In case you’re new to Medium Cool, BGinCHI is here once a week to offer a thread on culture, mainly film & books, with some TV thrown in. We’re here at 7 pm on Sunday nights.
There’s a great piece in Crime Reads this week about upcoming TV series, and I was amazed at how much new stuff is coming out.
In this week’s Medium Cool, let’s talk about TV we’re anticipating and currently watching.
Can’t wait for this, but looks as if it will be a while:
Meanwhile we’re so far behind we’re in season 1 of Bridgerton. A good sleep aid. Sanditon is rather charming this season. Better love interests than in the first one.
“Tokyo Vice” and “Pachinko” both look good, and I hope “Slow Horses” is better than I’ve heard. Anyone watch the first episode?
And we’re currently watching that LA Lakers series (“Winning Time” on HBO). It’s a little uneven, but often really interesting, with a great cast (every scene he’s in stolen by John C. Reilly).
Waiting on A Very British Scandal to drop on Prime on 4/22 about the Duke and Duchess of Argyll’s divorce.
Steve in the ATL
@zhena gogolia: best to stop at season 0 with Bridgerton. The horror….
Speaking of crime stories, if you like reading, make sure to check out S.A. Cosby. Two of his books will be made into movies pretty soon, so get on that bandwagon now. Besides, he’s a really cool guy.
Moon Knight. It’s different.
Elly Griffiths Brighton Mysteries are quite good & would be great to adapt for PBS, BritBox, or whoever.
@Jerry: LOVE his books and agree he’s a good one.
We tried “The Tourist” (HBO) but even though it was set in the Aussie outback (really cool) and has a good cast (Jamie Dornan, finally not playing a serial killer), it was all twists and no substance for me. Although there’s a local woman sheriff deputy and her intolerable boyfriend, who are terrific, and the great Icelander Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.
Good show that needs better writing.
Couple of other upcoming things on Netflix besides the one mentioned above which evoked some keep this in mind to check outness.
Cabinet of Curiosities – horror anthology series in the del Toro vein.
Could go either way (IMHO) when it comes to watchability, KAOS.
I’m looking forward to Slow Horses while binging on The Expanse. (Just finished Season 3.) Gary Oldman is worth the price of admission anytime.
I’m looking forward to seeing Bob’s Burgers tonight and not a preempting Event.
@Tom Levenson: That’s what I figured. It looks like “Tinker, Tailor, etc.” and I’d watch any well-made versions of that world.
We shall see.
I’m still working my way through old TV. About to embark on The Tudors, which looks like good trashy fun.
@zhena gogolia: Thanks for the Richard Armitage alert! Catnip to me.
We are about 3 episodes into Bridgerton season 2. A sad lack of Rege-Jean Page (which I knew about but am still cranky over) but it’s entertaining enough. I’m behind on Outlander episodes, but just haven’t been in the right headspace for it.
Started “Servant of the People” (now back on Netflix) and found it both entertaining and very surreal given the horrible reality of the current situation in Ukraine.
Strictly for vegging out (and ancient in
dogstreaming years), Deadbeat on Hulu is amusing acerbic fluff.
My wife had a program at her library a few weeks with S.A. doing a reading from his upcoming novel. He is a friggin’ force of nature up on that stage. If he does a reading anywhere near you, go, check it out and talk to him. He loooooooves talking.
@mali muso: I know you’re a fellow Armitage fan.
Ukraine is just . . . I’m speechless. It makes me want to retire this very minute.
I’m liking Slow Horses. Took a couple of scenes to get going, but it’s a solid British spy story 2 episodes in.
Currently watching Season 3 of Peaky Blinders and also the Fame Game on Netflix.
Also OT but art related, my pencils are here. Along with some other goodies.
@mali muso: Indian Twittter is clawing each others eyes out over the “representation” and what it means.
Kids who were born here are all agog and happy whereas those born in the old country are like meh. What sort of khichdi is this?
@Phylllis: Love her Ruth Galloway series. And now I need to check out her other series. Thanks for the reminder.
Sincere question…how do you watch all these multi episode multi season shows? Binge? 3 or 4 series at once? The amount of content is astronomical, how do you choose?
I think I’ve seen maybe 2 or 3 series and stopped making lists of all the great recommendations I see here. I feel like a failure at this genre!
@Sure Lurkalot: I watch may be one or two series at a time and too on the weekends.
@BGinCHI: I read Pachinko and loved it – it’s a book I would read again, primarily because I spent 2 years in the ROK in the late 70s and the culture still has an intense hold on me. But I’m not sure I want to watch the TeeVee show.
Sigh. Life is struggle.
Anticipating and currently watching nothing. Increasingly find that the top-down choice of narrative and framing of modern TV is too far detached from reality, and forms its own kind of destructive propaganda.
I’m sure there’s some good stuff out there, but its too hard to apply this kind of filter to find it.
I’m a fan of the Pop Culture Detective channel on Youtube. For example, this piece on the Shawshank Redemption, and how it was panned when it came out in the 90s for not adequately dehumanizing the prisoners when that was where the culture was, and how today its very well regarded because the culture has shifted. I remember seeing it in the theater with Ms Martin and how much we liked it at the time.
So much of what I see on TV just makes me feel bad or angry that they wasted that much time on a show with so little to show for it.
@Sure Lurkalot: Binge. Serious binge action. No more than two series at a time, usually.
Been on a movie kick lately, tho.
ETA: Speaking of which, what did jackals think of Last Night in Soho? Just watched it…well…last night, in fact, with some trepidation because I’d heard about the horror elements and I’m just not a horror kind of mouse, usually. I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it, however. Thoughts?
I binged Hacks while doing pt exercises, also Friday Night Dinner. In the evenings we like to watch different things every night.
@Miss Bianca: I loved it
Let me stress this is IMHO.
If The Expanse had wrapped up with season 4 I’d have been a happy camper. Season 5 raced hellbent for leather downhill and it was a major struggle to stay awake through season 6 (a struggle in which falling asleep and then rewinding often prevailed).
@Martin: A lot of the content I do find interesting but I just can’t get into the habit of it. I also don’t like to sit a lot…minor sciatica flare ups occur. I guess that’s why I’m more of the podcast type, but similar issues with breadth of content, series that go off the rails…
James E Powell
Sounds like the film Damage with Jeremy Irons & Juliette Binoche (swoon). Irons is a doctor and a cabinet minister. The son is Rupert Graves.
@James E Powell: yes I think it’s a remake
Not TeeVee but it felt like it was written with Teevee in mind, I finished The Cartographers in less than 2 days. It was fun, and sent me back to my undergraduate days when I met one of my favorite people evah in Latin 101 – he was a cartography major. Total nerd. Totally creative, awesome perspective. Sadly, he went to law school after graduating.
More sighs. Life is struggle.
@zhena gogolia: The third season of the Peaky Blinders the focus is on White Russians, who seem to be a rather unpleasant and a slimy lot. I don’t really much about them except that they were antagonistic to the Bolsheviks.
@Miss Bianca: Binge, when? From your posts, you seem like an active person with work and lots of interests as well as living in beautiful surroundings. When I do settle down to watch something, it’s usually later and I fall asleep. Then the DH and are aren’t on the same episode and I give up.
James E Powell
I’m watching Severance on Apple+ – liking it because it’s weird – and I just finished Suspicion – also on Apple+ – which was kind of good but not outstanding.
I’m in search of the things to watch while I wait for the next season of Succession.
James E Powell
I watched the first episode of Slow Horses. It’s too early to judge. I will continue to watch.
@Tom Levenson: I really dug The Expanse. Amos Burton and the guy who plays him are fantastic. I love how we constantly learn some new thing about him, yet there’s always more mystery.
James E Powell
You’ve never steered me wrong.
@NotMax: Yeah the season where they were stuck on New Caprica (heh) was not representative of the previous action arcs but I thought they wrapped up their series nicely (imho also)
@schrodingers_cat: well it’s kind of a vague term that covers a lot of different types of people.
@Jerry: Love his work.
@zhena gogolia: So far all I know is that they are distantly related to Russian royalty and helped by the Tories. I have watched the first two episodes of Series 3.
@Miss Bianca: My husband and I enjoyed it very much; we’ve seen it twice. I recommended it to a 23 year-old co-worker and she’s obsessed!
Ken Burns has a four hour series on Benjamin Franklin tomorrow and Tuesday on PBS. We’ll probably check that out.
I’m also interested in “The Offer”, a series about the making of The Godfather, that’s starting at the end of April.
@Ben Cisco: The first ep of Moon Knight was really good. It’s got both Oscar Issac and Ethan Hawke fully locked in and some wild stuff going on. Looking forward to ep 2.
I’m also watching Upload , which is fun but not as deep as it wants to be! :)
@Jerry: I will, for sure.
@Sure Lurkalot: Oh, TV viewing is always reserved for the post-prandial/pre-bedtime hours!
@Miki: I haven’t read it. I seldom enjoy a book and a show made from it, so in a way I’m pleased it will be fresh for me.
Also I love all things Korean.
The Righteous Gemstones is funny as shit, almost Cohen level.
@Miss Bianca: Still haven’t seen it!
But I really like Edgar Wright, so it probably won’t go wrong.
(try the veal)
@Craig: I made it through Season One of The Expanse and just…stalled. Found it so thoroughly unpleasant! I’m told it rewards viewing the later seasons, but man, there’s so much other great vid to sample, I’m just not sure I’m up for it. But (potentially) open to persuasion!
Dickinson on Apple TV was spectacular but purists may not agree.
@James E Powell: Suspicion started strong then fizzled. Like so many in that genre.
Wan t to try Severance, but can’t talk Mrs BG into it.
If you haven’t watched “The Detectorists” do yourself a favor.
@Raven: We LOVED the first season. Need to get caught up.
@BGinCHI: This is my first Edgar Wright movie! He’s very stylish, ain’t he? Did he do Shaun of the Dead? I’ve heard that one is really fun. Horror/comedy is really my mix if I’m going to do horror at all (love, love, love Army of Darkness, for example).
Old Dan and Little Ann
@BGinCHI: I loved the Lakers in the 80’s. I finally caught episode 1 the other night. It was great. Looking forward to the other episodes. My dad really likes it, too. He’s got more time to binge, however.
@Miss Bianca: It’s so great, and you can watch it with Hot Fuzz as a double feature.
@Old Dan and Little Ann: It flags a little, but it’s still well worth watching. Reilly is SO GOOD.
I have been enjoying The Gilded Age. I have always been interested in the social history of New York and other great cities, and in the lives of people in all levels of society. I know a fair amount about the lives of the real people some of the characters are based on, and it is fascinating to see how the show creators are weaving in some variation from history. But most of all I love the character Peggy Scott, a black writer whose family are a part of the black elite of the period, who lived in Brooklyn. i don’t think that this class of African American society has ever been shown on TV previously, or at least not as primary characters in a story.
I am looking forward to the premiere of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and have enjoyed the animated Trek show Lower Decks and even episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy, aimed at younger viewers. I lost interest in the other Trek show, Discovery, when they decided to do time travel, and have not really caught up with the new season of Picard. From some reviews, I may skip it.
Not watching much main TV or even streaming services. Especially during the pandemic semi-lockdown, I didn’t have much of an attention span, so I would watch various short programs on YouTube.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has a YT channel that has some excellent short pieces explaining economic issues.
I also highly recommend A Different Bias, where a former college teacher and Labour supporter very clearly and honestly explains UK political issues, emphasizing the disaster of BREXIT and the dishonesty of the Tory government.
Every now and again, episodes of the delightful panel show QI: Quite Interesting pop up on YoutTube, hosted by British Danish national treasure Sandi Toksvig. I also love the often caustic wit of the satirical panel show, Have I Got News For You.
Not a TV show, but I recently caught up with the Marvel superhero movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home. Overall, pretty good, and I am glad that I avoided detail information on some of the surprises in the film.
The sad thing is that I think the movie business is having problems adjusting to new realities. Especially as a result of the pandemic, the default is to watch movies on streaming services, not to go to movie theaters. This may make it harder to finance bigger budget films.
However, I think this is a mini golden age, maybe a major one, for television, including YouTube and streaming services. A lot of crap, as usual, but a lot of room for experimentation and creativity.
@Raven: Hailee was terrific in the True Grit remake.
@Miss Bianca: We really enjoyed Soho. Great music, costumes, sets, very trippy. Fun time.
@BGinCHI: The World’s End is the last film in the trilogy. I recommend all three.
@Miss Bianca: HOT FUZZ
It’s a masterpiece. Watch Hot Fuzz before you do anything else.
And yes, he did Shaun of the Dead. And Baby Driver, which I haven’t seen yet.
@Brachiator: We like The Gilded Age too. It’s much better than the reviews indicated. Peggy is great and I also like Mrs. Russell a lot.
@BGinCHI: We are currently watching Pachinko and Misty. Both very different but really good. Pachinko is sprawling, gorgeous and lovely. Misty is much more trashy fun, but still really good.
We are also watching: Winning Time, Julia, Severance, Dickinson, Snowfall, and Abbott Elementary. Snowfall may be finally jumping the shark, with a pretty ridiculous last couple of episodes (not it’s usual style), we’ll see if it rights the ship.
@Mike E: Oh yea. . .
Am getting close to recommending the Thai series, The Miracle of Teddy Bear. Based on the trailer, I thought I was getting my normal Thai Y series rom com fluff. My escapist crutch while we slide into fascism. A quirky tale about a teddy bear come to life. What I’m getting instead is a teddy bear coming to life and living with a mother and gay son while she slips into dementia. So magical escapism is now magical realism. Its not been as bad as it sounds. As someone who has been dealing with one parent with a stroke and another who, well, just isn’t always there…its a very relatable series.
I gotta plug the ELEVENTH season of Call the Midwife! Wrenching first episode.
We’re enjoying Slow Horses. Also The Outlaws on Amazon Prime, with Christopher Walken.
@Tom Levenson: I watched half of the first episode of Slow Horses and so far, I am enjoying it. With a toddler around, I don’t get to watch much uninterrupted.
Must see Julia on HBO Max. I can never get enough Julia Child.
@Brachiator: I’m a sucker for anything with Kate Mulgrew, but Prodigy is fantastic. And it is definitely not just written for kids. I didn’t feel a single episode was “dumbed down” which really tells a lot about children’s television these days.
The episode where they all got stuck in different time streams was good until the very end when they talked about how long Rok-Tak was alone. That broke me.
I’m loving that show. Reilly is amazing. And the dude playing Magic captures him pretty well. Not liking the Kareem portrayal, but I may be prejudiced by my adoration of him.
Speaking of horror/comedy, this has been bouncing around my head all weekend. One of the third-tier cable channels showed the Bob Hope movie The Cat and the Canary (1939) a few days ago. Obligatory scene in a haunted house, and Hope’s character is asked: “Don’t these big empty houses scare you?”
“Not me, I was in vaudeville.” Ba-dum-bum. But it’s still got me chuckling.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
Outlaws on Prime is fantastic.
In other news, Roy Blunt is an asshole .
@geg6: On the agenda for Spring Break; Julia played by Sarah Lancashire? I’m in.
I’m liking the recent All Creatures Great and Small. I remember the old tv show, and read the book when I was a kid, but don’t really remember much. New show is well cast, and great acting. Classic British production design. Good show.
I don’t remember many reviews like this, but also I never viewed the film as being an accurate depiction of prison life. It was more a moral fable. I also recall that the movie was viewed favorably and affectionately by many people, without regard to any critic’s consensus.
But I think that it got a lot of favorable reviews, and was nominated for a number or Oscars, including Best Picture.
I’m loving it, but Vanessa Redgrave’s voice is sounding so frail.
Seconded. I especially love Mrs. Hall.
Totally agree with you about the Prodigy time streams episode. Surprisingly complex and subtly mature themes.
Watched Murderville on Netflix. It’s a comedy detective show with improv. There is a guest star each episode who gets no script & has to figure out which of the 3 suspects is guilty. Very funny. I hope they film more episodes.
I’ve been watching Dark on Netflix with my husband. A series about time travel that all takes place in a small town in Germany. Because of the time travel, you see some characters as children, adults, and elderly people. There are 3 seasons. We just finished watching season 2 recently, and I’m curious as to how it will end.
We’ve also been watching Abbott Elementary on Hulu, since so many recommended it. Very good. Reminds me of The Office with a bit more heart.
Husband was out of town, so I binged season 1 of Bridgerton this weekend. Simon & Daphne were cute for about half the season, then I got annoyed with their drama. There was enough going on with other characters & families that I didn’t stop watching season 1, but I don’t know if I’ll bother with season 2.
@no comment: We’re in the third episode and I’m wondering how they’re going to be able to drag it out.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
@no comment: Cannot STAND Bridgerton. Wife was a little whimpery about me falling asleep to it last night and asked about whether I liked it. As I put it – it had every annoying feature about period costume shit I can’t stand. It’s all about the “fine pairing romance” and “who gets what allowance” without any of the actual historic backdrop or relatable business or financial chicanery – literally all about social standing for social standing’s sake.
Makes me want to show up to a ball to deliberately eat with the wrong fork and use the incorrect pickle utensil while talking about tits and farts at the table.
I actually enjoyed Poldark and Downton Abbey, and find the Gilded Age to be very watchable. What I don’t like is an overfocus on balls or pageantry.
Steve in the ATL
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
And also to deliberately split an infinitive!
Which, for the record, I am ok with.
And I agree wholeheartedly with your insightful condemnation of that stupid, stupid show.
@no comment: If you love Ava, on Abbott Elementary, the comedian/actress, Janelle James (who is HILLARIOUS!) has a great podcast all reviewing 80’s/90’s Erotic Thrillers. It’s called You In Danger Gurl and it is really funny.
@geg6: I just keep waiting for the moment when Pat Riley will shave and slick his hair back! We all know it’s coming. So every scene I’m like “Is this it? Is this the scene???”
They manage. Partly by focusing on other characters. Partly by the common trope of the main couple just not talking to each other about their problems.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
I don’t usually watch stuff set in that time period. I occasionally like to watch a romantic comedy movie. From the trailers, I was expecting this to be like an extended one with fancy costumes. More like a soap opera. Only unmarried characters (some of them, anyhow) could be scandalized & ruined forever by kissing or just hanging out without a chaperone! Not my idea of something fun to watch.
LOL! Me too!
Several seasons of QI, with original quizmaster Stephen Fry, available on Tubi.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
Strathblair (on Prime) a cozy watch.
Another, Lark Rise to Candleford, only free with Britbox at the moment but comes and goes periodically (no pun intended) on other streaming services.