Television Man | Aidan Morgan | May 26, 2022
“In this country, you gotta get the television first. Then, when you get the television, you get the cable. Then when you get the cable, you get the streaming.” —Television Montana
The levee of genre television is about to break, and we’ll be up to our necks in Premium IP Content by the weekend. On May 27, Kenobi, starring Ewan MacGregor, comes to Disney+. Netflix, meanwhile, will release the first seven episodes of Stranger Things season 4, featuring all those people you probably remember from three years ago. Are you as excited as some are? Are you as heartily sick of Stranger Things and Star Wars as others are? Are you going to watch them anyway despite the soul-shrivelling sickness they engender? I know I am!
The Power Of Pink
Alongside the glut of genre entertainment, TV can’t get enough of semi-fictionalized accounts of people’s lives. The latest instalment is Angelyne (Peacock), a five-episode series about the original “famous for being famous” celebrity — a pre-Kardashian, pre-Anderson bombshell best known for putting her face on Los Angeles billboards and driving around Hollywood in a hot pink Corvette. Emmy Rossum (Shameless) plays the lead character over the course of three decades, making an incredibly convincing transformation under heavy prosthetics. The show isn’t really interested in her actual identity — instead, it focuses on how she worked to construct an archetypal identity and then inhabit it.
Brand New Key
But who needs genre shows and bio-fics when a miraculous revival has occurred? In an age of lacklustre reunions and nostalgic midquel spackle, Kids in the Hall (Prime Video) is a face-pinching (sorry, I meant head-crushing) exception. A new eight-episode season of the Canadian sketch comedy show has dropped after a 27-year hiatus, and somehow it feels as fresh and ridiculous as the original. The Hall-Bound Kids have assembled a set of sketches that feel contiguous with their ’90s material (sometimes too much so — sketches like “Imaginary Girlfriend” play like old pieces picked up and dusted off) but also lean into the ways time and age change perspectives and punish the body.
Did I say they lean into the punishment of age? They also turn it around and bounce it up and down. You’ll know it when you see it.
The original series wasn’t always an easy watch — it could be deliberately, even aggressively unfunny at times, and it had a penchant for gross-out jokes and absurd art-house parody. But even at its post-apocalyptic bleakest, the new series feels a little warmer and more welcoming to me. Then again, that might just be age mellowing my point of view.