Archive for the ‘Location’ Category

Half Bad: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself

March 6, 2023

Thanks to my dear friend Mark for telling me about this wonderful short-lived series, Half Bad: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself. Should have been multiple seasons, but the powers that be – Netflix – nuked this one after just one. From Deadline,

Based on Sally Green’s YA novel Half Bad, the series tells the story of Nathan Byrne (Jay Lycergo), an illegitimate son of a dangerous witch, Marcus Edge (David Gyasi), struggling to overcome his odds of following the footsteps of his father as he discovers his true identity alongside his friends.

I really grew to love this show so much. Great characters. More sophisticated than a CW/Freeform series, but just as fun. It’s totally worth watching even though it’s only one season. Stand out actors include Jay Lycurgo as Nathan Byrne in the lead – he’s the bastard, Nadia Parkes as Annalise O’Brien – major female power, Emilien Vekemans as Gabriel – finally someone does an homage to Buffy’s Spike and makes him gay, and Karen Connell as Ceelia – a true amazon warrior. Not too much teenage angst, but lots and lots of gore and violence. But they’re witches so it’s ok. LOL. At least for me. 4 out of 5 for this gem.

Half Bad: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself currently streams on Netflix.

All Creatures Great and Small: Season 3

February 27, 2023

The third season of the beloved modern British version of James Herriot’s novels, All Creature Great and Small grows a bit darker with the specter of World War II looming overhead. It’s still a bright and cheerful show with incredible locations. There’s still sweet animal stories, but also the threat of tuberculosis worries the farmers. James and Helen begin married life. All the characters stretch their romantic wings, at least a bit. And towards the end of the season, we begin to wonder if James and Tristen will join the army. Neither has to because they are vets. But will they anyway? Innocent, and beautiful, the occasional dullness of the plot can be dismissed because the stories all come from good intentions. And points for having a warm and cozy Christmas episode to wrap up the season. 3.5 out of 5.

All Creatures Great and Small currently streams on PBS.

Somebody Somewhere: Season 1 (take 2)

February 17, 2023

Second time around watching this pitch perfect series. Bridgett Everett and crew create a beautiful small town lost soul experience. So much connection and so much precision. Click here or on the image for the full review.



January 19, 2023

I loved the Close Encounters vibe of Nope. Jordan Peele does a great job creating a film with nods to the classic Sci-Fi films of the 1970’s, while putting his own signature on this well worn genre. Is it me, or do we just not see enough siblings in movies? I loved Emerald and OJ. They perfectly complimented each other as brothers and sisters often do. Nope is part of a series of films Peele’s done with elements of horror in them – 2017’s Get Out and 2019’s Us. Loved the first, haven’t seen the second. Nope has amazing special effects, a strong script, and great performances from Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer. The film hurls the two characters into an unbelievable situation. I won’t say much more other than how they confront their peril, it’s a stroke of genius. 4 out of 5 for Nope.

Mare of Easttown (take 2)

January 17, 2023

Wonderful crashing once again through small town Pennsylvania and a murder mystery with Kate Winslet and Jean Smart. Click here or on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review.

Mare of Easttown currently streams on HBO Max.

Reel Charlie Speaks: The Watermelon Woman (dir. Cheryl Dunye, 1996)

January 9, 2023

Reel Charlie Speaks is an LGBTQ podcast spin-off of Reel Charlie. Each month I select a classic queer film, television series, or creator. I talk about how the subject spoke to me when I first discovered it years ago, and how its stood the test of time.

In this episode, I explore the classic New Queer Cinema film, The Watermelon Woman (1996), the first feature film from black lesbian filmmaker Cheryl Dunye.


Listen to the podcast at
or find it on your favorite podcast platform.

The Watermelon Woman site
Cheryl Dunye’s Wikipedia
Jingletown Films

Sort Of: Season 2

December 23, 2022

Sabi’s back for another season of growing pains – the Toronto non-binary Pakistani-Canadian nanny/bartender who craves deeper connections with all the people they love. Sort Of follows Sabi’s often awkward journey searching for meaning, love, and their place in the world around them. I had trouble with this season because of all the awkwardness, the affection towards inappropriate people, the social malaise. It was hard for me to take in spots. But as I eased into the season, I realized we all experience moments or lifetimes of these emotions and to insert them into a complex, intelligent 20-minute television series in-between the quiet is ridiculously brilliant Also, Sabi’s sister acts as a reflection of Sabi’s remnants of male privilege which shatter during a cemetery moment where they finally shed any final embodiment of cis male. Profound and humbling to watch. Bessy and Paul continue to be a total mess. The kids are so much more mature than the parents, a true slice of modern day parenting life. 7ven who was my favorite character in Season 1 annoyed the shit out of me in Season 2. I kept wanting her to grow up whatever that means. The show certainly made me laugh in places, but what it truly did was challenge my notions of what it means to move, live, and create in this modern world when you don’t fit in. Another beautiful season of Sort Of. So happy this show exists in 2022. 5 out of 5.

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.

The White Lotus: Season 2

December 13, 2022

After Season 1 of The White Lotus crashed and burned for me – I really hated the season finale. There was a scene that was so gross, I couldn’t shake it and vowed to not watch the show again. But I got pulled into the second season. New locale, new characters – except for Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya, and of course more annoying, clueless rich people, mostly white – demanding their perks wherever they go. It’s a car crash. You don’t know who’s worse. The newly rich couple, the longer term rich couple, the 3 generations of Italian-American men, the clueless older rich woman, her assistant, her husband, her new gay friends. It’s a disaster waiting to happen around every corner, every episode. The staff play a prominent role like last season, there are escorts who are making money, the woman from multiple men. The man from one man who might be scamming the clueless rich woman. It’s a crazy, crazy show. The finale was over the top, but not gross, so I was relieved. Without giving too much away, the gays get to be evil. I know we’re still evil to the far right and the evangelicals. But to the Hollywood left, it’s fun to play with that old trope and turn it on its head. A much more fun season overall. 3.5 out of 5.

Bros (take 2 and on Blu-ray)

December 9, 2022

Bought the blu-ray for Bros. Loved it even more the second time around. Click here or on the image below to read my updated review and updated rating!

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