Sunday, September 26, 2021

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Cold case


Thursday, Oct. 8 (Crackle)
Series Debut: Geezer superhero Titanium Rex (voiced by Bryan Cranston) and his equally creaky League of Freedom live together in the SuperMansion when not out fighting crime and/or the battle to remain relevant. This senior-citizen stop-motion “Avengers” looks like “Robot Chicken” because it’s from the same creators, but the humor is geared toward (slightly) longer attention spans. Best of all, the League of Freedom counts among its members American Ranger, Black Saturn, Cooch and … RoboBot.

“Red Oaks”
Friday, Oct. 9 (Amazon Prime)
Series Debut: If Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” revival didn’t satiate your hunger for retro ’80s comedy, here’s “Red Oaks”: the “Caddyshack 2” we deserved 27 years ago. College student David (Craig Roberts) takes a tennis instructor job at Red Oaks country club in the summer of 1985, and every glorious coming-of-age lesson, fashion catastrophe and cheesy music underscore of the era unfolds — in a surprisingly earnest, non-parodic manner. Killer pilot, but Amazon’s “Hand of God” proved you can’t always trust the first taste.

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
Monday, Oct. 12 (The CW)
Series Debut: It was originally developed as a half-hour comedy for Showtime, but now it’s a full-hour dramedy on The CW, where you’ll have to imagine your own profanity and nudity. The setup: A successful-but-lonely New York City lawyer (Rachel Bloom) impulsively moves to California to pursue/stalk her high school sweetheart. And not the good part of California, if there is such a thing: Los Angeles suburb West Covina, “Two hours from the beach! Four with traffic,” as the song-and-dance number goes. Did I mention that “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is also a musical? Just like “Jane the Virgin” last season, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is a wild, original swing that could hit big or fail spectacularly. Either way, there’s nothing else like it on TV — maybe Showtime blew it.

“Fargo”FARGO -- Pictured: Patrick Wilson as Lou Solverson.CR: Mathias Clamer/FX
Monday, Oct. 12 (FX)

Season Premiere: The 2014 debut season of “Fargo” recaptured and redirected the dark humor of the 1996 Coen Brothers film; Season 2 refines and expands upon it. Set in 1979 — a year rife with hilarious hair and clothing choices, all exploited here — this “Fargo” story follows an escalating turf war between small-town thugs and big-city crime bosses, adding to the headaches of local cop Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson, playing the younger version of Keith Carradine’s character from Season 1), who not only has a child and cancer-striken wife (Cristin Millioti) at home, but also a new assignment to protect a visiting presidential candidate on the campaign trail, one Ronald Reagan (Bruce Campbell). And those are only three of multiple intersecting storylines and characters (colorfully delivered by Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Ted Danson, Jean Smart, Jeffrey Donovan, Nick Offerman, Bokeem Woodbine, Brad Garrett and more). It’s a seemingly overwhelming abundance of people and predicaments, but series creator/writer Nick Hawley again makes it all flow effortlessly. If you’re still feeling let down by “True Detective,” “Fargo” might well be the American crime-anthology series you’re looking for. CV

Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on the TV Tan Podcast (Tuesdays on iTunes and Stitcher), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.

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