Fall 2018: November TV roundup: the good, bad and the WTF

7:32:00 AM

What to watch now, Netflix, Best shows on Netflix, Best tv of 2018, november edition, Daredevil, Romanoffs, Walking Dead


This was a good TV month, just in time for the rain and storm and fog season. Apart from my Instagram post announcing the new shows coming out, month by month, I will have these recaps at every end of the month. Let's get right into it...

Binged:


1. Daredevil
Daredevil was just canceled yesterday by Netflix. I don't want to get too much into that. Lately, a lot of shows have behind-the-scenes drama spilling out into the narrative. It's extremely annoying. I'll leave it at that.
This season of Daredevil was perfect. It has always been the one show that has me talking, sometimes screaming, to my TV. Matt, the Catholic boy, gone Ninja, can be infuriating. The whole Electra storyline was maddening. This time Agent Nadeem's fate had me preoccupied. And during the Karen flashback episode, we might have yelled "Get out go there!" till the dogs retreated to the bedroom.
The storyline was crystal; it has always been Hamlet, Michael in the Godfather-like. Matt doesn't want to be that guy, but he has to. Kill or not to kill, sacrifice and guilt are the main themes. And this time they ran all the way up to the end.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Fisk was better than in earlier season; the acting toned down just a bit. But the best parts were Agent Ben Pointdexter and Agent Rahul Nadeem. Wilson Bethel playing Poindexter, a psychopath finding solace and stability in the role of an FBI agent was exceptionally well cast. You might remember him from Hart of Dixie where he was supposed to play the sexy bad boy, a part that didn't fit him. He could have gone out in the cold hard night, but somebody had the presence to cast him as one of the most convincing psychopaths I have seen, trying to hold on to society's moral code, without ever understanding why others abide by it. He killed it. Nadeem had the role of the spectator, rolling with the punches, feeling more and more sick to his stomach by the trouble his ambition got him into. Another excellent addition was Joanne Whalley as Sister Maggie. The chemistry with Matt was real. There's a big twist in this season, and for the first time in ages, I didn't see it coming. Some didn't like the ending. And now that it is the series finale, it hurts, but at least Daredevil went out on his terms.

That is the only show we watched the whole way through, without having to take breaks.

The good:


2. Making a murderer, especially when you watch it together with First and Last while listening to this season of Serial. With an after shot of American Vandal.
It remains a fascinating story and show. And I make the distinction because I may be even more intrigued by the way this documentary shapes his truth than the Steven Avery, Brandan Dassey's and Teresa Halbach story. Of course, this new season was the Kathleen Zellner show. While Brandon's lawyers seem excellent, they are the ones being chased by the camera; they explain after the fact what occurred in court and the way they will have to react. Kathleen Zellner plays her own game; I wonder how they edited this season; if it was Kathleen that fed them information bit by bit or did they chose to split her findings throughout the episodes? If it was her doing, that woman is devious and hella smart. She used Making a Murder season two to construct her case and deconstruct the State's and the public option of that case.
If you haven't watch First and Last, give it a look. And Serial is another masterclass in how to lay out an argument. Koening, while following random cases in a Cleveland courthouse, stumbles in ep three on a big one, a #BlackLivesMatter case, and I am sure it was not at all by accident.

3. Riverdale
Love that show. The perfect show for these hyperbolic times. They can do no wrong. The flashback episode was classic. They went all Stephen King in this first part, Shawshank, Stand by me, It, and it worked.

4. The Sinner
Finally, season 2 is on Netflix. We haven't watched it all yet, only halfway through. I never thought I would say this, but I miss Jessica Biel, she was captivating in season one. Carrie Coon as Vera kills it, but I like Natalie Paul, as the cop hunted by the disappearance into a cult of the girl she was in love with.

5. The Walking Dead
Three words: Dog and Judith Grimes. That's all I need. But apart from that, it is apparent a woman took over as show runner, Angela Kang brought back dialogue, a plot that is not straightforward and leaves up to the imagination. No longer are the characters repeating silly one-liners to each other, like some cave dweller who found a philosophy book. The story flows better. It is still not the show it once was, but at least it is watchable again, and once they turn up the creepiness notch, it might get there. I also like a lot of the style choices they make, like the nifty introduction of the new group before the council, where filming behind the backs of the people judging them, therefor framing Magna, Luke, Yumiko, Connie and Kelly, one by one, to let them introduce themselves to us.

6. The Little Drummer Girl.
I have seen four episodes so far. And I have no clue why the push Alexander Sarsgaard as the big star in the promos because this is the Michael Shannon show, he is as always excellent as the Israeli intelligence officer. It all looks gorgeous, Florence Pugh as the breakout star, she also plays the wife in the Outlaw King, and was excellent in Lady Mac Beth, is a great choice. The plot meanders a bit, and the holes it creates, mask the lack of tension, but I am enjoying this so far.

7. How to get away with murder
 I need this improbable, twisty, well-acted mess in my life, HTGAWM is my guilty pleasure. And since they dialed down the random personal-motivated murders and the sex and it has become a fight between Annalise, and her band of amoral crusaders against the morally superior but hopelessly corrupt institutions, I can feel a lot better about my love or this show — still, the more craziness, the better. And seeing Liza Weil as Bonnie at her worst is always a good thing. ( yay for the Connor and Oliver wedding!)


The Tricky:


1. The Romanoffs
This is not an action/thriller/horror show, but with the significant shifts in every episode, some episodes came close. Now being an anthology show, not all of them are as good. But I do have to say that Matt Weiner knows how to pull you into seemingly ordinary lives quickly. Now If you haven't seen it, I would recommend ep 1, 2, 4 and 7. Pls skip Piano man, well no, watch it, and then explain it to me. Why? Anyway, what I wanted to write about is episode two. Some actors can make and break a show, and Kerry Bishé's open face steals this one. This is the story of a young couple, with relationship troubles. Corey Stoll plays a descendant of the Romanoff's, and he's invited to a cruise to commemorate them. To avoid being with his girl, he takes up jury duty where he falls for a hedonist femme fatale, Janet Montgomery. Meanwhile, Kerry has fun on a cruise, even having a brief flirtation with Noah While, being his charming self. Now what happens when they come back together only Matt Weiner could make, he is a genius at combining humor and something horrendous, remember the lawnmower? Anyway, don't skip this one.

2. Homecoming.
I haven't watched Dirty John yet, and I might have the same problem with it as I did with Homecoming, it depends how truthful they will follow the script. With Homecoming the podcast is brought to life as it was. And having enjoyed the podcast a lot, I had the same feeling you get when you watch a film based on a book where they dutifully go page by page. I adore Sam Esmail's Mr. Robot, and I wanted to love this. I blamed Julia Roberts and wished they cast the awesome Catherine Kenner to reprise her role.

The abandoned:


The haunting of Hill House

I tried, I love that Michiel Huisman, fellow Dutchie is killing it in the States. But I had to give up at the kitten scene; I don't need that shit in my life.


The WTF


The truth about the Harry Quebec affair

1. I have watched this whole thing to give it a chance to redeem itself. You know when you watch something, and you are like: come on, they cannot mean this, the rug has to be pulled from under this thing? Right? Right? Well, wrong.
McDreamy plays Harry Quebec, a writer who is accused of the murder of fifteen-year-old girl Nola Kellergan. She when missing for 33 years and then her body is discovered on his property. Back in the day, when he was thirty years old back he had a relationship with this girl. Well, they never consumed this relationship, but they were in love, and he let her type up his manuscript, make him cookies and tell him how brilliant he was. If that doesn't make you puke yet, you may enjoy this. It's such a mess of toxic masculinity, all about male ego, where the life of this girl counts less than the tainting of so-called talent. Terrible abuse is unleashed on this poor girl, but wait, they all feel oh so sorry for her. I kept watching expecting it, in the end, to come out that yes, in fact, Harry would be seen as a pedophile and would be guilty of something, but no, he may continues to indulge in the tragic part of a man who lost the love of his life ( a child). The savior complex is strong with this pile. * (I just read that the book has been compared to Lolita. By whom? Did he read Lolita? Did he understand it?)



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