Sunday 6 October 2019

Lately I've Been Watching....

An irregular series of mini reviews and recommendations of stuff I've been watching, most if not all of it on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  Having been busy finishing a novel lately, I've mostly been flopping into bed at about 9.30 and re-watching all of South Park, which is of course TOTALLY worth it - and it's interesting to see their takes on the issues of the past 15-20 years. 😉

If you would like to see the other posts in this series, please click HERE

Series: Succession

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nothing like a dysfunctional family saga, especially when that family is ridiculously rich... as with Yellowstone, I'm hugely enjoying this other 21st century version of Dallas, this time about a media company, and set in New York.  I've seen up to episode 5 in S2 so far; saving the rest to watch all at once.  Highly recommended.  nb, I don't usually like Matthew McFayden, but he's brilliant in this as the sycophantic son-in-law.

Something that does irritate me - their mother is played by Harriet Walters, and is meant to be minor aristocracy; I find it unlikely that an English upper class woman of her age would have children called Kendall and Roman.  Conor and Siobhan are fine, as they are traditionally Irish (also part of the family heritage).  

Reminds me of Joan Collins during Dynasty, who always refused to call Stephanie Beacham's character anything but 'cousin' - she said that there was no way on earth an upper class English family would have a daughter called Sable!

Film: Wag The Dog

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Starring Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffman and made in 1997, it's a terrific and very funny look at how the media influences the public, especially during election times - and of course all this was pre-social media.  Very clever, and I'm sure it is based far more in truth than many would imagine!

Series: Why Women Kill 

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Darkly humorous drama, involving 3 alternating scenarios about people who've lived in the same house, in 1963, 1986 and 2019.  Each of the women kills.... but why?  And who?  I'm up to episode 6 of ten yet, and am saving the last 4 to watch together.  Highly entertaining, and each story is so much of its time: the 'little woman' at home of the 1960s who fears her executive husband is cheating, the 1980s socialite who discovers her husband is gay but doesn't want to forfeit her lifestyle, and the couple in an open marriage in 2019, in which the woman is the breadwinner.  

Just realised I mentioned this in the last post, too, so consider this a definite recommendation!

Series: Criminal 

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Series of scenarios set in a police interview room, in which a potential murder victim is interviewed.  David Tennant plays the first; I've seen 3 of the 4 UK ones, but there are others set in different countries. They're good, and well-acted, but I found them frustrating because I wanted to see more than the interview room, and more about what happened before and after.

Comedy Series: Schitt's Creek

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

About a super-rich family who lose all their money and end up going to live in a hick town - because they own it.  Classic riches to rags, oddly compelling, and entertaining enough to make you want to know what happens to the characters.   

Series: The Politician 

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Started watching this last night - 3 episodes.  It's a darkly humorous drama set in a Californian high school, in which Payton Hobart, an ambitious young man, is determined to become High School President, the first step on his way to becoming POTUS. It's good, but very 'teen' (though most of the 'kids' look about 25), and I was unsure about the way that certain aspects seemed to be actively promoted, not least of all casual sex as a recreational activity for schoolkids. Also, there is a girl with a supposed terminal illness that seems to be not so much inspired by the true-life drama The Act, as directly copied from it.  But the guy who plays the main character is great, with a character that is developing well, and Gwyneth Paltrow and January Jones are excellent as super-privileged California wives - I basically liked it, and will carry on watching.  

Note - two days later.  Watched a few more - it's now a couple of years later and they're all in New York - I think it's turned into Excruciatingly Irritating and Smug Millennials Take On The Old Fogeys and Win.  But it's still good :)

Film: Child's Play 2019 

3 stars ⭐⭐⭐

I never saw the original, but I quite liked the updated version, in which the doll is activated by AI.  It's a nice bit of fun escapism!

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