Archive for the ‘Drugs/Alcohol’ Category

Scott & Bailey: Season 4

July 21, 2018

I finished Season 4 of Scott & Bailey on vacation. I watched very little television, but did catch the final few episodes of this solid television series from England. The best from Season 4: the promotion, Rachel’s Mom, Janet’s daughter Elise leaving home, Rachel and her sexy new man, Gill’s drinking, Gill’s impending retirement, and the slaves at the farm. Hard to believe only one more to go. Time flew by with Janet and Rachel. 4 out of 5.


Queer as Folk: Season 4 (take >3)

May 27, 2018

Fall in love all over again with the cast of Queer as Folk as they navigate life in 2004. 14 years: so much has changed and yet in many ways we are still fighting the same battles. Click on the image below to read an updated review of Queer as Folk: Season 4.


Queer as Folk: Season 3 (take >3)

May 13, 2018

Click on the image for an updated review of the iconic Queer as Folk: Season 3. Thumpa, thumpa.



Queer as Folk: Season 2 (take >3)

May 5, 2018

Continuing my comfort food cuddle with Queer as Folk. Click on the image below to read an updated Season 2 review for this still topical and always lovely series.

Queer as Folk: Season 1 (take >3)

April 30, 2018

Re-watched the second half of the American Queer as Folk Season 1. Click on the image to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of this classic television series. Queer as Folk currently streams on Netflix.


April 17, 2018

Zadie Smith’s 2012 novel, NW gets the BBC treatment starring Nikki Amuka-Bird (Luther), Phoebe Fox, O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale, The FiveLooking), Cyril Gueï, and Jake Fairbrother. All the components of a stellar issue-driven drama were in place – council flats girls make good, people of color having to be perfect to succeed, pressure to do what is expected, lives broken by systemic poverty and drug use. The actors did their job. In the end, the stories didn’t mesh. It felt like the writer bit off more than she could chew in 90 minutes. Too bad because NW could have been great. Riddled with too many disparate moments which didn’t mesh, I’m giving this a 2 out of 5. Next.

The Deuce: Season 1

February 28, 2018

David Simon‘s (The Wire, Treme) new HBO series, The Deuce released on disk this past week. Simon’s series offers a gritty, heady, intelligent look at NYC’s sex trade during the birth of the porn industry. The Deuce starts out quietly. The huge signature ensemble cast features street hookers, pimps, police, bar owners, college students, journalists, and young gay men all discovering their lives weaving in and around the sex industry of the early 1970’s. Simon takes his time showing us the changing landscape of business and pleasure in one of the world’s most outrageous neighborhoods. Costuming, props, set design, hair and make-up are all so spot-on, you’d swear you were thrust back in time to the post-hippie era when free love could come for anyone at a price and women and queers were beginning to feel their power. The city was still run by criminals, but other voices are beginning to be heard. Stellar acting from Maggie Gyllenhaal, luminous in the pivotal role of Candy. James Franco plays double duty as twins Vincent who’s smart and a hard worker and Frankie who’s proud of being a fuck-up. I hate to say this after all the posing Franco’s done over the years but damn that boy can act. The Deuce features Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire), Gary Carr (Downton Abbey), Dominique Fishback (as my heart Darlene), Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (The Wire), Margarita Levieva, Emily Meade, Method Man, Kayla Foster, Don Harvey, Chris Bauer (The Wire, True Blood), Chris Coy (Treme), Natalie Paul, Michael Rispoli, Kim Director, Pernell Walker (Ruby!), Tariq Trotter, and Ralph Macchio (yes, him). Told you it was an ensemble. Chris Coy plays quiet, sexy, out and proud Paul with dignity and mischief. Everyone fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. The Deuce moves slow and steady through the subtle changes which affected the avalanche of what has become a 97 billion dollar industry. David Simon gives due respect to the industry’s beginnings and the characters who made it all happen. 4 out of 5 for The Deuce.

Babylon Berlin: Episode 2 – The Dance Sequence

February 2, 2018

I started watching the Netflix German television series, Babylon Berlin created and produced by Tom Tykwer and friends. It’s got a lot of violence, but I’m still enjoying the complicated story and the lush production value – it’s the most expensive television series ever produced outside of the U.S. Last night, I caught episode two from the first season. There’s a dance sequence in the series that’s insanely beautiful, celebratory, and just plain fun. Imagine a flash mob in 1929 headed by a beautiful woman in drag. It’s just plain gorgeous.

Season 1 review coming in a few.
Check the dance sequence out on YouTube.

Love & War: Season 1, Episode 1

February 1, 2018

Sometimes you just can’t go home again. I remember being so excited when Susan Dey announced she would star in a Diane English (Murphy Brown) sit-com after leaving L.A. Law. Dey exited Love & War after the first season citing creative differences. The reality stemmed from the lack of chemistry between co-star Jay Thomas and Susan. Amazon Prime streams the first two seasons of Love & War. Annie Potts (Designing Women, The Fosters) took over for Susan in Season 2. It doesn’t take long for the awkwardness to set in during the pilot. That coupled with the leads breaking the fourth wall to discuss their feelings about each other made for a cringe-worthy episode. Those of you familiar with Reel Charlie know how much I adore Susan Dey. It is with heavy heart I give Love & War a 2 out of 5. Next.

God’s Own Country

January 30, 2018

Call Me By Your Name may be taking up a lot of space in awards season buzz, but I challenge its status as a gay film. It’s a bi film. It’s a pan film. It’s a fluid film. It’s a questioning film. And it’s a mediocre film. If you want to see a beautiful, gritty gay male love story, catch God’s Own Country now out on disk and streaming. It’s springtime in Yorkshire. It’s lambing season. Young farmer Johnny Saxby resigns himself to a lonely life on his parents’ farm tending livestock. Johnny spends his nights getting pissed in the local pub which remarkably for this small town leads to hook-ups with other men. And while at least one of the young men want more from Johnny, it’s not until the arrival of Romanian farm hand Gheorghe Ionescu, that Johnny glimpses the possibility of a full and complete life, something he never dared dream. The leads Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu exude a natural chemistry and grit in their performances. The only warning I’ll make in this film is the brutality of farm life. Animals are auctioned off, off-spring born, animals die. Farmers experience life like no other profession. And in the middle of the mud and cold, a beautiful lamb is born. God’s Own Country gives us the kind of quiet, respectful film we deserve. The stark West Yorkshire scenery becomes its own cruel character. Even the interior shots seem bitter cold to me. But the love between these two men slowly starts to thaw everything around it. 4 out of 5 for God’s Own Country.

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