Category: Reviews

Lost in Space (Netflix 2018)

Lost-In-Space-Aggretsuko-Others-Coming-to-Netflix-in-April-2

2-1/2 Kernels

Danger, Will Robinson!  Danger!

Well, if you grew up in the 1960’s, like I did, Lost in Space was the show to watch and many reruns for years afterward.  Though it only lasted three seasons, Netflix has had the brilliant idea of bringing back the premise of the show.  It doesn’t quite look the same in the scheme of the old one, except for a robot that is way more scarier and somewhat cooler.

I sat through all ten episodes for the sole purpose of avoiding my tax return and paying my bills.  (I promise to file tomorrow.)  Instead, I sat watching the show in two days finding it mildly entertaining but was left scratching my head a few times and hitting the fast-forward button in the last three episodes because I wanted to get over it.

All I can say is be prepared for a plot with more holes in it than a slice of Swiss cheese. There are more danger scenes packed into ten episodes with the more impossible scenarios of “getting out of this jam” than you can imagine.  From nailbiting scenes to the ridiculous, you’ll watch the Robinson family escape danger, solve every problem you can possibly image, and save the day while being hounded by one crazy woman who is Dr. Smith.

What works in this series?  Special effects are acceptable.  Robot friend of Will is fine until he starts killing everything, but redeems himself when pre-historical alien creatures are about to eat everyone.  The brave attempts of survivors (more than the Robinson family), to leave a planet they have crashed upon fill up most of the story. Perhaps they could have just made it on this piece of rock, except that apparently, this plant is dying too.  Oh, and don’t think you get the whole story of why the Robinsons and the special people had to leave earth.  I’m still confused on that one too.  Apparently, it was all a ruse.

What doesn’t work, is the plot and unanswered questions.  You’re forced to sit through flashbacks to their former life on earth, and then are hurled back in space with the family.  We have a husband (Toby Stephens plays John Robinson) and wife (Molly Paker who plays Maureen Robinson) who were about to get divorced and are now together escaping planet earth.  We have Will (Maxwell Jenkins, fairly cute kid) who has two sisters (Taylor Russell and Mina Sundwall).

The mother is so intelligent about absolutely everything it’s to the point of being ridiculous.  Definitely, the overreaching dominate female who semi-emasculates her husband emotionally. Their eighteen-year-old daughter who looks like fourteen is a doctor.  Will and his other sister are smart enough to run around the ship and fix just about anything.  On top of it, Will saves the day when it comes to finding fuel.

I can’t really go bonkers over this remake.  Everyone has a near-death experience at least three times in each episode.  A few of the characters are annoying, and Dr. Smith (Parker Posey) and her evil psychopathic or sociopathic or something psychotic personality grates on your nerves.  There is no clear reason why she acts to insanely intent on conniving to ruin every situation or every person around her for self-preservation.  Frankly, I think she just gets her kicks out of being a bitch. She’s like a monkey wrench thrown into each scene to muck things up.

Okay, enough ranting.  Give it a spin if you like space movies.  Just remember by the end of it, you may be just as lost as the Robinsons in space.

 

Delicious (Acorn TV 2016-17)

delcious Season 1 – 3 Stars

Season 2 – 1 Star

Meet the dysfunctional family whose central character Leo played by Iain Glen. He is having an affair with his first wife, Gina, played by Dawn French. Twenty years earlier, he left her for a younger woman named Sam, played by Emilia Fox. At one time he and Gina owned a hotel, were both celebrated chefs.  He now runs that hotel with Sam.

Leo makes a mess of his life when his current wife discovers he’s shagging his first wife on the side.  When he finally decides to ask for forgiveness and confess his love to his second wife, he ups and dies by accidentally taking too much heart medication.  He leaves behind a bankrupt estate, debts, children that no one knows about, and a convoluted mess of relationships.  If that weren’t bad enough, Gina, his first wife has been holding onto a secret of her own that her mentally disturbed daughter, Teresa, is unaware exists.

The tale waffles between the odd and often strained relationship of Gina and Sam who attempted to keep the hotel afloat after Leo’s passing. They have their own secret buried in the backyard that will eventually come to haunt them. Joe and Sam have an 18-year-old son named Michael who has a nearly incestuous relationship with his supposed half-sister. It’s another storyline that plays out to a surprising conclusion.  Among the two seasons an old lover returns, Gina’s father shows up who she hates, the police are investigating money laundering, and another secret in the closet that Leo has held quiet for twenty years emerges.

Season one was mildly entertaining in the fact that dead Leo narrates the story and occasionally appears to his daughter and Gina.  However, when season two rolls around, the storyline crashes into the ridiculous, making me wonder what hallucinations the writer entertained  The ending makes absolutely no sense, and if it were a book, I probably would have thrown it against the wall.  Just when things are all coming together for the good of everyone involved, Gina goes off the deep end with no rational reason for her behavior whatsoever. By the end, her character and the audience’s relationship with her turns from tolerable to absolute hatred.

If you’re curious, give it a watch only if nonsensical endings do not get the best of you.

‘Maigret’ marks a welcome return from Rowan Atkinson

Highly recommend!  Just watched the first episode.  Check it out on BritBox.

Rowan Atkinson, a.k.a. Mr. Bean, returns as French police detective Jules Maigret.

Source: ‘Maigret’ marks a welcome return from Rowan Atkinson

The Jury (ITV 2002 & 2011)

JuryThere are times that I become so overwhelmed at the absolute greatest of British television, I’m speechless.  No one does it better than the Brits.  I’ve just finished the two seasons of The Jury that first broadcast in 2002 and then again in 2011.  Both series consists of five one-hour episodes.

It begins with ordinary citizens receiving in their mail a summons to jury duty.  A few of the jurors in each case are focused upon as subplots and how the experience affects them.  Of course, the main focus is upon the accused.  The first 2002 series revolves around a Sikh teenager who is accused of murdering a classmate who bullied him.  The second in 2011 focuses on a man accused of brutally murdering three women he met on an internet dating site.

For those of you who love Gerard Butler, you will find him staring as one of the jurors, along with other familiar faces such as Helen McCrory.

The entire series engrosses you into the English jury process.  As the audience, you are given no more information about the guilt or innocence of the individual than what the jurors hear. When they retire to deliberate, no one agrees, of course, initially upon the verdict.  You, on the other hand, can cast your own vote.  In the first series there is still some doubt, but in the second it appears to be overwhelming evidence at the end of the unanimous outcome.

Needless to say, I’m continuing to rave about the excellence in writing, acting, and presentation of some of these fantastic British shows.  This one is currently streaming on BritBox and well worth the ten episodes.

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