Emmy voting has officially closed but I’m still catching up on this year’s contenders. I should be able to finish up over the upcoming week.
The Beatles: Get Back (Disney Plus)
This documentary, which was produced and put together by Peter Jackson, is about the recording of Let It Be and the final days of the Beatles. Featuring actual footage of the Beatles joking, arguing, and acting like a dysfunctional family, this is a fascinating but extremely long documentary. I watched the first episode on Saturday and I was exhausted by the time that it ended but I’m still looking forward to watching the remaining two episodes next week.
As far as the Beatles are concerned, I like George.
Better Things (Hulu)
I watched two episodes of the latest season of this sitcom on Tuesday. Pamela Adlon’s great but the show was a bit depressing, in the way that so many sitcoms tend to be nowadays. I guess the best way to put it is that the show has its moment but sometimes, it seemed to be trying too hard.
I watched a bit of the second season on Thursday. I liked the costumes.
Flack (Amazon Prime)
Ann Paquin plays a self-destructive, London PR agent. I watched two episodes from the show’s second season. Paquin was great and Sam Neill appears in a few episodes but the show itself was a bit predictable. Even it’s cynicism felt a bit trendy.
The Flight Attendant (HBOMax)
Oh my God, I love this show! Kaley Cuoco gives a brilliant performance as a flight attendant who is both a recovering alcoholic and an asset for the CIA. I watched the second season this week and it wonderfully balanced comedy with action.
The Gilded Age (HBO)
This HBO series takes place in New York City in 1882 and it’s basically an American version of Downton Abbey, which is not surprising considering that it was created by Julian Fellowes. The first season followed a host of characters as they navigated their way through New York’s demanding social world. It was good but occasionally a bit uneven, largely because of the presence of Marian Brook (Louise Jacobson), who comes to New York to stay with her wealthy aunts (Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon). Marian is supposed to be the audience surrogate but she’s such a dull and self-righteous character and Jacobson gave such a blah performance that I soon found myself dreading any scene that involved her.
Far more interesting were the characters of robber baron George Russell (Morgan Spector) and his ambitious wife, Bertha (Carrie Coon). As long as the show focused on them and on the servants (all of whom has their own opinions on the wealthy people they served), The Gilded Age was compelling and entertaining. It’s also a gorgeous show to look at. I am looking forward to the the second season, though I hope there will be a bit less Marian drama to deal with.
I watched two episodes of the second season of this comedy. Jean Smart plays an egocentric comedian. Hannah Embinder plays her writer. Embinder and especially Smart give good performances. The rest of the show’s ensemble isn’t as interesting.
Yay! Carly’s back! I binged the second season on Wednesday and this is a good example of how a show can be updated for the times without losing its charm.
Inspector Lewis (YouTube)
The Inspector and Hathaway had to solve another series of murders in Oxford. Hathaway was trying to quit smoking and he was so miserable about it that I actually cheered a little when he lit up at the end. Good for you, Hathaway! I don’t smoke and I do think that people should be happy.
The Lincoln Lawyer (Netflix)
Eh. I watched the first episode of this new legal series. I enjoyed the movie with Matthew McConaughey but the show was boring. It was David E. Kelley on autopilot.
It’s been a while since I’ve cared about SNL but I definitely remember MacGruber and I enjoyed his show on Peacock. Will Forte is so underrated.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime)
I finally watched the latest season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It’s a good show, I just hope no one’s getting too attached to Lenny Bruce.
The Squid Game (Netflix)
In this South Korean show, a group of financially destitute people are recruited to play deadly games for the amusement of the wealthy. I finally watched this show on Wednesday and Thursday and I was a bit surprised to learn that it lived up to its considerable hype. I know that some people, including the show’s creator, say that its a critique of capitalism. Myself, I feel that its a critique of authoritarianism but then again, I’m a capitalist. The most important thing is that the imagery was memorably surreal and the cast did a good job of making things feel real.
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
I finally watched the first two episodes of this second season of this series on Wednesday. I will probably never join the cult of Ted Lasso but I do agree with those who have praised Jason Sudeikis’s performance in the title role. If there was ever a Ted Lasso/Barry/MacGruber cross-over event, I probably wouldn’t mind.
What We Do In The Shadows (Hulu)
What We Do In The Shadows actually airs on FX but I watched the 3rd season on Hulu. It’s a funny show, sort of like The Office but with exceptionally crude vampires. The third season was both funny and surprisingly poignant, as Colin Robinson actually died. (Maybe he faked his death but then Nandor crushed his head while trying to revive him….) This season also featured the brilliant Kristine Schaal as The Guide.
I finally watched this show, binging the entire fourth season on Monday and Tuesday and, to my surprise, I really enjoyed it. Kevin Costner plays a politically powerful rancher who has a lot of enemies. The great Kelly Reilly plays his daughter. The show was undeniably melodramatic but it was also a lot of fun, with great performances from Costner, Reilly, Wes Bentley, and Cole Hauser. I’ve never been a huge fan of Costner in the past but this show makes the best use of his somewhat flinty screen presence.