What We're Watching This Week 2/22/18

Photo Courtesy Hulu

Photo Courtesy Hulu

Star Trek: Voyager

I desperately love both the original Star Trek show and The Next Generation update, so I was hesitant to get into later versions of the series. But Voyager, featuring Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) as the first female captain in any of the television series, builds on the legacy of the previous incarnations and breaks ground with a higher production quality and a unique premise. The series begins with the crew thrown 70,000 light years away from their neck of the galaxy, facing the daunting task of returning home. This background renders the episodic struggles more compelling and nuanced. While a certain level of cheesiness is present, this is part of what I love about Star Trek. And Mulgrew portrays the stern but caring captain well. The long-term issues she faces uniting a politically divided crew make the series as relevant today as it was in the 90s. This show is a definite recommendation for anyone who loves science fiction, strong female characters, or just really digs that late 90s TV aesthetic. All seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager are available to stream on Netflix. - Grace Gay

Photo Courtesy Hulu

Photo Courtesy Hulu

A.P. Bio

Debuting just before the start of NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage, A.P. Bio follows a high school biology teacher who loses out on his dream job as a college professor. Instead of teaching biology, Jack Griffin coerces his class into squandering the aspirations of his self-proclaimed nemesis. Though full of hijinks and traditional slapstick sitcom humor, the Seth Meyers-produced show seems to lack enough depth and substance to hold the audience’s interest for a full 22-minute episode. The television archetype of a misplaced protagonist who learns to love his new home is not a novel concept. More to the point, the plot of the pilot episode “Catfish” did little to excite me about whatever antics are ahead for the infant sitcom. That said, with a strong cast, interesting concept, and some clever one-liners, A.P. Bio has the potential to transform into a funny yet poignant sitcom in the likes of a Superstore or a 30 Rock. A.P. Bio returns to NBC on February 25, but the first two episodes are now available to stream on NBC.com. - Andy Weir

Binging With Babish

Andrew Rea’s career is carved from the stuff of dreams. His Youtube channel, Binging With Babish, breezily intersects his two great loves in this world: food and film. The project started with an experiment to recreate Ron’s and Chris’ burgers from their cookoff on Parks and Rec, and organically blossomed into an enjoyable and repeatable format of cooking meals from TV and film that is nearing 70 episodes and has accrued over 2 million subscribers. Rea has cheffed up Krabby Patties, some titular Ratatouille (which is not Ratatouillie, fun fact, but rather Confit Byaldi), Kevin’s famous chili, Pumpkin Pasties, Buddy’s dessert pasta—and he executes it all with crisp, sleek filmmaking and lovable dad jokes. He has expanded into a series called Basics With Babish for those who want actual cooking lessons, and he now has a podcast called Bedtime With Babish for those who want more of his smoky voice. He even has a killer cooking playlist titled Bangers With Babish. So find this man somewhere on the internet. - Noah Franklin

Great News

Photo Courtesy TV Guide

Photo Courtesy TV Guide

Imagine a weird lovechild of The Newsroom and 30 Rock; Great News is just that, except slightly cheesier and shallower. Much like 30 Rock, the series follows a young, endearing woman who aspires for a career in television production, though this time, in the ever-competitive world of broadcast news. Though the series has its funny moments, sometimes, Great News feels like it’s trying too hard. From Andrew Martin’s Carol, the loud and overprotective mother of the protagonist, to John Michael Higgins’ caricature of a veteran anchorman, the characters seem a tad too one-dimensional for any emotional investment from the audience. Unfortunately, such an investment seems to be required to “get” the show’s self-deprecating sense of humor. The plot, at times, seems trite with the traditional “will they or won’t they” relationship drama between the two main characters. Great News airs on NBC and is available to stream on NBC.com. - Andy Weir

FilmSteven Norwalk