Amanda Seyfried Is ‘Bewitching’ In TV’s Standout Cheater Series
To screw ★★★
British screenwriter Rob Williams is the prolific but thoughtful guy who recently gave us the gnarly Scottish crime thriller The victim and the transnational techno-thriller Suspicion (AppleTV+). He also wrote this quirky prison comedy-drama, which delivers plenty of insight, dark humor and emotional truths – though his depiction of life on the wing sounds wildly fanciful.
At the center of things are senior prison officer Leigh Henry (Nina Sosanya) and new recruit Rose Gill (Derry Girls star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell). Both have secrets. One of Leigh’s problems is the fact that she lives in the prison, sleeping in a spare cell (who knew there was such a thing?). Rose is that she’s not just here to work as a prison guard.
Old arthritic tropes find themselves brought back into use as the series mixes workplace comedy with political critique, but officers and prisoners are entertaining and colorful and brilliantly acted. Detectors‘Laura Checkley is a particular delight as the jaded officer Jackie, who retains a soft spot for prisoners and a dry sense of humour. Well worth a look.
More than this
Paramount+, from Friday
At first, this half-hour Australian series looks a bit like Euphoria with chamomile tea instead of crystal meth – though before too long, high schooler Charlotte (series creator Olivia Deeble) and her racially and sexually diverse classmates find themselves exploring rather dark territory. Health, drug and family issues add to the ongoing challenges of adolescence, but optimism shines through as a cast of impressive young talent weaves together an evocative and distinctly Australian snapshot of what it’s like to to be a teenager these days.
JK Simmons delivers two spellbinding performances in this gripping, retro-contemporary sci-fi spy thriller series. Set in a paranoid neo-Cold War Berlin, Simmons plays a man named Howard Silk, a humble but conscientious civil servant whose job it is to transmit coded messages between our world and an identical second Earth from a secret Cold War experiment. When an assassin from the otherworld bursts into ours, with Howard Silk from the otherworld in pursuit, things get complicated for both Silks. Great stuff.
The new black
The promo poster deliberately reminds Surroundings, because our four Orthodox Jewish students studying at a yeshiva in Jerusalem are just as arrogant and outgoing. Well, except for the one geek, who can quote and argue scripture with scholarly accuracy, but has failed to land a single second date out of the 34 his marriage matchmaker has set up. for him.
The perfectly cast leads and supporting actors provide genuine laughs and heartache, as well as fascinating insights into Jewish life.
The silent sea
It’s hard to go a week these days without getting sucked into another tense, highly bingeable Korean genre drama. This one finds the world caught in a catastrophic global drought, and the Korean space agency sends a mission to the moon to retrieve something from a base whose occupants mysteriously died years earlier. The astronauts don’t know what they’re looking for, although the fact that they have a retired astrobiologist on board should have given them a clue. Beautifully drawn characters facilitate immersion.
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