Archive for the ‘TV series’ Category

Atlanta – **(*)

Posted: January 11, 2017 in 2016, Comedy, TV series, USA, XX1/2

Winner of a Golden Globe for best comedy show on tv, Atlanta feels more like the kind of free internet series you can find on youtube. It’s low budget and nothing like any tv comedy you’ve ever seen before.

Main character Earn is a loser who’s living with the mother of his daughter. Because he still loves her and she still loves him and because of the child’s benefit. However, the main reason he still lives there is because he is broke. When the new rap track of his cousin Paper Boi becomes an overnight internet hype, he decides to become the manager. But that doesn’t lead to instant success.

As stated above, Atlanta is quite unique. It’s slow paced (too slow at times) and the jokes aren’t always presented on a plate. The humor is in the small moments. It’s almost like a parody, mocking thugs and gangster rappers and street violence, dope heads and crime lords. It trivializes it as well, which is confusing. The bigger picture is more dramatic. Some of the social commentary is done in a very clever way. It’s actually the strong point of the show. And the four main characters are a joy to watch.

But the slang and the references to urban culture are quite tough to understand for those living abroad and speaking a different language. Even with the closed captioning on.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4288182

This is amazing.

This series is outstanding. The acting is incredible. The balance between emotional drama and small humor is so perfect that it just hits the right chords.

Not since The Wire: Season 4 did a tv show get me so hard. Every single episode brought tears. It’s almost flawless. The child actors aren’t really performing as well as the adult counterparts. And the final episode is a little bit too PC. But those are just minor complaints.

The biggest problem for this show is that the bar is raised so incredibly high that more episodes can only disappoint.

No trailer, but a few great scenes.

This is the most powerful scene in recent tv history

 

This brother fight is brilliant:

This is strong too:

 

Black celebrity kills his ex-wife and her male (boy?)friend. Then tries to escape. Kind of surrenders. Gets a widely mediatized trial that lasts for several months. And ends up being declared innocent by a jury! All because the defense lawyer team played the race card and was able to make the jury believe that a) the black celebrity was framed by a racist LAPD officer and b) one of the murder objects (a glove) didn’t fit the defendant.

If this story would have been fiction, this crime series would have flunked terribly. However, it’s based on a true story and that fact alone makes this show a must-watch.

Apart from the white bronco chase and the verdict, this whole trial didn’t really create a buzz in Europa back in the mid nineties. We had the war in former Yugoslavia. This O.J. Simpson thing was just too American to be of interest over here.

So, it’s pretty fascinating to watch this show twenty years later and realize that this wás a big deal back then.

This series itself is close to excellent. Because it’s much more than just a whodunnit murder mystery. It’s a semi documentary about the legal system n the US and how it’s often nothing more than a theatrical game between lawyers. It’s also an excellent social commentary piece about racial tensions and how nothing much has changed in the past 20 years. But most of all this is a fascinating representation of multifaceted characters and a great stage of true acting talent.

Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown and Courtney B. Vance are brilliant as the main characters. Even when you have zero recollection of the characters they are portraying, you can just feel that their embodiment is impeccable. The entire cast is doing a great jb, but they are just top notch. You need ten episodes to appreciate the acting by David Schwimmer, Cuba Gooding Jr. and  John Travolta. Especially the last two cannot shine as the others because of their celebrity status. You’ll learn to love them by the end. Schwimmer (as Rob Kardashian) because he perfectly shows the doubt of a loyal friend, Cuba Gooding Jr. (as a smaller, fatter and goofier version of O.J. Simpson) because he makes it look like O.J. really believed that he was innocent and Travolta (as the campy lawyer Shapiro) who just plays such a weird character that it cannot be but a true representation.

Watch this show! You won’t regret it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2788432

 

 

 

Sometimes nostalgia takes over.

It’s nice to watch a sitcom 30 years after you watched it for the very first time.  Not that much is outdated. A few technical things and of course the fashion have changed a lot. But the situations and issues that the family encounters are still quite contemporary. And the jokes still work.

The very first episodes are a bit of a drag and so are some of the last episodes in this season. Clearly, 24 episodes is just too much. Some episodes look like they were improvised on the spot. And fail at being funny or interesting. Others are well scripted and well acted.

It’s interesting to notice how the character you identified with the most as a kid (Theo) is still the absolute best character of the show 30 years later!  Of all the child actors,  Malcolm-Jamal Warner is by far the absolute best. On the other hand, a character/actress that never thrilled back then, suddenly becomes an absolute delight to watch. Phylicia Rashad is excellent as Clair Huxtable. And regardless of whatever Bill Cosby did at the time of the shooting, he is a joy to watch as well. It’s unfair to pull this off the air.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086687

Somehow someone thought it was better to end Looking with a movie rather than with a third season. There were probably some financial reasons to stop this excellent series about three gay guys in San Francisco. The show kind of flopped despite rave reviews, which is sad. It wasn’t a flawless piece of television fiction, but at least it felt real with characters that you could actually relate to and storylines that were both fun and dramatic.

But now it’s over and based on the quality of this extra long episode, maybe that’s for the better. In this movie, Patrick returns back to San Francisco after having left the city to pursue new career possibilities in Denver (and to runaway from all the drama that he encountered in the Golden Gate city). His best friend Agustin is getting married and that’s the only reason why he’s revisiting. But for the makers of this special, the wedding is just a background theme, because it’s all about Patrick, Patrick and Patrick: the naive and immature drama queen de luxe. Will he make closure with Kevin? Will he reconnect with Richie? Or will he actually grow up?

We don’t want him to grow up. We want him to doubt. We want him to be a mess. But we also want to learn more about the other characters. Like Dom, who doesn’t even get 10 percent of the movie maker’s attention. What’s that all about?

Only watch it if you’ve seen the two seasons and if you are ready to be disappointed.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4552118

 

 

Veep: Season 3 – ***

Posted: September 30, 2016 in 2014, Comedy, TV series, USA, XXX

The absolute best thing about this series is the dialogue and the one-liners. This season is all about Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character Selina Meyers running for president. So she’s campaigning and campaigning is done by a team that comes up with great speeches, headlines and quotes. So it makes total sense that the dialogue between those working in a communication team is very clever, witty and full of foul words. They are all losers in the series, but still very eloquent losers.

Selina Meyer is such a despicable politician. She’s so narcissistic and arrogant, incredibly mean and condescending. Plus she’s fake. She’s a bitch, no, a Bitch with a capital B and somehow incredibly intriguing as such. She’s not really dumb. Nor unlikeable. In fact, she’s a great character. And so is the rest of her staff.

 

Kapoor & Sons – *

Posted: September 24, 2016 in 2016, Family Feud, India, TV series, X

Daily soap melodrama Bollywood-style!

It sounded like something that was worth watching: an Indian dramedy about a dysfunctional family. Unfortunately, this is just a boring drama about a dysfunctional family in India. Yes, there are two scenes where the cast is dancing (after all it is made in Bollywood), but they are doing it on a dance floor during a party, so that doesn’t really count. And yes, some of the topics are groundbreaking for Indian cinema (someone is coming out of the closet!). But all in all, this is plain boring.

Crazy grandfather gets a heart attack. His two grandsons fly back from London/New York to see him ‘one last time’ and find that their parents are basically living a separate life and constantly fight. Everyone in the family has some kind of secret, which are all revealed by the end. Oh and there’s a girl of course, getting cosy with both brothers without knowing it.

This movie just tries too hard to please a western audience. And feels kind of lame in doing so. Maybe that’s the way to do it for an Indian audience. It’s a cultural thing. Don’t shock anybody! And a lot of Europeans and Americans will appreciate this gentle take on family issues. But for those who are used to seeing more realistic and confrontational scenes, this won’t be a thrilling experience.

One example: girl meets hot guy who is interested in renting her house. She gets drunk and gives him a kiss on the lips. Later she dates a guy who turns out to be his brother. She feels all guilty for having kissed his brother. Big deal. She kissed him on the lips. Not even with tongues. Girl all guilty. Brother all upset. It’s a simple kiss on the lips!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4900716