The OA – season 1

Weird. Original. Ambitious.

The OA is everything GOOD about the NEW Golden Age of streaming TV.

I have to give Brit Marling credit, both producing and staring.

The OA (Original Angel) is an American mystery drama web television series with science fiction, supernatural and fantasy elements.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

Rotten Tomatoes is 77% critical approval. But the series finished after season 2.

Trans actor Ian Alexander plays Michelle. A quiet, yet groundbreaking performance, I thought.

The interdimensional sci-fi Netflix series The OA from Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij is, like many of their projects, unapologetic when it comes to having a complex narrative that would make your brain bleed.

Deadline

Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch by Stephen King

Stephen King is an excellent writer — but I’m often scared off from his horror books.

I generally don’t like horror.

But he called Mr. Mercedes (2014) his first hard-boiled detective book. It’s non-supernatural, but still scary.

Many jobless people are standing in line for a job fair, but then a Mercedes plows into the crowd killing 8 people and severely injuring many.

Bill Hodges, a recently retired detective from the local police department living the life of a retiree, receives a letter from an individual claiming to be the person responsible for the job fair incident, referring to himself as “Mr. Mercedes.”

Hodges is divorced, lonely and fed up with his life, occasionally considering suicide. …

Bill Hodges is age-62 in the book.

Brendan Gleeson, about the same age, played him on the 2017 TV series. Perfect casting. (Gleeson played Alastor Moody in Harry Potter. He’s going to be playing Trump in an upcoming miniseries.)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It’s a trilogy. I’ll keep reading.

End of Watch was a terrific conclusion to the Bill Hodges story

Stephen King is as good a story teller as anyone working today.

I particularly like the character of his sidekick Holy Hodges.

 

I love Derry Girls

Derry Girls is a Northern Irish sitcom about students at Our Lady Immaculate College (girls school) in DerryNorthern Ireland, during the 1990s, the final decade of The Troubles. …

Of the five awkward, hilarious friends, Orla McCool is my favourite. She might be undiagnosed autistic, perhaps Asperger’s. She might simply be charmingly odd. 

Siobhán McSweeney is brilliant too as Sister Michael, the principal of the school.

Click PLAY or watch watch Orla’s STEP AEROBICS talent show performance on YouTube.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first series holds an approval rating of 100%  …

Derry Girls was the most watched series in Northern Ireland since modern records began in 2002 …

 

You – season 1

The first season of the American psychological thriller television series You, based on the novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, should be fantastic.

It’s very smart. Tech-savvy. Well written. Well cast.

93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

But I may not continue to season 2 as I simply don’t like psychopath Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg.

Elizabeth Lail as Guinevere Beck is more engaging. But not enough.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I really DO like sidekick Ethan Russell. His girlfriend Blythe, played by the openly transgender actor Hari Nef, is intriguing too.

Stranger Things – season 2

Like most people, I loved season 1.

Season 2 is good as well, but not as good.

The cast is great. The setting very entertaining.

Plot and storyline, silly and lame. I’m not sure I’ll continue to season 3.

The second season has been recognized by Parrot Analytics as the most in-demand digital original series of the world in 2017 …

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 94% …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

 

The Witcher – season 1

Violence. Sex. Some exotic, brilliant visuals. … A bit of comic relief.

So much potential.

The Game of Thrones TV series took a complicated story with hundreds of characters … and made it easy to follow.

Season 1 of The Witcher on Netflix is FAR more confusing, by comparison. Deliberately confusing. It’s told in a non-linear manner so you have no idea of the time frame of each episode. 

Rotten Tomatoes 56% approval. Critics are mixed.

However, 3 main personalities are fascinating: 

  1. Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra)
  2. Princess Cirilla / Ciri, (Freya Allan)
  3. Geralt of Rivia — The Witcher — (Henry Cavill)

The first season explores formative events that shaped the three lead characters, leading up to their first encounters with each other.

So — Witcher is no Game of Thrones. 

But is it worth watching?

Everyone is expecting season 2 to be easier to follow. I’ll give it a try.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom is the first historical novel in The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell, published in 2004.

It’s set 866 – 876.

The story is fiction — but historical characters are included.

It’s very violent.

Vikings are raiding England. In fact they want to keep control of as much land as possible by installing vassal leaders in each Kingdom.

This story introduces Uhtred Ragnarson, born a Saxon then kidnapped by raiding Danes who raise him from age 11, teaching him how to be a warrior. …

Uhtred is captured by the Danish Earl, Ragnar the Fearless. Ragnar, intrigued and amused by the boy’s attempted attack on him during the battle, retains him in his household as a thrall. …

 

I might continue to book 2 in the long series. The character of Uhtred Ragnarson is entertaining.

For me the Ken Follett books starting with The Pillars of the Earth are better British historical fiction. I read all of those.

BBC announced that production would begin in autumn 2014 on a television adaptation, to be titled The Last Kingdom.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I watched the start of season 1.

But I’d say the TV series Vikings is better.