It’s a Netflix-heavy week here at the Stock, but fear not, for your favorite HBO show recap awaits as well. It’s time for some new TV.
“Anthony Jeselnik: Fire in the Maternity Ward” - TRENDING UP
The comedy world’s most unapologetic, deadpan stand-up comedian has a new hour on Netflix. Spoiler alert, he pulls no punches, offends everyone and kicks up more laughs than should be acceptable for any brand of humor.
“Fire in the Maternity Ward” finds Jeselnik sporting an older, more jaded look, as if he hasn’t seen the spotlight in a long time. But this doesn’t stop him from making jokes about Alzheimer’s, leaving his mom when his dad left her after she got sick, throwing rocks at Jehovah’s Witnesses, tying bells around his grandma’s neck and a whole lot more. Each joke comes with a meticulously timed punchline that brings with it laughs, groans and too often a surprised gasp as if the audience didn’t know who they were going to see perform.
Jeselnik delivers each line with a stone-cold gaze. The inflection and change in pace come solely from his voice and his ability to weave in and out of jokes at a speed that fits perfectly into the hour-long stand-up format. It’s certainly not for everyone. But for those who enjoy laughing at anything and everything from the man who threw a “shark party” on his old show to celebrate a shark killing a human, then this special is the one for you.
“Dead to Me” - TRENDING FLAT
I don’t normally mess with the grading system I’ve become so accustomed to — hell, I think about films as either trending up or trending down — but this show is quite the odd one. The cast is great, and the visual aesthetics are there, but something about this show doesn’t quite land.
“Dead to Me” features an award-worthy performance from the always on-point Christina Applegate as she portrays a widow named Jen trying to cope with the recent hit-and-run death of her husband. She attends meetings with other widowers to try and cope, deals with the stress of her kids not quite overcoming their grief and makes a new friend in Judy (Linda Cardellini), a weird yet important addition to her life. As the story slowly progresses, Judy’s secrets become more prevalent, and Jen slowly begins to uncover the mystery of her husband’s death.
This show is hard to pin down. The growing mystery is intriguing, the two leads have great chemistry, and the show progresses at a decent pace. But they don’t make a cohesive whole. Maybe the narrative is too worn and unoriginal, the odd jumps between tones just don’t click like they should, or the excessive jump cuts from between a character’s different emotions are just a bit over-the-top. At any rate, all this is to say check it out, and decide for yourself.
“Game of Thrones” - TRENDING UP
Oh, Grey Worm. Oh, Missandei. I can’t say I called it when you big idiots started planning your retirement to the beach, but I definitely did. No one should make plans in “Thrones.” It’s almost 100% a death sentence in that world.
“The Last of the Starks” puts most of the important final characters at or near King’s Landing, with Tyrion and Varys bickering and trying to cope with the fact that Dany might be going full-on Mad King. Elsewhere, Jon leads what’s left of the ground troops south, Arya turns down Gendry right after he becomes Lord of Storm’s End, and Jaime and Brienne finally sleep together. But Jaime decides he can’t overcome his guilt and leaves Brienne. Oh yeah, and Cersei kills Missandei and another one of the dragons. Get ready, the table is finally set.
This episode felt in many ways like vintage “Thrones.” Like we were back in season 3 when it took a whole year to get somewhere. The dialogue in this episode shows character’s true motivations, the decisions made by certain people leave them in impossible situations, and the final scenes showcase the surprisingly bitter truth of this show: no one is safe when you play the game of thrones.