Commentary

Three Faves Return This Week For Midsummer Season Premieres

Midsummer is greatly enlivened this week with the return of three shows that all got rave reviews in the TV Blog.

They represent three different categories -- one is a hard-boiled detective drama, one is a comedy and the other is a one-man, unscripted video series.

The drama is “Dark Winds,” returning for its second season on Thursday (July 27) on AMC+ and Sunday (July 30) on AMC.

This is the great detective series centered on a police lieutenant in Navajo country, Joe Leaphorn, played by Zahn McClarnon (pictured above).

Although one of the themes of “Dark Winds” is the cultural disconnect that divides the region’s Native American and white residents, the show is “not a racial allegory,” wrote the TV Blog when the show premiered in June 2022.

“It is instead a straight-ahead detective story -- a hard-boiled western crime story in which the relentless sun, heat, dirt roads and remote homesteads play as much a role in this show’s story as the show’s human characters,” said the TV Blog. Welcome back, Lt. Leaphorn.

Of the comedy “This Fool” -- returning for a second season Friday (July 28) on Hulu -- the TV Blog wrote: “Unlike so many other so-called comedies on TV and streaming these days, ‘This Fool’ has not forgotten the comedy.”

Created by and starring Chris Estrada, the focal point of the show is a well-meaning, 30-year-old man who lives with his mother and grandmother in Los Angeles.

Played by Estrada, the character -- Julio Lopez -- works at a rehab center for ex-convicts. One of them is his cousin, Luis, who is fresh out of prison.

“This Fool” is “heartfelt, moving and even sweet, despite the fact that much of the show deals with men who are more steeped in prison culture than life on the outside. This is where much of the comedy comes from,” the TV Blog wrote last August.

The blog noted back then that the series’ creator, Estrada, was so unknown at the time that even Wikipedia had never heard of him. A year later, his show has a page, but he still does not. 

When “How to With John Wilson” arrived out of nowhere on HBO in October 2020, the TV Blog called John Wilson “a mystery man.” The show starts its third and final season on Friday (July 28).

Basically, he was this guy with a video camera who walked around New York filming people and situations. But the show he spliced together turned out to be a lot more than that.

“In his hands, and aided by his own self-styled narration, the interactions and behaviors he captures with his camera somehow become more meaningful than they would seem to be at first glance,” wrote the TV Blog when the show premiered.

“The most winning aspect of this show is that, in the final analysis, it is hopeful and optimistic. … His deadpan approach ennobles every person he comes into contact with,” said the TV Blog.

Season Two of “Dark Winds” consists of six episodes. Season Two of “This Fool” is 10 episodes. Season Three of “How To With John Wilson” is six episodes. Get ’em while they’re hot.

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