May sucked, June was rough, and July was a hot ’n’ stinky — mainly because the heat just bakes us all up like a bunch of angry little ragamuffins. Well, I’m sorry to report there will be no relief in August! It’s shaping up to be a scorcher down here in hell, so the only thing to do is spend your weekends sweating your chesticles off while you stump for progressive candidates in swing districts (DO IT!) and then reward yourself with some spiked lemonade and all the sweet, sweet TV you can consume through your eyeholes. You deserve it! Maybe! Probably not! Whatever, it’s too hot to argue.
Random Acts of Flyness (HBO), August 3
From artist-filmmaker Terence Nance comes a new entry into the late-night scene — the show will feature interconnected vignettes about American life that play out through scripted and documentary segments, musical performances, and animation. It sounds wild and wholly original, and I can’t wait to watch it and understand, like, 30 percent of it because it’s too fucking cool for us muggles. I’m into it. This is culture, and culture is (sometimes) very good.
Lodge 49 (AMC), August 6
From executive producer Paul Giamatti comes a dramedy about a young white male loser bro who’s saved from himself when he stumbles into a local fraternal lodge. The cast is charming, and I’m sure Paulie G wouldn’t put his name on garbage, but I just can’t watch another show starring a stunted white dude who comes of age when he’s, like, forty. Like, who cares? Maybe you! Maybe you’ll watch this and tell me it’s great and then I’ll watch it and say to myself, “Damn, Laura! Sometimes you are such a judgmental little b! Do better, baby!” Thank you!!!
Insatiable (Netflix), August 10
A show about a former fat girl who loses weight and then gets vengeance on the people who were mean to her. Ugh.
Wait, you know what? I’m gonna pop off, so feel free to skip to the next section, but actually this is important so you’d better read it — and trust me, I’ll know if you didn’t.
OK: Why couldn’t it be a show about a fat girl who gets vengeance on the people who were mean to her WHILE SHE IS STILL FAT? Because that’s my life, bbs! I’m constantly dunking on idiots who called me names in middle school — and because I’m fat like an elephant, I never forget. Seriously, my nightly walks are just me planning out how to terrorize various different Ashleys. Sleep with one eye open, ladies!
ANYWAY, this show is not that, because fat women aren’t allowed to be on TV unless they hate themselves and are actively trying to get skinny. Yes, there are a few exceptions — Nicole Byer on (the sadly canceled) Loosely Exactly Nicole and Louie Anderson as Christine Baskets on Baskets. Yes, one of the two examples is a man playing a woman. Yes, things are bad. And that’s because, by and large (come for me!), television is a reflection of society. And so it’s very hateful toward fat body-ody-odies, and fat women in particular.
How badass and revolutionary would this show be if it were a fat girl just being all, “Guess what? Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you! Who’s next? Let’s eat!” The correct answer is: VERY VERY BADASS. Hollywood, I have scripts for several pilots starring BBWs* so sashay this way if you want to correct this problem pronto. If not, continue to make garbage like this and know that it probably won’t tank but a lot of the reason why is because society hates women. Good for you!
Oh, and the show features a thin actress in a fat suit and I’ve written extensively about why this is so so so bad! What a mess.
Disenchantment (Netflix), August 17
When The Simpsons/Futurama’s Matt Groening isn’t busy being hella dumb and wrong about Apu, he’s creating a new TV show starring Abbi Jacobson as a princess who gives the middle finger to her predestined life as a wife and hits the road with a demon and an elf. It features a lot of the Futurama voice cast — Billy West, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille — so that’s fun. I don’t know! I’m not particularly jazzed on it, but maybe that’s because I wish it was coming to us from the people behind Broad City as opposed to the dude who is hella belligerent about changing one of his racist characters. I just can’t get it up for these old white dudes rn! Take it up with my nethers!
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Amazon Prime Video), August 31
Well, well, well, Jack Ryan is back, and this time he’s on the small screen and being played by Jim from The Office (I don’t care what else you ever do, Big Tuna, you will always be Jim from The Office to me and a million other people who find you to be SHA-WING!).
Jim plays a modern-day Ryan** — a CIA analyst who has his first field assignment thwarting a terrorist attack and yada yada yada. The show has an eight-episode run and has already been renewed for a second season, so I bet it’ll be hella exciting. I hope it features a president being taken hostage on a plane, because that would really set my loins on fire. There’s just something about movies with presidents on planes that really gets me going — the power! The danger! The FAA! OK, listen I gotta go. Goodbye from me and my vagina (we co-write this every month).
* That’s “Big Beautiful Women,” not “Build a Bear Workshop,” which is publicly traded as BBW. Don’t get confused! That’s what they want!!
** I originally wrote “Jack Reacher” here because apparently there are two different heroic white men paperback adventure characters named Jack R, and I got confused. PLEASE LORD SOMEONE DIVERSIFY THE SHIT THAT GETS MADE. My poor brain.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 1, 2018