British and really interesting. I had dropped it after watching the first episode. didn’t like it. but was convinced by a couple of other friends to try it again and became hooked. It’s funny but in a complex way. Compelling and complex protagonist who is rather hateful at times, but she grows on you. Great script. Not for the kiddies, tho.
“Call My Agent” ****(Netflix)
French and Fantastic! The acting, the story, Paris!! Funny, with some depth (occasionally) Two seasons that leave you begging for more.
“Shtisel” ***** (Netflix)
If a TV series was a person, this one would be a Mensch! Really compelling. The central characters are members of strictly orthodox Jews living in Jerusalem. Two seasons. Talk of a third but seems there are problems with that.
“Salt, Fat, Acid Heat”**** (Netflix)
I’ve only watched one episode: Italy!!! Absolutely loved it and am looking forward to more countries.
Even if you are not much of a dog fan, this will make you start thinking about maybe getting one. so charming.
“Madame Secretary” **** (Network or Amazon $) (Seasons 1-4 free on Netflix)
Imagine that the U.S.A. was really a democracy and the people who ran it were dedicated idealists who cared about inclusivity, climate change, etc. For 45 minutes I escape into this fantasy world and love it! The first episode of Season 5 will bring tears to your eyes as Tia Leone (Secretary of State) gives a speech about the dangers of nationalism. And– sorry for the spoiler alert– there is a wonderful scene with her, Colin Powell, Hilary Clinton, and Madeline Albright. Morgan Freeman is one of the producers of the show and with each season the politics get better and better.
“Forever” *** (Amazon Prime)
Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen are always amusing and the plot of this series takes a couple of unexpected turns. It’s a mild, and gentle poking fun kind of series. Watch it while you’re eating dinner for a few laughs and a welcome reprieve from the daily horrible news onslaught. Very mild. And not very enduring. Steve actively disliked it.
“The Closer” (Amazon Prime”)
This is a humorous detective series with mild violence, good acting and innocuous plots. Kyra Sedgwick is one of those actors who looks very familiar but you can’t remember what she was in. But she’s good as a police chief in L.A. Each episode is complete and lasts around 40 minutes. Perfect for winding down if you feel compelled to watch t.v. and then going to bed early with a book to get some higher level culture.
“Rectify” (Netflix 4 Seasons)
Started watching this on Jude’s recommendation. I’ve only watched the first episode of Season 1. I agree: good dialogue, acting, compelling story so far. It’s hard to imagine how it could be extended into 4 seasons but I’m into it and will report back.
“Endeavor” Season 5 ($Amazon) **
British crime series with very endearing lead and a tolerable violence level. Really enjoyed Season 1-4. Season 5, at least episode 1, not so good. I liked Endeavor because it was pretty light on the sex and violence except in a relatively airbrushed way. Season 5’s first episode tears away a mildly gauzy veil, revealing crimes heavy on sexual perversities of the wildest imagination and the attending violence. This one is complete with prostitute lecturing Endeavor about his sexual repression. We paid for the series so may give it another try.
From Nancy: I agree with you about Endeavor. I believe the 5th season was written by a different person or people. Too violent; too much of a seamy side of Oxford. My husband and I loved the 4-5 weekly Oxford murders committed by wacky professor types in old musty cults. Really, we loved Lewis and Hathaway even more but appreciated the characters’ connections, as older Morse (Endeavor) was Lewis’ mentor. Have you seen George Gently? Love him too, and his sidekick John Bacchus. Highly recommended!
“God’s Country” (Netflix) ****
It’s hailed as an Australian Brokeback Mountain, but the complexities aren’t just about the relationship. Really well acted, believable and quite gripping.
“A Place to Call Home” ($Amazon) *****
Thank you, Bruce for telling us about this one. Be prepared for binge watching the entire 5 (or is it 6?) seasons. Australian soap opera at its best. The setting is 50’s Australia. With its themes of class and changing times, it’s a bit reminiscent of Downton Abbey, but sooo much better! The wealthy women’s fashions are exquisite. The characters are so absorbing that I found myself thinking and worrying about them during the day.
“Rain Shadow” ***** ($Amazon–you have to join Acorn)
You have to subscribe to Acorn to get this, but it’s worth it. Yes, yet another Australian drama. This time it’s two women veterinarians in an impoverished agricultural area. I can’t quite figure out where they are since there are no big cities mentioned or visited. Incredible acting. Just finished the last of the 6 episodes of this great series. I can’t figure out which area of Australia it is, but it looks just like the Capay Valley.
“Wild, Wild Country” *****(Netflix)
Possible danger of binge watching. It’s about the cult that moved to a small Oregon town in the early ’80’s. I learned from an interview with the filmmakers (brothers) that they intentionally position the story so that the viewer shifts from one perspective to another with each episode. One week the townspeople are uptight and prejudiced, the next week you’re right there with them. As the series nears a close, more and more is jaw dropping. It sent me to Wikipedia to see if I could find out anything more because so many questions seemed unanswered or ambiguous. But the film pretty much lays it out as it is.
“Two Dope Queens” (Amazon–I think) ***
These two women are pretty funny, and a lot of their guests are very funny too. But have to say the audience is probably a demographic about two decades, no maybe four decades younger than I am. One example is that when a friend recommended it (Frances GJ to be exact) she had to explain to me that the word “dope” means really cool and has nothing to do with that stuff we put in nickel bags oh so many years ago. but watch it and let us know what you think.
“Johnny Cash and Tricky Dick” (Netflix) *****
I’ve always had a little crush on Johnny Cash even though he’s not really my type. But this movie really makes me feel like I made a good choice. In these days where Richard Nixon starts to look like oh maybenotthatbad , we need reminders of how awful he really was. This documentary will jog your memory. Or if you’re not that old, then it will reinforce everything you have heard. And Johnny Cash–oh you were very cool!