Archive for the ‘Legal’ Category

Luther: The Fallen Sun

March 21, 2023

Have you missed the fantastic BBC police procedural, Luther starring Idris Elba? We last saw John Luther in 2019 for Series 5. Now he’s back in 2023 with a film continuation, Luther: The Fallen Sun. Cast members Cynthia Erivo and Andy Serkis compliment Idris well. There’s a lull which happens for the first 20 minutes or so. Fans will think to themselves, has Luther lost it? And then the tidal wave of suspense happens. I literally screamed outloud at one point, it’s so scary. This is not for the faint of heart. Gruesome and diabolical in parts. The tension builds and builds and builds. The story shoots out into the atmosphere. If feels outlandish in parts, but is it? I don’t want to spoil the buzz. Suffice it to say, you wonder could this happen. Unfortunately the answer is probably yes. Because some humans really are pure evil. The hunt for the killer takes the cops to the furthest place possible. It’s fucking crazy and so good and laced with the stuff of nightmares. Is this the end for Luther? It’s been a 13 year run for the series. Maybe? 4 out of 5 for this outstanding film continuation.

Luther: The Fallen Sun currently streams on Netflix.
Luther the first 5 series currently streams on Hulu, Britbox and PlutoTV.

Better Call Saul: Season 6 (series finale)

December 15, 2022

I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I binged an entire season in one weekend: Friday – Sunday. Better Call Saul‘s final season’s packed with present day, back story, and future story. All the complicated worlds come crashing in on each other in this pivotal final season, including finally, solidly linking the series with Breaking Bad which I started watching ten years ago! Like it’s parent show, Saul’s full of corruption and violence. But unlike Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul comes from an initial place of bad. Saul/Jimmy’s not broken or damaged, or in trouble. He’s just bad. He’s corrupt. He’s amoral and takes amusement in and advantage of other’s misfortune. The scripts have always been intellectual and complicated, the acting top notch. It’s not a story I would necessarily pick up in a book to read, but the creators, cast, and crew bring it to life in a way that makes you, or at least made me want to watch. This final season pulls it all together. And it’s not just Saul’s story. Kim’s intricately standing right there next to Saul. Her own story just as important to understand the entirety of what has made this series work and what makes us come back for more each season. Yes, there’s uber-violence. But like other outstanding shows from this genre, it’s the professionalism and intelligence that keeps me coming back. No different this season. I was lost many times, but it didn’t matter. I knew Vince Gilligan and company would bring me back and they did. Every time. 4 out of 5 for the season. Series rating: 4.25.

Spoiler alert: Bad guys beware: Carol Burnett’s going to take you down. Genius.

Anatomy of a Scandal

April 27, 2022

Another mini-series with a generic name which simply makes me mix this show up with other closely named shows, like A Very British Scandal. Ugh. Anatomy of a Scandal‘s based on Sarah Vaughn’s book. I watched it because Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) stars in it. It also stars Sienna Miller and Rupert Friend. I was hoping for decent to great. I got mediocre. Think a not so great remake of The Good Wife. The one thing it had going for it – the wife is shown in flashbacks being just as much of a privileged dick as her husband. They deserve each other. Although truth be told, she did follow the rules and he didn’t. And he’s spent his life making a series of sexual assaults. It’s creepy. The limited series didn’t work like I hoped it would. Michelle was great out of early 20th Century drag, but even her character spun out of control and not in a good way. 2 out of 5. Next.

Anatomy of a Scandal currently streams on Netflix.

Better Call Saul: Season 5

April 3, 2022

Somehow I missed Season 5 of Better Call Saul. I always wait until they come out on DVD, since I don’t have cable. The pandemic must have messed things up – at work, we didn’t get deliveries during the two months we were in lockdown back in 2020. By the time we came back and finished processing all of our back orders, I must have forgotten. So I caught up right before Season 6 drops on AMC. Better Call Saul is one of the craziest straight white male shows I’ve enjoyed. I have no idea why I like it. Is it the deception? the confusion between what’s right and what’s wrong? Is it watching Kim destroy her life for someone who’s not worth it? Or is it just an amazing look at the back story to a character from Breaking Bad? A six season back story which continues to fascinate and shock. Probably all of the above. Season 5 continues to hold up. Diabolical plots. People get killed, others vie for power. It’s a crazy world out there folks. Be careful of the Saul Goodmans. There’s a new scheme in his back pocket at every turn in the road. And as long as they don’t kill off my babe, Nacho Vega, I’m good. 4 out of 5.

Better Call Saul: Season 5 streams on Netflix (beginning Monday, April 4, 2022) and is available on disk from your public library.
The final season airs on AMC later this month.

Succession: Season 3

December 17, 2021

Succession: Season 3 finished its nine episode arc on HBO Max. I have to say I’m exhausted watching this season. There hasn’t been a moment to breathe. Everyone’s at each other’s throats and even Greg is evil. There’s not one likable character in the bunch. Characters have likable moments, but that’s not the same thing. Ruthless, cut throat, conniving, ego-maniacal are just a few words to describe the Roy family. Despicable is another. The show screams Shakespearean. Always has been and this season is no different. Kendall fights for change. Shiv fights for a place. Roman also fights for a place. Conner’s off in his own little world thinking he can run for president. Everyone else orbits Logan and the kids – Tom, Greg, Gerri. They all fight for a place in Logan’s mind of musical chairs. Wasn’t sure I would make it through the season, but I did and I enjoyed the season finale. Lots to work with for Season 4: estrangement, adulthood, mental health or illness take your pick. It’s never a dull moment with the Roys. 4 out of 5 for the chaos and scheming that is Succession.

Succession currently streams on HBO Max.

Manhunt: The Night Stalker (Series 2)

November 9, 2021

Martin Clunes returns to the small screen as DCI Colin Sutton in Manhunt: The Night Stalker making one final detour before retiring. This time he’s asked by Scotland Yard to step into a decades long case in an attempt to finally capture a serial rapist of elderly women. Clunes unassuming style compliments the series well. The real Sutton co-wrote the script. Manhunt‘s the kind of series that reminds me how much I love British Mysteries. Smart, sophisticated, a quiet elegance to Manhunt that I love. And only four episodes in this second series. 4 out of 5.

Manhunt currently streams on Acorn TV.

Nuclear Family

October 15, 2021

Another outstanding HBO docu-series. This time the focus in on a lesbian couple who were sued by one of their sperm donors for paternity in the early 90’s. This was a landmark case for parenting and in particular helped create the idea of legal parents vs. biological parents. The child in question is now a filmmaker. Ry Russo-Young decided to craft her story in her own hands and formulated a 3-part docu-series packed with love, emotion, and the legality of parental rights. Ry’s parents, Robin Young and Sandy Russo wanted a family more than anything. When they met in the 1980’s, it was unheard of for lesbians to create families outside of a former heterosexual union. The couple stumbled upon artificial insemination, found two sperm donors – both gay men and set off on their journey to create a family. They had two girls, raised them in a loving household. When the girls started school, they expressed interest in meeting their sperm donors. One of the men had little interest in creating a bond. The other, Tom Steel, a lawyer in San Francisco became very interested and forged a relationship with the Moms and the girls. Tom had a long-term male partner who had a son from a previous relationship with a woman. For a few years, everything went well until Tom and his partner wanted more and more time with Ry in particular. This led to issues with the two Mom’s who rightfully so were afraid of allowing the relationship to blur. Eventually Tom sued for paternity rights and well, you have to watch the series to catch the rest of this fascinating story and landmark legal case. Brave women – all 4 of them who agreed to put their story out there one more time and to Ry who dared to understand the complexity of her own life. Riveting and captivating. For me, there was no question I am on Team Russo-Young. 4 out of 5 for this fascinating look at the definition of family.

Nuclear Family currently streams on HBO Max.

The Alienist: Season 2

September 27, 2021

Based on Caleb Carr’s The Angel of Darkness, TNT’s The Alienist travels back in time to NYC 1897. The sets, costumes, and styling continue to wow. The story although bloody in parts, captivates and scares the viewer successfully throughout the eight episodes. I felt like this season focused on Dakota Fanning’s Sarah Howard which made for some cruel sexism and squeamish belittling of the female detective. Certainly added to the gritty and gruesome reality of living in the city before the turn of the 20th Century. All the elements come together to make The Alienist top rate television. 4 out of 5 for this captivating series.

The Alienist currently streams on Netflix.

My Life is Murder

September 25, 2021

New Australian police procedural, My Life is Murder starring Lucy Lawless (Xena), as a retired cop who keeps getting pulled back into investigations. I was hoping for a solid Aussie cop show, but was disappointed with the predictableness (is that a word?) of the scripts. If this were produced in the U.S., it would be a network show. Enough said. 2 out of 5. Next.

My Life is Murder currently streams on Acorn TV.


September 1, 2021

Norway creates their most expensive television show to date, Wisting and boy does it shine bright. The 10 episode police procedural tackles one murder in the first half – that’s all I am saying about that, and another in the second five episodes. Wisting‘s based upon two books by author Jørn Lier Horst – The Caveman (2012) and The Hunting Dogs (2013). The victim in question in the first half is American, and so two FBI agents fly over to assist in the investigation. This creates an interesting flavor to the first half of the series – the aggressive Americans vs. the cautious, respectful Norwegians. Both stories are fascinatingly complicated. This is a show you really have to pay attention to in order to follow. Every actor is outstanding including Sven Nordin in the title role as William Wisting, police detective, Carrie-Anne Moss as Maggie Griffin, FBI Special Agent, Thea Green Lundberg as Line, Wisting’s daughter, journalist, Jonas Strand Gravli as Thomas, Wisting’s son, in addition to Kjersti Sandal, Mads Ousdal, Mariann Hole, Lars Berge, Richie Campbell, Ulrikke Hansen, Irina Eidsvold Tøien, Gard B. Eidsvold, Fridtjov Såheim, and Christoffer Staib. Wisting is sophisticated, international murder mystery done right. I loved the split stories – something I can’t remember seeing ever before and the final episode had me scared out of my mind – in a good way. 5 out of 5 for this outstanding Norwegian police procedural.

Wisting currently streams on Sundance TV and Acorn TV.

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