Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Deep Water

May 23, 2017

Australia’s 4-part mini series Deep Water based on the “real life hate murders of… up to 80 gay men in Sydney’s eastern suburbs (Bondi) beaches in the 1970s and ’80s” (Wikipedia)  might be a hard sell if the quality of production wasn’t so thoughtful. There was a documentary produced in addition to the mini-series. Starring Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) and Noah Taylor as the detectives who link a gruesome reality of homophobic hate crimes and murders that continued through the present. The current killings are linked to the past as Stone’s Tori Lustigman uncovers a vast ritual of gay bashings dating back 30-40 years ago. Tori’s interest in the case goes from professional to personal jeopardizing the investigation at several key points. Deep Water creates a quiet, steady police procedural eschewing theatrics for methodical detective work which pays off in the end and makes the series easy to watch. Actor Jeremy Lindsay Taylor gives good eye candy as Tori’s friend Oscar who we find deeply connected to the past and puts himself into jeopardy to find answers. No denying the subject matter is difficult. The production respectfully honors the story with a steady, kind heart. 4 out of 5.

I watched Deep Water on DVD from the library. Netflix has it on DVD as well and it’s available streaming through Acorn TV.

I Love Dick: Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2

May 22, 2017

I was intrigued by the Amazon pilot I Love Dick, Jill Soloway’s (Transparent) new comedy on Amazon which aired earlier this year and got picked up for a full season. Soloway bills it as the first series which looks at the world from a female gaze. I’m paraphrasing there but that idea intrigued me enough to watch the next episode on Amazon.  Unfortunately I didn’t find the characters universal or relatable as in Transparent. To be honest, there was too much posing. The show feels too contrived skewering the hipster world of art and writing. Full disclosure, I read this rather confusing article last evening about Soloway which may have put a damper on my enjoyment of the show. Sometimes I learn too much about the creatives behind a project which colors my feelings. Based on the novel by Chris Kraus, I Love Dick explores a woman following her male partner to Marfa, TX where she explores the meaning of her art and life through an obsession with a self-absorbed male teacher named Dick. Though the premise and pilot intrigued me, I didn’t connect with the series after viewing episode 2. Again, I’m thrilled to not add another series to my list of must-see’s. I didn’t hate Dick, it just got on my nerves. Art hipster posing is not something I look forward to embracing on a rainy evening after dinner. 2.5 out of 5.

The Foster: Season 4

May 22, 2017

The Fosters continues its reign as Queen and Queen of family drama. That’s Queen Stef and Queen Lena, partners in love and life to five teenaged children – biological and adopted. Season 4 of this Freeform drama continues the chaotic lives of the Adams-Fosters family. I joked in a previous post that the show isn’t really performing unless at least three of the kids are having simultaneous disasters. But honestly, that’s the way it’s felt this season. And not in a stupid way. In a realistic way of what a household might be like with five hormonal teenagers. There are certainly moments I thank the Universe I never procreated and watching this show is one of them. Fun escapist drama as long as I don’t have to clean up their mess. Luckily they have two great Moms to do most of the cleaning up. Bravo to this beautiful and loving show for paving the way as it has for the past four seasons. Looking forward to Season Five premiering this summer on. 4 out of 5.

Of course any season with an appearance of Brandon Quinn as the twins biological Dad Gabe is always welcome, especially if he’s shirtless.

King Charles III

May 20, 2017

I got so wrapped up in this weekend’s activities, I forgot to review the British production King Charles III (I keep trying to type Charlie III). Based on the play by the same name, King Charles III imagines the future king and all he would inherit. Tim Pigott-Smith plays Charles to perfection reprising his Olivier and Tony nominated role from the West End and Broadway. Unfortunately, Pigott-Smith died in April 2017. I loved the concept of imaging Charles reigning stronger than his quiet demeanor implies. I loved seeing his children act out of character as well. Who knows what is in store for the monarchy when Elizabeth passes. Written in blank verse, King Charles III has a decidedly Shakespearean quality to it. This is a well done production worthy of you time – especially if you are fascinated with royalty or anything British. 4 out of 5.

I’m Watching As Fast As I Can

May 18, 2017

I’m in the middle of watching several television shows simultaneously which makes it seem like I’m not keeping up with my reviews. Never fear. I’m working my way through and will have reviews on the following in the near future:

Deep Water – this Australian mini-series is “based on a true story on the real life hate murders of possibly up to 80 gay men in Sydney’s eastern suburbs beaches in the 1970s and ’80s.” (Wikipedia) I have this on DVD at home and as soon as I begin will undoubtedly watch it all the way through. It stars Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black).
The Fosters – working my way through the last half of Season 4. The kids have the worse timing making sure at least three of them are doing something really dumb simultaneously. Ah teenagers.
Sense8 – taking my time with Season 2 which goes off into different directions making you wonder where it will end. I have come to adore this show and look forward to reviewing the season in its entirety.
Twin Peaks – going through the classic show for the first time in 25 years in anticipation of the new season coming to Showtime this month. I’ll be waiting for other forms of streaming or a DVD release.

Stay tuned beloved followers.

‘Top of the Lake: China Girl’ Trailer: Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman Protect Their Own in Jane Campion’s Sequel (Indiewire)

May 12, 2017

Oooh, Top of the Lake is coming back with a Season 2! This time Elizabeth Moss stars with Nicole Kidman. I can’t wait for this one! From Indiewire,

It’s been four years since we last saw Elisabeth Moss’ Detective Robin Griffin, and it looks like quite a bit has changed. New faces and a new case dominate the first trailer for “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” Jane Campion’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed limited series.

Moss returns as Griffin, a mother still reeling from giving up her daughter at birth, and in a disconcerting twist, Nicole Kidman plays Mary’s adoptive mother.

“Top of the Lake: China Girl” premieres in September on SundanceTV. Episodes will be made available via Hulu the day after they air.

Read Reel Charlie’s review of Top of the Lake: Season 1
Read the full article on Indiewire
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Orange is the New Black | Season 5 Official Trailer (YouTube)

May 11, 2017

I’m taking my time absorbing the second season of Sense8 slowly and methodically. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer for Season 5 of Orange is the New Black.

That Gay Episode: ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ Comes Out Of The Closet (Decider)

May 9, 2017

Photos: HULU ; Illustration: Dillen phelps; from Decider

Brett White over at Decider continues the series, That Gay Episode this time focusing on the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode where Phyllis finds out her brother is gay. From Decider,

Gay people worry about how they’re perceived — not for vanity reasons, but survival reasons. The period of a gay person’s life — be they minutes, months or years — between acknowledging their queer identity and proudly flying a rainbow flag are a nonstop internal Q(ueer) & A session.”Do they know I’m gay?” “Wait, does this make me seem gay?” “When do I tell them I’m gay?” It’s hard to express who you now know you are when you’re dealing with people whose perceptions of you run back decades.

These are the issues at the heart of The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘s 1973 episode “My Brother’s Keeper.” Unlike Cheers‘ “The Boys in the Bar,” which tackled machismo and gay panic by making half the cast straight-up homophobes, “My Brother’s Keeper” saved its big gay reveal for the very end. To get all meta, this is a gay episode that literally plays it straight for 24 of its 25 minutes.

Read the full article.
Read Kenneth in the 212’s blog post about how this episode and other quintessential queer moments on television personally affected him.

‘Little Women’ Is Coming Back As A Three-Hour Miniseries On PBS (HuffPost)

May 8, 2017

The tenth adaptation (1917, 1918, 1933, 1949, 1950, 1958, 1970, 1978 and 1994) of Little Women begins filming this summer and set to air on PBS in 2018. Which version is your favorite? I’m partial to the 1978 Susan Dey version with Meredith Baxter, Eve Plumb, and William Shatner.

From HuffPost,

Whether you’re a Jo, a Meg, a Beth or an Amy, we have good news: your favorite treatise on girlhood and growing up is back.

Masterpiece and PBS announced on Thursday that the network has an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women underway, in conjunction with Colin Callender’s Playground and the BBC.

So far we know that the two-volume novel will be turned into a three-hour miniseries, though further details, such as casting choices or release dates, have yet to be announced. The U.K.-U.S. production team will begin principal photography as soon as July.

Read the full article here.

Fortitude: Season 1 Episode 1

May 7, 2017

Sat down this week and watched the first episode of Fortitude, a murder mystery set in the Arctic. No doubt the exterior shots in this series are off the charts amazing. Fortitude also boasts an impressive cast including Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston, Stanley Tucci, Dennis Quaid (in Season 2) and a bevy of talented Icelandic, Danish, and Norwegian actors. There are a lot of stories brewing in the first episode. Unfortunately I found the overall tone of the show to be more melodrama than serious drama. I will pass on the rest. 2 out of 5 for Fortitude. Next.


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