Archive for the ‘Ensemble’ Category

Transparent: Season 3 (take 2)

August 15, 2017

Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of the splendorous Amazon Prime original series Transparent.

Prison Break: Event Series

August 9, 2017

A lot has changed in the twelve years since Prison Break premiered on Fox in 2005. American television kept climbing until the best industry people take time to create phenomenal series truly elevating the medium to an art form. Which makes it more and more difficult for me to watch mediocrity. I loved the escapist comfort food of Prison Break back in the day. The series took me out of my world and allowed me to spend time… well if truth be told, I spent time fantasizing about a threesome with Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller. Fast-forward 12 years. Dominic Purcell is still broodingly masculine. Wentworth Miller got a little closer to my reality by coming out of the closet. And my taste in television got a lot more sophisticated thanks to the dearth of outstanding choices from streaming services, premium cable channels and even a few broadcast shows. Too bad the new incarnation of Prison Break just doesn’t hold my attention. Dominic and Wentworth are still sexy as all hell. But I need my eye candy with a sophisticated plot and outstanding writing. Golden Age of Television: you’ve spoiled me for the pretty boys. 2.5 out of 5. Next.

Transparent: Season 2 (take 2)

August 8, 2017

Reel Charlie continues a second look at Maura Pfefferman and family in Amazon Prime’s exquisite Transparent. Click on the image below for an updated review of Transparent: Season 2.

Big Little Lies

August 8, 2017

HBO’s limited series, Big Little Lies based on the Liane Moriarty book packs a powerhouse of acting punch to the already crowded room of outstanding American television series. I have to say I was hesitant about wrapping myself up in a world so similar to the one I live in. Think of me being the male librarian background character who sees Shailene Woodley’s Jane on a semi-regular basis – Jane being the only character who doesn’t buy her books online. But wow, what a surprise this series ended up being. Reese Witherspoon acted crazy good as Madeline, Nicole Kidman continued showing off massive talent as Celeste, Laura Dern nailed a razor-sharp performance as Renata, and Zoe Kravitz floated as easy, breezy Bonnie. There’s been lots of talk this year about a woman’s gaze in television and film. Not sure if Big Little Lies falls into that category? The book was written by a woman, and the cast and stories are all female-centric. But the direction is Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) with screenplay by David E. Kelly. So it’s definitely not a female gaze. In the end, the mix makes for some very juicy, sophisticated story telling. I loved it. 4 out of 5 for Big Little Lies.

Transparent: Season 4 trailer

July 31, 2017

“It’s like an Orthodox, Jewish, Disneyland” – Sarah Pfefferman.

The song playing in the background is “Everything’s Alright” from the hit musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Love how they fuck with everything and everyone.

Watch the trailer for Season 4 of Transparent here.

Discover all the Reel Charlie posts on Transparent.

 

Downton Abbey: Season 6 The Final Season (take 2)

July 20, 2017

Watching Season 6 of my favorite costume drama television series, Downton Abbey for the second time brought back so many great memories. I cherish this series and send a big thanks to Julian Fellowes and crew for the beauty, elegance, and magic of Downton Abbey. Click on the image below for Reel Charlie’s updated review.

 

Orange is the New Black: Season 5

June 15, 2017

Damn ladies. Orange is the New Black just keeps getting better and better. How is that even possible? Every season builds on the previous. Not a misstep in this season. Absolute amazing acting, directing, editing, and writing. Highlights include,

Natasha Lyonne as Nicky getting clean and reaching out
Uzo Aduba as Suzanne falling apart again and again (another Emmy?)
Danielle Brooks as Taystee negotiating the deal of the century
Taylor Schilling as Piper realizing her fate and future
Lea DeLaria as Boo proving butch girls look good doing romance
Jackie Cruz and Diane Guerrero as Flaca & Maritza proving the ridiculousness of our instant fame culture
Selenis Leyva as Gloria delivering a powerhouse performance and becoming my favorite character for S5
Taryn Manning as Tiffany (Pennsyltucky) navigating the complicated waters of rape culture, forgiveness, and desire
Adrienne Moore as Black Cindy full of comfort and relief in the final episode
Yael Stone as Lorna crazy as ever
Kate Mulgrew as Red full of revenge
Laura Prepon as Alex filled with PTSD and remorse  and just wanting to stay free (of drama and violence)
Kimiko Glenn as Brook walking the long road of grief
Brad William Henke as Piscatella leading with misdirected spite and evil in the face of homophobia
Elizabeth Rodriguez as Aleida figuring out how to be free
Dascha Polanco as Dayanara facing her consequences

I’m sure I missed someone. What a roller coaster ride this season was and what a cliff hanger. All bets are off that everyone will survive the final moments of the raid. It’s Netflix after all. Unbelievable. Thank you Jenji Kohan and crew for this gift. 5 out of 5.

Bloodline: Season 3

June 5, 2017

Saying goodbye to the Rayburns of Bloodline I felt sadness and relief. Sadness because I came to love several of the characters. Relief because I felt exhausted watching the siblings dig themselves deeper and deeper into their lies and deceit. So many unnecessary deaths. I still blame Danny who brought plague onto his family. This season in particular felt biblical. I was on the edge of my seat each episode wondering what might go wrong next and who might screw up the most. The final two episodes were a bit surreal, but I think it gave the fans what they needed – a final dose of Danny. Trying to side step any spoilers here. Sally drove me crazy, Kevin couldn’t get one thing right and Meg just fled. Poor John left to clean up everyone’s mess. All in all I loved Bloodline. It was a fun romp in the Florida Keys through the eyes of a very damaged family. 4 out of 5.

The Wire turns 15

June 4, 2017

Happy 15th to The Wire which premiered on HBO June 2, 2002. Congrats to creator David Simon and the fantastic crew and actors who created legendary characters Bunk, McNulty, Kima, Bubbles, Lester, Stringer, Avon, Ziggy, Prop Joe, Omar (sigh), Bunny, Stanfield (shudder), Clay Davis (shiiittt), and so many others. If you’ve been meaning to find out what all the buzz is about, now is the time. If you haven’t visited Baltimore recently, revisit The Wire which continues to be one of the best television shows ever created in America. The Wire streams on HBO Now and Amazon Prime.

Reel Charlie reviews:
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5

Sense8: Season 2

May 30, 2017

Took my damn sweet time making my way through the triumphantly gorgeous insanity that is Sense 8: Season 2.

Sun Bak
Riley Blue
Wolfgang Bogdanow
Kala Dandekar
Will Gorski
Nomi Marks
Capheus “Van Damme” Onyango
Lito Rodriguez

Seoul
London
Berlin
Mumbai
Chicago
San Francisco
Nairobi
Mexico City

Eight humans in eight cities around the globe connected both mentally and emotionally. We discover more about their origin in Season 2. More about Whispers and why they are being hunted. Some episodes are violent, some are corny, all are full of love. Sense8 breaks Sci-Fi barriers leading with love… friendship, romantic, familial, no matter what color, religion, gender, or sexuality. All are equal. All are full of love. I can’t stop thinking about this beautiful series. Sense8 continues to be flawed, but that’s part of its beauty. It’s busting through convention, experimenting with many different tools to tell their story. It’s contemporary, hip, sexy as all hell, nerdy, fun, dangerous, and dark with flashes of evil. These eight characters represent the future of humanity. We need to connect with others around the planet. Share what makes us unique and bond over what makes us the same. I’m excited to continue the journey hoping Season 3 will happen in 2018. Meanwhile discover, revisit, embrace Capheus, Kala, Lito, Nomi, Riley, Sun, Will, and Wolfgang streaming on Netflix. 4 out of 5 for their brave new world.

 

 


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