March Madness: Pleasant Acres

In our final games today for March Madness, we present 16 shows with fully-realized universes. This is another subdivided division — what can I say, there’s a lot of repetition in the media — and then we have only two more divided regions.

As for Pleasant Acres, we have eight shows about families (We Are Family) and eight with worlds so…well, it’s called A Place to Visit.

GLOW, only in its second season on Netflix, is facing Jane the Virgin, which is beginning its fifth and final season.

Jason asked to write about GLOW, and who am I to deny him that pleasure?

Love, sisterhood, double suplexes, brooding, cocaine-fueled Marc Maron — GLOW, based loosely on the 1980s Saturday morning show and wrestling league, has it all. Its second season found the gang fracturing, and Alison Brie’s Ruth/Zoya riding a rollercoaster that may or may not end in a crown (I will spoil that there is a battle royale). As always, the TV show is on the line.

Jane the Virgin is tying up loose ends. Set in Miami, spun off from the Mexican telenovela of the same name and premise, the show features all the heart, drama, and sisterhood its original counterpart and its competitor has. It has also, thankfully, given us the divine Gina Rodriguez.

Jason asked to take the lead on Grace and Frankie:

After ending the fourth season on an absolute bummer — one made worse by the misguided actions being out of character for all those involved — the Netflix comedy about a pair of rival septuagenarians who embrace a rocky, but fruitful friendship after their husbands marry each other rebounded by returning the comedy to the strength of the Oscar-winning cast led by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

It’s almost unfair to ask the quiet Canadian hit to take on Fonda and Tomlin, but here we are: finding an audience on Netflix, Kim’s Convenience, based on a stage play of the same name, follows the Kim family, living in Toronto and doing their best. Filled with warmth and humor, it’s the best Netflix has offered in a long time, truly.

That leaves us with A Place to Visit. Pitting two East Coast (I’d argue they’re both New York, even as one slowly wades deeper into New Jersey) shows that seem wacky on the outside but are deeply warm and human. Bob’s Burgers is a family sitcom about four people who truly, deeply love each other, despite the hijinks they drag each other into. We have covered the series extensively on this blog, and it regularly makes it into the top two in the annual March Madness competition. High Maintenance is definitely set in New York, and is about more than the neighborhood weed guy, it’s about what it means to live and love. I’ve covered that extensively in my own tweets about this season’s character Mamie:

New York felt the next story was better, but I disagree. I also think “Dongle” was better than they do, and you can see how you’d re-order each episode in their piece here.

That leaves us with Terrace House versus The Good Place, admittedly not a world I want to visit. Terrace House is The Real World for today’s generation. I’ll let Jason explain:

This Japanese import has been said to have brought the reality back to the reality show genre: it’s Big Brother or The Real World, only a tad more positive, more Japanese, and while they won’t always stop being friends, they do actually become real.

I don’t think Terrace House exists in the same world as The Good Place, which may be evidence that we’re not in the Bad Place after all. It feels that way sometimes, and though the show is built heavily on philosophical arguments, it never preaches. The Good Place won last year’s tournament.

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