Author Archives: Tim Malcolm

SPEECHLESS Review: “C-a-Camp”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 23 – J.J. heads to summer camp in the season finale of Speechless, but not before acting out against the family in an effort to hide his nervousness. His relationship issues with Maya comes to another head, showing the strength of writing and acting in a series worthy of high praise.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “M-a-May-Jay”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 22 – With one episode to go before its first season ends, Speechless hits all the right notes and finds its characters comfortable in a dynamic episode. J.J. puts himself at risk while Ray and Dylan compete for running glory.

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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Review: “When the Going Gets Tough” / “Nature’s Horchata”

Last Man on Earth ExcerptSeason 3, Episodes 17-18 – Plenty of our questions are answered in the season (maybe series) finale of The Last Man on Earth, with cameos, little miracles and big disasters. Balancing all of it with stellar work from the supporting cast, the double shot is a worthy finish for season three.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “P-r-Prom”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 21 – In arguably a necessary episode, Speechless confronts a loaded word, putting Ray in a tough spot as he and J.J. celebrate prom night. All this while we finally get some closure on Kenneth’s status in the family dynamic.

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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Review: “The Big Day”

Last Man on Earth ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 16 – The Last Man on Earth takes a giant leap forward, for good and for bad, in an episode that ultimately focuses back on Phil. What else is new? So much plot to talk about as the survivors creep closer to the season (maybe series?) finale.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “R-u-n-Runaway”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 20 – When Maya finds out J.J. ran away from home, she puts the running away in her own hands, justifying J.J.’s anger in an impressive episode of Speechless. With a few episodes before the first season ends, it’s obvious this is a series wanting to say serious things about independence and respect.

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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Review: ‘Name 20 Picnics… Now!’

Last Man on Earth ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 15 – Welcome back, The Last Man on Earth, and after a two-week hiatus, we get a pretty insightful look at how the survivors are misunderstanding what a child (and really, everyone) needs. And we get a massive party!

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SPEECHLESS Review: “C-h-Cheater!”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 19 – It started like yet another bad episode of Speechless – obvious setups, poorly drawn characters, and of all things, Ray involved in a pyramid scheme – but a change in tone regarding J.J.’s future brings a needed dose of reality to the series.

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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Review: “Point Person Knows Best”

Last Man on Earth ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 14 – We have a new visitor on The Last Man on Earth, but the writing staff bungles the storyline by making it all about Tandy. Also, Carol gets angry at Gail and Todd, and Melissa says nothing.

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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Review: “Find This Thing We Need To”

Last Man on Earth ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 13 – Is The Last Man on Earth creeping toward some big reveal for the end of season three? Probably, but it’s taking a while to get there, as a new creature shows “face” to the survivors.

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BASKETS Review: “Circus”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 10 – Baskets closes its outstanding second season with an episode that felt a little more like a short film than the typical half-hour. And a lot happens as the family determines its future.

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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Review: “Hair of the Dog”

Last Man on Earth ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 12 – The stakes are increasing as The Last Man on Earth reaches its possible end, but do we feel it? As half the group attempts to understand Melissa’s past, and the other half deals with Gail’s return, we need a greater response.

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BASKETS Review: “Yard Sale”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 9 – A lot of plot development is covered this week on Baskets, as Chip helps an old friend, Dale’s life is turned upside down, and Christine finds herself empowered. Another exceptional episode as we near the end of season two.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “D-i-Ding”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 18 – Yikes. Speechless goes to the grocery store, and the result is the worst episode of the season. Ray and Maya dispute about a car dent, Dylan and Jimmy steal soda, and J.J. is a human roadblock for a bad guy. Oh, and you won’t believe how Kenneth is shoehorned into this.

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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Review: “The Spirit of St. Lewis”

Last Man on Earth ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 11 – A shocking twist finds our group in even more dire straits, but maybe Phil’s plan will help the group after all in this episode of The Last Man on Earth, which thankfully has a little bit of everything.

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BASKETS Review: “Funeral”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 8 – Everybody comes back for Mee-maw’s funeral, and the power of sibling relationships takes center stage. Chip and Dale deal with Cody and Logan’s strife in an unnecessary detour, while Christine struggles to see eye-to-eye with her brother Jim in a more poignant plot. And then there’s whiskey salad. Mmmm.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “S-U-R-SURPRISE”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 17 – It’s Dylan’s birthday, which means Maya is ready to surprise her with a huge party. Meanwhile Ray loses J.J. out in public, and Jimmy and Kenneth fight about barbecue. Like other weak Speechless episodes, this one jumps through a few too many hoops.

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THE LAST MAN ON EARTH Review: “Got Milk?”

Last Man on Earth ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 10 – The Last Man on Earth returns for the spring and gives us a standalone half-hour of Kristen Wiig descending into madness. Veering from the main cast, the show tells the story of the beginning of the virus that wiped out humanity, focusing on Wiig’s socialite and her little dog.

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BASKETS Review: “Denver”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 7 – Christine puts her love in her own hands by taking a trip to Denver in this episode of Baskets, and Louie Anderson likely cements another Emmy nomination with his performance. Meanwhile Chip has to take his grandmother to the doctor.

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BASKETS Review: “Marthager”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 6 – In a necessary episode that sets us up for the remainder of season two, Baskets quietly deals with Chip and Martha’s friendship and Christine’s ability to put herself first. Maybe we need a little more, but it’s nevertheless a pleasant episode.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “O-s-Oscar P-a-Party”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 16 – It’s Oscar night at the DiMeo house, which is bad news for Speechless. Too many plots, too many poorly drawn characters and a lack of clever storytelling makes for a cringe-worthy episode of an otherwise good show.

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BASKETS Review: “Fight”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 5 – After the four-episode arc that started season two of Baskets, things are slowed down even more with a low-stakes series of events that further highlights the family dysfunction. Chip and Dale get angry at each other and wreck the house, while Christine heads to Costco.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “T-h-The C-l-Club”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 15 – It’s a welcome return to form for Speechless, with fine chemistry and character development. Ray finds a home at a country club, while J.J. and Kenneth have a fight about the aide’s free time.

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BASKETS Review: “Ronald Reagan Library”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 4 – The slow pace of Season 2 of Baskets continues, as we find Christine and Chip waiting out the latter’s sentencing by visiting the museum honoring our 40th president. Christine finds friendship while Chip seeks closure in this sweet, poignant episode.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “V-a-l-Valentine’s D-a-Day”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 14 – After a couple weeks off, Speechless comes back with an cute but ineffective episode about Valentine’s Day that tries to pack in too much. J.J. eats too much candy, Ray gets his heart broken, and Maya and Jimmy attempt to re-heat their marriage.

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BASKETS Review: “Bail”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 3 – Focus returns to ancillary characters this week on Baskets, as Christine posts bail for Chip, while Dale attempts to take his relationship with Martha to the next level. And everyone is trying to wrestle away control of their own lives.

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BASKETS Review: “Reverie”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 2 – In a beautiful and powerful episode of Baskets, Chip, still on the run with a band of homeless drifters, starts feeling pain and anxiety while remembering the happiness he left behind. A shocking twist forces Chip to come full circle in realizing the errors of his ways.

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BASKETS Review: “Freaks”

baskets excerptSeason 2, Episode 1 – Welcome to the second season of FX’s Baskets, the dark comedy about a clown, in more ways than one. And said clown Chip is on the run, meeting up with some interesting folks, while Christine begins worrying about her son’s whereabouts.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “S-i-Sick D-a-Day”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 13 – Nearly everyone comes down with a bad cold in Speechless, which slows everything down for the DiMeo family. But everyone tries to do their part, from Jimmy taking over Maya’s mom duties, to Dylan reading J.J.’s board for an ailing Kenneth. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t, but the result is a terrific episode.

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SPEECHLESS Review: “H-e-r-Hero”

Speechless ExcerptSeason 1, Episode 12 – J.J. is back in the spotlight this week on Speechless, becoming a hero to some high school kid, but Ray has trouble accepting that his own brother could be an inspiration. Maya and Jimmy have trouble securing a good wheelchair for their son, so they take it to the track – in more ways than one.

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