Tiger King

Where do I even start with this Dumpster Fire of a documentary.  The majority of documentaries we review have a point or story to tell, I am still at a loss for what Tiger King was about.  Tiger King sells itself on its increasingly bizarre twists.  My best guess is that Tiger King is a cautionary tale about letting feuds die quickly before they get out of hand.

I was late to the Tiger King party and only started watching it to understand all the social media memes and comments.  But I was completely hooked within the first thirty minutes. 

I feel this show could not have hit at a more perfect time.  The entire world is practicing social distancing and looking for something entertaining to ease our minds, and Netflix did not disappoint with Tiger King.

You have more than likely watched all of Tiger King before clicking on this review, if not, definitely give it a chance.  It is trash TV at its best. 

Dracula

This Netflix miniseries follows Dracula from his origins in Eastern Europe to his battles with Van Helsing’s descendants in modern times. 

The first two episodes of Dracula we brilliant and captivating.  Claes Bang is amazingly talented and delivers a wild twist on Dracula.  The third and final episode felt rushed and hurt the overall story.  I feel that this story could have used a few more episodes to really flush out the characters they tried to introduce in the last episode. 

This is no Twilight.  No sparkles, just dark gory fun.  Go ahead and sink your teeth into Dracula. 

Hunters

I am not sure why I put off watching Hunters, an Amazon original series for so long.  I was captivated within the first fifteen minutes of the episode one. 

Hunters follows Josh (Logan Lerman) a young Jewish man in the 1970s who is bent on seeking revenge for his murdered grandmother.  While investigating her murder he befriends a secret group of Nazi hunters organized by Myer (Al Pacino). 

Hunters offers a traffic cast along with an incredible story.  The performances are strong, the twists are fun, and the series never takes itself too seriously.   The ending made me step back a bit in shock and built up greater anticipation for season two.  If you are looking for something to binge, I highly recommend Hunters. 

Happy!

This show focuses on Nick (Christopher Meloni), a burnt-out copy who can see a blue unicorn named happy (Patton Oswalt).  Happy is nick’s daughters Hailey’s imaginary friend who seeks Nick out when Hailey is kidnapped.  From there, the insanity ensues. 

This show is insane.  It is rude, cruel, violent, messy, and most of all funny.  Happy is at its best when it focuses on Meloni and Oswalt’s excellent chemistry.  The little blue horse is a magical creation that looks like it was lifted from Pixar.  The series is set around Christmas in New York, and the city becomes a character all its own. 

This show reminds me of the Crank films.  Highly insane but doesn’t take itself to seriously.  If you’re looking for something different or just a good laugh, I highly recommend checking out Happy.  And as a bonus, Happy! season two is scheduled to hit Netflix on March 27th

Big Little Lies

            The brilliant performances by the three main protagonists still cannot make this show worth enduring.  The show follows Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Shailene Woodley, three emotionally troubled women who become a part of a police investigation.

            The show weaves the police investigation nicely through each episode leaving the viewer to wonder what happened until the very end.  The best part of this show was the twist at the very end.  I found myself rooting against all three women throughout the show.  Reese Witherspoon (Madeline Mackenzie) especially, who plays a rich entitled uppity brat that has zero redeeming qualities.  Nicole Kidman (Celeste Wright) brilliantly plays an abused house wife actively trying to portray a perfect family to the outside world.  Her performance is the shining light in a very dark world the director built.

            If you have a thing for snarky condescending rich women, this might be the show for you.  I pray that I never meet women such as this in real life, unfortunately there are quite few out there.                

Gunpowder

Gunpowder is a TV miniseries that follows Robert Catesby and Guy Fawkes attempt at blowing up Parlement and killing King James I in the early 17th century.

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, then you will recognize half the cast.  In fact, it feels as if this was a passion project of the GOT crew while on break from filming GOT for HBO.

Kit Harington stars as Robert Catesby, a lord who was oppressed by Parlement for his Catholic beliefs.   Kit delivers a strong performance as always, but it feels he has become type cast in this style of period piece.   The acting and story arc of all the main characters are well thought out and are the highlight of this show.  I was left wanting more from this world that the producers and director were able to develop in only three short episodes.

If you are a fan of period pieces or history, this is the miniseries for you.

House of Cards – Season Six

The final season of House of Cards (season six) absolutely proves that one star can make or break a show.  The removal of Kevin Spacey’s character Frank Underwood due to his sexual assault accusations completely threw this show off the rails.  The overall plot over the last few seasons was building up to have Robin Wrights character of Claire Underwood take the spotlight.  But instead of using the momentum they had built with the previous story line showing Claire’s rise to power, the show decided to make her ruthless monarch.

The final season shows Claire using every ounce of power she has as the President to remain in power while not accomplishing anything as the first female President.  Instead of raising women up and empowering them, she spends the season fighting with Doug Stamper and his trials to keep the memory of Frank Underwood alive. There are some great twist and turns in the season, but cannot recapture the true core of what made this show so great in its first five seasons. The best part of this season is that you only have to sit through eight episodes and not thirteen like seasons past.

If you have yet to give House of Cards a chance, I highly recommend watching the first four seasons.  I truly believe that is was once one of Netflix’s best original programming.

The Punisher

The Punisher Season 2

The now cancelled Punisher TV series was one of the bright spots in the Marvel TV universe.   Season two starts off with Frank looking to get his life back on track and possibly make a real connection with someone.  That plan quickly goes south as he is introduced Amy Bendix a teen on the run from trouble.  Frank ends up getting involved helping Amy and things go south quickly.  Most of the season is spent focusing on Amy and Frank’s relationship.  Amy quickly becomes the daughter that Frank couldn’t save in season one.

The season really picks up when Frank is called back to New York by Dinah Madani in order to help track down and kill the escaped Billy Russo (aka Jigsaw).  Frank goes on an epic killing spree in the middle of New York trying to track down Billy, all the while being chased by Amy’s past.

The best thing about this season, Jon Bernthal is a complete beast.  His performance as Frank Castle is one of the best in Marvel’s TV universe.  Even when the script is lacking or Jon has few lines to play, he completely delivers as Frank Castle and steals each scene.

If you are a fan of rip-roaring action, insane gun fights, and a story with touch of heart, then Season two of the Punisher is a perfect viewing choice for you.

LetterKenny

LetterKenny

I recently opened a Hulu account.  Most shows have a few advertisements during short breaks.  One of the shows I kept watching always has ads for LetterKenny.  The marketing worked and after seeing the advertisement a hundred times I decided to give LetterKenny a try.

Letterkenny is what I would call a Bro Show.  It is mostly humor for men.  I feel that you could find this show on the old Spike network.  The show follows Wayne and Katy, siblings who run a small farm and produce stand in Canada.  Wayne is challenged to fight most episodes as being the strongest man in LetterKenny is very important to the people of the town.  The back and forth between Wayne and his friends Squirrely Dan and Daryl are the highlights of the show.  After watching a few episodes you will find yourself saying “Pitter Patter” “Not So Bad” and “Hard No” unintentionally.

This is a simple show that kept me laughing through each episode.  If you are looking for a show where you can turn off the outside world and have a few laughs, LetterKenny is the show for you.

 

Ozark

Ozark – Season 1 & 2

Office buzz and word of mouth put this show on my radar quickly.  I spent many long weekends down at the lake of the Ozarks growing up and was excited to see how this drama would play out.  If you love suspense and tension this is the show for you.

This show follows Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) who is forced to flee to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to launder money for his  drug cartel boss.    Marty uproots his family from Chicago and head for sanctuary in Missouri.  The entire family quickly learns of Marty’s ties to the drug cartel and they start to work together to keep one and other alive.

Season one explores family dynamics, rural life at the Lake, and lengths people will go for self preservation.  Each decision that Marty makes seems to find him in a deeper hole with new enemies.  Season two focuses Marty and his wife Wendy working together on new business plans to ensure their families safety.

I love the direction and all the plot twist of this show.  It is a show that is very Binge Worthy on Netflix.  Jason Bateman is great as always, even though Marty is the same character that Jason plays in everything he is in.  The scene stealer in my mind is Julia Garner who plays Ruth Langmore a young woman who is part of a crime family at the lake.  She continues to impress each episode.

My biggest complaint is how they portray the Lake of the Ozarks.  It comes off a much more back woods and rural when in fact there is a lot of money at the Lake.  I did myself a disservice by learning that they do not shoot much of the series at the Lake which put a damper on the show for me.

If you like solid drama, tension, and solid acting then Ozark is show you would enjoy.