Sunday’s Best: The Deuce

Leave the recap-review game for a few months and everything changes. We’ve got new sites (including an impeccably no-frills-edly named one), huge sources – like IGN and Vulture seemingly slowly bowing out, and everyone loves The Deuce now. So let’s dig right in:

Sunday, September 24th’s Best Reviewed: The Deuce [8.7/10]

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NYC’s most fabulous mayor drops into The Deuce‘s world and if the gritty HBO serial about the 1970s sex trade scene were to ask his famous catch phrase, we’d have to answer it’s doin’ just fine. AV Club‘s Noel Murray (who takes over the review reins this week) notes in an A- review that was wonderfully written, but short on opinionated pull quotes, “the people look classier but still suck.” Nathaniel Muir of Adventures in Poor Taste! gives the show the highest rating of the night and is especially taken with one relationship: “the stars of episode three are C.C and Lori. The two have a great dynamic that continues as the two are separated for the first time since their chance encounter in the series premiere.” The closest thing to a negative review comes from the new-to-us RSC! (Ready Steady Cut!), where recapper Amber Kelly has become disenchanted with the Mafia subplots, confessing she “often find these scenes harder to invest in, in part because I am not particularly interested in most of these characters and they often feel slightly like a rip off of Casinoand Goodfellas.”

The Good

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Insecure – 7.8

The misadventures of Issa Rae continue unabated, and most are still (mostly) compelled by its (and her) awkward and chaotic charm. Ashley Ray-Harris at AV Club sums it up when she gives the episode a solid B+, but found it “hard to review” “As a standalone episode, it had some of the show’s most hilarious moments of the season. But, when you examine “Obsessed-Like” against the show’s entire third season things start to fall apart.” It’s the penultimate episode of season, so hopefully the show brings it together in the breathtaking (and often heartbreaking) way it usually does.

The Meh

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9-1-1 – 7.3

Procedurals don’t always catch recappers eye; one could argue it takes something huge like an earthquake to catch our attention — and that’s what happened on the second season premiere of Fox’s 9-1-1. It works and it doesn’t — as Steve Greene of Indiewire puts it, “[t]he show’s centerpiece catastrophes are still impressively imaginative, but there’s a disconnect when it moves to everyone’s private lives.”

…And The Ugly

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Fear the Walking Dead – 5.75

The Walking Dead‘s first spinoff rarely pleases everyone (and often does not even seem to please itself), and the latest rollercoaster ride is no exception. So say David S.E. Sapanta at Den Of Geek: this episode”stretches credibility with one too many plot contrivances.” That could work for most installments of this compelling but frustrating program.

Shameless – 5.0

While its title, “Weirdo Gallagher Vortex,” was promisingly bizarre, the episode landed with a clunk with reviewers. AV Club’s Myles McNutt captures the spirit of most reviews, observing it “is disposable in a way it never was before.” Maybe nine seasons is its limit, or, hopefully, it will recapture the debauched whimsy which bewitched fans for most of this decade.

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