring unfamiliar if attempted by the more mainstream Marvel and DC fare. The Boys is all about poking a gory hole in how superheroes can be vapid, unchecked, and even monstrous celebrities. Invincible just ended its first season with a bang of a finale, taking its colonizer version of Superman to task. And then there's the curious case of Netflix's Jupiter's Legacy. Continue Reading →