Archive for the ‘TV series’ Category

This Is Us : Season 3 – **

Posted: September 15, 2019 in 2018, Drama, TV series, USA, XX

Kevin goes on a mission to Vietnam to learn more about what his father did over there. He’s also dating Beth’s niece. And becomes an alcoholic. Again.

Randall becomes a politician and acts like a total asshole at times.

Kate gets pregnant and gives birth.

This is one boring season.

Yes, you get to learn a bit more about the side characters. But it’s still all about the Pearson family and they become more and more annoying and less and less credible in their family antics.

It took months to finish watching this season. Only one episode was great: R & B. But then the final episode blew it again.

Not looking forward to season 4

www.imdb.com/title/tt5555260

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Special – **

Posted: August 26, 2019 in 2019, Drama, LGBT themed, TV series, USA, XX

It starts good. A guy with (a light form of) cerebral palsy starts an internship at an online press company, but is afraid to tell the rest of the team what his condition is. His boss asks if he acts so weird because he was hit by a car and there you have the lie he needed: yes, he got hit by a car and that damaged him for life. It’s also the first article he writes for the website and it’s an immediate success.

It starts of funny as well. As he’s with his physiotherapist he mentioned how jealous he is of Bob, who’s in the wheelchair all the time. ” I feel like a mixed race child, not knowing who to belong to. I am not ‘abled’ enough to live a normal life and I’m not disabled enough either. At least Bob knows where he is at.” “That’s a lot of insults in one sentence” his therapist say. Bam. Un-pc humor right from the start

However, the next seven (very short) episodes, bring more drama and less humor. And the charming, funny character, becomes a bit of an whining jerk. The guy is gay and a virgin and he just wants to find a partner! He also wants to live on his own even though he cannot tie his shoe laces! He wants to get away from his over-caring mom, but is then upset when she starts a relationship with the hot new neighbor.

The humor and charm of the first episode are gone by episode two. Which is weird. Because normally the pilot is the bad episode and the show gets better after that. It’s a short series and there are some good elements, but as a whole it’s not really worth recommending.

Missed chance.

www.imdb.com/title/tt9381622/

 

Three more episodes of this fascinating series of standalone near future dramatic thrillers. Not so thrilling or scary or thought provoking as before, but a good watch nevertheless.

Striking Vipers (***) isn’t half as scary as other episodes. In fact, the technological novelty kinda looks appealing. It’s a virtual reality game console that makes you become the character you chose. The idea could be frightening, but this time the makers turned it around and made it something more sexual and romantic. Quite intriguing. Well acted.

In Smithereens (**) a man kidnaps an employee of a major social network company in order to be able to speak to the founder of the company. He manages to do so and the end is a bit of a disappointment. It’s the kind of kidnapping show that makes you wonder why the person being kidnapped is not cooperating with the police to being rescued.

Miley Cyrus plays an unhappy pop star in Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too (**). Her manager controls every aspect of her life and just wants the business to boom. Just as a new A.I. lookalike robot is launched on the market, things get ugly. But thanks to one of the robots and the owners of it, the pop star is saved.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2085059/episodes

 

Recommended by friends, this new LGBTQI+ Netflix series is a bit of a drag really. No pun intended.

A woman returns to San Francisco after having left 20 years ago to pursue a career. She used to live in a community house run by a transgender, whose 90th birthday is the occasion of her return. But not everyone is happy to see her. Most definitely not her ex husband and their adoptive daughter.

Laura Linney and her character save this show from total boredom. Her presence is fresh and funny. The rest of the cast is not impressive at all. And the script sucks. Every episode has a few scenes that are worth the rave reviews, but in general this is not a good drama show.

An intriguing character is Jake, a transgender who is confused about his new identity after the transgression. It’s not a stereotypical characterization and the actor isn’t a professional, which makes it more real. His former lesbian girlfriend is having trouble accepting the new identity as well. Yes, this story line is good.

But most of the time the story and characterization is irritating. Why do daddies in interracial/intergenerational couples always have to be white? Why do we need characters that represent the pseudo artistic influencers we now see on social media? Why does San Francisco look sunny and clean? I mean, have they been to San Francisco? Why is the idea of smoking weed every single moment of the day something attractive to look at on tv? Why do producers think Ellen Page is someone people want to watch ‘act’?  It’s also so annoyingly politically correct. It’s terrible.

In fact, the best confrontational scene is the one where a bunch of old homosexuals get reprimanded a younger gay guy because they use the word ‘tranny’. The discussion that follows is quite a powerful moment on generational conflicts.

It’s not a good show. It’s hard to finish. But episode eight is worth the watch. It’s a flashback episode focussing on the Compton Cafeteria Riot from 1966. Though flawed, it’s worth the watch and the only episode that doesn’t make you push the forward button.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7087260

Studio Tarara – ***

Posted: March 26, 2019 in 2019, Drama, Flanders, TV series, XXX

Rare these days (at least for me): watching a tv series unfold every single week. No binge-watching. Just anticipating the next episode. Eight weeks long.

And it was worth the watch. This was good television. With a lot of flaws, but enough positive moments to balance them out.

The set up is simple. Someone fell to his death at a television studio, where a live sketch show was being recorded. It’s unclear until the very last episode who the actual victim is. But in every episode you learn who is still alive, as a second story line follows a detective who’s writing down the taped interviews of all people involved.

The mystery of who the victim is and how the person died, isn’t all that exciting. As a thriller, the show fails.

The series is about the production of a funny sketch show and the troublesome lives of its creators. The drama and characterization are top-notch. But the sketches aren’t funny! At all. So as a comedy, the show fails as well.

But another storyline focuses on sexual harassment at a television studio and throughout the series this is the main theme. It’s also the one that makes the show fascinating. The acting is really good. Even international audiences may like these performances.

It’s still a very Flemish show though. Not sure if people abroad will get the references. There is an international trailer though… The story is set in 1993 though and the soundtrack is incredible. It’s very interesting to hear the big alternative hits of that year as a soundtrack to a story set at the tv studio of the most commercial television network.

www.imdb.com/title/tt9839222

Turn Up Charlie – *(*)

Posted: March 15, 2019 in 2019, Dramedy, TV series, UK, X1/2

Idris Elba has an eight episode series on Netflix as of today. It’s a British show and is marketed as a ‘comedy’, but it’s more of a chaotic dramedy. The first episode is kind of cool though. Idris plays a middle-aged amateur dj, who had one big hit in the nineties, but spent all his money on women and booze. He lives with his aunt, lies about his success to his parents and is penniless. An old buddy of his, now a famous actor, is moving back to London with his successful dj-ing wife and their spoiled daughter. Somehow, Idris’ character Charlie accepts the job of being the kid’s nanny. Part because he needs the money and part because he hopes to get back into the music business. Of course, he starts to care about the kid as well.

After a few episodes the relationship between Charlie and the kid becomes second fiddle. Like they ran out of interesting scenes between the two unlikely buddies. In one later episode they are at some alternative dance festival and the series becomes dull. In another episode they are in Ibiza. The simple sitcom feel from the beginning, becomes a show with drugs and sex. That’s where it becomes chaotic. In the final episode the question is more about who is in love with who and the kid just is a distraction.

There should release a soundtrack. On vinyl of course. The music is good. And it’s not without merits. The auntie with her Nigerian accent is funny. And some scenes are well done. But in general this is just not a great show.

www.imdb.com/title/tt830449

After Life – ***

Posted: March 10, 2019 in 2019, Comedy, Dramedy, TV series, UK, XXX

If you like Ricky Gervais, this is a great six episode binge watching dramedy series. He found a perfect coat to hang on his stand up comedy jokes. Plus, he proves he has a heart as well and his stabs are getting subtle.

He’s Tony, an editor of a local newspaper, who lost his wife and has become cynical, sarcastic and suicidal. He vows to just tell everyone the brutal truth, which of course, is a perfect way of showcasing his humor. In his discussions with colleagues and the people he needs to interview, he can enlighten them with his logical, honest and rude observations and thoughts.

The downside of it all is that the jokes are not really original. We know Ricky likes animals more than humans, we know he’s an atheist, we know he doesn’t like fake and hypocrite attention, etc… What is original is that he shows a character with a heart. The last episode is pretty much un-gervais-like. It’s actually heart warming. Yet, in a great scene with his dad, who suffers from Alzheimers, there’s room for humour as well.

Watch it.

www.imdb.com/title/tt8398600