Monday, November 23, 2020

Music, Mother, McBride: Three Great TV Shows To Watch While In Lockdown

With artists from the worlds of Country and Funk (so far, along with their friends, and business associates) retelling stories from the road about the biggest stars in the musical universe, Cinemax's "Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus" has been a favorite lately. See Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as roommates, or Prince making Rick James nervous, or that one time James Brown forced Bootsy Collins to give him some LSD by accident - actually there's a LOT of guns and LSD in this show. That's the music world. It's still a revelation, even if you're a musicologist and think you know these artists well, because with Mike Judge (of "King of the Hill", "Beevis & Butthead", and "Office Space" fame) as narrator, it will always find the humanity in each new absurdity, and in equal measure. And that's a treasure, to be treasured. Please watch this program.

The new Sci-Fi epic "Raised By Wolves" has been mentioned here before, because the first episode was on YouTube as a teaser, and it's lead character - the android "Mother" - is quite the tasty morsel. Unfortunately, the entire HBO Max series still hasn't been screened, but, if this opener is any indication of the quality of the rest, that's an oversight in need of quick correcting, by us all. Get on it. 

The best of the lot. Trying to tell a serious tale of American slavery - with humor and humanity - now that's a challenge. But, it's one that was finally conquered as soon as Ethan Hawke grew a beard to play the great abolitionist "crazy" John Browne in Showtime's fine production of James McBride's "The Good Lord Bird". The first TV show, in a long time, worth pining for new episodes to drop, the ending (after just six) is as sad as it is inevitable, but also as joyful for the same reason: the Civil War was coming, just as he said, and then we'd all be free. So watch this show, and be free - now: It'll make you glad to be an American again. 

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