Last season of The Good Place turned that show into one of my absolute favorite shows currently airing on TV. It had brilliant world-building, superb characters, and genuinely funny situations. Not to mention a whole lot of genuine emotions. It’s such a well-written show that it’s always a little worrying to think about how the cast and crew could possibly live up to, or even top, all that had already happened. Would this third season be a bit of a disappointment after how last season’s finale ended? The short answer is: Nope! The longer answer requires a bit more time to get into. I’m gonna try and keep this preview/review as spoiler-free as possible, restricting any potential spoilers to things that have already been revealed (the clip of the first three minutes of the premiere revealed by NBC a few weeks ago, the official sneak peek of season three released about a week and a half ago, the Entertainment Weekly first look images, or any other public information from Comic-Con or other interviews).
From creator Michael Schur comes a unique comedy about what makes a good person. The show follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), an ordinary woman who enters the afterlife, and thanks to some kind of error, is sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad Place (which is definitely where she belongs). While hiding in plain sight from Good Place Architect Michael (Ted Danson), she’s determined to shed her old way of living and earn her spot.
The first two seasons featured surprise after surprise and twist after twist, including a world-upending season one finale that threw everything up in the air. At the end of season two, Michael appeared in front of the Judge (Maya Rudolph) to argue that the humans may have been judged unfairly, and deserve a second chance. With a snap of her fingers, the Judge sent the humans back to Earth, in a new timeline where they never died.
Also seeking redemption, along with Eleanor, are Senegalese philosopher Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper), who is tortured by decision-making; elegant Pakistani-British socialite Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil) and dance-obsessed Floridian Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto). Michael is aided by Janet (D’Arcy Carden), a human-esque repository for all of the knowledge in the universe.
All good things must come to an end, and it’s a shame that it’s looking like this might be more than a season finale for Trial & Error. If this is the final ending for this great show, at least it’s a stellar one. Trial & Error: Lady, Killer is the second season of Trial & Error, a comedy mockumentary created by Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller, and follows lawyer Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agosto) and his associates, Dwayne Reed (Steven Boyer) and Anne Flatch (Sherri Shepherd), as they defend someone from murder charges being brought about by Carol-Anne Keane (Jayma Mays). In these episodes, Josh is trying to prove that Jesse-Ray Beaumont (Michael Hitchcock) wasn’t responsible for the murder of Lavinia Peck-Foster’s (Kristen Chenoweth) brother, Chet, and that it was really Lavinia who was his murderer.
“A Big Break”: Josh and his team continue to find themselves at literal dead ends in their casework until they unearth game-changing evidence with the help of Jesse Ray Beaumont. Meanwhile, in court, Carol Anne tries to finish the case before she has the baby. (Written by Jeff Astrof and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)
“Barcelona”: As Jesse Ray Beaumont’s trial begins, the team struggles to keep him under control while they discover more of Lavinia’s secrets. Now that the baby is born and awaiting the DA election results, Carol Anne discovers who is the baby’s father. (Written by Jeff Astrof and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)
This review will contain spoilers for the season finale of Trial & Error. Read at your own risk… (more…)
Tonight’s episodes of Trial & Error: Lady, Killer were unexpected in the best possible way. It would have been so easy for the show to just do what it did last year and have the trial last the entirety of the season, but nope. That’s too easy for this team and Trial & Error is a better show because of it. Created by Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller, Trial & Error: Lady, Killer follows the fictional trial of Lavinia Peck-Foster (Kristen Chenoweth) as she’s defended from murder charges by lawyer Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agosto) in the town of East Peck, South Carolina.
A Change in the Team: After Dwayne testifies on the prosecution’s behalf and dismantles the timeline they established, Lavinia pressures Josh to fire Dwayne. Dwayne redeems himself when he stumbles onto a big break in the case leading to a shocking confession and Josh winning Lavinia’s case. (Written by Patrick Kang and Michael Levin and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)
New Case, Old Murder: In the aftermath of winning Lavinia’s case, the town finally embraces Josh as a real Pecker. However, Josh agonizes over whether or not Lavinia may have done it and, unable to try Lavinia again for Edgar’s murder, Josh takes a big swing by trying to open an old case. (Written by Melanie Boysaw and Nora Nolan and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)
Since there are no new episodes of Trial & Error: Lady, Killer airing this week, I thought I’d dedicate a post to talking about the official companion podcast to the show, MTowne: Where Murder Happens. Hosted by Nina Rudolph (played by Amanda Payton), MTowne is a podcast that’s set within the universe of Trial & Error. It’s frequently mentioned throughout the second season and the host of the podcast, Nina Rudolph, is a main character in the season. In the same way that Trial and Error parodies true-crime TV documentaries, MTowne parodies true-crime podcasts (such as Serial). It’s a whole lot of fun and really offers a lot of new information about this season of Trial & Error.
“M-Towne: Where Murder Happens” is a narrative podcast companion series to the NBC summer comedy “Trial & Error: Lady, Killer.” Hosted by podcast producer character Nina Rudolph, “M-Towne” parallels the on-air season, exploring juicy details in the murder case of Lavinia Peck-Foster, the honorary matriarch of the small Southern town of East Peck. Parodying podcasts like “Serial,” “M-Towne: Where Murder Happens” pokes fun at all the tropes of the true crime podcast genre in this hilarious, yet bonus-content-rich send-up.
A good ongoing mystery show is only as good as its twists, turns, and red herrings. Trial & Error: Lady, Killer continues to provide us with countless twists and turns and cliffhangers. Created by Jeffrey Blitz and Matt Miller, Trial & Error: Lady, Killer is the second season of NBC’s true-crime satirizing comedy Trial & Error. This season follows the trial of Lavinia Peck-Foster (Kristen Chenoweth) as Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agosto) and his Associates (Anne (Sherri Shepherd) and Dwayne (Stephen Boyer)) defend her against prosecutor Carol-Anne Keaton (Jayma Mays).
“The Murder Clock”: Josh’s team continues to hunt for the potential murder weapon that would seal their timeline. The case takes a dramatic turn as their search leads them to two new suspects and some shocking news about Lavinia. (Written by Liz Astrof and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)
“A Hole in the Case”: As the trial begins, Josh and his team experience some hiccups in proving Lavinia’s innocence to the judge. As soon as Josh thinks he’s been able to find cause for dismissal of the case, Carol Anne argues to test the timeline herself, leading them to uncover a hidden passageway on Lavinia’s property. (Written by David Booth and directed by Yana Gorskaya)
NOTE: There will be spoilers for episodes 3 and 4 of Trial & Error: Lady, Killer.
It may be more than a year after the first season of NBC’s Trial & Error finished airing, but the second season makes it feel like no time has passed. Season 2 of Trial & Error is a perfect continuation of the first season in every way and the writers and directors haven’t missed a beat. Trial & Error is a comedic anthology series that follows defense attorney Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agostoa), and his associates: Dwayne Reed (Steven Boyer) and Anne Flatch (Sherri Shepherd) as they go toe-to-toe against town prosecutor Carol Anne Keane (Jayma Mays) in a new murder trial in the small town of East Peck, South Caroline. This season’s defendant: Lavinia Peck-Foster (Kristen Chenoweth), First Lady of East Peck.
“The Suitcase”: Josh Segal and Associates get their first case, defending Lavinia Peck-Foster, the eccentric First Lady of East Peck who was found with husband Edgar’s corpse in a suitcase in her trunk. Lavinia is surly, entitled, larger than life and, instead of hugs, her currency of connection is a face slap. On the other hand, she is wealthy so she can pay him. Winning this case could be Josh’s ticket for his true goal, to be considered a “Pecker.” Unfortunately, complications and bodies keep piling up and there are more questions than answers. (Written by Jeff Astrof and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)
“The Timeline”: When Judge Kamiltow rules that Lavinia must stand trial for the murder of her husband, Josh and the team try to poke holes in the timeline of the case Carol Anne will present. But when a clock is determined to be the murder weapon, they are forced to seek help from two unlikely sources — the convicted murderer of Lavinia’s brother and the host of a popular murder podcast called “M-Town.” (Written by Craig Gerard & Matthew Zinman and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)
TIMELESS — “The Salem Witch Hunt” Episode 204 — Pictured: (l-r) Michael Barrett as Rufus Carlin, Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Goran Visnjic as Garcia Flynn — (Photo by Patrick Wymore/NBC)
It only took four episodes, but season 2 of Timeless finally delivers an episode that lives up to the promise of its premise. Written by Kent Rotherham and directed by Guy Ferland, The Salem Witch Hunt follows the Time Team as they travel back to Salem Massachusetts, 1693. While Wyatt (Matt Lanter) sneaks away from the bunker to face an unbelievable truth, Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) and their former enemy-turned- teammate, Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic), chase the Mothership to the Salem Witch Trials. There they must prevent the execution of a headstrong young woman – Abiah (guest star Sofia Vassilieva), who, it turns out, is the mother of one of the most consequential Americans of all time – the yet to be born Benjamin Franklin. When Lucy is accused of being a witch, the team rallies together to save Abiah, Lucy, and all the other accused women. (This review features spoilers for this episode.) (more…)
TIMELESS — “Hollywoodland” Episode 203 — Pictured: (l-r) Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin, Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan — (Photo by Justin Lubin/NBC)
Timeless continues to be a bit of a mixed bag. On paper, I really like this episode. In execution, it’s better than the previous episode (The Darlington 500) but still not as good as it should be. Much of that is down to the fact that the stakes are never clearly defined and the motivations of key characters are underexplored – but more on that soon. Written by Matt Whitney and directed by John Showalter, Hollywoodland is the third episode of the second season of Timeless. When a Rittenhouse sleeper agent in 1941 Hollywood steals the only copy of Citizen Kane, Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt (Matt Lanter) and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) team up with Hedy Lamarr (guest star Alyssa Sutherland) to get it back. Hedy Lamarr turns out to be not only a glamorous movie star but also a scientific wizard whose discoveries led to the invention of Wi-Fi. (This review features spoilers for the episode.)(more…)
Rise is definitely a mixed bag. In some ways, it’s exactly the kind of show you’d expect from the creator of Parenthood. In other ways, it doesn’t hold a candle to the quality of that show. That being said, Rise is an enjoyable show with a pilot that does a poor job selling the show’s qualities. From Jason Katims, executive producer and showrunner of “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood,” and “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller, comes a heartening new drama about finding inspiration in unexpected places. When dedicated teacher Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor) sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theater department, he galvanizes not only the faculty and students but the entire working-class town. The cast includes Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez, Auli’i Cravalho, Damon J. Gillespie, Marley Shelton, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Amy Forsyth, Casey W. Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett, and Shirley Rumierk. This review contains very minor and vague spoilers for the show (no major spoilers will be revealed, but general elements from the entire season will be discussed) (more…)
I love a good time travel based show – I mean, I’m in an eternal love affair with Doctor Who for Pete’s sake – and Timeless is a pretty good time travel show. It has its ups and downs, for sure, but at the end of the day, it’s a pretty enjoyable show. From Eric Kripke (“Revolution,” “Supernatural”) and Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”), Season 2 of this thrilling action-adventure series will pick up right where we left off with our heroes in the explosive Season 1 finale. We continue to race throughout history with our beloved team: Rufus (Malcolm Barrett), a scientist; Wyatt (Matt Lanter), a soldier; and Lucy (Abigail Spencer), a history professor, in an attempt to prevent the destruction of our world as we all know it. This season they’ll find an unlikely ally in their quest to ruin Rittenhouse, a deadly organization with plans to change history and reshape reality — even though Lucy’s family has been a part of Rittenhouse for centuries. Still making every effort not to affect the past themselves, they will visit 1692, 1917, 1941, 1981 and more. We’ll be introduced to the likes of Marie Curie, Hedy Lamarr, William Randolph Hearst and a multitude of other influential people throughout history. (This review will contain spoilers for all of season 1 and the first episode of season 2)(more…)