What’cha Watchin’?

Screengrabs from the Chronicle staff


Red Oaks

The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Dexter – the immortals serve up scarring violence. And not even particularly bloodthirsty most of the time, just in spots that stain you forever: Stringer Bell, Christopher Moltisanti, Doakes.

Hardcore dramas, all of them. We finally snapped during the second season of Ray Donovan, and season 4 of Homeland proved the last straw. Enough with the murder and mayhem. We drown in it daily. Mind you, as soon as Amazon Prime posts season 4 of The Americans, we're there. And when the third season of Fargo drops on Hulu, bring on Ewan McGregor!

Otherwise, we're done with soul-rending verisimilitude.

When Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin finally soured, then, we settled on Gael García Bernal in Mozart in the Jungle – sweet, funny, short. (The show, too.) From there, cable sitcoms fell like dominoes: trans-Atlantic hookup Catastrophe on Amazon, Dear White People's collegiate race hijinks on Netflix, and tragically euthanized network misfire Downward Dog on Hulu.

Neither my wife nor I were allowed to watch TV growing up. Fleeting windows allowed me The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Upstairs/Downstairs, and The Duchess of Duke Street. She got Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas. We've stopped going out to movies altogether, and not just thanks to the three-foot-high Tumble Leaf (brilliant, beautiful) enthusiast tearing around our house. We communicate through these shows, confab, consider.

Step off.

So the hip-hop dues of Atlanta on Hulu and Italian feast of Master of None on Netflix rule. Season 3 of Red Oaks – every heartfelt Eighties teen comedy rolled into one – dropped last Friday on Amazon. Just don't tell my spouse about my bingeing season 1 of Banshee, also Amazon, a series as violent as Breaking Bad but as righteous as Justified.

After all, a dude's gotta have some bare-knuckle outlet for this reality series gone to hell that we call "civilization."

– Music Editor Raoul Hernandez

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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