Jim and A.Ron feel like the picture is coming into focus for this season’s True Detective, and yet in “The Final Country” the show carries itself as if it has a few surprises left up it’s sleeves. Many questions remain; why exactly was Julie taken, and how did she escape? What goes down between the two hunters, Hayes and Hoyt? What will the two old men learn in 2015 that eluded them in the 80s and 90s? We’re counting on next week coming through and capping off a great season with a great finale. See you then!
Jim and A.Ron have seen The Umbrella Academy and Lorena, Netflix and Amazon originals respectively. The Umbrella Academy is a smart, fun take on the X-Men universe with some Noah Hawley DNA mixed in. Lorena is a four part documentary examining the 1993 dismembering case of Lorena Bobbitt. While the case is no doubt interesting and probably a big landmark in the struggle for equality of the sexes, we’re not sure this production is doing a great job of raising these issues or presenting the facts in a straightforward way. We’ll be back next week to give The Umbrella Academy and Lorena another whirl!
Jim and A.Ron consider the latest episode of HBO’s True Detective; “Hunters in the Dark”. An episode that is largely carried by it’s powerful performances, we nevertheless get what feel like big puzzle pieces that fit into the Purcell case. On the other hand, this season has been thematically about unfair assumptions and prejudices, so while it’s probably true we have a lot more of the story than we did last week, it’s highly unlikely that we have all of it. With just two more weeks to go, will Old Man Hayes and West be up for the challenge of getting justice for Julie?
Jim and A.Ron take a look at Netflix’s new darkly comedic take on the Groundhog Day concept, Russian Doll. Starring Natasha Lyonne, it offers a funny, inventive, and interesting take on the human condition, what being happy and connectedness means, and what obligations we have to our fellow humans around us. At a binge time of less than 4 hours, we both feel like it’s worth just about everyone’s time to check out. We also circle back around to Black Earth Rising, which is still phenomenally interesting at its core, but can’t decide which of a million sub-plots and character details it wants to focus on and remains a bit of a jumbled mess.
Another excellent episode of HBO’s True Detective! We finally get to meet Old Man West in “If You Have Ghosts”, and the wait was worth it. Both funny and poignant, it appears that 22 years of bad blood and as yet unknown extra-judicial shenanigans have left a rift in their relationship. But Wayne’s memory gaps ironically serve to bridge the two men back together. At five episodes in, we’re still not really sure where the mystery is going, but the chemistry between Wayne, Amelia, and Rolland is so good that the case of the missing Purcell children is almost a distraction from “the good stuff”. That’s a pretty high compliment to pay a Detective show. We discuss all this plus lots of your great feedback. See you next week!
Jim and A.Ron give their thoughts and opinions on the entire first season of Netflix’s Korean medieval zombie series, Kingdom, as well as the first two episodes of Black Earth Rising. Kingdom is much needed breath of fresh air in the mouldy zombie genre, with lush locations and sets, impressive costuming, excellent plotting and performances, and genuinely creepy and terrifying monsters. The boys both were very into the premise and promise of Black Earth Rising, but are worried two episodes in from the series penchant in getting distracted with Jason Bourne types of intrigue and assassinations as well as the complex and confusing personal lives of the main characters. Whether the excellent performances and important questions the show has to offer can overcome the clunky writing and execution remains to be seen.
Jim and A.Ron break down all the decade spanning clues of HBO’s True Detective’s latest episode, “The Hour and the Day”. Who done it? The priest? The one eyed man? The cousin? The pumpkin lady? We sift through the evidence and theories and opine about the excellent character work this episode, as we get ready for what promises to be some hellacious action going down at the Woodward residence!
Jim and I haven’t finished The Punisher season 2 yet, but we’ve seen enough to tap out. As we discuss in our spoiler filled review, The Punisher has the chief sin of these Marvel/Netflix collaborations; a bloated 13 episode runtime, and adds to it ludicrous character details and plot-points until this grimdark ultra-violent fantasy pushes through the drama boundary and hits unintentional comedy. 8 episodes in, we still don’t know why we should care about Amy, or what makes the Pilgrim tick, or why Frank let Russo off the hook when he should be worm food except, oh right, this is a 13 episode season instead of a more reasonable 8-10 episode season and if things made sense and had dramatic urgency they’d be five hours of content short.
Netflix and Hulu had dueling documentaries on doomed Fyre music festival, Fyre, and Fyre Fraud respectively. With slightly different focuses, the documentaries broadly outline how founder Billy McFarland built several ponzi schemes on the idea of selling a fictionalized “baller” lifestyle to young, naive, rich people and took them for a ride. Built on the back of a few dozen paid influencers and a long list of impossible promises, Fyre was supposed to be the event of the decade. Instead, it barely avoiding being a genuine humanitarian disaster. We discuss influencing, the morality of excess, and engage in the kind of barely contained glee at seeing narcissists fall from grace that you’d expect in this discussion of all things Fyre.
HBO’s True Detective continues to build their triple layer mystery over three decades in “The Big Never”. A lot of new clues come to light; the children being secretive in the woods; handwritten notes and maps; a photo of Will taking communion that looks suspiciously like the way his body was staged in death. Meanwhile detective West recruits Hayes to help with the re-opened case in the 90’s, and in 2015 Hayes has to face gaps and inconsistencies with the official investigation while being confronted by the ghosts of his past. All this plus a rollicking discussion of feedback and the latest theories harvested from the psycho-sphere!