What to Watch This Week: Reviews of Under the Bridge, Spiderwick Chronicles, Dinner with the Parents, and more

Under the Bridge may be a gem among premier duds this week.
Riley Keough stars in true crime show Under the Bridge.
Riley Keough stars in true crime show Under the Bridge. / Kevork Djansezian-USA TODAY

The platforms didn't release much new content last week, at least not much-scripted content. Under the Bridge and The Spiderwick Chronicles are possible new shows. But are they good enough to watch? Here are our thoughts and reviews of some of the new premiers from last week.

The Spiderwick Chronicles (Roku Channel)

A show you would definitely expect to live on Disney+, Roku released all the episodes for the new family fantasy drama, The Spiderwick Chronicles.

Spiderwick is very reminiscent of Locke and Key which was a really good family fantasy show on Netflix. A family having issues at home and the father moves to a small town to inhabit an old family home. The daughter is the overachiever, one twin is the popular kid, and one twin is the odd kid with supposed mental issues.

When the odd kid starts seeing mystical creatures and investigating the existence of fairy creatures (fairies, goblins, trolls, and ogres) like Grandpa Spiderwick did, mysteries start to unravel. The viewer knows that these creatures exist disguised as humans and Christian Slater (Mr. Robot) adds some comic relief and plays the bad troll (or maybe an ogre, hard to know) that wants to betray the family for some unknown reason.

The overdramatic family drama isn't too annoying, though the show falls into the trap of repeating the same arguments multiple times, sometimes multiple times an episode. The mystery, the quest, and where the show is headed are more than mildly interesting and could turn around in later episodes.

Verdict: Wait and See.

Dinner with the Parents (Amazon Prime Video/Freevee)

Starring Henry Hall (son of Julia Louis Dreyfuss), Michaela Watkins (The Unicorn), and Dan Bakkedahl (Veep), Amazon released four episodes of Dinner with the Parents to get started.

In the premiere, Hall returns to his family home for their traditional Friday dinner to show off his girlfriend. Of course, his girlfriend breaks up with him before she shows up. Hall does what any sane person would do and hires the pizza delivery woman to masquerade as his girlfriend.

The show has a very Three's Company vibe to it. Watkins is one of the funnier TV actresses, but the writing just doesn't match up to her talent. Meanwhile, the zany scenarios of the show, misdirection, and misunderstandings are eye-rolling.

Verdict: Pass.

Under the Bridge (Hulu)

Starring Riley Keough (Daisy Jones and Six), Hulu released two episodes of the true crime biopic.

Under the Bridge relates the true story, as documented in a book by Rebecca Godfrey, of a group of teenage girls accused of the bullying, torture, and murder of their friend. Keough plays a writer who returns to her hometown to work on her book and pivots in real-time to investigate the story of the teenagers.

The number of crime dramas about missing teenagers, their horrible friends, and the one good cop who takes the issue seriously is pretty endless. The first season of Cruel Summer comes to mind immediately. But there is something about this show that seems to make it smarter, less annoying, and a more interesting mystery.

Verdict. Watch.

Other Shows to Watch Right Now

Several shows have gotten a little stale, so they have fallen off the list. Girls on the Bus has not lived up to early expectations and has also fallen off the list.

  • The Tourist (Netflix). All episodes streaming.
  • The Regime (MAX). All episodes streaming.
  • Shogun (Hulu). Season finale this week.
  • Invincible (Amazon Prime Video). All episodes streaming.
  • 3 Body Problem (Netflix). All episodes streaming.
  • Manhunt (Apple TV+). The finale was really good and if you pay careful attention there is some social commentary that is valid today.
  • Constellation (Apple TV+). All episodes streaming.
  • Sugar (Apple TV+). The show gets better each week.
  • Crooks (Netflix). Maybe the best foreign language show this year.
  • Beacon 23 (MGM+). They really need to get back to the artifact, but don't you want to know who showed up at the door this week.
  • Ripley (Netflix). All episodes streaming.
  • Star Trek: Discovery (Paramount+). A wasted week.
  • The Sympathizer (MAX). More Robert Downey please.
  • Baby Reindeer (Netflix). The darkest show on TV.
  • Fallout (Amazon Prime Video). The second-best thing on TV.

Next. Knuckles review. Knuckles takes the back seat in his own series. dark