The Crowded Room
Danny Sullivan (Tom Holland) sits in interrogation. He's been picked up for a seemingly random shooting on the busy streets of New York City. He insists that his friend Ariana (Sasha Lane) fired the gun, but the police can’t find her. Nor can they locate Danny’s Israeli landlord Yitzhak (Lior Raz). Worse, when they start digging, they find a pattern of people disappearing around the young man. NYPD Detective Matty Dunne (Thomas Sadoski) feels confident the department has accidentally brought in a serial killer. To prove his point—and find the victims—he brings in his ex, Professor and Psychologist Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), to conduct a series of interrogations. Continue Reading →
You gotta love a good gimmick. Whether it’s the current 4DX offerings in theatres (which harkens back to the “Tingler” era of Castle silliness) or Netflix dalliances with “Choose Your Own Adventure”-esque stories like Black Mirror’s “Bandersnatch,” or Kimmy Schmidt, there’s an undeniable charm in centering the device. Kaleidoscope is the latest entry in these sorts of experiments. It offers an eight episode heist story that audiences can theoretically watch in any order. Only the episode titled “White” has a specific place in the order: last. That's a recommendation this reviewer firmly endorses. Continue Reading →
There is something delightfully ghastly about Netflix fictionalizing the existence of that last Blockbuster location on Earth. It’s the streaming equivalent of you or I parading the carcasses of our slain enemies through the town square. Alas, this “really rubbing salt in the wound” touchdown dance of a move is about the only thing unique about the sitcom. Continue Reading →
Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Panic is a new series about doing whatever it takes to break free from your dead-end, small-time town without dying in the process.
Adapted from Lauren Oliver's eponymous 2014 YA novel, Panic is an exciting, gripping teen drama that blends the small-town delirium of Riverdale with the high-stakes plotting of Pretty Little Liars, then adds in a light dash of The Hunger Games to produce something a bit more unique and interesting than all these comparisons might immediately suggest.
The show takes place in Carp, Texas, a small town with some big secrets. One of them being a dangerous game called "Panic," where every year, the graduating high school class competes in a series of death-defying stunts and challenges to win a massive prize. Most of these kids have no other way of exiting Carp for greater things, so an influx of cash is just about their only ticket out. The challenges themselves are essentially a more advanced, devil-may-care take on Fear Factor, with huge emphasis on how the teens need to form shaky alliances and ultimately screw each other over, sometimes literally, because like I said, this show wants to be a sharper, more grounded version of Riverdale with a less heightened tone. Because it's on Amazon, it does leave a little extra room for swearing and sex, but nothing too gratuitous. Continue Reading →
The Mosquito Coast
Apple TV’s newest drama, The Mosquito Coast (created by Neil Cross and Tom Bissell), is vibe and vibe only. Throughout the seven episodes of its first season, the plot barely moves forward, the characters’ motivations remain thin from start to finish, and the show irritatingly holds back just when something interesting is about to happen. Considering the brilliant source material they're working with — Paul Theroux’s novel of the same name — and the fact that the show easily would’ve become a soul sister to other prestige family-based dramas like Breaking Bad and Ozark, The Mosquito Coast ends up a missed opportunity. Continue Reading →
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers
It’s been 25 years since we last saw coach Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) and his ragtag hockey team came out victorious in D3: The Mighty Ducks. But when they return in the Disney+ spinoff series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, things are a little different. For instance, Bombay isn't the same man he was; he now hates hockey and kids. Continue Reading →