“Dead Pixels” (shown here) is back and … well, a bit deader than before.
This was one of the shows we welcomed last summer: In the depth of the pandemic, the CW was reaching out; it was brightening the season with imported fun.
Now the mini-network is repeating that approach: New, scripted shows are scarce in the summer, so it has a bunch of them, especially ones from other English-speaking countries. They’re from:
– New Zealand. “Wellington Paranormal” (9 p.m. Sundays) is dryly funny, in the style of the Emmy-nominated “What We Do in the Shadows,” from the same producers.
– Canada, “Burden of Truth” (Fridays, starting July 30) and “Coroner” (Wednesdays, starting Aug. 19) are solid and serious … which is sort of what t we expect from most things Canadian.
– And England. “Dead Pixels” (9:30 p.m. Sundays, starting July 18) was fun last summer, but gets off to a sometimes-somber start this year.
This is about young people who obsess on a videogame. Meg (shown here) and Nicky are platonic flatmates, sharing an apartment with Alison (whose disinterest in videogames knows no bounds). We also meet Usman, a pilot skilled at avoiding any parenting duties, and Russell, Meg’s handsome-but-dim co-worker.
In the first season, we enjoyed seeing them ditch all distractions (dating, work, etc.), to focus on the game – which they beat in the final episode. Now the second season starts with the game’s sequel.
There are quick setbacks. We soon find less British-style charm and more American-style buffoonery. There’s still some fun here, but it gets harder to root for people who drag their lives into the ruins.