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 →
Luther: The Fallen Sun
Idris Elba has been playing DCI John Luther for over a decade. A mixture of James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, he’s a violent, angry, dedicated detective, doing whatever necessary to catch the grisliest criminals. Finally, after six seasons, Luther finds himself in a feature film, Luther: The Fallen Sun, with many of the trappings of his British series. A horrific serial killer is on the loose. The anti-hero detective must stop him, but there’s a major obstacle in his way. Specifically, he’s staring out at the world through the bars of a jail cell. Continue Reading →
“Out there, back then…” That’s when The English takes place. “And in between…I wanted to kill a man for the murder of my child. You wanted back your land, stolen from you.” That is what The English is about. Continue Reading →
Welcome to Flatch
Welcome to Flatch feels, in many ways, like the kind of show that would’ve survived four seasons in the middle of NBC’s Thursday night lineup. It wasn’t your favorite, you didn’t know anyone who’d call it their favorite, but as part of a block programming where you loved the anchors, one could do a lot worse. It’s not terrible, it has its moments, but it isn’t exactly anything special either. Continue Reading →
An episode focusing on the difficulties of conception highlights some of the show's best qualities.
This episode, appropriately titled “Trying,” gets at the heart of what makes Brooklyn Nine-Nine so special, and why Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) are the best couple on television.
Framed by two of Hitchcock’s (Dirk Blocker) divorce parties, writers Evan Susser and Van Robichaux use an episode stuffed with B, C, and D plots as a showcase for how difficult and dispiriting it can be trying to conceive. Jake, not feeling the romance in Amy’s sexy calendar invites, suggest they try to be more spontaneous in their efforts. Amy miraculously doesn’t go on a lengthy tirade about fertility windows and basal temperatures, but gamely agrees to try “the Jake way.”
When that predictably doesn’t work, Amy doubles down on the rigidly scheduled lovemaking. What follows is a heartbreaking montage of Amy and Jake, frustrated and tired and completely joyless, getting one negative test after another over the course of six months. And while the constant disappointments are excruciating to watch (is there anything sadder than a completely demoralized Amy Santiago?) this sequence does a great job of featuring the unmitigated tedium that comes with trying to conceive. Ask anyone to who has spent a year or more trying, and they will tell you how boring sex can get. Continue Reading →