Hit or Sh** Roundup: Spring 2017

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Spring 2017 was the most decisive season in Crossfader TV history! With only three titles that left us scratching our heads, enjoy this short and sweet recap as we close this chapter and move on to summer!

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PATRIOT (Amazon Prime)

I certainly wasn’t expecting it, but PATRIOT has quickly become my favorite underdog on television. Thankfully it’s been renewed for a second season, and hopefully, the full extent of Amazon’s marketing (*cough* the inescapable season three of BOSCH *cough*) will go into making sure this unsung gem is seen by a viewing public at large. Without a doubt, this is one of the most unique shows currently airing. As referenced during my Hit or Sh**, I’ve never quite seen any other property with the cajones or capability to successfully juggle the tone that PATRIOT does; this is subtly one of the least “PC” shows on television, but does so in such a tactful, genuine, nuanced, and well-rounded manner that you don’t realize you shouldn’t have been laughing at a joke until you’ve been howling on the floor for five minutes. While the segments involving the actual government plot to overthrow Iran’s nuclear capabilities are never as humorous or, to be honest, effective, as John’s experiences at McMillan Industrial Piping, they at least allow some room for slick action scenes and character development, and John’s PTSD is satisfactorily addressed to the point that my complaints about that plot element in my take on the pilot can be revoked. It will take a dark, twisted sense of humor to unlock all of the promise that PATRIOT holds, but there are few, if any, pieces of content that can make me laugh out loud, and this show is one of them. Don’t sleep on the second season. [Thomas Seraydarian]

Final Verdict: Hit

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SHOTS FIRED (FOX)

SHOTS FIRED arrived with grand ambitions, swearing to tackle perhaps the most important and volatile issue of our era with unflinching honesty and thorough attention to detail. I don’t think they quite live up to that ideal, but I honestly doubt that any single TV show, any single work of art even, could encapsulate the issue all on its own. But because it promises the world and only delivers a handful of countries, not everyone will like SHOTS FIRED. In its attempt to maintain the realism of the police shooting narrative through nuanced, sympathetic examinations of victims and police alike, the show ends up tripping over itself occasionally. Clunky lines pop up throughout the series, seemingly always at moments that deserve eloquent punctuation. The personal lives of Ashe and Preston remain distractingly relevant to the story, pushing huge expectations onto characters that really only work as conduits for the larger message rather than as their own figures. Despite these setbacks, SHOTS FIRED portrays and analyzes police shootings and their aftermath through a compelling, detailed story that gets most of the facts right and gives each perspective the weight it deserves. While this is hardly essential viewing, there’s enough substance here to make SHOTS FIRED worth the relatively small time investment. [Dan Blomquist]

Final Verdict: Hit

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TRIAL AND ERROR (NBC)

Despite the fact that TRIAL AND ERROR’s initial episodes are more irritating than funny, I am more than happy to report that the show does find its footing in later episodes by toning down the attempts at Neil Simon-esque zany characters, and blending the sitcom and the murder mystery extremely well. While the jokes are still iffy, the writing in this show is far more impressive than the pilot implied it would be, and each main character has inspired plot lines that round out their personalities and establish compelling dilemmas for them to chew on. The fictional town of East Peck, South Carolina, where the show is set, is also taking on a life of its own in a Pawnee, Indiana sort of way, with a Civil War-era backstory that is undoubtedly one of the show’s highlights. It’s not going to get as good as its NBC mockumentary predecessors, but TRIAL AND ERROR’s first season is an easily digestible and entertaining watch, anchored by a well thought-out seasonal mystery arc and characters that are quite likable when they aren’t trying so hard to be. [Adam Cash]

Final Verdict: Hit

Crossfader Staff

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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