when weird works

I mentioned when hearing about the cancelation of Man Seeking Woman that it wasn’t one of the weird shows that worked for me. But I do appreciate that in the age of peak tv while there isn’t room or an appetite for everything, there’s more room for things that might not resonate with everyone but are strong for a few. Some of the shows that I know I watch that are a little off:

  • Atlanta (Fx) – Weird factor minor. Not the weirdest of the crop but Donald Glover’s narrative style used unusual formats from episode to episode and takes some specific weird turns with random magical realism like having Justin Beiber cast as a black actor when he shows up for a celebrity basketball game, but mostly it’s about a guy trying to make it in Atlanta.
  • Baskets (Fx) – Weird factor medium. I remember reading a review of this right as it was coming out that said something like this isn’t for everyone but if you like it this is great, and it turns out I would stop shy of saying that the show is great but I haven’t been able to stop watching, I’d also almost characterize this as only a minor weird factor, as the format is more traditional, but the people and situations are so off as it follows French trained clown Chip Baskets, with a developed focus on more of the Baskets clan (including Louie Anderson in a sincere performance as his mom) and friends.
  • Bojack Horseman (Net) – Weird factor medium. Following a washed up actor through various despondent relationships and situations sounds minorly weird but once you make it animated, him a horse man, and make half of the rest of the world other animal people, it opens up a whole world of weird in a way that plays very tongue and cheek with how it sets up this parallel reality and brings up amazing options e.g. the underwater episode.
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBCA) – Weird factor major. Genre pushed to the extreme this one is adapted from Douglas Adams novels, this sort of absurdist paranormal detective show is one that you just need to go with, I’m very curious how the series progresses in another season (starring Elijah Wood getting another weird nod after Wilfred).
  • Legion (Fx) – Weird factor major. More on the genre lines, I generally enjoy the Marvels but was getting a little down on most of the latest entries in the Netflix world, and was thrilled to see this totally different take, almost more about the layers of mental illness real and power driven with a storytelling style that almost worked best for me the less clear it was on what was going on, beautifully weird acting and production.
  • People of Earth (TBS) – Weird factor medium. This sitcom of a lighter nature with kind of sincere characters introduces sort of a workplace comedy around alien abductions, complete with various aliens’s POV and it ends up being fun and often sweet.

What else in the world of weird is on your radar?

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