Only Murders in the Building
Season two of “Only Murders” ended satisfyingly with a triple twist, but I can’t help but be grateful that it stars two of the funniest people walking the planet right now. Three if you count Tina Fey, and I do. While not uproariously funny, the show’s clever moments shine through its mostly probable Gotham-steeped version of an Agatha Christie romp.
Louise and I have the Emmys to thank for finding this one, so I guess it’s good for something. I’m not sure there’s anything that stars Jean Smart that doesn’t deserve watching, and this show puts her front and center as an aging Vegas comedienne struggling to stay relevant. She hires a cloying, Uber-woke pre-Millennial who just got fired from her writing job back in Hollywood. It’s another one of those Odd Couple stories where you know they’ll eventually come around to loving each other — and they do to a point.
Hand Maids Tale
The ladies in red are back, and June is on a rampage. In our house, we play a drinking game that requires us to imbibe with every super closeup of June staring menacingly into the camera. Last season, we got sloppy drunk by the end of every episode. This season, the show allows us to maintain a higher level of sobriety. I didn’t have high hopes for the season, seeing that the show has wandered beyond the book into uncharted territory. Would it unravel like Game of Thrones did? So far, no, but after a fully clothed, hot-as-Canada sex scene, it looks like June is about to take on and destroy the entire nation of Gilead all by herself.
I guess we have a thing for period British small-farmtown-dramas. This one reminds us of “All Creatures Great and Small” except there’s no animals and all the people are mean. We just watched the first episode last night, so the jury’s still out.
We heard that HBO will be cutting the budget for this show, which is too bad because the exotic locations are definitely one of its better aspects. Succession almost makes you feel sorry for the super wealthy, because — holy cow — are these people unhappy! Then Kendall’s father offers him a $2 billion buyout and he actually debates it in his head! Are you nuts, man? He could start a dozen new companies with fresh employees to abuse with that kind of money, all without his father’s interference. But then we’d have no show, would we? And no, they still haven’t pushed Greg out of a helicopter.
I’m watching the sixth season almost out of obligation. It’s a heavy British drama with accents so thick, it almost requires captions. It also grimly over-stylized with contemporary music and plenty of those trite shots of tough people walking in slow-mo through gritty industrial scenery. Tommy’s on the wagon and now suffering from seizures as he tries to take on the IRA and British fascists. The show’s too beautiful and Cillian Murphy far-too-compelling to put this one behind me. Plus, those few scenes with Tom Hardy as the Jewish mafia boss make the experience all worth it.
House of the Dragon
They hit it out of the park with this one. Of course, after the disaster that was the ending of Game of Thrones, the bar got re-set rather low. Now we have flocks (?) of dragons, a deliciously nasty cast of characters, and all the gore and nudity we’ve come to love with this brutal world. I can only gripe about the transition of the teenage queen to the queen as a young mother. The show has done an excellent job casting feisty girls, and Milly Alcock as the princess that may or may not become queen plays ruthless among the best of them.