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 →
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
When a show enters its final season, it has an opportunity to decide what it really wants to say. And what The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel wants to say is this: For all her tenacity, Susie (Alex Borstein) genuinely cares about the people in her orbit, especially her first client. For all that he's been a presumptuous prick, Joel (Michael Zegen) has become a better man. For all his professorial condescension, Abe (Tony Shalhoub) realizes how wrong he's been about so many things. And for all her immense talent and unflappable air, Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) must and will scratch and claw to get the chances denied her because of her gender and prove that this isn't just a phase; it's who she was meant to be. Continue Reading →
Netflix breathes new life into the tired stand-up comedian sitcom genre.
The stand-up comedy dramedy is dead. It was tired after Seinfeld, and the only person that got it right since turned out to be a monster. Every other offer in the genre has either struggled with a relationship with the world outside of comedy, or an obsession with the inside world of comedy, which is not that interesting. I am sorry to say, but I do not care about anyone’s struggles to impress a booker.
The thing that Feel Good, Netflix’s new British comedy centered on the life of queer comedian Mae Martin, gets right is that stand up is still work. It doesn’t matter if your work is talking in front of other people, or working in an office. Most of the time it’s not that interesting. Our current society is so obsessed with work that the obsession tends to bleed into our media. Feel Good isn’t a show about a stand-up comedian. It's about a person who happens to be a stand-up comedian.
Mae as a character has more important things to think about than comedy. The show navigates through its first six episodes mostly focused on Mae’s relationships with George (Charlotte Ritchie), a teacher who’s never had any queer experiences, her mother, Linda (Lisa Kudrow), and her sobriety. Martin proves themself a capable actor, painting a well-made version of a person who doesn’t just love cocaine but loves getting high on any sort of obsessive behavior. Feel Good isn’t about drugs or about being queer. It's about the day to day struggle to fight our worst aspects. Continue Reading →