Amelia Hamilton is an MRC Culture TV Blogger.
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HBO's Here and Now continues to try to set the gold standard for being the most obnoxiously woke show on television. In its premiere last week, we met the main family, the Bayer-Boatwrights, who are made up of an academic, some kind of a counselor (we will see more in this week's episode), and their children adopted from around the world in a show of how "progressive and evolved they are."
The Freeform comedy Grownish follows Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) after she leaves her family home on ABC's Blackish and goes off to college. She's growing up and learning new things and, on the February 14 episode "Erase Your Social," the lesson is about how to handle social media. Of course, they decided to make it about Trump.
Have you been looking to close out your weekend with a program that is insufferable and self-satisfied beyond measure? Then, boy, does HBO have the show for you! Here and Now premiered February 11 with its pilot episode "Eleven, Eleven," which introduced us to the painfully enlightened Bayer-Boatwright family. If you wonder how much of a cliche the show is, it opens with a dude in a man bun riding his bike down the streets of Portland. Of course.
CW's comedy Jane the Virgin has gone through its ups and downs. In the early seasons, it wasn't terribly political. Then it became political (and terrible) as soon as Trump was elected, but it actually chilled out a little this year. So why, in the February 2 episode "Chapter Seventy-Three," did they feel the need to take a random dig at Ivanka Trump?
Fox's new medical drama The Resident was taken to task on Twitter upon its premiere last week for its completely unrealistic portrayal of what goes on in American healthcare and the January 29 episode "Comrades in Arms" was no different as it portrayed medical personnel ordering unnecessary tests to drive up costs and the hospital administration refusing to treat a dying illegal immigrant.
The NBC comedy Superstore spent their January 25 episode exploring the difference between things that are real, things that are imaginary, and things that were once real and are now extinct. The episode title "Angels and Mermaids" might give you a clue as to how they treat faith in those discussions.
Medical drama The Resident premiered on January 21 with its pilot episode, in which we get to know the doctors at the fictional Chastain Park Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Chief of Surgery Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood) is highly-respected but, it turns out, it kind of a a jerk, and has an interesting take on the state of American immigration.
The January 18 episode of Will & Grace was as offensive as ever. They took a bizarre number of shots at the Bible out of nowhere as well as delivering some stale Russia "jokes."
Alone Together is a new show on Freeform which chronicles depressing Millennial best friends Benji (Benji Afalo) and Esther (Esther Povitsky) living in Los Angeles. The second episode, "Road Trip," aired on January 17 and followed the pair going on a road trip with their friend Jeff (Edgar Blackmon) to celebrate Benji's birthday and we find out how they feel about Republicans in what might be the most disgusting way possible.
Proctor & Gamble has a new campaign out called "The Talk," which is encouraging people to talk about bias. Since the main character in Blackish, Dre (Anthony Anderson) works for a marketing firm, the January 16 episode "Bow Knows" was a tie-in with this campaign in which his team is tasked to work on it. Being the sole black member on the team, he spends the episode trying to figure out how to explain to the rest of them that every black parent must have a talk with their kids about the realities they will face.
As the latest season of Shameless nears its conclusion, they're working hard to make sure no Christians will be watching next year. In the January 14 episode "Church of Gay Jesus," Ian (Cameron Monaghan) finds that he is getting more and more famous for being a guy who will "just kind of show up to these conversion things and argue with assholes," and his dad Frank (William H. Macy) decides to cash in.
Common Core must not be very popular if even left-leaning shows like NBC's Great News are taking swipes at it. In the January 11 episode "Competing Offer," when bad guy Fenton Pelt (guest star Jim Rash) can't quite get his story to add up, he blames Common Core math.
Showtime premiered their new drama The Chi on January 7 with a stark and unflinching look at life on Chicago's South Side. Chicago is a city with high unemployment for black men in the state with the nation's highest black unemployment. When one man is asked about being unemployed in The Chi, his response gives interesting insight.
Showtime's Shameless doesn't always live up to its name but, when it does, it really, really does. In the January 7 episode, "The Fugees," gay activist Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) is taking on Christians all over Chicago, shouting lewd things at leaders and congregations alike, which doesn't seem like the most effective way to change minds. Meanwhile, on a trip to Canada, Frank learns to love America again.
NBC's newsroom comedy Great News let the cat out of the bag on the sorry state of modern journalism: If you want to make it in the news biz, you can't be impartial, you have to pick a side and create drama.
In the January 3 premiere of the new spinoff series Grown-ish on Freeform, freshman Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi of ABC's Black-ish) thinks she has the fictional California University all figured out after only three days on campus. Of course, just about everything she's figured out is pretty much worthless and has some kind of political slant to it - all liberal.
On the January 2 episode of ABC's sitcom Blackish, "Working Girl," eight-year-old twins Jack (Miles Brown) and Diane (Marsai Martin) get some terrible advice from their grandmother Ruby (Jenifer Lewis). If you're struggling in school, just use your race to cheat.
Here's hoping Showtime's Shameless decides to leave worn-out tropes in 2017. They certainly closed out the year with a bang, with their New Year's Eve episode "Frank's Northern Shuttle Express" having Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) continue to shuttle "brown people" into Canada for a better life while bringing back cheaper drugs for Americans.
As PC culture continues its march into the ridiculous, NBC sitcom Great News appears to be hurrying it along. Their December 21 episode "PC Culture" saw Carol and Chuck, two of the older members of staff, forced to attend sensitivity training because it is virtually impossible to keep up with what the rules are in order to maintain political correctness. Inititally, they fight back, and they make good points. Too bad the writers couldn't leave it there and had to blame President Trump for the left's inability to enjoy, well, anything.