Three TV shows and three movies to see, and what else we can expect in 2021 (Commentary)

2

021 will be a hugely transitional year for television and cinema as they react to our new post-pandemic habits. It could also be hugely entertaining year for audiences, as we get all those delayed 2020 releases plus some new ones. Here are my picks for three TV shows and three movies to see this year, plus a rundown of other big series and films:

Continue reading “Three TV shows and three movies to see, and what else we can expect in 2021 (Commentary)”

All 10 Shane Black films, ranked (Movie commentary)

W

ith Christmas approaching, it’s a good time look back at the films of Shane Black, the unofficial King of Christmas among moviemakers. Although he may not have any overt watch-it-every-year “Christmas movies” – his first hit, “Lethal Weapon,” comes closest to that celebrated status – he peppers holiday trappings into his films more than any other major filmmaker today.

Continue reading “All 10 Shane Black films, ranked (Movie commentary)”

First episode impressions: ‘Emily in Paris,’ ‘Monsterland,’ ‘Helstrom’ (TV reviews)

N

ot all October premieres have to be scary – although a lot of them are (see later in this post) – so let’s start off this look at first episodes of new streaming shows with “Emily in Paris” (Netflix). Well, I shouldn’t say it’s not at all scary. The story of Chicagoan Emily’s relocation to Paris for her job emphasizes her outsider status and loneliness even though she always puts on her delightfully Lily Collins face.

Continue reading “First episode impressions: ‘Emily in Paris,’ ‘Monsterland,’ ‘Helstrom’ (TV reviews)”

Fall TV 2020: Relatively thin schedule nonetheless offers some shows worth going bananas for (Commentary)

T

he pandemic has wreaked havoc with fall TV scheduling (it’s hard to tell one socially distanced, masked story, let alone fill a slate with them), and also revealed that (no surprise) cable and streaming were better prepared with content in their pipelines than the networks. But while 2020 serves up the thinnest lineup in modern TV history, it’s not a total wash. Here are my thoughts on 13 notable fall premieres, along with a “Go Bananas” Level (on a 10-point scale) of how excited I am for the series. All times Eastern:

Continue reading “Fall TV 2020: Relatively thin schedule nonetheless offers some shows worth going bananas for (Commentary)”

Superhero Saturday: ‘Runaways’ Season 1 (2017-18) is kind of silly, but kind of good thanks to loaded cast (TV review)

W

ith an unusually long gap between new Marvel Cinematic Universe releases, I decided to finally check out “Marvel’s Runaways” Season 1 (2017-18, Hulu). Now through three seasons, it’s part of the young-adult wing of the MCU, and I appreciate that it’s more colorful, sunnier (it’s set in Los Angeles, the opposite side of the continent from most MCU goings-on) and more fathomable than the other YA series, Freeform’s recently canceled “Cloak & Dagger.” It also has an amazing cast, but Season 1 has one big problem at its core.

Continue reading “Superhero Saturday: ‘Runaways’ Season 1 (2017-18) is kind of silly, but kind of good thanks to loaded cast (TV review)”

Netflix MCU goes out on a competent but familiar note with ‘Jessica Jones’ Season 3’s treatise on the costs of doing evil and good (TV review)

T

he Netflix NYC neighborhood of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ended too soon with “Jessica Jones” Season 3 (June), but I have to admit these series were starting to tread familiar ground. When watching these 13 episodes, I sensed that I was still watching prestige TV, yet I also understood where things were going long before they reached the finish line, thus enhancing the stereotype that Netflix MCU shows are slow-moving.

Continue reading “Netflix MCU goes out on a competent but familiar note with ‘Jessica Jones’ Season 3’s treatise on the costs of doing evil and good (TV review)”