Our Flag Means Death
It’s always the surprise hit quirky shows with the most to live up to in their second season. A bad sophomore outing, especially after quickly gaining a cult following, could make or break, say, the plucky little pirate romance known as Our Flag Means Death Season 2. Luckily, David Jenkins, Taika Waititi, et al. keep things fresh and fun without reinventing (or stealing) the wheel. Continue Reading →
It takes a little while to find Beef’s groove. This critic assures you that this is not the classic of the streaming age, “give it a few episodes” warning. By the end of the first episode, you will know if the series is for you. However, everything about the show feels overwhelming in the first eight to ten minutes. Continue Reading →
Unstable appears to be a deeply personal show for lead actor and co-creator Rob Lowe. After all, it revolves around a father/son duo played by Lowe and his real-life son, John Owen Lowe. Rob Lowe’s headlined worse stuff than this, for sure. Nonetheless, you’d think a series that seems rooted in something this personal would be more engaging to watch. At least, it might take some bold swings. Tragically, Unstable is a mostly just average comedy that leaves little in the way of an impression for good or ill. Continue Reading →
The Essex Serpent
Welcome to Right on Cue, the podcast where we interview film, TV, and video game composers about the origins and nuances of their latest works.
While Apple TV+ is home to some of the biggest shows on TV -- your Teds Lasso, your Severances -- some of its best, most beguiling shows and miniseries don't get talked about nearly as often. Among those hidden gems is The Essex Serpent, the six-part adaptation of the novel by Sarah Perry, starring Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston.
Set in turn-of-the-century England, The Essex Serpent follows Cora Seaborne (Danes), a recently widowed Londoner, who sees her newfound freedom as the perfect excuse to pursue her love of science. That pursuit takes her to the Essex countryside, where a small town has been besieged by what's been reported to be a massive serpent. Some, including the town pastor (played by Hiddleston), doubt its veracity, but the town itself is convinced, and Cora's arrival just puts more fuel on the fire. Continue Reading →
There’s no good time in history to make war into entertainment. This is possibly one of the worst times to try to do so. Now clearly, the creators of DMZ, HBO Max‘s newest miniseries, had no idea what was going to happen in history when they were creating the show, but there’s a faint bad taste in watching a woman search for her son in a war zone in a time when actual women are doing that actual thing. Continue Reading →
One of Us Is Lying
There has been something of a teen thriller renaissance of late. Shows like Cruel Summer, The Wilds, Panic, and Outer Banks have mined the teen streaming audience to deliver stories that all had at least something about them worth watching. Joining the fold this week is Peacock’s One of Us Is Lying, an adaptation of the Karen McManus book of the same name. Continue Reading →
Queer As Folk
KinoKultur is a thematic exploration of the queer, camp, weird, and radical releases Kino Lorber has to offer.
There are two documentaries available on KinoNow, filmed five decades apart, that bookend a period of queer masculinity marked by both visible changes and invisible wounds that remain all too familiar. The Queen (1968) and When the Beat Drops (2018), present queer masculine cultures -- the drag pageant and bucking dance competitions, respectively, as related to and inspired by feminine spheres of culture, but decidedly separate from them.
Putting these two films side-by-side makes plain how much queer visibility has changed from the early days of liberation to the more recent days of America during the Trump administration, but there are chilling moments where we can also recognize that some harmful ideologies have yet to be rooted out. Continue Reading →