Hey there, everyone! Is life getting better for you now that you’ve gotten used to living in a bad sci fi flick? Or are you happier for coming that close to the underlying misery of day-to-day living? Yeah, I don’t know either. Honestly, I don’t know which version was worse—life before the pandemic, or present day. But hey, there’s still Netflix! And Amazon and Hulu. Today let’s see what’s new and exciting at Reed Hastings’ creation…
THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
Totally a must-watch. Anya Taylor-Joy gives a great performance as Beth, a resident at an orphanage in the 60’s, trying to survive as best as she can. One day she discovers chess and latches onto the game as a way to distract herself from her miserable life—in the orphanage, as well as after she’s adopted. It’s a great portrayal of the era’s male dominated society, and an interesting study of the way drug/ alcohol addiction was handled back then. Am I glad we’re not there! Here’s the trailer:
The greatly awaited next season…! For those who came in late, this is a show about the English monarchy. It’s extremely well-acted, beautifully produced, amazingly well scripted, comes with incredible set design, and features some truly awesome cinematography. And not just that – this season has Gillian Anderson (yes, it’s Dana Scully from X-Files!) in the role of Margaret Thatcher. Do you need more of an incentive? Okay, it’s about Charles and Diana. If that does not draw you in, give this a hard pass.
ENOLA HOLMES (feature)
This is a wonderful film about Sherlock Holmes’ sister and her search for her missing mother. Not to detract from an amazing creation, but I think the real victory here is how Netflix has managed to turn a tired story into something fresh, lighthearted and exciting. Millie Bobbie Brown is excellent in the lead role; Henry Cavill is his hunky self as Sherlock, and Sam Claflin is perfect as the mysterious Mycroft. Chemistry between Brown and Louis Partridge (Viscount Lord Tewksbury) plays very nicely onscreen. Enola’s not only rebellious, she’s a smart and fearless girl—someone quite at odds with the male chauvinist sentiment so prevalent at the time. Totally worth the watch!
Definitely one of Netflix’s better sci fi dramas. Hillary Swank portrays the leader of a mission to a space station in this great low-budget episodic thriller. There is some melodrama, and in more than a couple of instances, certain characters behave in a fashion that seems unrealistic, but that didn’t stop me from continuing to watch. There is one caveat, however: don’t go in expecting aliens or hard-core science fiction – it has neither (to be as accurate as possible, it’s near-future). This show is more about the emotional impact of the decisions the astronauts make, on their families and those around them. Also, if it bothers you seeing women in charge, don’t watch.
HAVE YOU WATCHED…
Will Arnett stars as the lead in this brilliant, dark, funny little animation as a famous celebrity at the height of his fame, threatened equally by his demons as by his competitors. You’ll come away feeling like you just emerged from a pool of slime. I’m not kidding. The show sounds funny, but it’s every bit as dark and depressing as House Of Cards or Rick & Morty. And you still won’t be able to stop watching! It also stars Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, and Aaron Paul among others. Get ready!
A man struggles with his day-to-day life after the death of his beloved wife. He still does all the things he did before: he goes to work at his job at a struggling city circular, he tries to date, and the usual stuff. But it’s all colored with his depression, which becomes so bad he stops caring about anything—societal norms, courtesy, all of that. It’s dark and yet pretty damn hilarious. The lead character is portrayed by Ricky Gervais. Loved it!
Life as an extra sucks a**. Oh the things you, Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais), struggling extra, will have to do to get to the top! You’ll hate yourself, but hey, if it’s fame you’re after, nothing’s too disgusting. You’ll suffer the fallout from the utter idiocy of your inept agent (played by Stephen Merchant), you’ll have to deal with your slow-witted peers (Ashley Jenson) without whom you cannot survive, you’ll have to kiss up to heartless studio execs, and of course, you’ll be surprised by the surprising vulnerability of celebrities. What a life! More importantly, what a show 😊 It’s a few years old, but so worth the watch. There are quite a few cameos, including those by Patrick Stewart, Kate Winslet, Samuel Jackson, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Chris Martin, and Orlando Bloom. Trust me when I say they’re outrageous. For instance, check out this clip from the show, in which Kate Winslet portrays an insensitive jerk explaining the easiest way to win an Oscar:
And that’s it this time. Let me know how things are going for you, where ever you are! You know I love hearing from all of you. See you next time!