Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Scott & Bailey: Season 4

July 21, 2018

I finished Season 4 of Scott & Bailey on vacation. I watched very little television, but did catch the final few episodes of this solid television series from England. The best from Season 4: the promotion, Rachel’s Mom, Janet’s daughter Elise leaving home, Rachel and her sexy new man, Gill’s drinking, Gill’s impending retirement, and the slaves at the farm. Hard to believe only one more to go. Time flew by with Janet and Rachel. 4 out of 5.

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The Bureau: Season 1, Episode 1

July 8, 2018

Caught the first episode tonight of the French spy thriller, The Bureau.  It’s really, really good. If you have ever been a fan of Homeland or The Americans or any spy film, you will want to check this out. From Vulture,

When it comes to high-stakes TV spy thrillers, sure, Homeland and The Americans have delivered their share of riveting moments.

But by far the series practicing the best spycraft these days is France’s The Bureau. An intricately plotted show rooted in real-world geopolitical events, it follows agents operating within the DGSE intelligence service, the Gallic version of the CIA. Mathieu Kassovitz (Amélie, Munich) stars as Guillaume “Malotru” Debailly, an undercover agent recalled to Paris after six years in Syria, who can’t quite give up his alias. Suffering from le syndrome du clandestin — post-mission disorder — Guillaume tries to adjust to a quotidian work life supervising agents, and reconnecting with his teenage daughter, Prune. His life becomes more complicated when he discovers Nadia El Mansour, the married professor with whom he was having an affair in Damascus, is in Paris.

Here are four other reasons to check out the show the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics named France’s best TV series tout de suite on subscription service Sundance Now.

I caught The Bureau on DVD from the library. If you don’t have a subscription to Sundance Now, ask your library to order the series. Foreign television does very well in our system. I’m not going to continue watching the series, because for some reason, I’m not connecting with it, but it’s extremely well-done. 3 out of 5.

Read the full article on Vulture.

Scott & Bailey: Season 3

July 2, 2018

Season 3 turned out to be the most complex and shocking Scott & Bailey so far. Friendships destroyed, difficult relatives, free-fall marriages, difficult cases and a mole among the staff are just some of the challenges facing Janet and Rachel in this twisty eight-episode arc. Really love this show. It’s so easy to watch. Nothing too complicated and yet the quality never falters. 4 out of 5.

‘The Great British Baking Show’ Will Help You Through The 2018 Garbage Fire (Decider)

June 30, 2018

This headline pretty much sums up how I feel about life. The world is literally crumbling around us. I’m horrified to be witnessing the destructive anti-human behavior of the vial Trump Administration and his Republican sellouts. So I fight when I can, work to keep food on my table, and laugh and love because these assholes are not going to take away my beautiful life. Part of my laughter and love comes from escaping to the movies – and television shows. My very favorite escape is The Great British Baking Show. Decider sums up my feelings perfectly,

But there’s one show that can always be counted on to be kind during even the most terrifying news stories. If you need a break from the waking nightmare that is 2018, you need to watch The Great British Baking Show.

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood’s little baking show is just so nice… Each hour The Great British Baking Show shows another batch of normal, everyday people pursuing their dreams in between their day-to-day lives. They’re not trying to become the next best baker of all time. Some of the contestants don’t even seem interested in showing off. They just want to impress their baking idols, challenge themselves, and have some fun in the process. Plus there’s no mention of Donald Trump in any episode. In fact, the competition show is so far removed from Trump and politics as a whole, it sometimes feels like it exists in a completely separate, happier timeline. It’s wonderful.

Such a wonderful show. America’s Season 5 just started streaming for free on PBS.org and their app.

Read more on Decider.

 

Scott & Bailey: Season 2

June 26, 2018

Still loving the British police procedural, Scott & Bailey. Fun to see the genders reversed – the women to be making the decisions, drinking too much, fucking up their relationships, and solving all the crimes. Best parts of Season 2: Janet’s marital problems, Rachel’s brother Dominic, Sean’s reappearance in Rachel’s life, Andy’s reappearance in Janet’s life, Sean’s surprise family member, Andy and Janet’s screw-up at work, Nick Savage’s reappearance, and Rachel’s Mom who helps with the cliffhanger. Kudos to the direction and writing. Tight, smart and easy to digest, Scott & Bailey is perfect for almost any occasion. Breezed through this second season full of surprises and filled with the familiarity of our heroines. 4 out of 5.

Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Enlightened: Season 2 (take 2)

June 23, 2018

Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of the colossal whistle-blower television series, Enlightened from the brilliant minds of Mike White and Laura Dern.

Man in an Orange Shirt

June 19, 2018

PBS’ Masterpiece imports another outstanding British production, Man in an Orange Shirt available today on DVD and streaming. The film tells the love stories of two male couples, one post WWII and one in present day England. British novelist Patrick Gale wrote Man in an Orange Shirt. If you haven’t read any Gale, I suggest starting with Rough Music or The Facts of Life. Gale is a master of storytelling in multiple time periods. Man in an Orange Shirt focuses on love, but also exposes the destruction the closet can reap on gay people and their loved ones, particularly their opposite-sexed spouses. Michael and Thomas struggle to hold on to their love in an unforgiving 1940’s England. Michael marries Flora while Thomas faces the law. Michael’s grandson Adam meets Steve as they face modern-day challenges of open relationships and online hook-ups. For both couples, the closet and societal acceptance prove their biggest hurdles. Writing, production values, acting, directing all first-rate. The story is told in two parts starting as the war comes to an end and finishing in present time. Man in an Orange Shirt feels like something I will want to revisit in the very near future. Thrilled these stories are being written and produced for television. Lots of tears with ultimately one happy ending. 4 out of 5 for Man in an Orange Shirt.

Scott & Bailey: Season 1

June 17, 2018

Sally Wainwright’s (Happy Valley) police procedural, Scott & Bailey currently streams five seasons on Amazon Prime. Scott & Bailey provides detective comfort food while boasting a female driven cast and crew. The women on the show screw up just as much as the men but I have to say it’s refreshing seeing a perspective from the girls club this time around. We could use a lot more shows like Scott & Bailey. The series stars Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp in title roles with Amelia Bullmore as their DCI boss. All three women carve out natural and memorable characters. Combining the best of smart police work with short-lived cases and a bit of sexual tension and drama from the women, Scott & Bailey goes down easy and is the perfect Friday night Amazon and chill. 4 out of 5 for this addictive drama.

Enlightened: Season 1 (take 2)

June 15, 2018

In awe of how great Mike White’s Enlightened is the second time around. Must see for anyone who’s ever felt dead inside and lost from our brutal corporate reality. Or for anyone who wants a wake-up call. Or anyone who craves intelligent television. Click on the image to read Reel Charlie’s updated review.

Sense8: The Finale

June 10, 2018

Never have I loved such a flawed show as much as I love Sense8. The plot can be ridiculous, the story lines impossible to follow, the back story baffling, and the violence over the top gross. And yet, in-between lives an arc of love, connection, compassion, and a sense of wonder. Gloriously filmed in Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Nairobi, Reykjavik, San Francisco, and Seoul, this finale movie wrap-up lands in Paris where the sensates gather to do battle with the Chairman and save their race from enslavement and extinction. I forgot much of the plot between Season 2 and the wrap-up movie. I sure wish Netflix and other streamers would create “last season on…” trailers to remind us where we left off in the previous season. Instead I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the ride. There’s way too much violence for me, and Daryl Hannah’s face work never stops being distracting. Still Sense8 imagines a world of possibilities for love and friendship. And for that I will end this series content and fulfilled. What’s not to love about a kooky, over-the-top, sex positive TV show that has a HEA ending? My girls found their moment after the battles ended. 4 out of 5 for the ambitious Sense8 from the Wachowskis.


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