Hulu’s latest original series, Maggie, about a 30-something-year-old psychic is an unexpected treat.
The concept of seeing into the future isn’t entirely new to millennials, so it makes sense that the series is geared toward the demographic with nostalgic references and jokes that only people who lived through the ’90s and still think it’s the best decade would ever actually understand let alone appreciate.
The series taps into that millennial magic with its quirky blend of That’s So Raven, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch – with a sprinkle of Good Witch for good measure. Heck, even Sabrina Spellman’s former principal Willard Kraft (guest star Martin Mull) walks into Maggie’s storefront as Zach, a man looking for a reading to determine whether or not he should retire. It’s just one of many Easter eggs for millennials.
Why? Because Maggie is an adult Disney show is Disney made show for adults.
And that’s precisely why you need to watch it.
Admittedly, the first episode feels slightly disjointed and a little too fast-paced, but that’s to be expected when you’re jumping into the thick of things without really knowing what to expect. By episode 2, you’re fully hooked into Maggie’s drama and captivated by the eccentric supporting cast, which also includes Chris Elliot from Schitt’s Creek in the role of the titular character’s father, Jack. This is no Schitt’s Creek, don’t be mistaken, but it’s an enjoyable and breezy watch from beginning to end with a charming nature that kicks things into PG-13 territory at times.
Rebecca Rittenhouse ebbs and flows between an ethereal being and your normal girl next door. It’s never too much because — with visions or without them — she’s just a girl that can’t figure out her own life even when she has all the answers in the palm of her hands.
Despite the visions giving audiences a glimpse at what’s to come, the mystery never fades as we quickly learn that the visions are devious little things that don’t always show the full picture… likely on purpose.
And what we come to gather pretty quickly is that Maggie relies on them all too much. She’s so focused on the future, she forgets to live in the present or follow her heart since she always knows what’s going to happen next. And while that sounds great on the surface, there’s a reason us mere mortals don’t know what’s going to happen next — it’s the perfect breeding ground for self-sabotage.
Maggie does a lot of that throughout the 13-episode run.
Her first misstep is when she ends things with Ben (David Del Rio) — a once sidekick on Beauty and the Baker that has quickly (and deservedly) ventured into heartthrob territory. After their swoon-worthy meeting and one-night stand, their connection is undeniable and has the potential to become so much more. In fact, according to her vision, she could have gone all the way with Ben as he’s the one, the soulmate, and the man she actually sees herself having kids with.
Of course, that’s too easy, and Maggie’s picture-perfect life is destroyed within minutes when she gets a vision of him standing at the alter with another woman, which forces her to end things because “she knows how it will end anyway.” Except that she doesn’t.
Much of Maggie’s visions do, in fact, come true. A few months later, Ben does move into the duplex her parents own, with his high school soulmate and on-and-off-again girlfriend, Jessie. But while Ben and Jessie are a cute couple — we even like Jessie! — it’s clear that things between them are still choppy, especially since Ben naturally gravitates toward Maggie at every opportunity. They never go there, but emotional cheating is emotional cheating. And those stolen glances between Ben and Maggie, I mean, there’s no denying it.
As nice as Jessie is, you can’t help but root for Ben and Maggie through all the ups and downs of the season, including when Maggie gives Daniel, a great guy on the surface, a shot. Even then, Ben seems to pick up on the fact that he’s just not right for her, and when it’s revealed that Daniel doesn’t believe in her superpowers, Ben is there to pick up the pieces with some cake. Why? Because he’s a man that knows the way to her heart. He knows her, sometimes better than she knows herself.
Also, let me segue really briefly into Daniel. He claims to love Maggie, but then tells her that their whole lives don’t have to revolve around her visions, which is fair, they don’t, but in that ask, he wants her to ignore and mute a core part of who she is instead of embracing it and finding a way to incorporate it into his life. It’s one thing to encourage her to live life without constantly seeking approval from the future and coming from a place of love like Angel, but it’s another thing entirely to attempt to mansplain it, which is what Daniel did. He was dismissive of Maggie and her feelings. She deserves better; and seeing Daniel’s hesitancy to accept Maggie, while Ben didn’t even question her abilities further propels Ben into “the one” territory.
There are a few moments where Maggie acknowledges the depths of her feelings for Ben, including when she finally opens up to her mom about their brief yet meaningful fling, but those are rare and far and few in between. Mostly, she’s just doing what’s “expected of her,” and what she thinks she “should do,” which again, is where most of the problems stem from.
In fact, it’s why she loses her powers in the first place. While trying to help people, Maggie gets too caught up in seeing her own future while simultaneously denying what she was seeing based solely on fear.
Her mind eventually blocks out the visions to protect her from something bad, which ends up being Jessie finding out about Maggie’s hookup with Ben.
The problem here isn’t that they had a thing since it happened while Ben and Jessie were broken up, but it’s more about betrayal by all of the people she loved and trusted, including Ben. In a refreshing moment, Jessie also doesn’t put the full blame on Maggie, who is all too eager to take it anyway, but she acknowledges that part of the fallout is that Ben doesn’t seem convinced that he wants to pursue a future with her. After 14 years, he still doesn’t know what he wants and won’t commit to her fully.
Maggie then figures that the only way to course-correct and possibly get her visions back is to help fix the problem she created. She pushes Ben towards Jessie by telling him that she’s his future. It seems logical since she saw them getting married in her vision, but she’s also ignoring all the other visions that very clearly allude to Ben and Maggie having a family together one day. She’s still sacrificing her happiness for others and meddling instead of just being honest and allowing her heart to dictate what happens next.
And that’s a steep price to pay.
It’s also clear that by not trusting her heart and using her visions to dictate her future, Maggie pushed Ben right back into Jessie’s arms creating this whole mess. When Ben finds himself at a crossroads, he has a heart-to-heart with Maggie where she suggests that maybe she’s his soulmate, but Maggie continues to push him toward Jessie thinking that she can just fix the problem by ignoring it. But the truth is, if you have to convince someone to be with their long-time girlfriend, it’s likely not the person they should be with.
Nevertheless, the final episode finds Ben and Jessie engaged. And when Maggie’s visions finally return, she gets some conflicting information as she sees both herself and Jessie standing at the altar with Ben. Initially, I thought that maybe Maggie’s visions were testing her and that Jessie was actually getting married to someone else, but now I’m thinking this is proof that nothing is set in stone. Your actions — today, yesterday, and tomorrow — have the power to change the future.
What if upon meeting Ben, Maggie said “screw the visions” and kept a good thing going? Would that have changed the future and removed Jessie from the equation entirely? Or would they still end up in this situation only for Ben to realize that he’s been trying to make things work with the wrong woman?
Obviously, things are messy now considering the whole ring of it all, but if she truly loves Ben and can’t see her life without him, she owes it to herself, to him, and heck, even Jessie, to get in the middle and mess it all up. This unconventional triangle is simply setting them up for more heartache down the line by not actually being honest.
Plus, an engagement doesn’t just make all the problems disappear. Jessie and Ben simply glossed over their core issues because they wanted to make this work instead of getting down to the root of it all. What led to their previous breakups is bound to bubble up again, ring or not.
The supporting cast offers a bit of reprieve from the whole “will they or won’t they” trope.
Lou is a fun contrast to Maggie’s more methodical personality. She’s free-spirited and up for anything, but she also knows exactly how to ground Maggie when it’s needed. Her choice in men hasn’t always been the best (looking at you. John), but I’m hoping that Sam, a fellow pug owner that she meets at Dave and Amy’s wedding, might finally be the real deal. I felt for her when she talked about the degrading nature of online dating.
Everyone on the show is fantastic, and while they started off as exaggerated characters, mostly Dave and Amy, they’ve really brought a wealth of personality to the series. Angel, however, takes the cake as the best support system a girl could ever have. He’s punny, confident, and most of all, full of knowledge that helps move the narrative along.
Really clever shows tend to get the ax all too soon, but considering that cliffhanger demands answers, I hope we get a second season.
If only I had a crystal ball to make sure that Hulu lives in the moment and makes the right decision for Maggie’s future!
Did you watch the series?
We give it a B+! What grade would you give it? Let us know in the comments below!
Who Is Ben’s Killer on ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Season 3?
Only Murders in the Building returned for its third season on August 8 on Hulu and wrapped up its run on October 2 by finally bringing to light Ben Glenroy’s (Paul Rudd) killer.
It’s not the most riveting twist we’ve seen—that honor goes to the second season finale—however, the musical theater backdrop was a fun new setting to explore to prevent the season from becoming stale, and it delivered a cliffhanger that was nothing short of jaw-dropping.
After hitting some rough patches, Mabel (Selena Gomez) Charles (Steve Martin), and Oliver (Martin Short) finally got their podcast back on track, thankfully, and their episode revealing the murderer was timed perfectly to opening night of the Broadway show.
And fittingly, life imitated art, with the love of a mother willing to do anything, anything to protect her boy.
When the trio confronted Donna, she confessed fully to poisoning Ben with a cookie doused with rat poison, though she made it clear that she wasn’t trying to kill him but it was hard to figure out how “many rats make up Ben.” Truly an iconic line.
Of course, there was Ben’s actual death at the Arconia later that night, mere hours after coming back to life. When presented with the evidence—a handkerchief with a lipstick stain matching Donna’s that Ben was found holding when he plunged to his death—she also confessed to pushing him down the elevator shaft because she couldn’t “risk him performing the next night and ruining the show.”
It was almost too easy, and Mabel knew it; she was not convinced. She spent the rest of the play keeping her eyes open watching Donna, who they allowed to finish out the show as she had “stage 4 lung cancer and wasn’t a flight risk,” and eventually seeing an intense moment between Donna and her boy, Cliff.
Mabel followed Cliff up to the little room above the stage where she finally pieced it all together, with Cliff owning up to his part in Ben’s death.
Turns out, Ben got a call with his lab results after coming back to life during which he was informed that he ingested rat poison.
Since he was fasting the night of the play, he didn’t think it was possible until he realized that Donna gave him a cookie right before the show knowing he couldn’t refuse it and basically encouraged him to eat it.
As Ben solves his own attempted murder, Cliff panics because he doesn’t want to see his mom go to jail.
Things get heated between Ben and Cliff, the latter of whom pushes the former in a moment of anger.
As for the handkerchief, Donna would always kiss her son Cliff on the “lips” and on “the heart” before every show, meaning she’d kiss a handkerchief and tuck it into his chest pocket. And it’s how Ben ended up clutching one with her lipstick print.
Cliff panics as the realization that he murdered Ben sets in, so he threatens to jump to his death. No one is able to stop him until Donna arrives, placing her hand in her baby boy’s to tell him everything’s going to be just fine. If they go down, they go down together—the mother-son duo is arrested for their respective roles in the death of Ben Glenroy, bringing to end another season of Only Murders in the Building.
At the celebratory party shortly after, everyone is chatting about what’s next for them, with all three planning to make a trip out to Los Angeles.
Charles announces that he’s going to grab a 1966 Malbec so that they can all drink in celebration of opening night getting such rave reviews.
But once he enters his apartment, a gunshot flies through the window and hits him… or what looks to be him. It’s soon revealed that the victim is Sazz, Charles’ double who was dressed just like him. She lays bleeding out on his kitchen floor, whimpering in pain.
Charles was likely the intended target… and it looks like this core trio won’t have to look too far to find their next case. The series always finds a way to keep it interesting.
The Bear Season 2 Premiere Recap – Every Second Counts
The Bear returned to Hulu with a second season—and right off the bat, you can tell they’re going to have a little more fun with it.
There’s still plenty of grit and dark humor to go around, but there’s also an air of lightheartedness that often comes with a second chance—and in this case, this is the second chance for Carmy and his team of chefs to turn things around and make an establishment they believe in and are proud of.
The second chance seems like a good idea until they start hitting roadblock after roadblock with their new plans to revamp the beef sandwich shop into a world-class restaurant (Sydeny makes it clear she plans to earn a Michelin star!).
They thought they found the jackpot when they located Mikey’s stashed money, but they quickly learn just how much everything costs when you want to “let it rip” and start over. Not to mention there are plenty of legal pushbacks that they have to deal with, which is where Natalie, Carmy’s sister, who I’m assuming is pregnant—hence the “I wanted to throw up” and “timing is off” comments— comes into play. Carmy has the vision and the background, but he’s absolutely terrible at the money and time management side of things, and Natalie’s project management skills prove to be useful to keep them on track despite an ambitious re-opening timeline.
Carmy also strikes a deal with Jimmy Cicero, much like his brother, managing to get an additional 500k out of him on top of the 300k that they found in sauce cans with the caveat that if they don’t turn a profit in 18 months, he gets the whole business. It’s a big risk to go all in, but Carmy sees no other way—plus if you have to, always bet on yourself.
The first season showed us how difficult change can be, but this season is already plating the experiences of owning a restaurant as tougher than anyone could ever imagine. In addition to the ins and outs, you also have to compete with all the incredible places already out there at every corner.
None of this deters Carmy, Sydney, or even Natalie, however, as they all find themselves back at the restaurant a few hours after leaving early for the day, and more motivated than ever. They know that in order to make this work, they have to kick it into high gear, or, as the writing on the calendar notes, “every second counts.”
We’re past the mourning Mikey phase, and now, The Bear is aiming to make him proud and give everyone a renowned sense of purpose and meaning, even if that entails pouring every inch of energy into making Chicago a must-dining destination.
And with that comes a lot of heart, uneasiness, tender moments (like Sydney asking Tina to be her sous and Richie having an existential life crisis), and plenty of laughs that also cement The Bear as much-watch television.
Why I’m Excited for Gina Rodriguez’s Return to TV in ‘Not Dead Yet’
Alright, I admit it—I’m really excited about ABC’s Not Dead Yet premiering tonight, Feb 8.
I wasn’t able to secure a screener, so I haven’t watched it yet—this is not an official review.
The network is putting a lot of faith in the series, hoping to hook audiences with two back-to-back episodes of the new Gina Rodriguez-led comedy that toes the line between reality and the afterlife.
The most obvious reason for my excitement? I’m a huge Gina Rodriguez fan, and while she’s starred in plenty of movies as of late, this marks her official return to the small screen as a leading lady since Jane the Virgin. And we all know that too many people snoozed on JTV.
Not Dead Yet also promises to add to ABC’s impressive comedy slate—with hits like Abbott Elementary, Home Economics, The Conners, and The Goldbergs—the network knows what it’s doing, so I don’t think they’d add the sitcom unless they were confident it was going to be a bonafide hit. It’s also getting an Abbott Elementary lead, hoping to hook all those fans to stick around for a bit longer.
The premise of a woman seeing dead people isn’t exactly new—see: Ghosts—but it is a successful one, nonetheless, and provides plenty of opportunity for witty, wacky, emotional, and unique storytelling, while also remaining grounded through a relatable protagonist that’s dealing with worldly issues like breakups and trying to solidify a career in journalism.
Ghosts’ success bodes well for Not Dead Yet, but the shows also have another thing going for them/in common—The CW. Much like Rose McIver, Rodriguez comes from a series with a quirky premise and has the subtle comedy acting chops to sell it. We believed her when she was a pregnant virgin, so you’re damn right I’ll believe her when she claims to be talking to dead people. She can sell drama, she can sell comedy, she can sell dramedy. I’m in.
The current TV landscape is perfectly positioned for Not Dead Yet to become a bonafide hit that sweeps the awards circuit next fall. And even if it doesn’t, all it needs to do is make you laugh like no one’s watching.
Here’s the official Not Dead Yet synopsis:
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