What to watch as the days grow shorter
“Billions” is back. Season 5 starts off explosively.
This guilty pleasure series, airing on Showtime, leaves viewers guessing who the villain is, though we’re never without one. They keep swapping places, and it’s getting harder and harder to predict who will be the next to switch.
So far we’ve seen US Attorney General Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) looking considerably older and more tired without a beard. Wendy Rhoades continues to dominate Ax Capital with her no-talk-to-me statements and unmatched ability to walk any surface in four-inch heels, while brilliant binary Taylor Mason sees her smile-less mastery of the world of finance start to collapse.
Did I forget someone? Oh yeah, Bobby “Ax” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), who at the start of this season, dressed in his usual worn jeans and scruffy hoodie, makes minced meat from his smartly dressed rival Michael Prince (Corey Stoll) . For a moment. Stay tuned.
“My Life is Murder” (Season 2, Acorn TV) Lucy Lawless (attractive ash blonde, unlike her dark-haired lead role in the TV series “Xena Warrior Princess”, which ran for six seasons from 1995) plays the role of a retired Australian cop. Alexa Crowe, who can’t seem to escape calls for help from her former boss Kieran Hussey (Bernard Curry) and the hard-to-say call from police data analyst Madison Feliciano (Ebony Wagulans). It’s a bit slow at first, especially if you’re used to the hectic pace and brutality of American police procedures, but you’ll feel right at home there.
“Gone for Good” (Netflix) Adapted from a novel by Harlen Coben, this provocative mystery in five episodes, set in the French city of Nice (to watch just for the scenery) concerns Guillaume Lucchesi (Finnegan Oldfield) who, after suffering the loss of his older brother as well as his former girlfriend, faces another disaster: his current girlfriend Judith (Nailia Harzoune), a social worker who helps young people at risk, disappears on the day of the funeral of Guillaume’s mother – the same day he proposes marriage to her. From there, the plot thickens until it is nearly impossible to find your way through. But keep trying.
“American Rust” (Eight Episodes, Showtime) Similar but not as compelling as “Mare of Easttown,” here we have a sad drama set in a decaying Pennsylvania Rust Belt town where everyone is miserable, especially the chef. police Del Harris (a moody, powerful but not as attractive Jeff Daniels as he is in “The Newsroom”) who spends most of his time scolding everyone while trying to figure out a murder mystery . It’s pretty dark and populated with losers going nowhere, but try to get past the depressing first episode and see what you think about it. With Maura Tierney, Bill Camp and Rob Yang as fellow police officer (the best character yet). It is based on the novel of the same name by Philipp Meyer.
“In Treatment” (six episodes, HBO) Fans of the 2008-10 airing of this drama series, starring Gabriel Byrne as Brooklyn therapist Paul Weston, might be reluctant to new therapist Paul Brooke’s colleague Taylor (Uzo Aduba, who portrayed Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in “Orange is the New Black”), who advises three needy clients at various stages of dysfunction in her gorgeous, ultra-modern Los Angeles home during the covid-19 pandemic , using astute observations that mostly manage to overshadow his many personal challenges. It’s intense, but at 30 minutes per episode, you’ll be able to keep pace.
“Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) A charming, quirky, 10-episode comedy infused with personality mixed with mystery powerfully relies on the appeal of its capable cast including Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short as three apartments of Upper West Side residents (it’s filmed at 225 W. 86th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue) who find relief from their loneliness by bonding while working to solve a murder. With Amy Ryan.
“Hacks” (10 episodes, HBO Max) Good news: “Hacks”, a staple starring Jean Smart as Deborah Vance, a sharp and ruthless veteran actress from Las Vegas determined to keep her successful but dated career intact. schtick, will be back for a second season, so get on board now. Magical Moments involve the interaction between Vance and Ava (Hannah Einbinder), a prematurely wrinkled 25-year-old comedy writer who is hired to help deliver more modern material to attract a more hip audience and is rewarded with searing looks and very succinct reviews. . It’s smart and mean and extremely entertaining.
“Archer” (Hulu) Season 12 of this fast-paced and haughty urban animated series is populated by absolutely gruesome characters who continue to succeed in the competitive world of espionage, mostly because of the overconfidence of its arrogant superstar and odious (voiced with amazing verve by H. John Benjamin, who also voices Bob in the sweet animated family comedy “Bob’s Burgers”). The caustic fights continue between Archer and his equally competent former lover and spy Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), his elegant mother and master spy (still with a drink in hand) Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), his assistant. Wacky super-rich office Cheryl (Judy Greer), raunchy Pam Poovey (Amber Nash), prostitute Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell), opportunist Ray Gillette (Adam Reed) and utterly immoral scientist Krieger (Lucky Yates). Hysterically funny and not a good choice to relax before going to bed.
Karen Martin is editor-in-chief of Perspective.