e’ve decided to take a classic movie conundrum and turn it into a little game, enlisting several of our contributors to participate. We’ve all done it before. You turn on a recommended movie, or the hit TV show du jours and you see an actor. You’ve seen them before, but you can’t remember where. ‘Who IS that?’ you ask yourself. You find yourself furiously searching IMDB pages, trying to learn his or her identity.
Just as the MCU continues to rolls on the big screen, the studio’s Netflix series are also marching on. Iron Fist, the latest show, will debut in March, to be followed by The Defenders, a sort of mini-Avengers project that will unite Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist as a crime-fighting team. We don’t know too much about which Marvel comics bad guys the Defenders will be taking on, but these are a few candidates.
For anyone who became a fan on the strength of his stand-up, acting, or first musical breakthrough, 2011’s compelling (if uneven) Camp, Glover’s shifts in attitude and ambition were seeming a thorny road to follow him down. Yet any concern trolling anyone might have engaged in following Glover’s marked shift towards the weird is obliterated by the triumphant debut of that show he left Community to make: Atlanta.
With the nature of TV nowadays, driven by an increasing number of streaming and on-demand services, the institution of the Saturday morning cartoon feels like something of a relic. Regardless of the era though, it does feel like something hard-coded into childhood memory; every kid has a story. After five days of getting up early for school, Saturday morning — a time when adults could not be bothered — was a special time. The house often quiet, the demands of the day (such as they were) far away. Go figure the best TV shows around made sure to air in those golden hours.
To say a criminal investigation sometimes goes after useless leads or trips into dead ends, is to state the obvious. Sometimes cases fail altogether. The hope of course is that the detective or lawyer or crime lab tech can reverse course, retrace their steps, and continue down the correct path towards a just conclusion. To tune into the first couple of episodes of HBO’s The Night Of was to feel secure in the hands of a pair of veteran investigators, two guys who knew exactly how to get us from the inciting incident to the proper verdict. But now, at the end, we wonder: did it get stranded in a narrative cul-de-sac somewhere along the way?
Mr. Robot is a pretty cool show; there’s no denying that! Its premise is somewhere between Fight Club and Breaking Bad, but it’s a totally unique entity, and we love it for that. It’s still ongoing, which means there’s going to be downtime between seasons. What’s there to watch in the meantime?
Stranger Things, the new series on Netflix, has no qualms with shooting straight into a spirit of unabashed 80s-ness. It relishes the look, feel and sound of that era, applying it liberally throughout. And yet, it’s hard not to ask: is that necessarily a good thing?
HBO’s latest mini-series The Night Of does something rather rare in the annals of TV drama, and particularly in police procedurals. It makes time for all of it, all of the little cogs in the wheel that get a person from one place (a crime scene) to another (the courtroom) to yet another (jail). There is drama here; a gruesomely murdered woman and a mystery at the core of things. But the effectiveness of the story is not in theatrics, but in the minutia, the little details.
After all the anxiety about #OscarsSoWhite and a run of, let’s say, uninspiring films down the stretch of 2015, it should come as no surprise that last night’s Oscar broadcast was a strange one. How does an organization acknowledge it is out of touch while in the process of celebrating its actual out-of-touchness? After watching the show, I’m not entirely sure the producers knew the answer. In truth, as society continues to muddle forward, how could anyone?
The original X-Files was a wholly original product of its time. And now, after 13 years, it’s back.