Need new suggestions for the new year? Here’s what I’ve been watching:
Bridgerton,” Netflix series, 1 season. This Regency-era romance is the talk of the town. It’s reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice, but with a racially integrated society and a lot of sex. I found the series both amusing and slightly annoying, and I didn’t really like any of the characters because they were all so vapid and self-centered. But I did watch all eight episodes…
The Expanse, Amazon Prime series, 5 seasons. Sci-fi circa 2300 when Earth, Mars, and a group of Belters (the working class) are pitted against each other in space. A little hard to understand some of the accents, but very engrossing! It’s a great one for keeping you distracted from the cold weather and the pandemic. Season 5 just debuted in December 2020.
Emily in Paris, Netflix series, 1 season. A superficial Sex in the City starring 20-somethings. A bit annoying, but I watched it to see Paris.
The Crown,” Netflix series, 6 seasons. I didn’t find the most recent season to be a particularly good one. My favorite episode was the one where Prince Phillip asks The Queen who her favorite child is and she has no clue, so she meets individually with them all. Lady Di makes her entrance this year, and the whole thing is torturous to re-live. Prince Charles comes across so badly that the royals wanted the series clearly labeled as fiction.
The Mandalorian,” Disney+ series, 2 seasons. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you should catch the space western known as The Mandalorian, which features an adorable character that’s come to be known as Baby Yoda. The series takes place just after “Return of the Jedi,” when the resistance has pushed back the Empire. The series was created by Jon Favreau, who directed Iron Man and other blockbuster movies.
The Loudest Voice in the Room, Showtime limited series. A series starring Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes, the man who was hired by Rupert Murdoch to found the Fox News Channel. Ailes was bent on creating news to get ratings—even if facts were distorted in the process—and not just to report news. He also seriously sexually harassed a lot of women in the process. A horrible, horrible man, but a must-see for anyone who watches cable news. This is how we became so partisan in reporting, veering away from unbiased journalism.
My Octopus Teacher, Netflix movie. This is a lovely documentary about a South African man who befriended an octopus—to the point where she would swim to him and allow him to hold her in his hand. Beautiful underwater photography!
The Trial of the Chicago 7, Netflix movie. This is not one of Aaron Sorkin’s better efforts (it’s no West Wing): It starts out very slow and disjointed, but the second half focusing on the trial of protesters at the 1968 Democratic Convention is eerily accurate in its reading of today’s political climate. The defendants, who planned a peaceful protest against the war but ended up violently clashing with police, are tried for political purposes, the judge is alarmingly racist and demented, and the whole thing is hard to believe…but also true.
Destination Wedding, Hulu movie. This is a bizarre but funny comedy about two misanthropes who meet at a wedding and connect in their misery. Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder somehow make it work!
Palm Springs, Hulu movie. Amusing take on “Groundhog Day” starring Andy Samberg and the woman who turned out to be the mother on “How I Met Your Mother.” The two go to a wedding in Palm Springs and get stuck in a time loop together.
Justified, Hulu series, 6 seasons: If you haven’t seen this series starring Timothy Olyphant as an unconventional (and oh-so-sexy) deputy US Marshall working in the Appalachian mountains area of Kentucky, you’re missing out on some great fun. It’s based on some Elmore Leonard stories.
Comedy series you may have missed but really should give a try—they’re in reruns on multiple channels: Big Bang Theory, Mom.