If your binge high is over after watching Murder Most Horrid and now you are chasing that feeling, check out this list of shows.
Gus Van Sant & Jon Robin Baitz collaborate on a miniseries rich in both vintage style & human drama.
Nora Ephron once said “Everything is copy.” When you’re a writer, anything you see, experience, or hear, even in confidence, might be filed away to use as creative fodder later, despite the potentially sketchy ethics of it. If you’re lucky, maybe your friends won’t recognize themselves quite as easily as the friends of Truman Capote did when he wrote “La Côte Basque, 1965,” a short story published in Esquire. Though the story purported to be fiction, it was thinly veiled fiction at best. So thin, in fact, you could see right through it.
The events leading up to the publication of Capote’s work in 1975, and the fallout afterward, is the focus of Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, a limited series that at first blush looks like it’s going to be camp nonsense in the vein of the interminable Real Housewives franchise, but has a deep sense of melancholy at its core. With the first four episodes directed by Gus Van Sant, where an easy approach would be to clearly delineate villains and heroes from the beginning, instead it offers something a little more complicated, and asks some uncomfortable questions about friendship, creativity, and trust. Continue Reading →
The crime drama returns to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and rediscovers its best storytelling self.
Throughout the six episodes of Fargo Season 5 screened for critics, the series isn’t exactly subtle. From opening the season with an on-screen graphic defining “Minnesota Nice” as neighbor attacks neighbor during a school board meeting to Sheriff Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm) staring up at a campaign billboard of himself, the show loudly states its theses at the viewer over and over.
However, it never feels like creator Noah Hawley has lost control of the storytelling. It’s methodically over-the-top. The audience is on a roller coaster, but they can feel the quality of the engineering keeping them on the tracks. In other hands, this approach can feel alienating or blunting. Fargo Season 5 benefits from meeting Hawley’s signature energy with a game cast and impressively insightful art direction. As a result, the series turns in its best offering since Season 2’s near-perfect effort. Continue Reading →
Lawmen: Bass Reeves
Screenwriter Josh Olsen (A History of Violence) used to tell anyone who would listen that his passion project was an account of the life of Bass Reeves, a man whose life and career were the stuff of fables. Reeves was the first Black deputy sheriff west of the Mississippi, with an arrest record in the thousands by most accounts. Best of all, legends assert that he almost never killed or shot anyone he didn’t have to. Continue Reading →
GREGORY HORROR SHOW
An often-overlooked decade for horror gets the spotlight, & we’ll tell you what to watch & what to skip.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the work being covered here wouldn't exist.
Hurry up and finish watching everything in the Criterion Channel’s High School Horror collection, because they’re doing it again with a brand new one devoted to 90s horror, starting today. Unlike last year’s expansive 80s Horror offering, there’s just eleven films in this collection, with three more coming in November and December. That’s cleverly reflective of the state of horror in the 90s, as are some of the selected films stretching the definition of “horror.” Continue Reading →
Only Murders in the Building
The surprise, sustained hit Only Murders in the Building brands itself as a comedy-mystery on Hulu. But, as season three hits the streaming service, with another murder for the Arconian trio of Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short), and Mabel (Selena Gomez) to solve, something becomes apparent. The series isn’t going for big laughs. Instead, it provides warmth, small chuckles, and genial goodness between the triumvirate. The show remains about found family, intergenerational friendships, and murder mysteries. It’s perhaps best described as a cozy mystery, a murder show with a heart of gold, an oxymoron of concepts. Continue Reading →
When last we saw Aniq (Sam Richardson) and Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) in The Afterparty, both were doing great. Aniq had exonerated himself for the murder of classmate Xavier (Dave Franco)—albeit at the cost of sending his friend Yasper (Ben Schwartz) to jail—and had a date with his high school crush Zoe (Zoë Chao). Danner had solved the crime of her career and put her rival Detective Germain (Reid Scott) to do it. Continue Reading →
Much of the pre-release buzz about AppleTV+’s new original series Extrapolations was concerned with its potential to be preachy. In much the same way this writer doesn’t mind a bit of emotional manipulation in entertainment, I can be fine with preachiness. Some things are worth preaching about. Extrapolations’ flaw isn’t that it has a soapbox and is using it. It’s that it’s such a mess. Continue Reading →
From Promising Young Women to Big Little Lies, we’re in a golden age of female revenge stories. Looking to add to the ranks is AppleTV+’s new series Bad Sisters. It follows the tight-knit group of sisters who slowly turn on their prick-ish brother-in-law after years of misogynistic torture. It’s a dash of thriller Big Little Lies with a sprinkle of the comedy of 9 to 5, all set in a coastal Irish town. Continue Reading →
R.L. Stine is best known for those iconic Goosebumps books, but those aren’t the only stories he’s written over the years. That used to be easy to forget about, but the entertainment landscape of 2021 has reaffirmed this longstanding truth. Thanks to titles like Stranger Things popularizing youth-friendly horror in modern pop culture, a series of recent adaptations of Stine’s other works (which fit into that mold nicely) has reminded us all of just how many different projects Stine has written for over the years. Continue Reading →
I'll Be Gone in the Dark
Nearly a year after the series aired on HBO, there is a new episode of I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, a docuseries based on Michelle McNamara’s book of same name. This time around, the epilogue serves as a coda, bringing the story of The Golden State Killer (and the root McNamara’s obsession) full circle. Continue Reading →
The Pale Horse
Amazon's adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery keeps the author's innate spirit for intrigue.
The dreary insistence of death permeates every fiber of The Pale Horse, a new mystery miniseries from BBC arriving on Amazon Prime Video this Friday the 13th, if you dare. Composed of just two hour-long episodes, The Pale Horse is a loose adaptation of the 1961 detective novel by Agatha Christie, one of her final works. To adapt the story’s complex web of intriguingly dark characters, Sarah Phelps (EastEnders) innovates the material through clever addition and subtraction, while maintaining the harrowing spirit of Christie’s pen.
Set in 1960s London, The Pale Horse follows the stoic Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell), a rich antique dealer whose wife Delphine (Georgina Campbell) tragically died a year prior. Though she haunts Mark at seemingly every moment he’s not awake, the aging socialite has already taken in a new young wife, Hermia (Kaya Scodelario), who appears to have a more violent temperament hidden beneath her cold, pristine exterior.
It’s not long before a string of coincidental deaths and unexplainable occurrences begin to take shape all around Easterbrook. The woman he’s been cheating with dies mysteriously and suddenly in her sleep and the seemingly unrelated death of a shopkeeper turns up a list in her possession with his name on it. Bewildered by the stink of death all over him and now his world of friends and acquaintances, Easterbrook sets out on a personal investigation to discover what’s really happening, all while being hounded by the unrelenting Inspector Lejeune (Sean Pertwee). Continue Reading →