One: I had high hopes for “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” since I had enjoyed its predecessor, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and its blending of tropes from the James Bond films with a higher (and bloodier) level of action along with humor – especially about those Bond tropes – and an introduction of class warfare to the spy game. Unfortunately, even though “Golden Circle” can be amusing, and the action sequences at times impress, it is a bloated piece, whose amped-up the action and added star power (Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Elton John and Julianne Moore are all around this time) do not overcome an overstuffed and occasionally aimless plot, which is a real drag in the middle of the movie.

Come to think of it, writer-director Matthew Vaughn may have paid too much attention to Bond in the Roger Moore era, when the plots were unnecessary and the search for a memorable previous-movie-topping gimmick was constant. I prefer my Bond the way it was in most of the Sean Connery and Daniel Craig films, and Kingsman as it was in the first film. (One side note: “Golden Circle” and “Logan Lucky” form two recent films with Tatum that also rely on songs by John Denver, with “Logan” using Denver very nicely.

Two: HBO’s “The Deuce” has been picked up for a second season after just two episodes of its first. Two extraordinary episodes, of course. Chronicling life in the underbelly of New York City in the ‘70s and the rise of the porn industry, the series is unblinking in its presentation of all that was sordid and depressing about the city in those years, perfectly rendering what I remember from occasional stops in NYC at that time; its acknowledgment of sleaze goes so far (including in a graphic scene in the second episode) that I often felt repelled by what I was watching. At the same time, though, it is intensely watchable because its characters are so richly flawed and, at times, so optimistic even in the face of daily horrors. The writers and producers on the show include the great David Simon (“The Wire,” “Treme,” etc.) and Richard Price, a novelist who knows how to make the grim gripping. The cast, topped by James Franco as twins and Maggie Gyllenhaal as an aging prostitute who defines street (and other) smarts, enthralls; I’ve never seen Franco better. Not easy to watch, it has a special kind of power.

Three: When I began watching “Get Shorty” on Epix, I was uncertain about it. A longtime fan of Elmore Leonard overall, and of the screen version of “Get Shorty,” this attempt to expand the idea of mobbed-up guys and the movies did not at first meet the high bar of the other work. But the first episode was acceptable enough to keep me for a second, and now I am seven episodes in (with the season to total 10) and thoroughly entertained. It catches Leonard’s notion of people who aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are, coming up against people who are far more dangerous than the smart people imagine. What’s odd is that the main character, a mobster-turned-movie-producer played by Chris O’Dowd, is one of the people whose cleverness is not always up to the challenge. The classically Leonard smarter-than-the-rest figure here is Amara, a ruthless casino owner and gang leader played by Lidia Porto. Terrifying in so many ways, she is my favorite character in the piece – but still just one piece in this elaborate, chaotic dance.

Four: I won’t be coming back to “The Orville,” the space adventure from Seth Macfarland, which has had a couple of telecasts on Fox, neither all that impressive. If the show has any idea what it is supposed to be, that idea appears to be “as close as we can get to original-series ‘Star Trek’ stories with occasional ‘Family Guy’ jokes.” Which in both cases means sexism, too. But the problem is that those old-style stories feel old; what’s meant to be an homage is more of a stale replication, with jokes that even if they generate a giggle or two are wildly out of place in the non-parody framework of the show as a whole.

Five: I expect always to be back with “Better Things,” Pamela Adlon’s comedy-drama inspired by her own life as a single mother of three. The season premiere last week was the best thing I saw on TV then, or in a long time before, a drop into the middle of an untidy life where doing your best and doing right aren’t always the same thing – but can be. The storytelling is deliberately messy, bits and pieces of narratives intersecting and trailing off, but in a way that makes the show feel all the more real. Adlon is a marvel.

Six: Another show that highlights the messiness of life is “You’re the Worst,” a couple of episodes into its latest season, and still a reason to watch often unlikable people make mistakes in life and in their relationships. The new season, which picked up after the sudden split of Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) has been a little wobbly – particularly in a “Jimmy in the wilderness” portion of the season premiere – but has picked up steam as Jimmy tries to reconnect with Gretchen, and Gretchen’s response was as perfect as it was (in conventional TV terms) unexpected. Add in the joy of supporting players Kether Donohue (whom I unabashedly adore) and Desmin Borges, and “YTW” remains fully worth your attention.

Seven: As I am writing this, I am again watching the latest version of “Wonder Woman,” now on disc and as enjoyable as it was on first viewing. (Oh, that scene in the trenches is great.) The discs come with extras, but the movie alone should persuade you to add it to your collection in some way. Not only is it entertaining – the best of the movies so far in DC’s current screen universe -- but it is an important one. Here’s what I said when the film was in theaters:

This the real world: A strong-willed and direct Sen. Kamala Harris gets called “hysterical”for her questioning of Jeff Sessions. The highest-level woman in government, President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, is often said to try to persuade her impulsive father – but that persuasion is neither public nor confrontational; she is a woman very much behind the man. In the eyes of the main figures in the majority party, women should have no control over their own bodies, and that same party believes the nation’s most renowned family-planning organization is an enemy of all that is good. Everyone remember “nevertheless, she persisted”? Or that Mike Pence is so afraid that every woman is Eve brandishing an apple that he cannot let himself eat alone with one? Unless, of course, that one is his wife, whom he reportedly calls “Mother”?
This all explains why “Wonder Woman” is the most important film of the year. It is offering to audiences an image of a strong, idealistic woman whose battle against evil instructs and guides men – and shows they have nothing to fear from Diana Prince – or, by extension, Kamala Harris and other real-life women. In fact, the movie argues, a strong woman can make the world – the whole world, mind you – better.

Eight: “Will and Grace” resumes on NBC on Sept. 28 and as an early greeting to its star, Debra Messing, Shout! Factory on Sept. 26 will release “Ned and Stacey: The Complete Series,” a collection of the two-season comedy starring Messing and Thomas Haden Church. They played a mismatched pair bound by a scam – Church’s slimy ad-man needs a wife to advance his career, and Messing is willing to wed in exchange for a nice apartment. Church already had a reputation for comedy thanks to “Wings,” but this was Messing’s breakthrough and in places her best work. I’ve been tepid about some of Messing’s other ventures – only intermittently entertained by “Will and Grace,” too aware of the severe flaws of “Smash,” unmoved by “Prey,” “The Starter Wife” and “The Mysteries of Laura.” But early on in “Ned and Stacey,” Messing is a comedic gem, showing the sort of moves that invited favorable comparisons to Lucille Ball. While that’s not to say the show was great, it was good enough for another visit, if only to enjoy Messing again.