“Mayans M.C.” is roaring back – full-throttle, as always.
The motorcycle drama (shown here) as returned to its slot at 10 p.m. Tuesdays. Add that to “Snowfall” (10 p.m. Wednesdays) and FX – the best channel on basic-cable – is finally near its full strength.
Both shows faced half-year delays because of the pandemic, leaving FX with few originals. Now both are in their usual state – passionate, profane, fiercely violent, fervently emotional.
They’re joined on FX by comedy – “Breeders” (10 p.m. Mondays, starting March 22) and “Hysterical” (9 p.m. Fridays, starting April 2); also, “Cake” is at 10 p.m. Thursdays on sister channel FXX. It’s the sort of line-up the networks envisioned, just before the world fell apart.
When Disney bought large parts of the Fox empire, FX suddenly had an extra platform. Iits episodes airs on FX, then jump the next day to the “FX on Hulu” hub, included in many Disney+ packages.
That started with two top mini-series: “Devs” – a high-tech, sci-fi tale – started March 5, 2020 “Mrs. America,” a burst of feminist history, followed on April 1. They drew praise and award nominations … and then everything stopped.
“Fargo” was supposed to debut its new mini-series on April 19. But the COVID shutdown came with three episodes left to film; the show finally arrived, five-plus months late.
A few shows – “Cake,” “Breeders,” “What We Do in The Shadows” – have managed to return on time, but others had long delays.
“Snowfall” and “Pose” had been running in the summers. But this time, “Snowfall” finally started its season Feb. 24; “Pose” is set for May. 2.
“Mayans M.C.” had been starting in early September; this season, it waited until March 16. “American Crime Story” planned to debut its latest story – the Bill Clinton impeachment trial – in September; that still hasn’t been scheduled. Nor have “Better Things,” “American Horror Story,” “Mr. Inbetween,” “Atlanta” (which is filming two seasons back-to-back) or “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
Still, things are finally perking up. Each of the current FX shows takes a serious and involving turn.
That’s even true of “Breeders.” Basically a comedy, it opens March 22 with two episodes that offer a moving look at parental problems.
And it’s very true of the two tough dramas:
“MAYANS M.C.”: This season starts with the Mexican border shut down tightly.
That’s a crisis for this Mayans motorcycle club, which can’t get the drugs it sells. And for competing drug kingpin Miguel Galindo and his efforts to go legit: Unable to get low-paid workers from across the border, he scuttled a project that the town desperately needed.
That follows other crises. Galindo probes the death of his mother … who is mourned by her ex-lover, Felipe Reyes … whose sons, EZ (shown here) and Angel, are key members of the Mayans.
There’s a tad of lightness here: EZ has a radiant new girlfriend.
And there’s a mountain of darkness. The final minutes of the season-opener are joltingly brutal.
“SNOWFALL”: When the series started, Franklin and Leon had been best friends since childhood.
Franklin, brainy and college-bound, was dabbling in the drug trade in 1980s Los Angeles. Leon came up with the crack cocaine process that took them to the top.
But the big-money, big-violence business has often split them. Now Leon, trying to shoot an enemy, has accidentally killed the 5-year-old niece of a competing drug dealer. Everyone is after him, including the police, the dealer and the victim’s father.
That’s where the story is this week (March 17). Franklin is told flatly that there’s only one solution: Have Leon killed, before a drug war erupts. It’s an intense hour, with some surprisingly quiet, emotional moments. In short, it’s just the sort of thing that FX does so well.