Archive for the ‘TV series’ Category

Friends: Season 2 – ***

Posted: May 5, 2018 in 1996, Comedy, TV series, USA, XXX

These over-sensitive, politically correct and hypocrite twenty-somethings who – anno 2018 –  claim that Friends is racist, sexist, homophobic and what not, are so exhaustingly annoying! This is a good show. It’s a great sitcom. The jokes are funny. The situations are funny. How on earth can anyone be offended by Friends?

Season 2 is much better than the first season. Not all episodes are great. And not all characters are great. But some episodes are perfect television.

 

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Ha!

recommended by several friends: a quirky British comedy sitcom available on netflix

It’s a British comedy sitcom. Which means there are only six episodes per season. And they only last for about half hour each. This is over before you know it.

The central character is Tracey, a twenty something virgin who’s living with her religious mother and sister in a multiracial area of London. She so desperately wants to have sex that the whole series evolves around this goal. Both get really tiring after a while. Tracey makes you nervous. The way she talks. The way she acts. The way she can’t make up her mind. The way she jumps into adventures with such naivety. And this quest to lose her virginity goes on and on. Yawn.

But the side characters make up a lot. They are even weirder.

The social commentary isn’t really as on point as you’d expect. But sometimes that’s not necessary. It’s just fun to watch a weird girl with her weird friends end up in weird situations, innit?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5097050

 

Dark is a German netflix original. It’s riding on the hyped wave of Stranger Things. It has some similarities. Events take place in a small town, surrounded by a forest, close to a well-secured nuclear energy plant. Kids get missing, locals all seem to know each other and a large part of the story takes you back to the eighties. But that’s about it. The atmosphere of the series feels more like Twin Peaks. It’s darker, more mysterious, more dramatic, more philosophical and messier.

The story takes place in 2019, 1986 and 1953. This is important information, because that’s not really clear in the first two episodes, which take place in the present and feel messy. As of episode 3 you feel this series may be worth the watch. Several characters that are introduced in that episode are younger versions of the characters that you already familiarized with. It’s intriguing. A kid gets missing in 2019 and somehow ends up in 1986. But this is no Back To The Future. There is zero humor. Zero romance. Just a lot of dark negativity.

The kid who gets missing in 2019 starts a new life in 1986. So, by 2019 the kid has lived a lie for 33 years! This is pretty unsettling. But intriguing. A lot of questions arise. But only few get answered. The series keeps on introducing subplots and new characters, but never focuses on the main question: how on earth did a guy live for so long next to a younger version of himself? It’s not a plot spoiler. It’s a key element to attract viewers to the show.

By the end of the series pseudo-philosophical and neo-scientific theories are uttered and explained concerning time and space. That’s all intriguing, but it doesn’t really help you explain the plot. The writers must have had fun preparing the script. The preparation desk with all the written-out biographies of each character must be tremendous. All these characters are all intertwined. Some are even related to each other. It’s fun.

BUT… the story doesn’t make sense. Yes, it’s about time travel and yes, it’s (science) fiction. But in the end, it should still feel logical. Which is far from the case here.

But the atmosphere is excellent. The long shots are great. The sun never shines. It rains a lot and it’s always ‘dark’. The soundtrack is creepy. The acting is fine. The concept is brilliant. Time travel isn’t a new theme in cinema. But this time they focus more on the thought: if you could change the past, would you? and what would it mean for the present and the future?

For you to binge-watch and get disturbing nightmares…

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5753856

 

The follow-up season to the great Master Of None is just as good. This is a great comedy show that includes diversity, gives social commentary, is never too offensive and never too pc. Every episode also has a different feel. Which was super in the first series, but which isn’t as perfect in the second series. The quality of the episodes aren’t consistent. There are a few excellent episodes though. The one with the different dates, the one with all these characters ending up in the cinema and the thanksgiving one. That’s perfect television. Especially the silent skit with the mute/deaf couple. Hilarious. Others are just okay. The love interest becomes a drag. Unfortunately, unrequited love is part of life too. Aziz Ansari plays such a super relatable normal guy that it’s refreshing. The side characters aren’t always on point. And some are just plain terrible at acting normal. But in the case of Aziz’s dad, I’d say: give him his own show!

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4635276

Review after three episodes (six more to go) – *(*)

Part fantasy horror film, part mystery thriller. The first three episodes are confusing. Which is the whole point. The main character has amnesia, but is the key witness in the disappearance of Thomas De Geest. She’s been interred into a psychiatric hospital and gets questioned by both her shrink and a detective. She’s an odd woman. She claims to have amnesia, but the viewer gets to see all kinds of memories in flashback. Why? She’s clearly lying to the shrink and the detective as she remembers snippets of what happened to her in the past and then claims to not know anything. But why?

There are nine episodes. It was a big success on television. It has a lot of renowned actors in the cast. And it is somehow intriguing. Maybe it’s worth watching it until the end. But my god, is it boring. And slow. And the set design is terrible. Several scenes don’t make sense. Give me realism over fantasy anytime. There is no suspense, just weird scary scenes stolen from the vast catalogue of horror movies. Even if you’re not a fantasy film lover, it all feels like it’s been done before a zillion times. A haunted house, a devilish child, electricity blackouts, cape wearing figures, scary dolls, a mysterious man in the forest. Add a cheating husband, a sexually comfortable sixty year old, a foreign looking caretaker/gigolo, weird patients in the psychiatric ward, etc… It’s a mess.

Review after nine episodes – *(*)

So yes, it’s worth watching the series until the end. The final episode does have some surprises in store. But you can’t really talk about a plot twist. The actual plottwist happens at the end of episode 5. It’s not a big surprise for the viewer, but it kind of changes the series from a fantasy thriller to a regular detective drama. The flashbacks are no longer memories of the main character, but rather added for the viewer’s benefit. Which feels like an inconsistency. The acting is ok. But it’s so boring at times. And all these hyped kudos to the director for showing a) depth to the characters and b) beauty in the visuals. Bull. The characters are pretty one-dimensional and the scenes look messy. Also, the way psychiatry is depicted here, is terrible. It’s stereotypical and unoriginal.

Sometimes, a hype is only a hype if you want it to be.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5197860/

Holt and Gina. His character, her one-liners. That’s really the only reason for watching all 23 episodes of Season 2. And to a lesser extent also season 3.

Some episodes are really good. Well written and funny as hell. Others are just okay. Some in season 3 are just bad.

But Holt and Gina. Love them!

The last couple of episodes  of season 3 are okay though as they become a  bigger story spread over several episodes, but it’s clear that the creators are trying too hard to make absurdity be funny.

 

Not as captivating as Season 1, this follow-up to Top Boy is more violent, more dark, (even) more depressing and less realistic. Sure, it’s probably based on some true stories, but it’s just too much. The acting is still okay, but the characters are not at all appealing. Ashley Walter’s Dushane, the top boy in London’s crime world, can’t charm as much as in the previous episodes. Sure, he’s thinking of getting out and investing in real estate. But to cover up a murder, he continues to intimidate and kil. Unethically. The fact that he starts something sexual/romantic with his lawyer makes it all a bit too far-fetched. Malcolm Kamulete’s Ra-Nell was a total revelation in series one and plays fourth fiddle in this season. Sad, there’s more to tell about this kid. In fact, there are so many characters this time and they are not explored well enough. So, hardly anyone to care about.

Netflix is going to produce season 3. Not sure what that will bring.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1830379/