Is 'For All Mankind' ... bad now?

One of my favorite shows appears to have lost its magic. PLUS: Trailers for 'Dune: Part Two' and 'Civil War,' Dua Lipa goes 'Day Drinking,' and was Cecily Strong supposed to be on 'SNL'?

Is 'For All Mankind' ... bad now?
Joel Kinnaman in For All Mankind. / Apple TV+

Another week down. Another edition of Popculturology in your inbox.

The sixth episode of the current season of For All Mankind is available on Apple TV+ today, and it pains me to ask this, but …

Is For All Mankind … bad now?

I loved the first two seasons of Apple TV+’s alternate history space epic. I loved the concept, the idea that the Soviet Union beating the United States to the moon could have massive ripple effects. I loved the show’s twists on history. And I loved the characters from the first two seasons, especially the core four of Joel Kinnaman’s Ed Baldwin, Shantel VanSanten’s Karen Baldwin, Michael Dorman’s Gordon Stevens and Sarah Jones’ Tracy Stevens.

The Season 2 finale? Fantastic. A riveting episode of TV.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I can say the same about a single episode of Season 4.

(Spoilers ahead …)

With Gordon and Tracy long gone and Karen no longer with us after the Season 3 finale, For All Mankind has struggled to find new characters that are as interesting as the show’s first wave. The show wisely scuttled Gordon and Tracy’s kids — characters who were not only unbearable but were in a weird uncanny valley where viewers didn’t know if they were supposed to be 17 or 43.