To be honest, I didn’t plan to out myself as a hater (again, after last year’s Academy Awards disaster that was «The Shape Of Water»), but with the Oscars warming up and 10 nominations for this year’s frontrunner, I feel forced to reveal my two cents about «Roma – The Watching of Paint Dry».
Netflix’ Oscar vehicle «Roma» is like Alfonso Cuarón’s earlier multiple Oscar-winner «Gravity» but not set in space. And with the difference that I found «Roma – The Emperor’s New Clothes» to be boring and that I didn’t like it. And it doesn’t even come in color. And as I mentioned earlier, I like color.
One could state that «Roma – The CCTV Experience» is like «Children of Men», another masterpiece by Alfonso Cuarón, but not set in the future. What sets it apart from «Children of Men» is that «Roma – Arthouse, Schmarthouse» doesn’t have a story. I like story; it’s high up on my list of priorities: I even live in a 26 story building.
I’d even go so fare to compare «Roma – They Might Be Your Memories, But Why Should I Care?» with Cuarón’s «Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban», another great one that is entertaining and fully satisfying; unlike «Roma – Fast Forwarding Through The Second Half». I like to be entertained. And I like what I like.
In conclusion, I wished «Roma – I Already Miss The McRaclette» was more like «Y Tu Mamá También»: I’ve never watched it but I heard it’s great.
For a few days I was very hesitant to watch this latest episode of «Black Mirror» where one can choose how the story goes. I don’t want to work for my TV entertainment, I have video-games for that, I reckoned.
But, oh man, did «Black Mirror» prove me wrong! «Bandersnatch» showed once again that «Black Mirror» remains one of the most entertaining, innovative and original series out there, this time turning it all up to 11 and the whole «pick your own adventure» concept on its head.
But «Bandersnatch» did it in such an ingenious and jaw-dropping way that it makes most of the latest Netflix exclusives sorely stay out as the lazy, uninspired, cheap crap that they probably are (IMHO).
So after having finished all available episodes of the great «The Good Place» and «Rick and Morty» (both not Netflix exclusives, mind you) and the admittedly pretty good «The Kominsky Method», the sensible thing to do after being extremely bored out by «Bird Box», «Next Gen», Russel Brand’s latest special, the publicity stunt that was «The Cloverfield Paradox» and, sad to say, even Alex Garland’s «Annihilation», seems to be just leaving Netflix for a while.
(And the cancellation of the Marvel series and the rather disappointing «Star Trek: Discovery» didn’t help either).
Better late than never, I finally got to the end of this beautiful show yesterday and I’m still flabbergasted about just how masterfully the last season was crafted and the series’ top-notch quality overall.
Though «Mad Men» sometimes tended to be on the earnest, almost (almost!) dry and depressing side of things, I’ve always loved the series thanks to its social relevance, the rich characters and its on-point art direction, cinematography and music.
Where other shows fail, «Mad Men’s» seventh and last season feels fresh, positive and satisfying as hell and, above all, cathartic and extremely enjoyable. For a program that serious and ambitious, that means a lot!
So, for all the fans of inspiring storytelling, compelling drama, fine humour and perfect characters who have been living under a rock since 2007, check it out and proof me wrong.
While «Iron Fist» and «Luke Cage» got cancelled some days ago I’d almost forgotten that there still was a very enjoyable Marvel show to premiere that very same week:
«Marvel’s Daredevil» might have been the first attempt of bringing one of the less spectacular superheroes in a smaller scale to Netflix, but with season three the man without fear still remains the best and most solid installation of all the Marvel superhero series on the streaming service by far thanks to struggling and evolving characters and some risk-takingly spectacular cinematic moments of storytelling and montage.
But characters is what «Marvel’s Daredevil» really is all about: The show proves that Superhero stories CAN work on a smaller scale, as an action-infused drama, when done correctly (I’m looking at you «Gotham»).
The core of season three is all about family, legacy and relationships – old and new characters all get their chance to explore different angles of this underlying theme. And it’s a bliss:
Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page gets her own superb isolated episode which sheds light on her past, Wilson Bethel as Benjamin Poindexter («Bullseye») reminded me that a great character doesn’t have to be likeable and Charlie Cox as «Daredevil» proofs once again how satisfying and cathartic a tragic (super-) hero can be. But the real show-stealer (even more so than Jon Bernthal as «The Punisher» in season two) is, of course, Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk.
D’Onofrio’s wonderful, tragic, scary, phenomenal, uncanny performance as the «Kingpin« left me in awe. But even the secondary characters get a chance to shine: Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Father Lanthom (Peter McRobbie), Joanne Whalley as Sister Maggie and Jay Ali in the Role of Special Agent Ray Nadeem all get their chance to shine or at least support the impact of the main characters’ arcs.
After having joined the jolly bandwagon of critics stating that TV-entertainment is the new cinema thanks to longer runtime giving writers much more opportunities to develop their characters, arcs and storylines, I lately keep being disappointed by Netflix’s (and similar) productions.
I find most of the current series either lazy, unfinished, blown-up or, even worse, boring and not worthy of my time.
Over at Amazon Prime Video the situation doesn’t seem to be much better: The series I tried to commit to («Hand of God» and «Startup») where just too earnest, unfunny and bland to keep them in my queue. (I’m even going back to finally finish «Mad Men» just because it’s the lighter, funnier, much better way to spend my hours commuting to work).
Looking back now, I even wonder whether the more recent Golden Age of TV Drama has come and gone much faster than I thought (and hoped) it would. The quality just seems to have gotten lost somewhere between Kevin Spacey’s infamous exit and Joel Kinnaman’s gratouitus abs.
Having said that I must admit that the second season of «Iron Fist» is much more entertaining than the godawful first season. The characters are much more likeable and it’s not as easy as it used to be to fall asleep during an episode (though I managed).
Shame though they threw Davos (Sacha Dhawan) under the bus by turning the best thing of season one into an arrogant, delusional prick without the tragedy or depth he deserved.
And many of the most interesting ideas in this season seem to be either an afterthought without much impact or pure build-up for season 3 .