Sunday’s Best: Timeless

An insanely busy Sunday yielded almost zero bad reviews, nothing came in at lower than a 7–essentially a “B” average. There were two debuts. Trust tells the same tale as last year’s major motion picture All The Money in the World–the 1973 Getty kidnapping–with Donald Sutherland in the role for which Christopher Plummer was nominated for an Oscar. Its “King Lear” quoting pilot earned solid, if not spectacular, reviews. Bill Hader’s new hitman discovers his muse comedy, Barry, opened to rave notices, but was barely edged out in our algorithm by the runaway time-travel train that is the second season of Timeless.

Sunday, March 25th’s Best Reviewed: Timeless (9.1/10)

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We speculated in yesterday’s What to Watch that “Hollywoodland” sounded like it could be a fun ride of an episode, as our heroic time-traveling trio raced to 1941 to keep the original print of Citizen Kane out of the hands of our Rittenhouse nasties. And reviewers agreed. Den of Geek‘s Michael Ahr observed the episode “hits all the right notes,” and that all the plot twists, while they felt like a “twist of the knife in the gut,” they were “brilliantly executed.” Rosa Maura Lorre of Vulture loves the fit between the setting and the show, noting “Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus were made for witty banter, wacky hijinks, and quick one-liners.” Much has been made of Timeless being lazarus’d at the last minute, granted a second season a few days after fans bemoaned its cancellation. To that effect, Ahr observes “as long as it stays consistent with making the Rittenhouse agents believable in their missions, relating the historical context of the story to the larger Rittenhouse mission or the lives of the protagonists, and occasionally diving into more complex time travel machinations, season two will almost certainly outdo its predecessor. If this episode is any indication, Timeless is on the right track to do just that.”

The Rest of the Night:

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Barry – 8.9

The unveiling of HBO’s newest series, the story of a depressed hitman who stumbles onto stage and finds refuge in its roles, earned top marks for its debut. Created by and starring ex-SNLer Bill Hader, Barry earned the odd comparison to Hellraiser from Vulture‘s Charles Bramesco (in that the series never delved into the mundanity behind the demon facade, nor the “existential weight of Pinhead’s lot in life”). More simply, he dubbed it a “superb series opener.” Vikram Murthi at AV Club recognizes it’s going through any pilot’s expositional motions, but notes “Hader’s restrained portrait of depression elevates the winning material in interesting ways, especially in the acting scenes.”

Ash vs. Evil Dead – 8.3

Father and daughter Ash and Brandy reconcile their missions and Steve Ford at TV Fanatic could not be happier, and he is enjoying the whole season: “It’s amazing to think that we’re halfway through the season already. Time flies when you’re having fun!”

Silicon Valley – 7.6

After a series of deus ex machinas involving a rogue security guard and Guilfoyle’s fortuitous coding during an offhand prank of Jian-Yang, the Silicon Valley guys have turned a corner and Pied Piper is on the precipice of success. Yet, that success will be without T.J. Miller who left, and every day it’s sounding less and less amicable. Michael Rosch at the new (to us) AiPT posits the “episode met the high bar that the series has consistently maintained. TJ Miller’s absence is surprisingly not missed.” Les Chappell of AV Club has some reservations but finds it promising that the show has been “forced out of its comfort zone.”

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Billions – 7.3

Showtime’s Feds vs. Wall Streeters show returns for a third season, hot off of the implosion of the “Ice Juice” scheme. In short, the AV Club‘s Scott Van Doviak finds it “overflowing with complications,” while Vulture‘s Nicole Cliffe “can’t wait to see where we’re headed.”

Homeland – 7.3

As for the neverending tale of Carrie and Sol and the spiraling American Dream, Brian Tallerico at Vulture has the understatement of the century with his parenthetical “Carrie has always liked dangerous men.” And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Trust – 7.3

We return to the House of Getty and the story of its 1973 kidnapping with FX’s Trust, brought to us by the ever steady Danny Boyle. Nick Harley of Den of Geek dubs it “a dark, funny, and stylish addition to the true crime cannon.” Less impressed is AV Club‘s Jesse Hassenger who feels “Boyle slows down to the pace of prestige television.”

The Walking Dead – 7.0

What is the appeal of AMC’s walkerfest if not for its confrontations, and its second straight week of direct conflict brings another week of passable, if not remarkable, reviews. Matt Fowler of IGN gave it the most plaudits (if still with somewhat reserve) as he felt “for the most part “Do Not Send Us Astray” told one violent and direct story (that didn’t run over the hour) as Simon sent the Saviors into the Hilltop to eliminate all enemies.”

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