Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

‘Dark’ and other German TV series to watch worldwide (Deutsche Welle)

December 14, 2017

Has Netflix first German produced series, Dark given you a hankering for all things FRG? If so, Deutsche Welle offers ten series from Germany that have been distributed or soon will be worldwide. I’m very excited about Berlin Babylon. From Deutsche Welle,

The most expensive non-English drama series ever produced, “Berlin Babylon” started airing in Germany last October. Netflix purchased broadcast rights for the US. Three directors, including Tom Tykwer, recreated the atmosphere of Berlin in the 1920s for this period drama.

Check out the slide show now.

 

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Ray Donovan

December 13, 2017

I’ve been wanting to try out Ray Donovan for years now. Not sure why I never got around to watching it until this week. I like the cast a lot. I especially love the casting director who decided Liev Schreiber and Eddie Marsan look like brothers, which they do. The dead pan, no-nonsense violence does nothing for me. The idea of a Boston working-class family – this time transplanted to Los Angeles seems worn out to me. I suppose people in other parts might be fascinated by the accents and the thuggishness. Honestly, it makes me yawn. I’ve seen enough Irish Catholic heavy accented Boston working class characters for one lifetime. At least for now. I get why Ray Donovan would be addictive for many. I am simply not connecting with it. It’s not bad, it’s just not my taste. 3 out of 5.

All About PBS’s ‘Masterpiece’ & Amazon’s Increasingly Tight Relationship (Decider)

December 12, 2017

I would have never researched this kernel of streaming choice had it not been for my good friends Nina and Joe telling me they just got (PBS) Masterpiece through Amazon. I thought PBS only afforded streaming content access through their free app along with Passport, a yearly contribution to PBS which offers access to their entire archive of programming. A smidgen of digging uncovered a recent article from Decider. Thanks to writer Meghan O’Keefe for compiling all you need to know. From Decider,

Amazon has made no secret of the fact that it wants to be the streaming home for as many Masterpiece series as possible. Over the past few years, the internet giant has snatched up as many SVOD rights to Masterpiece titles as they could — and they already offer a curated “Masterpiece” Amazon channel that gives subscribers access to 31 additional titles not (yet) available to Prime Subscribers.

[…]To fill in these gaps in their own Prime library, Amazon offers a “Masterpiece Channel.” For $5.99 per month, users can add this option to their pre-existing Prime subscription, thus giving them access to more Masterpiece favorites. The channel offers older classics like The Jewel in the Crown and Mansfield Park, but more importantly, it gives users access to the latest seasons of Masterpiece‘s featured shows.

[…]It’s a pretty good deal, but PBS has one of their own. PBS’s basic streaming platform is free to use (and comes with more than a handful Viking River Cruise commercials). They tend to offer free streaming of the network’s latest titles for anywhere from a few weeks to months after broadcast. PBS also offers its own subscription service for viewers who want unlimited access to new and favorite programs.

Among Passport’s offerings? Downton Abbey, Sherlock, The Great British Baking Show, VictoriaGrantchester, as well as a variety of documentaries and cultural programs. Passport is currently offering (by my count) 40 titles, but not all of them are exclusively Masterpiece. They’re all representative of the most popular PBS programming in recent years. At $5 per month (or $60 annually), it’s arguably a financially better deal. Also, PBS considers Passport as part of its donor perks. You know how PBS used to match pledges with CDs and tote bags and concert tickets? That comes along with Passport, too.

Great reporting. Read the full article on Decider.

 

Godless

December 11, 2017

Watched the first episode of Netflix new western Godless. Nearly all the men in La Belle, New Mexico die in a mining accident. The women are left to keep the town going. An outlaw, Roy Goode hides out in town from his former partner Frank Griffin. So there are men in the series. Many of them. Most are not connected with the town. But there is a great balance of gender in the ensemble cast. Outstanding group of actors including Jack O’Connell (as Roy), Michelle Dockery (yes, Mary from Downton Abbey),  Scoot McNairy, Merritt Wever (doing her usual badass acting), Jeff Daniels, and Sam Waterston. There’s modern humor infused into the story. Godless is authentic, filmed on location in New Mexico with a feminist twist. But it’s still a western which is not my genre of choice. I give it a 3 out of 5. You may find it more to your liking and rate it higher.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 1

December 9, 2017

Season 1 of the Amazon Prime exclusive, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel succeeded my wildest expectations after loving the pilot during Amazon’s Pilot season earlier this year. Gilmore Girls creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino work their magic once again, this time in 1950’s New York City. Miriam “Midge” Maisel falls into stand-up comedy after a nasty break-up with her husband. Midge spent her young life being a daughter, wife, and mother. Now she’s back home living with her parents, two kids in tow while she figures out how to make money and how to break into show business. I love, love, love this series. It’s got everything: tight delivery, outstanding cast including Rachel Brosnahan as Midge (a star is born), Alex Borstein as Suzie, Midge’s lesbian manager, Marin Hinkle incredibly cast and nailing her role as Midge’s Mom, Tony Shalhoub as Midge’s dry sense of humor Dad, and Luke Kirby occasionally appearing as Lenny Bruce. The sets, costumes, design – all outstanding. The drama comedy balance perfect. I know I’m ruining it but I can’t help it. I love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Midge teaches us what it means to be a modern woman, figuring out how to break the chains of patriarchy while holding on to the parts of her life that work. The show never knocks you over the head. It teaches through the drama of the every day story. You’ll be hooked on Midge and her journey from the moment you begin. And did I say the series is so much fun? Laugh out loud moments, period songs inserted at just the right moment. 5 out of 5 for the Sherman-Palladino’s new creation. Thank you Amazon.

The Crown: Season 2 drops

December 8, 2017

A reminder the lavish British monarchy series, The Crown drops Season 2 today on Netflix. Looking forward to new cast members Michael C. Hall and Jodi Balfour as Jack and Jackie Kennedy, and Matthew Goode as Lord Snowdon as we careen into the 1960’s. Who’s binging this weekend?

Read Reel Charlie’s review of The Crown: Season 1.
Watch the trailer for The Crown: Season 2 on YouTube.

Broadchurch: Season 3

December 7, 2017

My love of Broadchurch and has waxed and waned. I gave Season 1 a 5 out of 5. Then I gave Season 2 a 3.5 out of 5. Season 3 redeemed itself solving yet another crime and finally making peace with Danny’s murder from Season 1. David Tennant and Olivia Colman are back and in top form. Colman is a force to be reckoned with. I look forward to watching her career post-Broadchurch. This time, Season 3 investigates a rape. Because of the nature of the crime, the series focuses most of its attention on gender and a woman’s place in the world. There are lots to digest and consider. And in the middle of it all, Danny’s murder from Season 1 finally finds, if not some closure, a bit of peace for his parents and siblings. Jodie Whittaker (the new Doctor Who) and Andrew Buchan share outstanding acting moments as Danny’s estranged parents Beth and Mark Latimer. Heavy stuff. The beauty of the landscape helps temper the seriousness of this crime drama. I’m leaving Broadchurch with a 4 out of 5 for Season 3.

Read Reel Charlie’s review of Broadchurch: Season 1.
Read Reel Charlie’s review of Broadchurch: Season 2.

Riverdale’s Sheriff Keller is a total DILF

December 6, 2017

I knew it. I just knew it. Martin Cummins who plays out gay character Kevin Keller’s dad, Sheriff Keller has been making me think there’s a babe underneath that uniform. Last week we finally caught a glimpse of Keller working out in his basement shirtless. Bingo. As if I needed one more reason to watch this comfort food show. The 48 year-old actor proves once again that some people get better with age. Woof!

The Mist

November 30, 2017

There’s something about a Stephen King adaptation that always lures me in. I retain hope. Hope for excellence as in The Shawshank Redemption, Dolores Claiborne, or Apt Pupil. Hope for creepy comfort food like Storm of the Century. Unfortunately The Mist falls into neither category. The quality screams second-rate television. There’s nothing chilling about the story. It’s unfortunate because all the elements are there for either excellent or good, clean fun. Too bad. 2 out of 5 for The Mist. Next.

L.A. Law: Season 3

November 27, 2017

I’m maxed out on L.A. Law seasons here in the States. The Region 1 DVDs only go as far as Season 3 which I just finished. Damn. I guess this is the end of the road for me – for now. I sure wish someone would stream all eight seasons. I know it changed a lot over the years. After Susan Dey left, I stopped watching. But I’d love to see where it goes and if I could stay with it. Meanwhile, Season 3 continued the excellence of the first two seasons. Great stories, Lots of humor. And the women really shine in this series. Very balanced characters gender-wise. Probably a big deal back in the 80’s to execute that. Even the Roxanne character proves not everyone who works for a law firm manages their money or even makes enough in the first place. Mickey and Grace are on the rocks, Ann and Stuart try to make a baby, Abby ventures out on her own, Jonathan finds his footing, and Victor continues to work strong. Season 3 truly features the classic cast. Still holds up after more than 30 years. 5 out of 5 for this television legal drama that not only paved the way for many other shows like it, but inspired many people to become lawyers.


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