Overrated/Underrated shows of fall TV: The return of ‘Big Mouth,’ the nightmare of ‘Camping’ and more
The return of ‘Big Mouth’: Arriving with a second season on Oct. 5, this animated series has flown under the radar amid Netflix’s usual avalanche of content, but its comic credentials are solid with voices from Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein and Jordan Peele telling twisted but also reliably smart and funny stories of the horrors of puberty. Created by Kroll and childhood friend Adam Goldberg, the show is often silly, rude and gross — just like adolescence itself — but with this season’s additions of Gina Rodriguez and David Thewlis (as the Shame Wizard), its oddball heart should stay in the right place.
Flight of the Conchords: It was such a simpler time when this droll New Zealand duo arrived on HBO over 10 years ago. This odd yet influential series launched the catchiest song parodies this side of “Weird Al” Yankovic. On Oct. 6, Bret MacKenzie and Jemaine Clement return to the network with the hour-long “Live at the London Apollo,” which was recorded during a recent U.K. reunion tour. Since the series, MacKenzie won an Oscar for his music for the Muppets, and Clement has brought his familiarly odd edge to FX’s “Legion” and the indie film circuit, but getting the band back together has been long overdue.
‘Camping’: First impressions aren’t everything, but this upcoming HBO comedy (Oct. 14) created by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner doesn’t look like a fun getaway. Dunham doesn’t appear in this show, which despite the game presences of Jennifer Garner and David Tennant as a couple bound for an outdoor retreat seems hell-bent on doing for the hiking and wilderness what “Girls” did for specific parts of Brooklyn. Dunham and Konner parted ways after production wrapped, and barring the introduction of a ravenous bear character on the fringe of the campsite, it’s not clear who will be worth rooting for here.
‘The Alec Baldwin Show’: Because what network TV really needed in 2018 is the fresh perspective only yet another white dude talking with a celebrity can provide, ABC is bringing back this series Sunday, Oct. 14 after a trial run in March. Baldwin is an assured showbiz vet and thus an apparent natural for this, but as his awkward recent appearance on “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” showed, there’s a difference between being entertaining when you have Tina Fey or “Saturday Night Live” putting words in your mouth and real life. However, if some TV writers want to give Jack Donaghy a show, we might have something.
Follow me over here @chrisbarton.
Inside the business of entertainment
The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.