I’ve watched all of season one, and I can say that while this is terrible RPG’ing, it is fantastic TV. DM Crittenden’s railroaded storyline provides a great framework for the players’ improv; you get a tight episode each time, but with fun color commentary.
Stand out episodes for me were: Paul F. Tompkins (1), Aubrey Plaza (5), John Hodgman (6), and Matt Gourley and Nathan Fillion (10). Hodgman is just on fire, and Plaza just gives zero fucks about trying to understand the game, which means she kicks imaginative ass the whole time.
But the gaming, yeah, it’s awful. I’m not quite sure why Pathfinder wanted the product placement, though the cynic in me thinks the pairing is perfect (sorry). It’s sad to think that this kind of play (on display in all the “big name” RPG series I’ve seen, at least) is being presented as “What D&D is like”.
Also, the Clueless Nerd™ in me wonders how this kind of show would play out with a game like Dungeon World. Could they produce as compelling a show without the predetermined plot and lack of agency? Probably not, but I still wonder.