If your binge high is over after watching Dexter and now you are chasing that feeling, check out this list of shows.
AppleTV+’s latest foray into sci-fi is short on resolutions but long on atmosphere.
It is, perhaps, a bit unfair to start a review of Constellation by noting its similarities to The Cloverfield Paradox. Still, they’re undeniably evident in the early going. The show opens with an international collection of astronauts facing an emergency in the wake of an incredible experiment. In the aftermath, evidence mounts that fatalities and damage to the space station were not the only consequences. Those who stayed up late after the Super Bowl to watch the third film in the Cloverfield anthology brand (?) will likely hear how similar that plot sounds. Thankfully, AppleTV+’s new series comes out looking favorable in the comparison.
A significant reason why is Constellation is far more interested in mining horror from what happens when Jo (Noomi Rapace) returns to Earth. As the astronaut left behind longest on the dying space station, her sense of disconnect is initially entirely understandable. However, as her experiences increasingly fail to match the realities of everyone around her, the suggestion that she’s experiencing nothing more than some short-term trauma response breaks down. Something happened to Jo, something she’s brought back to Earth with her. Continue Reading →
The heist thriller series stays compelling even as it grows more typical.
Joe Petrus (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) is a Black gay man living in a very white suburb in Washington. His neighbors whisper about how great he is when he drops off his soon-to-be stepchildren Frankie (Maria Nash) and Bud (Baeyen Hoffman) at school. However, when he applies for a permit to convert a long-abandoned hardware store on Main Street, he encounters racially charged suspicion from a cop on the beat and judgment from the town council. Both dress them up to various degrees in standard procedure and questions of propriety, but the message is clear: “You don’t belong here.”
It turns out they’re onto something, but for entirely the wrong reasons. Entrepreneur-in-love American Joe also happens to be British former organized crime heavy David Marking, who did “one last job” and actually walked away. He started a new life in the US and accidentally fell in love with Jules (Kevin Vidal). Unfortunately, the consequences of the job have finally started to catch up with him as members of his heist team begin to show up dead as Culprits opens. Continue Reading →
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty
There’s no denying Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty remains entertaining in its second season. There’s no denying that its panoply of digital tricks holds the viewer’s attention, whether what’s on-screen is a scrimmage gone awry or a father meeting his child for the first time. But does that mean it’s good? Continue Reading →
Justified: City Primeval
How does anyone justify a revival? The original Justified gave viewers a conclusion in the first 30 minutes and an epilogue with the last 16. It gave Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) a fitting third act, living in Miami as a part-time dad to his daughter and finally enjoying freedom from the town he worked so hard to escape. So how does a creative team go from “we dug coal together?” to that nearly happy ending to a brand-new Givens tale? The simple answer is to head north. Continue Reading →
The 2019 adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s 1990 novel Good Omens was a charming show that succeeded in translating the book’s strengths and weaknesses to the small screen. It was clever like the book, with an ingenious plot (what if there had been a mix-up at the hospital and the Antichrist went home with the wrong family) that parodied The Omen while conjuring an apocalyptic tale all its about an angel and demon whose millennials-long rivalry grew from mutual antagonism, to grudging respect, and finally admiration and even a kind of love. But it also carried over the book’s weaker elements, its wonky pacing, plurality of uninteresting characters, and the fact that the first two thirds of the story is essentially table setting for the final third. Continue Reading →
The Witcher returns for its third season, Henry Cavill’s final run as Geralt of Rivera, Witcher, before Liam Hemsworth steps into the White Wolf’s big boots. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich introduces yet another tonal shift to the series, which has suffered a bit of an identity crisis since its bombastic first season. After the uneven season two and the head-scratching prequel spinoff Blood Origins, Season three takes a step back from intricate political intrigue to deliver a more straightforward narrative. Continue Reading →
Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan
Generally speaking, we avoid personalizing our reviews at The Spool. This isn’t the early 2000s. No one needs to know about my journey to my couch to watch Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season 4. That said, please allow me a brief personal indulgence that I promise will prove illustrious. In an effort to get ahead of deadlines, I watched the season’s six episodes in a day with a plan to write the review the next day. However, by the time I sat down to write that review about 26 hours later, I realized I had to watch the whole thing again. In a day’s time, I had forgotten too much to write a review in good faith. Continue Reading →
City on Fire
As an act of nostalgia, City on Fire has plenty to offer anyone who lived or spent lots of time in New York City in the summer of 2003. The new series, created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, evokes the era matter-of-factly. Besides nailing the look of early 21st Century Manhattan, it captures the sense of a city in transition. The groundwork for the gentrification that swept across Manhattan and Brooklyn had just been activated. Mayor Bloomberg was taking what Giuliani had begun and pushing it farther and faster than “America’s Mayor” ever managed. And while the series eventually stomps the theme into the ground, the tendency to wonder if every adverse event was evidence of terrorism was very alive. Continue Reading →
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
With two successful seasons of Bridgerton under her belt, it's no surprise that Netflix and Shonda Rhimes would veer into spin-off territory with Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, which tells the tale of Queen Charlotte's (Golda Rosheuvel) early reign and her marriage to King George III. Continue Reading →
Certain events dig so deep into our culture that they define many subsequent examples of the form. Watergate has led to decades of any possibly notable scandal receiving a -gate suffix. Any British band with pop-rock sensibilities often spends a year or two followed by the question, “the next Beatles?”. And, currently, any erotic thriller with a hint of BDSM flavor gains the tag “the new Fifty Shades of Grey.” For a brief time, 365 Days, a Polish film brought to wider audiences thanks to Netflix, lived under that banner. Now the streaming service is giving it another shot with the four-part series Obsession. Continue Reading →