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Culture » True TV

Cowboy B-Slop

The Ranch and Turn are almost done; T.J. Miller gets Meticulously Ridiculous.


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Now that Netflix is addressing the Too Many Shows epidemic and just canceling stuff for the sake of canceling stuff—buh-bye Sense8, The Get Down and Marco Polo—let's get on with killing off The Ranch (Season 3 premiere, Friday, June 16, Netflix). This laugh-tracked cowpie's initial novelty of reuniting That '70s Show stars Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson wore off quickly, leaving just a hacky sitcom with painfully slumming co-stars (Sam Elliott and Debra Winger—WTF?). Much like Tim Allen's recently deceased Last Man Standing, The Ranch is red-state bait that thinks it's cleverly poking P.C. culture, but ultimately just comes off as lazy. F Is for Family does it better—try that.

Was anyone aware that Turn: Washington's Spies (Season 4 premiere, Saturday, June 17, AMC) was still a thing? Only me? The Revolutionary War drama's fourth season is also its last, and we all know how it ends ('Merica wins, the British get revenge centuries later by sending us Piers Morgan, etc.). The final chapter finds Benedict Arnold (Owain Yeoman) looking to take down George Washington (Ian Kahn)—but there's a new player in the mix! Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell)! History-nerd boners are poppin' now! Turn: Washington's Spies has never been one of AMC's sexiest properties, but it's almost up there with John Adams in the RevWar TV canon, and certainly better than Fox's Making History.

You've probably heard by now that Erlich Bachman is done with Silicon Valley—but T.J. Miller: Meticulously Ridiculous (stand-up special, Saturday, June 17, HBO) is proof that the guy who plays him isn't done with HBO. According to Miller, his schedule is getting too crowded to continue on the series (true), and he'd rather get out now than become a one-note TV character overstaying his welcome (potential to become very true). As an actor, he's been in damn near everything; as a stand-up comic, Miller only has one previous special to his credit: 2011's No Real Reason. Meticulously Ridiculous is even more energetic, prop-happy and, yes, ridiculous, as Miller exits the stratosphere of Fucks Given.

Speaking of ridiculous, this weekend's episode of Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly (Sundays, NBC) just might feature the un-Fox-ed anchor's already-infamous interview with InfoWars' Alex Jones, an initially friendly exchange that sent Jones into a tizzy about how he'd been duped by a "sociopath" who was "not feminine ... cold, robotic, dead" before he delivered the ultimate insult: "I felt zero attraction to Megyn Kelly." Damn—float like a chemtrail and sting like a black helicopter, Al. Kelly could use a ratings-grabber like an exposé on America's favorite conspiracy-slinger/paint-huffing uncle; so far, her much-hyped new show is an air ball in terms of presentation and ratings. Show 'em who's a robot, Meg!

Another mild disappointment, Wrecked (Season 2 premiere, Tuesday, June 20, TBS), is back for another round of Gilligan's Island/Lost antics. The comedy about a plane-wrecked group of survivors stranded on a tropical island had a hit-and-miss debut season last year. But its likeable crew of characters (which includes Flight of the Conchords scene-stealer Rhys Darby) and knowing winks at Lost lore is undercut by aimless subplots and weak gags (Wrecked is the first production of a pair of Hollywood-outsider brothers from Kansas, so they should be afforded a little slack). It's no People of Earth or The Detour, or even Angie Tribeca, but Wrecked is a risk-taking TBS comedy that deserves a second look.

I gave The Carmichael Show (Season 2, Wednesdays, NBC) a second chance after the Television Critic Intelligentsia unleashed another blizzard of accolades for the laugh-tracked sitcom and ... I'm almost there. Comic Jerrod Carmichael and the show's cast are solid (especially comedy vet David Allen Greer, seemingly channeling his performance from Aaron McGruder's late, great The Boondocks), but the weekly hammering home of Very Important Issues is tiresome—come for the laughs, get a lecture. Sitcoms can tackle controversial topics, but The Carmichael Show currently falls between CBS' Mom (which continues to surprise) and Superior Donuts (which continues to suck): It's almost there, too.

Listen to Frost Mondays at 8 a.m. on X96 Radio From Hell, and on the TV Tan podcast via Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play and