Posts filed under TV Reviews

Killing Eve REVIEW

KILLING EVE

**SMALL SPOILERS AHEAD**

I’ve been hearing a buzz about Killing Eve, a BBC America show, so I dropped the latest season of Arrested Development (sorry, I’ll get back to you) and queued up all eight episodes for a two-day binge.

Sandra Oh starts as the titular Eve Polastri, a dowdy MI5 security agent who has more ambition and intelligence than her current role calls for; fortunately, she’s quickly sacked and given an opportunity to run a covert MI6 operation tracking and identifying a new female assassin who’s been making quite a name for herself internationally. But what is that name and who does she work for?

Her name is Villanelle (codename, of course) and she’s a young, Russian psychopath living and partying in Paris. Portrayed by Jodie Comer, she is, all at once, humorous, rude, manipulative, cold, brazen, childish, and lovely. She has a complicated father-daughter-type relationship with her handler, Konstantin, from whom she learns of Eve’s special (and apparently not-so-secret - do you smell a mole?) operation and soon develops an infatuation with the frumpy agent who is just her type, sexually speaking.

And speaking of ladies who know what they want, all the major leads in Killing Eve are women. In addition to Oh and Comer, we have Fiona Shaw, a veteran Irish actress who played Mrs. Dursley in the Harry Potter film franchise. Shaw plays Carolyn Martens, a living legend in MI6 and Oh’s new boss. All these women are determined, intelligent, self-possessed, and the definition of badass… but can they be trusted? It’s no wonder strong women are the central focus of this show - Killing Eve was created (well, adapted from the novels by Luke Jennings) by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, an immensely talented writer and actress whose off-kilter appeal has been a magnet for success of late.

Aside: As a Britcom lover, I was also pleasantly surprised to see several appearances from British character actors, including David Haig and Darren Boyd - not women, but actors I love nonetheless.  

Killing Eve is a spy show in that there are secret agencies, covert operations, and intelligence gathering, but it’s not always as intense as traditional spy shows tend to be. Yes, there’s double-crossing, questioning of loyalties, and wondering who really works for whom, but it’s very light-hearted at times, playful and witty, even, with a fantastic soundtrack of 1960s French pop (think Françoise Hardy and Brigitte Bardot). What makes these madcap moments even better is that they are always followed by a sharp, emotional gut-punch, quickly bringing the viewer right back into the dark world of espionage and assassination.

Also unlike a traditional espionage drama, the cat-and-mouse game is a little different. The mouse wants to be caught by the cat -- and Eve and Villanelle are both each others’ mouse, if that makes any sense. Each is infatuated with the other and the two meet face-to-face much earlier than is normal in a classic spy chase. Traditional genre cliches are thrown out the window and this lays the groundwork for the rest of the season (and indeed the next season) - When will they meet again? Will one kill the other? Do they love each other? Who does Villanelle work for? And will Eve ever wear any of those fancy French garments?

The first season of Killing Eve is set to premiere on Hulu in Fall 2018, but you can stream it via AMC until June 25th.

Posted on June 19, 2018 and filed under TV Reviews.

5 Reboot Worthy Television Shows

The Roseanne reboot came and went much like a candle in the wind. It burned so bright for a short period only to be put out by waft of hot air blown from the mouth of an Ambien altered racist(that's a thing now, right?). The initial success of the Roseanne Reboot and the announcement of a Murphy Brown reboot has us thinking. What shows from yesteryear would you give the 'boot? Here are my 5 dangerously nostalgic but worthy choices for reboot. Get it done Hollywood!

Posted on June 5, 2018 and filed under TV Reviews.

5 Shows You Should Be Streaming Right Now

We live in a diamond-encrusted golden age of Television right now. There are an abundance of quality choices when it comes how you spend 8+ hours staring at a screen. You probably already have a dozen or so shows that your friends say you need to watch. Well, let me make that Watchlist even longer and more intimidating. Here are 5 shows you should be streaming right now.  To make this list each show must meet two very simple criteria: is it good? yes. does it get talked about very often? no. Congratulations! you just made the list. The shows are in no particular order. 

Catastrophe is the story of an American business man that gets and Irish woman pregnant while on a business trip. The show is unique because it is written by it's two lead actors; Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney (everyone's favorite character from the new Deadpool film). The series is filled with big laughs but also poignant and heart-wrenching moments of introspective brilliance as you watch the couple struggle through decisions about their relationship and the future of their child. Catastrophe also has the distinct honor of being one of the late-great Carrie Fisher's final performances. There are 4 seasons and 24 episodes waiting for you on Amazon Prime. 

Fleabag is the story about a young woman living in London and trying to cope with a recent tragedy all while being kind of a trainwreck. This series stars the suddenly everywhere all of the time Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Waller-Bridge has recently become a critical acclaim magnet for her writing on the BBC series Killing Eve and her work on the new Star Wars Story Solo. Before her time in space she wrote and starred in both Fleabag and Crashing, two of my favorite shows from 2016. There are 8 episodes spanning 2 seasons waiting for you on Amazon Prime. You can also check out the one season of Crashing on Netflix, you won't be disappointed by that either. 

Ripper Street is much different from the first two picks. This is the story of Detective Inspector Edmund Reid and his team policing the streets of Whitechapel while they are terrorized by Jack the Ripper and other baddies. This series stars Matthew Macfayden who you may know from MI-5 or Russel Crowe's Robin Hood movie and Jerome Flynn, Bronn from Game of Thrones. Ripper Street is just a fun detective show that grabs you as soon as you see the first Ripper victim. The story isn't just about Jack the Ripper though Edmund Reid's team investigates a new strange murder every episode. The characters are well written and the mysteries are exciting. It's not quite Sherlock but it will help fill that void until you Cumberbatch and Freeman make their way back to Baker Street. There are 36 episodes in 5 seasons on both Amazon Prime and Netflix

Sneaky Pete is special. The show was created by Bryan Cranston (he also guest stars) and David Shore. Giovanni Ribisi plays a talented con man that decides to take over his cell-mate Pete's life after he gets out of prison. It's been so long since the family has seen cousin Pete that they immediately take him in and welcome him back to the family bail bond business. The show is episode after episode of shit hitting different fans as Ribisi struggles to keep up with all his lies and keep track of his ever-growing list of enemies. So far there are 20 episodes in 2 seasons on Amazon Prime

Ugly Delicious is Chef's Table's little brother. It's less refined, less artistic, but probably more likely to make your mouth water. I love food shows even if they are just used as a background noise. David Chang travels the world eating good food that may not be pretty but it's definitely tasty. This is the newest show on the list by a long shot, it hit Netflix a few weeks ago very quietly. This should hold you over until Anthony Bourdain makes some new content for one of his 5 million shows. 1season with 8 episodes on Netflix streaming right now.

 

What would you put on the list? Tell us all about your favorite under the radar shows that are available to stream now.