First of all, a word about my last week’s Netflix recommendation, the “comedy” series Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Ouch, is this show ever lame and unfunny. Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston will probably be regretting the broadness of their performances as the two long-time law partners who announce that they are gay and intend to marry. Jane Fonda is one of the abandoned spouses and is excruciating to look at given the amount of make-up she is wearing and the obvious surgical maintenance she has undergone. Her hair is fabulous, though. Lily Tomlin, as the other abandoned spouse, gives a very over the top performance as an aging New Age adherent who is basically chanting and sitting in the Yoga pose for much of the time. Yikes, this is such a broad sitcom, all that is missing is the laugh track for the very unfunny dialog. Every character is a caricature, including the children of the two couples. Watch at your own risk and be afraid….very afraid…
On a friend’s recommendation, I did watch the French crime series Witnesses. Six hours in length with English subtitles, this little gem of a series is totally addictive. Set in a coastal town in Normandy, France, the action starts when recently buried bodies are unearthed and placed in model homes. If you liked Spiral, another great French crime series available on Netflix, you will probably love this show.
Another great French suspense series available on Netflix that I enjoyed was The Returned (or Les Revenants). Very eerie in tone, people who have been long dead, start returning to a small French Alpine town. The American adaptation of this show is currently being aired on A&E, for those who have trouble with subtitles, but the French original version is a little more subtle. The series has been renewed for a second season, so watch for it.
Many American series are swiftly moving to their finales (The Good Wife, Gotham, The Flash, Forever, Nashville,The Blacklist, Elementary, Grimm, Mad Men, etc.) so you may want to set your recording devices. Many of my favourites are still going strong: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Call the Midwife, Game of Thrones Silicon Valley, Veep, Nurse Jackie, Salem, Outlander, etc.
PBS has announced its upcoming lineup:
Here’s a great article about how NBC is following Netflix and Amazon Prime’s lead in making its upcoming series Aquarius (about the Manson murders and starring David Duchovny) immediately available in all 13 episodes online in addition to it’s weekly broadcast schedule:
This past week, I actually got out to the movies to see Far from the Madding Crowd. Loved it! Carey Mulligan is perfect in the lead role of Bathsheba Everdene and all the men in her life are perfectly cast, especially the Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak. Gorgeous scenery, costumes and music which held my attention for 2 hours. No snoozing!!
In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful weather that we have just in time for Mother’s Day.