The Emmys took place this past Monday and it seems that streaming services have definitely taken the crown for television viewing. Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO swept the awards, the only awards for actual network television coming from late night talk shows and reality TV. Although SNL got a few awards which I am happy about.
There can be no real argument against this rise of streaming. Fantastic shows such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (haven’t watched it), Barry (haven’t watched it) and Godless (didn’t finish it) garnered multiple awards through their acting talent. In fact, if you look through the list of winners from the night you will see that most shows, nominees and winners are an “Original” from a webite or streaming service. Actors are getting drawn to the quality projects that sites such as Netflix, Hulu and Prime produce. They’re probably getting compensated pretty well for it at the same time.
The irony of it all is that broadcast television just aired their biggest loss of the war yet. Despite shows such as Game of Thrones, Westworld and Succession garnering viewers in real time as the show is first aired, a la broadcast television, the majority of users view the shows on demand. There are even plenty of Irish shows on these sites also. I’ll review these next week.
Anyways, after that diatribe, let me tell ye what I’ve been watching this week. Yes, they were all through streaming services.
The Good Place
This comedy offering had been sitting in my Netflix list for months. I didn’t see the appeal based on the twenty seconds I watched of the trailer. Nothing was tickling my fancy one day so I threw it on and binged the two seasons in two days. It is nothing short of a masterpiece. Created by Michael Schur, who wrote episodes of the Office, Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99, it blends drama, philosophical questions, mad fantasy and superb comedy into one unreal show.
It stars Kristin Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who wakes up in ‘the good place’, ie ‘Heaven”. The only thing is, she has been mixed up with another woman of the same name who was of much purer character. Hilarity ensues. The show stars Ted Danson as an ‘architect’, or angel, and he is definitely the funniest character in the show.
The rest of the cast are impeccable. Adam Scott, Dax Shepard and Maya Rudolph appear in guest roles throughout the series. Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, William Jackson Harper and D’Arcy Carden make up the rest of the main cast and while you may have not heard of most of them, they are all hilarious and perfect for their roles.
I would recommend watching this as soon as possible because season 3 premieres on Netflix the 27th of this month. Get to watchin’ and don’t be chillin’ while doin’ it ya sick pervs.
Amazon Prime has been advertising the hell out of this eight part thriller based on Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name. It seems to have made its mark with over 140 countries around the world streaming the show. The show focuses on CIA analyst Jack Ryan who is drawn into the world of active anti-terrorism, showing he is much more than a desk-jockey.
John Krasinsky plays the titular character. He directed and starred in the horror hit of the year, A Quiet Place, but is better known by millions around the world for his role as Jim in the American Office.
The show itself is action packed with many twists and turns, but that is to be expected. It’s not as action packed as I’d like, however. The dialogue that takes place whenever the terrorist leader Suliman is on screen is brilliant and the tension is palpable. Krasinsky doesn’t feature half as much as we were led to believe in the trailers, a lot of screen time being given to the villain’s story.
This show is bound to draw criticism for apparent Islamophobia and inciting hatred given the subject matter. I would disagree, given that it paints the Americans and Europeans in just as bad a light. The world can no longer be painted in black or white as everybody’s motives are drawn into question.
Jack Ryan is worth a watch but I wouldn’t go subscribing to Amazon Prime just because of the show.
White Boy Rick
White Boy Rick tells the story of Rick Wershey Jr., a teenage drug kingpin in Detroit in the mid 1980s. The film charts his rise from a gang associate to drug lord between the ages of 14 to 17, as well as the FBI coaching him on how to drugdeal and snitch while paying him. The film depicts the hard and cold nature of Detroit in that decade, especially for Rick, who must deal with his runaway drug addict sister, his father who wastes his time selling guns and thinking of his video-store business, the FBI who keep hounding him to sell drugs and obtain information for them and an increasingly suspicious gang leader who may have it in for our titular character.
Hollywood heavyweights Matthew McConnaughey, Bruce Dern and Jennifer Jason Leigh lend the star power to this one but Richie Merritt, who plays Rick, is a future star and is definitely a new force to be reckoned with.
It is a very good movie that could have used a bit more action in the final third, but well worth the money for a watch.