Hader and Alec Berg (“Silicon Valley”) created “Barry” as a dark comedy about a Midwestern hitman who travels to Los Angeles, where he finds himself joining an acting class and beginning to question the nature of his profession.
“On My Block,” Netflix’s most binge-watched show of 2018, is back with its second season, a return that can only be described as a charming portrayal of young-minded teens facing real-life problems. The show self-actualizes into the framework of the show it was supposed to be in the first season — a show about soul-searching high school freshmen that struggle with childhood trauma, external pressures to act a certain way and now, how to handle all that Rollerworld loot that Jamal (Brett Gray, “Chicago P.D.”) discovered in the first season.
I’m trying to pinpoint the moment when I first realized FX’s “Better Things” was something special. It might have been within the first few minutes of the show, when single mother, Sam (Pamela Adlon, “Star vs. the Forces of Evil”) is talking to her youngest daughter, Duke (Olivia Edward, “The Outside Story”) in a mall bathroom. They’re discussing the dads in Duke’s class, some of whom Sam has hooked up with in the past.
“What about Charles’s dad? What about him?” asks Duke.
Yet its return promises something a little different. Lifetime has graciously gifted audiences with trailers and previews of what kind of theatrics the new season will have when it premieres on Thursday.
Most reality television requires some suspension of disbelief, but this is insane. There is a less-than-zero percent chance that these women did not figure out that that this bland rock-kicker was not in the line of succession to the British throne. It’s not like they didn’t have clues — aside from the important fact that he doesn’t resemble Prince Harry in the slightest, his accent isn’t correct, he suffered from an acute case of flop sweat and his “security detail” was wearing sunglasses that look like they came from the clearance rack at Bass Pro Shops.
And the whole time, “The Hills” had been in on the joke. (Or more distressingly, the joke had been on us.) A doting, enthralled audience was — as Ja Rule put it — hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hoodwinked, led astray.
Take a look at what happens when the artificial laughter is removed from an episode. Without cues on what is and isn’t supposed to be a joke, all that’s left is an awkward and unsettling dialogue that feels as pitiful as looking into the living room window of a bachelor pad in Fort Wayne.
The open-world shooter has become so ubiquitous that games in this genre typically have to go above and beyond to capture my attention. “The Division 2” does not go above and beyond; however, it does capture my attention and, in fact, holds it. The sequel to Ubisoft’s questionable first installment is better in comparison, but still a bit stale. Despite not being inventively new, the game is fun and exploring each block of post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. is a challenge that should be reveled in.
As someone who grew up in Silicon Valley during its most profitable boom, I still have a soft spot for it. One thing Silicon Valley is brilliant at is wrapping capitalist ventures in a shroud of idealism and “changing the world” (hilariously skewered by the creators of the HBO show “Silicon Valley”). We all wanted to grow up and create the next startup. Forget working for the government, or for a university. The best way of improving the world is through private venture. It’s hard to deny that the Valley has had its successes.