books, TV

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

A story of date rape.

Jon Krakauer wrote a book that much influenced my thinking:

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

The book follows several case studies of women raped in Missoula, Montana, many of them linked in some way to the University of Montana

Many of the rapists were football players, protected from the justice system.

In Beartown, the 15-year-old daughter of a small town Swedish hockey team general manager is raped by the 17-year-old star of the Beartown junior team.

Fredrik Backman is an excellent writer. This is an important book, as is the Krakauer.

Themes of family, friendship, loyalty. Ethics.

I recommend Beartown.

I also read the sequel, Us Against You. Not nearly as good.

The book was adapted for TV and is available on HBO.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

humour, TV

Never Have I Ever – season 2

Never Have I Ever‘s fresh take on the coming-of-age comedy is hilariously honest, sweetly smart, and likely to have viewers falling head over heels for charming newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.

There are a LOT of things I like about this comedy

Great music. For sure.

The dialogue includes a lot of contemporary slang. And funny one liners.

Lily D. Moore as Rebecca Hall-Yoshida, too.

Lily was born with Down syndrome, but that hasn’t slowed her career in film, television, and national commercials. 

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is a natural comic. She plays Devi, an Indian American, overachieving teen struggling to find her place at High School.

Best of all is the voice over narration of John McEnroe and other celebrities. 


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube

books, movies, TV

The Mosquito Coast – season 1

The Mosquito Coast is based on the novel of the same name by Paul Theroux published in 1981.

It also loosely adapted from the 1986 film which starred Harrison Ford. It premiered on Apple TV+ on April 30, 2021. 

The series stars Justin Theroux, nephew of Paul …

As with many of the Apple TV shows, it’s very well done.

I recommend it. But many find the plot unnecessarily confusing with too many twists and turns.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Season 2 will take the family to some place like where Harrison Ford ended up.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, TV

Bosch – season 7

The seventh and final season was released on June 25, 2021.

I’d say it was the best of all.

In this one Harry refuses to let the death of a ten-year-old girl be traded away in a plea deal.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

An as-yet-untitled spinoff series for Amazon’s IMDb TV was announced on March 3, 2021, featuring Welliver along with much of the Bosch creative team.

Madison Lintz will return as Harry’s daughter, Maddie, and Bosch recurring character defense attorney Honey “Money” Chandler, played by Mimi Rogers, will also be a main character.

In the new series, Bosch, now retired from the LAPD, will work as an investigator for Chandler. 


Black Space – season 1


Very watchable.

A rogue detective with unorthodox means leads an investigation into a massacre committed by unicorn mask-wearing assassins at an Israeli high school.

Guri Alfi is very good as the troubled detective.

Black Space refers to a fictitious Israeli social media text app using phone service.

The plot is not believable, however. It would have been easy to narrow down the list of possible shooters if they had made any effort.

Reviews have been mixed. But there will be a season 2.

books, movies, TV

Before the Frost by Henning Mankell

In 2002 Mankell published Before the Frost as the first in a 3-book series with Linda Wallander as the main character, rather than her father.

However Mankell abandoned the series after just one novel when the actress playing Linda in the Swedish films, Johanna Sällström, committed suicide in 2007.

Linda Wallander is bored. Just graduated from the police academy, she is waiting to start work at the Ystad police station and move into her own apartment. Meantime, she is living with her father and, like fathers and daughters everywhere, they are driving each other crazy. …

Linda’s boredom doesn’t last long. Soon she is embroiled in the case of her childhood friend Anna, who has inexplicably disappeared.  …

Like other Mankell books, this one involves a cult. A survivor of the  Jonestown massacre in Guyana 1978 returns to Sweden organizing his own death cult.


The Bay – season 2

More intense than season 1, but still well worth watching.

Detective Constable Lisa Armstrong was suspended. But is brought back with a demotion.

A lawyer is murdered at his front door. In front of his 10-year-old son.


Solving the murder is the main plot line. But secondary stories are more interesting. And there are quite a few.

Lisa’s ex-husband Andy shows up, for example. That’s a drama.

Again — the acting is good.

I’ll quit here as Morven Christie is leaving before season 3. She’s been the main reason I watched.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


The Bay – season 1

Good TV.

The Guardian: four stars out of five” — Suspects and police officers with shared secrets? Check. Information wilfully withheld by the writer? Check. Will you be hooked? Check.”

Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) is the mother of two children and working for (the fictional) West Lancashire Police Service as a Family Liaison Officer (FLO).

She is called out on the case of two missing children  …


Many twists and turns.

Some OTHER story threads are more interesting than the actual whodunnit.

The detective is a single mother, for example, with two teenagers both getting in serious trouble.

I like the subtle, pastel colour grading used to set the look and feel. Wallander did something similar.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Russian Doll – season 1

I like it.

A profane Groundhog Day.

Weird. Original. Smart dialogue.

97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Russian Doll is an American comedy-drama streaming television series, created by Natasha LyonneLeslye Headland, and Amy Poehler

… follows Nadia Vulvokov (Lyonne), a game developer who repeatedly dies and relives the same night in an ongoing time loop and tries to solve it …

books, TV

One Step Behind by Henning Mankell

One Step Behind is a 1997 crime novel by Swedish author Henning Mankell, the 7th in his acclaimed Inspector Wallander series.


An intriguing plot with Wallander facing serious personal health problems.

Two young women and one young man, inexplicably dressed as the nobility of Sweden did during the reign of Gustavus III, are found dead, each slain with a single bullet, their bodies half consumed by animals in the wilderness.

Wallander is horrified when he makes a connection between the crime and his close friend and colleague Svedberg, and after the latter is found savagely murdered …

related – Director Ingmar Bergman was the author’s father-in-law.