Discover more from JENBARTEL.CLUB 🌈✨
Fall 2022 TV Shows
What I'm watching these days 📺✨
There’s been such a flood of amazing shows this season—it’s been hard to keep up with everything, but I thought I’d share what I’ve been watching in case you’re looking for some new entertainment as we approach the holidays.
• ANDOR •
The show I’ve been enjoying most this fall has definitely been Andor (Disney+) which feels weird to say, because I’m generally not a huge Star Wars fan and although I thought The Mandalorian S1 was fun and entertaining, nothing within the franchise has really gripped me (and if I’m being honest, that includes the original trilogy). But I very much enjoyed Rogue One back when it came out, and Andor has been a huge breath of fresh air within the modern media landscape; it doesn’t feature space wizards, or laser swords, or magical aliens—it’s instead the story of the non-chosen people, without special powers, who have always existed in the background of the movies, shows, and games, but have never been the sole focus of any other Star Wars story.
It asks questions about how real rebellions are formed and funded, what level of sacrifice is required to resist a tyrannical empire, and what kinds of people are capable of leading a genuine partisan effort. The costume designs are on a whole other level—not only do they feel “real” and lived-in, they’re aesthetically beautiful (not to mention interesting), and they also do a ton of heavy lifting in supporting narrative story elements and character development. The writing is incredible, the acting is 100% on point, and on top of all of that, it’s got the best droid in the entire Star Wars galaxy, B2EMO:
B2EMO, better known as “Bee”, is a droid well past his prime—with a battery that runs down quickly and a stutter that has developed no doubt as a result of an outdated operating system. I love that this show raises the question of droid mortality. Anyway, even with 2 episodes still left in the first season, I can’t say enough good things about Andor and highly recommend checking it out!
• HOUSE OF THE DRAGON •
I, like millions of people in the mid-2010’s, was an avid Game of Thrones watcher and, like millions of people, was heavily disappointed in the direction of the later seasons—especially S7 and S8. House of the Dragon (HBO) is not GoT, and I think it’d be a mistake to tune in expecting it to fill that same exact void, but it does feel in many ways like GoT walked so HoTD could run.
The show takes place roughly 200 years before the events of Thrones, and is based on the book Fire and Blood, which is a fictional history book about the Targaryen dynasty—told through accounts from several unreliable narrators. What I find most interesting about it is that because of the nature of the book it’s based on, one could interpret the show as the actual, canonical, “true” history of the Targaryen civil war. Because of this, even if you’re a book reader, there’s no way you’ll know every single thing that will happen in the show, which adds a really fun and interesting dynamic.
The first season has ended and we won’t be getting more HoTD until 2024, but it was heartening to see folks make a return to live-tweeting episodes and fervently creating episode reaction memes every Sunday while it was airing. Just like with GoT, the fanbase is hilarious—and some of the memes have been absolutely stellar. The one thing I need to stress though, is that just like Thrones, HoTD is a show featuring a high number of grey characters; it doesn’t really make sense to pick a side, because every character is probably gonna end up being a war criminal to some degree. And that includes the dragons. So if you’re gonna watch it, just enjoy the ride and don’t worry so much about picking a favorite character (at least, not based off of their moral values, lol… because spoiler alert: they’re all pretty bad in one way or another.)
• INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE •
I am such trash for the original 1994 movie, and when the trailer for this show dropped I immediately got myself an AMC+ subscription just for it. It was a short first season (only 7 episodes), but they established a ton and made some really interesting changes to the source material that make the show feel like a fresh take on an old story. Also it’s unbelievably gay. If you’re trashy like me and not squeamish about blood/vampire violence, it’s well worth a watch.
• THE SANDMAN •
The Sandman (Netflix) came out back in August, so it isn’t technically something from my “fall” watch list, but I had to mention it regardless because it was just so good, especially since it was recently announced that the show will be getting a second season. The casting was brilliant, and I always appreciate a comic book adaptation that actually allows the creator of the source material to have some say-so in how the final show turns out. Can’t wait to see what they do with the next season!
• THE RINGS OF POWER •
It feels a little weird recommending The Rings of Power (Amazon Prime) because I’m not sure I actually… liked it, lol.. but I will say this: it’s hard not to at least be curious what the most expensive TV show of all time looks like. I believe the budget for this first season was just over $700 million, and with marketing expenses, overall spending for it came close to $1 billion, which is absolutely insane. There are certainly scenes that look stunning, especially some of the wide shots of new environments, and obviously the CG is all very impressive, but despite this it’s still a little hard to wrap my head around why each episode cost $60 million a pop. I don’t think throwing more money at it necessarily made it better.
I’ve seen all of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan of the franchise. It’s.. fine. It’s fine! It’s entertaining enough. But I’ve always found the heavy reliance on “fantasy tropes” to be kind of boring and The Rings of Power certainly doesn’t stray from that model whatsoever. It’s overly predictable, and the story payoff is pretty lackluster, if I’m being honest.
All that being said, I still think it’s worth a watch if you’re into high fantasy spectacles, and it’s super family-friendly (unlike a lot of the other shows I’ve recommended in this post) so if you have kids who have the attention span to stick with long episode run times, I’d wager they might enjoy it.
• THE PATIENT •
I’ve basically seen no one talking about The Patient (FX) but it’s been an absolutely wild ride and I haven’t been able to peel myself away from every single episode. It’s probably the most opposite to TRoP in that it clearly has a very low budget, short episode run times, and a limited cast, but good grief it’s gripping. I don’t want to spoil anything because I think the less you know going in the better, but I highly recommend this one if you’re into suspense and/or psychological thrillers.
What have you guys been watching this season? Any recommendations for me?