Fall 2016 Television–The Season of Substance

I don’t get to watch much television, but once I find a good show, I’m all in.

This year, I’m just in awe of how bold and beautiful independent shows are getting. Cheap tropes be gone. Strong dialogue from real characters are here and they’re not going anywhere. Outlets like Netflix are allowing producers, writers and actors alike to level the playing field and they’ve wasted no time.

I just finished the first season of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”. Tina Fey has done it once again with a series about women rescued from a doomsday cult. “Kimmy Schmidt” is heavy-handed satire delivered with outrageous and brilliant hilarity. Jane Krakowski’s character is the quintessential classist/racist (I just came from Spirit-Cycle-Class) boss of Kimmy Schmidt (played by Ellie Kemper) one of the rescued cult-women. Schmidt’s super-gay roommate Titus (Titus Burgess) alongside Lilian (Carol Kane) hits hard with commentary about racism, sexism, homophobia, and gentrification with comedic spurn that only Fey can dish out.

Next up on the queue is ‘Atlanta’, already renewed for a second season, Donald Glover, who incidentally wrote for Tina Fey, is packing a half-hour punch of complex and irreverent social commentary coupled with real-life situational irony that no doubt speaks to African-American life and culture in the U.S.

AGENTS of S.H.I.E.L.D is also bringing it this season. Two episodes in and the team, reunited, are already on a roller-coaster ride. It’s all about ghosts this season. Daisy (Quake) has gone vigilante, trying to help “Ghost Rider,” May has been infected by the other ghost “thing” while Coulson, Mack, Jemma and Fitz are trying to unearth the ghost origins at Momentum Laboratories. 70 episodes in and S.H.I.E.L.D never gets stale. Marvel is alive and well, even if we don’t exactly know who Jason O’Mara is. Like all things S.H.I.E.L.D, his story will unfold soon enough.

Rachel Bloom’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” is also coming back in October. The endearing series profiles Bloom’s character, “Rachel Bunch” as she blunders her way through codependency and fantasy addiction on a whole new level. It’s honest and enduring with Broadway, musical interlude. It got a little campy for me towards the end of last season, but I’m ready for the new season. Bring it, sister.

I haven’t even touched on “Better Things” or OWN’s “Queen Sugar.” There’s an entire array of beautifully human art unfolding on internet television right now. It is called “Internet Television”, right? Whatever it is, praise be. Courtney Kemper just killed another Season of “Power”. It was my guilty-pleasure Sunday go-to, but it just kept getting better and better. The season finale was very good cop/bad cop noir. I dug it profusely.

It’s nice to see so much independent art coming out this year–Frank Ocean’s “Endless” and Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” have energized the internet musically, as well. Even Drake has taken heed and gone rogue.

Go rogue, everyone. Seriously. But not too much, or I’ll become a cat-loving-hermit-woman living in a cave, subsisting on tuna fish.

About Kristen Demesilda

Kristen Demesilda
Writer and Photographer for Virago Magazine, Kristen grew up listening to vinyl and highlighting the dictionary. Her work has appeared in IrockJazz.com, The East Harlem Journal, Boston's Culturehive, the Ithacan and other publications. Her love of music cannot be eclipsed by her love of words. She's been coined the "Akira Kurosawa of Blogs" by such people as herself. An aspiring musician, she has a serious penchant for peach-flavored anything, multi-tasking, slow-paced thrillers and dreams of going back to South America, laying on the beach, and drinking from a coconut.
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