1025 Best Film & TV Releases Translated Into Turkish

The Spool Staff

The Bikeriders (In Turkish: Motorcular)

GenreCrime Drama
MPAA RatingR

Throughout such films as Shotgun Stories (2007), Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012), Midnight Special (2016), and Loving (2016), writer-director Jeff Nichols has shown himself to be a filmmaker particularly fascinated with telling tales of people living on the fringes of society. On the surface, his latest effort, the long-delayed The Bikeriders, would seem to be an ideal use of his particular talents. But that makes the failures of the structurally confused, dramatically inert, and ultimately meandering project seem all the more baffling. Loosely inspired by the work of photographer Danny Lyon, who embedded himself with the Chicago chapter of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club for over a year and chronicled it in the influential 1968 book The Bikeriders, the film charts the development and growth of the Vandals, a motorcycle gang led by Johnny (Tom Hardy). He's an ordinary suburban Chicago family man with a job as a trucker who is nevertheless compelled to form the gang after watching The Wild One on TV. (Good thing he wasn’t watching Guys and Dolls instead.) Soon, he collects a number of like-minded guys who seem to spend all their time riding, working on their bikes, or getting drunk and violent in bars and group picnics while their wives and girlfriends look at them with varying degrees of exasperation. One of those wives, Kathy (Jodie Comer), is our guide to the story, regaling the tale of the gang in a series of interviews with Lyon (Mike Faist). One night, she finds herself in a bar with the Vandals and catches the eye of Benny (Austin Butler), perhaps the most dedicated member of the group outside of Johnny himself. The two marry after only a few weeks, but his fealty to the group and his recklessly headstrong ways begin to drive a wedge between them. As the group changes and evolves over the years—becoming more violent and aggressive with the influx of younger riders wanting to prove themselves—a tug-of-war develops between Kathy and Johnny for Benny's love and loyalty, one which ultimately proves painful for all involved. Continue Reading →

Inside Out 2 (In Turkish: Ters Yüz 2)

SimilarAladdin (1992), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990) Billy Elliot (2000), Deadpool 2 (2018), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), Mary Poppins (1964), Ocean's Eleven (1960), Oldboy (2003), Shrek 2 (2004), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005),
Watch afterAvatar: The Way of Water (2022), Dune (2021), Oppenheimer (2023) Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire (2023),
MPAA RatingPG
StudioWalt Disney Pictures,

Save for that movie where Larry the Cable Guy supposedly urinated in public, Pixar sequels are rarely terrible. Finding Dory, Incredibles 2, and Monsters University are vastly preferable to the average Minions or Hotel Transylvania follow-up. Even Cars 3 wrung more pathos than expected out of its ill-conceived universe. The greatest problem with these sequels has been that they’re merely competent. They’re serviceable watches, but many are safe retreads of the familiar. Risks are minimal, idiosyncratic animation flourishes are scarce. When absorbing these follow-ups, it's hard not to yearn for more challenging original Pixar titles like Turning Red, Ratatouille, or WALL-E. Still, details like the unexpected third-act detour of Monsters University or the charming new characters in Finding Dory are absent from your standard Ice Age or Illumination sequels. If we must live in this franchise-dominated pop culture landscape, Pixar has delivered more hits than most. Goodness knows the Toy Story sequels are outright masterpieces of long-form cinematic storytelling. The newest example of the label’s pleasant, if far from groundbreaking, sequels, is Inside Out 2. Directed by Kelsey Mann (a new feature film helmer taking over for previous director Pete Docter), the sequel expands on the world of Riley’s mind established in 2015’s Inside Out. Continue Reading →

Ultraman: Rising

SimilarAladdin (1992), Armageddon (1998), Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), Batman (1989), Batman & Robin (1997), Batman Begins (2005), Batman Forever (1995), Catwoman (2004), Deadpool 2 (2018), Fantastic Four (2005), Ice Age (2002), King Kong (2005), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005),
MPAA RatingPG
StudioNetflix,

Big old monster brawls are a delight. They're one of the great pleasures of the Ultra series, the Eiji Tsuburaya-created science fiction series that's brought joy to folks worldwide for 58 years and counting. While the series kicked off with the monster mystery series Ultra Q in 1966, it was Ultraman (launched in July of that year, shortly after Ultra Q wrapped), the tale of a benevolent alien superhero who lived among humanity and fought aliens, giants, and giant aliens alongside a human Science Team (in capital letters). In the decades since Ultraman broke out, the series has proven flexible. It's first and foremost a kids' superhero show, but it's made space for experimentation and idiosyncrasy. See, for example, the great Shinji Higuchi and Hideaki Anno's 2022 film Shin Ultraman, a loving tribute to and riff on the original 1966 series that embraces kaiju wrestling and contemplation of humanity's place in the cosmos equally. Or, heck, head back to 1966 and dig into the episodes of the original series directed by acclaimed filmmaker Akio Jissoji. At its best, the new animated feature Ultraman Rising proves the strength of the Ultra series' core ideas—right good monster mashing mixed with a journey into humanity—with loveliness and style. Unfortunately, it's not at its best often enough to clinch the game. Rising is a messy, disjointed picture. Continue Reading →

The Boys

NetworkPrime Video
SimilarB: The Beginning, Bad Guys: Vile City, Batman Beyond, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, Birds of Prey, Black Butler, Black Scorpion, Eternal Faith, Fantastic Man, Flash Gordon Freedom Fighters: The Ray, GARO, Happiness Charge Precure!, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, I'm a Virgo, Inazuman, Justice League Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Jeanne & Kamen Rider Aguilera with Girls Remix, Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight, Longing Heart, Mobile Cop Jiban, My Hero, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Seijuu Sentai Gingaman, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, Static Shock, Super Force, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Boondocks, The Kingdoms of Ruin, Titans, Ultraman 80, Ultraman Regulos, Ultraseven,
StarringJack Quaid,
StudioAmazon Studios Original Film, Point Grey Pictures, Sony Pictures Television Studios

If you’ve watched any previous season, you should have a good idea of what The Boys Season 4 offers. More to the point, it is almost certainly clear to you if it’s something you enjoy or despise. If you have formed an opinion, that should inform your decision to tune in. Because, five years after its debut, one thing you can absolutely count on is The Boys remains completely, unapologetically, itself. That isn’t to say there isn’t anything to discuss. In fact, there’s almost too much as the series continues to offer some of the most boldfaced political commentary on streaming. Not bad for a show that also boldly illustrated how that whole “Ant-Man should shrink down and enter Thanos” thing might look if the MCU took the bait. Following that memory, the gore seems as good a place as any to engage with this new season. There has perhaps never been a show as impressive in its ability to wield its considerable blood and guts touch on a wide range of emotional beats. The Boys Season 4 does not fall off in this department. If anything, it has an even more impressive level of control this time out. One moment, it proves itself intensely capable of pulling out sick laughs as a Vought event rehearsal unravels into an ever-escalating series of mishaps. Imagine it as a sort of a Rube Goldberg machine of carnage. And yet, later, when a confrontation forces a character to kill someone, the camera captures both the arterial spray and the guilt play across the protagonist’s face. Both moments play, and neither feels out of step with the series. It’s quite the magic trick. Continue Reading →

(In Turkish: Çılgın İkili 2)

Oh, hey, look, a new Bad Boys movie is out. That makes sense. The last one was the best-reviewed and most financially successful of the series, and Martin Lawrence and Will Smith aren’t the hit machines they once were, so another bite at the apple is just good business. That said, Bad Boys For Life was kind of a meh movie, right? It wasn’t, like, terrible, but it wasn’t exactly memorable either, you know? They do the whole “boy times sure have changed, huh” schtick that’s required to a sequel released seventeen years after the previous entry. They try to age the Bad Boys up a little, saddle them with a squad of sassy rookies to train, make Marcus (Martin Lawrence, still in the league) a grandfather, and give Mike (Will Smith, right before everything changed) a heretofore unknown to him, grown son. It’s a perfectly cromulent Legacy Sequel that hits all the right beats at the right times to deliver a tidy nostalgia hit to fans of the franchise. But that’s about it. It lacked the scrappy, low budget, “what are we even doing here” energy of 1995’s Bad Boys, the movie that returned Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer to the big time while also establishing then-sitcom performers Martin Lawrence (top-billed, if you can believe it) and Will Smith as viable action heroes. It also introduced the cinema world to a certain enfant terrible named Michael Bay. Bay is the primary reason Bad Boys worked. He understood how to best utilize Lawrence and Smith’s more intimate TV-sized charm via long sequences of improvised character banter, and he knew precisely when to transform the squabbling comedy duo into believably imposing Big Time Action Stars (Will Smith famously didn’t want to do the sequence when he ran down the street with an open shirt, and Bay convinced him, cementing him into the minds of moviegoers as a tough, sexy, badass. Mission obviously accomplished). And he was the one who took a nineteen million dollar budgeted B-movie originally written for Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz starring The Fresh Prince and Sheneneh and turned it into a fifty million dollar smash. Continue Reading →

Presumed Innocent

NetworkApple TV+
SimilarA Native of Beijing in New York, Agatha Christie's Poirot Best Choice Ever, Cold Courage, Deadly Class, Dexter East of Eden, Game of Thrones, Genesis, Gossip Girl He's Into Her, Kiss Me First, Mayfair Witches, My Ride, Pandora's Clock, Polisen i Strömstad, Rebus, Shining Girls, Soul Land, Sweet Magnolias, Tamas, The Bourne Identity, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Wycliffe,
Watch afterBand of Brothers, Breaking Bad Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Dark, Game of Thrones Money Heist Squid Game Stranger Things The Acolyte, The Big Bang Theory, The Mandalorian The Simpsons The Witcher Wednesday
StudioBad Robot, Warner Bros. Television

For a large segment of Gen X and Millennials, legal thrillers have an undeniable comfort food quality. These generational cohorts grew up as authors like Scott Turow and John Grisham rose to prominence, dominating best-seller lists. With that beachhead established, it wasn’t long before the legal thriller came to screens, large and small, via adaptations. While rarely deeply prestigious works, many, if not most, boasted big stars, well-established directors, and compelling enough storytelling. Presumed Innocent, an 8-part limited series—Apple provided critics with all but the final installment—arrives with that wind at its back for a considerable portion of the audience. It is further helped in the comfort department by being the second adaptation of the titular novel by Turow, following a well-regarded Alan Pakula-directed Harrison Ford-starring cinematic turn in 1990. The book also spawned a sequel and a made-for-TV adaptation of that sequel. Uh-oh. Jake Gyllenhaal and (Renate Reinsve) just spotted you across the bar. (AppleTV+) No one can accuse Turow’s Rusty Sabich (played here by Jake Gyllenhaal after Ford on the silver screen and Bill Pullman for the at-home audiences) of being the central star of a law and order-driven MCU. However, when it comes to legal thrillers, he’s about as close as you can get. Playing with that house money, creator David E. Kelley and star Gyllenhaal don’t exactly reinvent the wheel. Nonetheless, they offer a solid series to slip into just as summer kicks in. Continue Reading →

Sweet Tooth

NetworkNetflix
SimilarArrow, Batman, Batman: The Animated Series, Birds of Prey, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Constantine: City of Demons, Dark Angel, Deadly Class, Earth 2 Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, Flash Gordon Freedom Fighters: The Ray, Il Mondo di Yor, Justice League Longing Heart, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Pandora's Clock, Planet of the Apes Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Silver Surfer, Sonic the Hedgehog, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, Swamp Thing, Tales from the Crypt, The 100, The Avengers: United They Stand, The Boys, The Fantastic Four, The Passage, ThunderCats, Thunderstone, Titans, World's End Harem, おくさまは18歳,
Watch afterLoki Sweet Tooth,

It is not typical when I review a new season of an established series that I find myself utterly lost and befuddled. Nonetheless, Sweet Tooth Season 3 earned that rare achievement. I retained the broad strokes. Gus (Christian Convery), a hybrid child, travels a US ravaged by the Sick with Big Man Tommy Jepperd (Nonso Anozie). Together, they search for Gus’s (who’s also the titular Sweet Tooth on account of his, well, sweet tooth) mom and anything that might bring the plague to an end. The quest is complicated by many survivors' hatred of hybrids. They blame the animal-human kids for the virus and Gus is Baby Zero of the new species. However, the specifics of how Season 2 led to Season 3 had utterly vacated my brain. I realized why after doing my due diligence and doubling back to watch the previous season first. Season 2 was a dark, dreary affair. It was still well-made and acted but a largely unpleasant viewing experience. It stood in contrast to Season 1’s almost fairy tale vibes, where pain and tragedy existed, but an undeniable sense of hope buoyed the show. In retrospect, it seems I forgot so much of Season 2 as something of a defense mechanism. Rosalind Chao and Louise Jiang's mother-daughter relationship may trigger some past unpleasant memories. (Matt Klitscher/Netflix © 2024) I say all this as, yes, an acknowledgment that I had to play catch-up with Sweet Tooth Season 3’s first two or so episodes. But also, I do so as a warning to prospective viewers. To truly immediately get Season 3—not necessarily like, but at least understand—it would not be a bad idea to take a quick look back on Season 2. Continue Reading →

Hit Man

SimilarA History of Violence (2005), Amélie (2001), Annie Hall (1977), Arlington Road (1999), Boys Don't Cry (1999) Face/Off (1997), Human Nature (2001), Léon: The Professional (1994), Life Is Beautiful (1997), Lucky Number Slevin (2006), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), The Apartment (1960), The Simpsons Movie (2007), Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995), Wild at Heart (1990),
MPAA RatingR

I have to admit, I wasn’t really on board with Hollywood’s attempt to make Glen Powell the Next Big Thing. I thought there was something a little generic and forgettable about him, like he had been grown in a laboratory that specialized in manufacturing blandly handsome blonde actors.  But I’m not too proud to admit that I was wrong, at least as far as Hit Man is concerned. Powell may at first blush be little more than a chiseled jaw delivery device, but as it turns out he has a lot of charm to spare, and a witty sense of humor, if the script he co-wrote with director Richard Linklater is any indication. It’s a fun, spicy comedy thriller for adults that might just give the struggling film industry a bit of juice, but of course in this era of truly baffling decision-making by those who earn far more money than they deserve for such things, it’s only getting a limited theatrical release before going direct to Netflix. Like Linklater’s criminally underrated Bernie, Hit Man is loosely based on a Texas Monthly article, this time about Gary Johnson, a Houston-area philosophy teacher who worked a side gig with the local police, passing himself off as a killer-for-hire in dozens of sting operations. Powell plays Johnson, an unassuming dork who lives quietly with two cats and considers a day of birdwatching to be the peak of excitement. Continue Reading →

Bad Boys: Ride or Die (In Turkish: Bad Boys: Ya Hep Ya Hiç)

Similar28 Weeks Later (2007), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), No Good Deed (2002), North by Northwest (1959), Shooter (2007), The 39 Steps (1935), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), True Romance (1993),
Watch afterAvatar: The Way of Water (2022),
MPAA RatingR
StudioColumbia Pictures,

Two questions face most rational people when confronting the existence of Bad Boys: Ride or Die. To the first, why did the filmmakers give it such an anonymous title? Especially while the previous installment had the seemingly more apt name Bad Boys For Life? For that, there is no answer. To the second? Yes, there is a joke involving Will Smith and someone getting slapped. And, yes, it is just as smug, stupid, and predictable as one would fear. The one compensating factor is one can describe the film as smug, stupid, and predictable too. That leaves hope most viewers will feel too numbed by the cacophony of crap to even register the slap gag. The film begins inauspiciously with an extended and mostly pointless act in which Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) foil a convenience store robbery while on the way to Mike’s wedding to love Christine (Melanie Liburd). Shortly after that, Marcus upstages things by having a massive heart attack and near-death experience at the reception. Those beats out of the way, the cobbled-together plot finally kicks into gear. The local news fills with posthumous accusations that their beloved Capt. Howard (Joe Pantoliano) took bribes from cartels to allow drugs into the country. This cannot stand, of course. But when the two start an investigation to clear his name, everyone with information starts turning up dead. Continue Reading →

The Acolyte

NetworkDisney+
SimilarBaywatch Nights, Chicken Nugget, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Dead Ringers, Dexter Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Luther, Planet of the Apes Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Dead Zone, The Ice House, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Twin Peaks,

“Brief, they made a monk of me; I did renounce the world, its pride and greed, Palace, farm, villa, shop, and banking-house, Continue Reading →

Mayor of Kingstown

GenreCrime Drama
NetworkParamount+
SimilarA Model Family, Agatha Christie's Poirot B: The Beginning, Bad Guys: Vile City, Baywatch Nights, Black Butler, Bodies, Breaking Bad, CSI: Miami, D.N.Angel, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, Mirai Sentai Timeranger, Miss Marple: A Pocketful of Rye, Miss Marple: The Body in the Library, Miss Marple: The Moving Finger, Sherlock Holmes The Long Night, The Shadow Line, The Singing Detective,
StudioMTV Entertainment Studios,

It is, perhaps, unseemly to admit. Still, the fact that Jeremy Renner, who plays morally conflicted series protagonist Mike McLusky, survived a near-death experience does give Mayor of Kingstown Season 3 a draw that the crime show might not otherwise have. What’s immediately apparent in the series opener—and more than a little surprising—is how good Renner looks onscreen. While Mike, the character, is burdened with the weight of Kingstown’s concerns and his sin, Renner, the actor, seems lighter somehow. It doesn’t undermine the performance, though. Instead, it adds a dimension. For the first time, Mike seems like he’s rushing. It gives him—and season 3—a stronger sense of immediacy. It’s as though he’s seeing a different crisis, one bigger but not as immediate, coming down the road, and he’s rushing to set his house in order before it arrives. If anything, Mayor of Kingstown Season 3 would do well to better match its star’s energy and anxiety. The series has plenty of activity but no real sense of forward momentum. In real life, bringing change to a place like Kingstown would be a miserable challenge. So it is realistic when things barely change or do change only to be threatened by figures from the past, like Merle Callahan (Richard Brake), darkening Kingstown’s doorstep. Continue Reading →

Eric

NetworkNetflix
SimilarA Little Princess, A Model Family, A Native of Beijing in New York, A River Runs Through It, A Storm for Christmas, A Year in the Life, Anna Karenina, Ash, Ashes to Ashes, Better Man, Beulah Land, Breaking Bad, Brides of Christ, Chaser Game, Chicken Nugget, Common As Muck, Copenhagen Cowboy, Deadly Class, Die Diplomatin, Die Wölfe, Elizabeth R, Faith, G.B.H., Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Genesis, Gossip Girl Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, Henry and Anne: The Lovers Who Changed History, Herzogpark, Island at War, Järnvägshotellet, Joseph Balsamo, Kamen Rider Jeanne & Kamen Rider Aguilera with Girls Remix, Krupp: A Family Between War and Peace, L'amaro caso della Baronessa di Carini, La Chambre des dames, La Cloche tibétaine, Marco Polo, MIGNON, Million Dollar Babies, Miss Marple: The Body in the Library, Miss Marple: The Moving Finger, My Lovely Boxer, Noah's Ark, Nothing Remains the Same, Olivia Twist, Orient Express, Orphan Black: Echoes, Pandora's Clock, Paper Giants: Magazine Wars, Paul Gauguin, Per amore del mio popolo, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenét and the City of Boulder, Pompeii, Pope John Paul II, Seven Seconds, Seventh Avenue, Six Survivors, Spies of Warsaw, Studs Lonigan, Sweetbitter, Thai Cave Rescue, The Bourne Identity, The Brothers Karamazov, The Final Cut, The First Olympics: Athens 1896, The Forest of Love: Deep Cut, The French Atlantic Affair, The High School Heroes, The Last Convertible, The Last Cyclist, The Little Drummer Girl, The Quatermass Experiment, The Rector's Wife, The Regime, The Secrets of Lake Success, The Sympathizer, The Woods, Thriller, Twist of Fate, Ultraviolet, Where Your Eyes Linger, Young Catherine,

Eric is a tough sit. Whether that sit is worth the difficulty is a question I struggled with before tentatively arriving at yes. The story begins as a tale of a missing child, Edgar (Ivan Morris Howe), the son of Vincent (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Cassie (Gaby Hoffmann). After the couple’s latest row the night before, Edgar doesn’t wait around for them to sort themselves in the morning. Instead, he walks to school on his own as his father tries to make amends with his mother. But Edgar never arrives at school that day. Vincent is a creator and puppeteer on a formerly top-rated children’s show—think Sesame Street with no on-screen humans and only one set—with his creative partner Lennie (Dan Fogler). Edgar, aware of the show’s downturn and the need for a new puppet, has been doodling and dreaming up just the solution, the titular Eric. When Edgar disappears, Vincent’s desperate and possibly delusional reaction is to finish his son’s work on the giant felt monster. He reasons that if his son could only see the puppet on television, the boy would understand how important he was to his parents and come home. Others, confident Edgar is not gone of his accord and likely no longer alive, cannot get on board with the plan. Continue Reading →

Tires

GenreComedy
NetworkNetflix
SimilarComplete Savages, Executive Stress Is It Legal? Men Behaving Badly, My Hero, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Off Centre, Peep Show, Red Dwarf That '70s Show, The Comeback, The John Larroquette Show The Munsters, The Simpsons, Two and a Half Men, War and Peace,

After six about 20-minute episodes of the Shane Gillis-Steve Gerben-created sitcom Tires, one can begin to understand why Netflix would want to work with him. He has a certain charisma and some acting chops. In one scene during the first episode, Gillis’ character, also named Shane, tries to snow a very unhappy reporter. In the sequence, Gillis has to convey to the audience that he doesn’t mean a word he’s saying and is using the moment to humiliate his boss and cousin Will (Gerben) while playing authentic convincingly enough that one can see why the reporter might fall for it. It’s not an easy lift, but Gillis makes it work. The story is fine enough for a hangout comedy. Will is a failure whose father owns several tire stores. Either as punishment or because it’s where he can do the least harm, Dad has exiled Will to manage one of the two lowest-performing branches of the chain. Physically slight and coded as a kind of nerd, Will doesn’t fit in with the mechanics, including their seeming ringleader, Shane. To save the shop and his job and earn his dad’s affection, he spends every episode of a “marketing” idea that derails spectacularly.  Catch a glimpse of Steve Gerben. (Netflix) The bad news is that, despite a sound enough premise, everything the show says or tries has the shape of jokes without actually including a laugh line. It’s the essence of humor without any of the pesky chuckles. Continue Reading →

The Big Cigar

NetworkApple TV+
SimilarA Little Princess, A Model Family, A Storm for Christmas, A Year in the Life, Amnesia, Anna Karenina, Ash, Band of Brothers, Beulah Land, Breaking Bad, Brides of Christ, Captains and the Kings, Celebrity, Chicken Nugget, Christopher Columbus, Club Friday the Series 14: Love & Belief, Conquistadores: Adventum, Die Diplomatin, Die Patriarchin, Die Wölfe, East of Eden, Echoes, Elizabeth R, Fallen, Faraway Downs, Fearless, Felipe y Letizia, G.B.H., Genesis, Good Morning Children, Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, Heidi, Herzogpark, Howards End, I Just Want To See You, I Know My First Name Is Steven, In Cold Blood, Intrusion, Island at War, Jane Eyre, Järnvägshotellet, Joseph Balsamo, Kamen Rider Jeanne & Kamen Rider Aguilera with Girls Remix, Kamen Rider Outsiders, Kiri, Krupp: A Family Between War and Peace, L'amaro caso della Baronessa di Carini, La Chambre des dames, La Cloche tibétaine, Life of Shakespeare, Marco Polo, Nice Work, Noah's Ark, Nothing Remains the Same, Olivia Twist, Orphan Black: Echoes, Pandora's Clock, Paper Giants: Magazine Wars, Patria, Paul Gauguin, Per amore del mio popolo, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenét and the City of Boulder, Pompeii, Pope John Paul II, Power Rangers Dino Force Brave, Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, Pride and Prejudice Rage of Angels, Scully Seven Seconds, Seventh Avenue, Six Survivors, Spies of Warsaw, Studs Lonigan, Tamas, Thai Cave Rescue, The 8.2 Second Rule, The Bourne Identity, The Brothers Karamazov, The Debt, The Final Cut, The First Olympics: Athens 1896, The Forest of Love: Deep Cut, The French Atlantic Affair, The High School Heroes, The House in the Woods, The Killing Kind, The Last Convertible, The Little Drummer Girl, The Night Agent, The Quatermass Experiment, The Rainbow, The Rector's Wife, The Regime, The Secrets of Lake Success, The Shadow Line, The Singing Detective, The Sun Also Rises, The Sympathizer, The Woods, Thriller, Toussaint Louverture, Troubles, True Women, Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky, Ultraviolet, World War II: When Lions Roared, Young Catherine, Yuri or Another,
Watch afterBlack Mirror Breaking Bad Dexter Game of Thrones Money Heist Rick and Morty Sherlock Squid Game Supernatural, The Big Bang Theory, The Boys The End of the F***ing World, The Last of Us The Mandalorian The Office Twin Peaks, Wednesday Westworld

A frequently offered solution to the problem of stale biopics involves ditching the cradle-to-the-grave format. Instead, focus on a specific era or significant event in the life of an important figure. Let that story define viewers’ understanding of the person, giving the audience an insightful perspective without the exercise of box-checking. The Big Cigar takes this advice, narrowing its vision of Huey P. Newton (André Holland) to (mostly) 1974. That year, Newton faced multiple criminal charges and became increasingly convinced the government was targeting him for more than arrest. In response, the Black Panther Party co-founder left the U.S. for exile in Cuba. Joshuah Bearman’s Playboy essay gives co-creators Janine Sherman Barrois and Jim Hecht a fascinating launching pad for The Big Cigar. It’s not difficult to understand why Newton’s Hollywood-fueled escape just ahead of the FBI’s clutches would be a draw. Unfortunately, in adapting it for television, the creative team's tonal and structural choices undermine the series. P.J. Byrne's on the line! (AppleTV+) Hecht, coming off his work on Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers’ Dynasty, seems to have brought over some tonal impulses from his collaborator on that project, Adam McKay. As a result, The Big Cigar frequently tries to balance humor with dead serious topics like possible political assassination, government-orchestrated harassment, and gun violence. While the show manages those tonal juxtapositions better than McKay’s disastrous Don’t Look Up, it never delivers as well as The Big Short. Several jokes land without feeling disrespectful of the series’ more earnest moments or themes. Unfortunately, it is never as funny as it wants to be. That frequently creates a gulf between its humorous and solemn moments. They can’t seem to get both sides to integrate satisfyingly. Continue Reading →

Unfrosted (In Turkish: Çılgın Kahvaltılık)

NetworkNetflix
SimilarApollo 13 (1995), Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), Ben-Hur (1959) D.E.B.S. (2005), Ice Age (2002), JFK (1991), Manhattan (1979) Schindler's List (1993), Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), Sugar & Spice (2001), The Avengers (1998), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Tin Drum (1979), To Die For (1995), Transamerica (2005),
StarringJon Hamm,
MPAA RatingPG-13

I will give Unfrosted, director/co-writer/star/breakfast aficionado Jerry Seinfeld's heavily fictionalized, would-be-gonzo take on the invention of the Pop-Tart, this: I did laugh, albeit mirthlessly. For one sequence, Seinfeld and his creative collaborators push past stale, semi-affectionate satire and into the rarefied realm of "Yes, we're going for it." It's a funeral. The deceased is laid to rest with the highest honors a breakfast food developer may be accorded. Why is he dead? An office culture that prioritized the appearance of safety (testing the revolutionary self-stable fruit pastry in a full space suit, complete with isolated oxygen supply) over actual safety (keeping said oxygen supply next to an overclocked toaster). After all, beating Post to market is far more important than protecting your staff from violent immolation. The Corn Flakes rooster, Toucan Sam (Cedric Yarbrough), Tony the Tiger (Thurl Ravenscroft, as played by Hugh Grant), and Snap, Crackle, and Pop (Kyle Mooney, Mikey Day, and Drew Tarver), among others, perform the rites. As the deceased's widow (Sarah Burns) looks on in increasingly horrified bafflement, these priests of the breakfast table lower the coffin into the ground and then dump cereal and milk into the grave, topped with fresh fruit laid by professional mourners. A cereal box prize is presented like the flags given to the family of slain soldiers. It's an audacious, out-there scene, a moment of distinct, morbid silliness that reminds me of when Barry B. Benson had Winnie the Pooh sniped. In a world where rival cereal companies seek the aid of Kennedy (Bill Burr) and Kruschev (Dean Norris) and the head of Big Milk (Peter Dinklage) can have someone tortured for daring to suggest that breakfast might not always need cow juice, Full Cearal Honors feels like Seinfeld and company cranking up the dial to eleven and jamming while dancing around Stonehenge. What is there to do but laugh? Continue Reading →

Dark Matter

NetworkApple TV+ Syfy,
SimilarA Discovery of Witches, A League of Nobleman, A Menina Sem Qualidades, A Native of Beijing in New York, A Very English Scandal, About a Boy, Advokát ex offo, Agatha Christie's Poirot Alif Allah Aur Insaan, And Then There was One Yuriko, Anna Karenina, Annika, Arrow, Band of Brothers, Battlestar Galactica Best Choice Ever, Birds of Prey, Blake's 7, Brand New Cherry Flavor, Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?, Captain Star, Clayhanger, Cooking Crush, Dangerous Liaisons, Dark Winds, Dead Ringers, Dexter Dinner Mate, Earth 2 East of Eden, Eternal Faith, Evlerden Biri, Fallen, Fearless, Firefly From Scratch, Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl Halo: The Fall of Reach, He's Into Her, Hero Return, Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, I Know What You Did Last Summer, In Cold Blood, Jane Eyre, JFK: Reckless Youth, Justice League Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits-, Kiss Me First, La Chambre des dames, La vida simplemente, Lives of the Saints, Longing Heart, Love Between Fairy and Devil, M*A*S*H, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Mayfair Witches, Millennium, Million Dollar Babies, Miss Marple: A Murder Is Announced, Miss Marple: A Pocketful of Rye, Miss Marple: The Body in the Library, Miss Marple: The Moving Finger, Moeder, waarom leven wij?, Monarch of the Glen, My Fantastic Mrs Right, My Lovely Boxer, My Only 12%, My Ride, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Nero Wolfe i Archie Goodwin, Nice Work, Open Your Eyes, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Os Maias, Pandora's Clock, Parizaad, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Planet of the Apes Pride and Prejudice Prima sezóna, Project Thouser, Quark, Rebus, Resurrection, Ridley, Roswell Scrublands, Seventh Avenue, Sherlock Holmes Shining Girls, Soul Land, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, Spies of Warsaw, Star Trek Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Star Trek: The Next Generation Star Trek: Voyager Strangers and Brothers, Sweet Magnolias, Sweet Tooth, Sweetbitter, Tales from the Neverending Story Tales of the South Seas, Tamas, Tell Me Lies, The 100, The Bourne Identity, The Brothers Karamazov, The Cicada's Eighth Day, The Colour of Magic, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Incredible Hulk, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA, The Jungle, The Killing Kind, The Last Convertible, The Little Drummer Girl, The Long Night, The Lost World, The Lying Life of Adults, The Many Faces of Ito, The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Ordinary World, The Passage, The Rainbow, The Rector's Wife, The Shining, The Sun Also Rises, The Sympathizer, The Tatami Time Machine Blues, The Umbrella Academy, The Wimbledon Poisoner, The Woods, ThunderCats, To Kill a Cop, Troubles, True Women, Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky, Twin Peaks, War and Peace, Wycliffe, X-Men: Evolution, Yonder,
Watch afterBreaking Bad Fallout, Monk, Raised by Wolves, The Expanse The Last of Us Wednesday

In reviewing Dark Matter, it feels fitting to follow the moral of the show’s story. While it is easy to get lost in forever puzzling over details, the far more useful—and rewarding—path is to take a step back and fully appreciate a thing. There are elements in creator/showrunner Blake Crouch’s adaptation of his own work that do not work, especially concerning pacing. And yet, by the time the credits roll on the final episode, one is largely left satisfied and, perhaps, a bit exhilarated. The temptation to dwell on each choice at the expense of the larger picture is something Jason Dessen (Joel Edgerton) knows well. But we’re already getting ahead of ourselves. Dark Matters begins with the Jason I’ll christen “our Jason” for clarity. Our Jason is a Physics professor living in Chicago with his wife Daniela (Jennifer Connelly), a former artist who now focuses more on the administrative and business sides of art, and their son Charlie (Oakes Fegley). One night, Jason meets up with his friend Ryan (Jimmi Simpson) to celebrate the latter’s academic success. The vibe is strained, with parties seemingly aware that Jason should’ve received the same award, if not over Ryan, then certainly before him. Continue Reading →

The Fall Guy (In Turkish: Dublör)

SimilarArmageddon (1998), Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), Back to the Future Part III (1990) Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Bring It On (2000), Dawn of the Dead (2004), Deadpool 2 (2018), Dogma (1999), Dr. No (1962), F9 (2021), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Four Brothers (2005), From Russia with Love (1963), Ghostbusters (1984), Goldfinger (1964), Hellboy (2004), How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), Kiss the Girls (1997), Klute (1971), Look Who's Talking (1989), Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), Mamma Mia! (2008), Mary Poppins (1964), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), Night at the Museum (2006), Ocean's Eleven (1960), Renegade, Shrek the Third (2007), Snakes on a Plane (2006), Star Trek: The Next Generation The Avengers (1998), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Simpsons Movie (2007), Thunder in Paradise, Toy Story 2 (1999),
StarringHannah Waddingham,
MPAA RatingPG-13

"Delightful." That's the best word for The Fall Guy. It's a movie about moviemaking that loves moviemaking. It's a Tinseltown fairy tale. In The Fall Guy's world, going big at San Diego Comic-Con ("Hall H!" is a repeated refrain) guarantees that a nerdy, bombastic film will go big with general moviegoers. (Mr. Pilgrim would like a word.)  The Big Bad Wolf is Tom Ryder, a gormless hunk with a smoldering gaze (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). He's the biggest action star in the world despite stealing credit from a stunt team he treats, at best, with disdain. The Heroic Lumberjacks are the passionate, the driven, the caring. For instance, Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), a director pushing through writer's block to capture what she's carrying in her heart. Or Dan Tucker (Winston Duke), a stunt coordinator who knows the angles, timing, and how to bring out the best in his crew. And, of course, there's Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling), a stuntman willing to get set on fire or launch himself into a wall until the illusion looks like truth. Moviemaking is, in part, an act of love. The Fall Guy knows this. Colt may be a ragged goofball who's fallen off his horse (not literally, though given his skills, he could), but he's still a knight. He cares deeply for first-time director-and-one-time-lover Jody. That's why he comes out of a self-imposed retirement triggered by the same accident that led him to ghost her. He wants to ensure the science fiction western war epic Metalstorm isn't her last film. Or that a conspiracy, gun-toting goons, and potent hallucinogens don't prevent it from seeing the light of day at all. Continue Reading →

Welcome to Wrexham

NetworkFX,
Studio3 Arts Entertainment, FX Productions,

It should be no surprise that the people promoting Welcome to Wrexham Season 3 are canny. Nonetheless, it is still worth calling out. One can see it in both the sequence of the season’s first three episodes and the decision to provide all three to critics simultaneously. Without the third, it is possible to conclude that success may have thrown a spanner in the works for the series. With the third, it becomes clear that the show remains committed to what makes the first two seasons so watchable. More importantly, it confirms the series’ score of producers—including the team’s two famous owners, Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, and their right-hand man, writer and comedian Humphrey Ker—haven’t lost the ability to tell the stories. The problem that immediately faces Welcome to Wrexham Season 3 is the team’s success. It is easy to catch up with what happened with the Red Dragons’ after achieving promotion at the end of last (both TV and football) season. However, if you are making a documentary series about how the team is doing, you have a responsibility to tell that story. This places the show in a place to chronicle the team’s celebratory trip to the United States and a lot of soccer games rapid fire. When forced to be “just” a sports documentary, focused on the wins and losses and the on-pitch activities, Welcome to Wrexham is solid. As it has “taught” the audience football (soccer around these parts), it has grown looser and more comfortable, letting the on-screen action speak for itself. The break-ins by Reynolds or McElhenney to explain a term or mug about some “strange” rule happen far less, giving the audience a less mediated experience.  Continue Reading →

Dead Boy Detectives

NetworkNetflix
SimilarAfter-school Hanako-kun, Agatha Christie's Poirot Ah! My Goddess, Amazing Stories, American Gothic, American Horror Story, Angel, Arrow, B: The Beginning, Batman, Batman: The Animated Series, Baywatch Nights, Birds of Prey, Black Butler, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Captain Star, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Constantine: City of Demons, D.N.Angel, Dante's Cove, Deadly Class, Dinner Mate, Erased, Eternal Faith, Fallen, Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, Flash Gordon Freedom Fighters: The Ray, GARO, Gen V, Gossip Girl Hinamatsuri, Il Mondo di Yor, Kamichu!, KO One, Longing Heart, Love Between Fairy and Devil, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Mayfair Witches, MIGNON, Misfits, Moonlighting, My Love From Another Star, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Sherlock Holmes Silver Surfer, Six Survivors, Smallville, Sonic the Hedgehog, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, Suicide Squad ISEKAI, Swamp Thing, Tales from the Crypt, The Avengers: United They Stand, The Boys, The Fantastic Four, The Flash, The Incredible Hulk, The Umbrella Academy, Titans, Torchwood X-Men, X-Men: Evolution, おくさまは18歳,
StudioBerlanti Productions, Warner Bros. Television

Dead Boy Detectives is, by its nature, a strange beast. Both a spinoff of MAX’s now-finished Doom Patrol series and Netflix’s own Sandman, it began as a sort of backdoor pilot two and a half years ago in the third episode of Doom Patrol Season 3. However, this series tossed the actors portraying the Boys and their living friend Crystal for an entirely different trio of performers. Now George Rextrew plays Edwin, the uptight turn-of-the-century boy. Jayden Revri steps into the jacket of Edwin's late 80s punk adjacent partner Charles. Finally, Kassius Nelson portrays their modern and still of this mortal plane third wheel, teen medium Crystal Palace. Soon after meeting and freeing Crystal from the clutches of a demon named David (David Iacono), the boys take her in, although Edwin is less than thrilled at the idea. Missing large chunks of her memory, she is anxious to throw herself into the boys’ work investigating cases for and about ghosts, usually in the name of sending them off to the Great Beyond. Their first case as a trio takes them away from their English home to Port Townsend, WA. Unfortunately, even after they close the case, forces conspire to keep the three stuck in the town. With only time to waste, they decide to make the best of it by solving the problems of Townsend’s surprisingly bustling phantom population. Kassius Nelson accesses those spooky-ooky powers. (Netflix) This kind of “neither here nor there” of the show’s beginning and the characters’ “house arrest” soon reveals itself as a kind of meta reflection of the series itself. Steve Yockey, the writer of that backdoor pilot episode and the creator of this series, clearly has enthusiasm and love for the concept and the characters. The central relationship between the spectral friends has a striking sweetness without being cloying. The two's connection never feels in doubt, even as they bicker or revelations of unrequited sexual attraction come to light. The scripting deftly avoids needless "can their friendship survive" melodrama or after-school special syrupiness. It doesn’t hurt that, despite the roster change, Rexstrew and Revri wear the roles like comfortable clothes. They give Edwin and Charles a casual depth that extends behind their simple archetypes. Continue Reading →

Knuckles

NetworkParamount+
SimilarA Dance to the Music of Time, A Storm for Christmas, After-school Hanako-kun, Atomic Train, Bad Guys: Vile City, Black Scorpion, Chicken Nugget, Christopher Columbus, Deadly Class, Fallen, Faraway Downs, Gen V, Gundam Build Divers, Halo: The Fall of Reach, Heidi, Herzogpark, Hindsight, K-9, Kamen Rider Jeanne & Kamen Rider Aguilera with Girls Remix, Kamen Rider Outsiders, Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger Spin-Off: Zenkai Red Great Introduction, KONOSUBA – An Explosion on This Wonderful World!, La Cloche tibétaine, La Femme Nikita, LBX Girls, Long Time No See, Marco Polo, MIGNON, Mortal Kombat: Conquest, Noah's Ark, Pandora's Clock, Peter and Paul, Planet of the Apes Power Rangers Dino Force Brave, RUSH: Inspired by Battlefield, Saint Seiya: Saintia Sho, Scully Sentimental Journey, Six Survivors, Station 19, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, Tabitha, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, That '70s Show, The 100, The Bourne Identity, The Far Pavilions, The Final Cut, The Fire Next Time, The High School Heroes, The Regime, The Sarah Jane Adventures, The Seven Heavenly Virtues, The Sympathizer, The Wimbledon Poisoner, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Tiger Lily, 4 femmes dans la vie, Torchwood Troubles, True Women, Ultraman Regulos, Underworld, Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon,
Watch afterAltered Carbon, Fallout, The Acolyte,
StudioOriginal Film, Paramount

So. Knuckles the Echidna attends a Shabbat dinner. That isn't the start of a joke for an incredibly specific audience; that's the set-up for episode three of his new miniseries. Picking up where Sonic the Hedgehog 2 left him, the six-episode show follows the last of the Echidna Warriors on his epic, life-defining quest to define his life with something other than epic quests and grand battles. Knuckles trying to live his life as though his mission to protect the all-powerful Master Emerald was the alpha and omega of his existence only resulted in driving his foster mother, Maddie Wachowski (guest star Tika Sumpter), up the wall and getting himself grounded. So, after some prodding by Sonic (guest star Ben Schwartz) and the ghost of Echidna Chief Pachacamac (Christopher Lloyd), Knuckles gets down to figuring out who he wants to be and what he wants to do with his life. His new purpose? Help Green Hills' goofball deputy sheriff Wade Whipple (Adam Pally) find his dignity by teaching him the ways of the Echidna Warrior so that he might apply those ways at a national bowling championship and, through struggle and glorious victory, put some ghosts from his past to rest. Their allies? Wade's loving, world-weary mom, Wendy (Stockard Channing), and his trying-way-too-hard FBI agent sister, Wanda (Edi Patterson). Their foes? A duo of rogue GUN agents (Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi and Ellie Taylor) who want to sell Knuckles to a Dr. Robotnik wannabe (Rory McCann), Wade's egomaniacal bounty hunter ex-best-friend Jack Sinclair (Julian Barratt), and a champion bowler who moonlights as an utterly despicable cretin (Cary Elwes). Knuckles brandishing a rubber chicken is a lower-key moment in a gloriously goofy show. Paramount. From the jump, Knuckles is deliberately and intensely silly. Knuckles' initial stubborn devotion to his life-is-the-capital-letters-MISSION-and-nothing-else mindset becomes a vehicle for action comedy beats built on the dissonance between the inherently ridiculous image of grown men being manhandled by an anthropomorphic echidna and the fact that ridiculous or not, Knuckles is absurdly strong and, when he wants to be, creative on the battlefield. When Sonic and Tails (guest star Colleen O'Shaughnessey) convince him to try making himself at home, Knuckles certainly does. After all, what's more homey than a giant throne in the dining room and swapping the den for an Echidna fighting pit? Continue Reading →

The Big Door Prize

NetworkApple TV+
SimilarA Dance to the Music of Time, A Discovery of Witches, A River Runs Through It, About a Boy, And Then There was One Yuriko, Brand New Cherry Flavor, Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?, Cooking Crush, Eternal Faith, Game of Thrones, Halo: The Fall of Reach, He's Into Her, Hero Return, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Kiss Me First, KONOSUBA – An Explosion on This Wonderful World!, Love Between Fairy and Devil, M*A*S*H, Mayfair Witches, Monarch of the Glen, My Fantastic Mrs Right, My Ride, Nero Wolfe i Archie Goodwin, Open Your Eyes, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Planet of the Apes Resurrection, Roswell Soul Land, Tales from the Neverending Story The 100, The Colour of Magic, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA, The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These, The Martian Chronicles, The Passage, The Shining, The Strain, The Sympathizer, The Tatami Time Machine Blues, The Wimbledon Poisoner, Troubles, Wedding Impossible, Yonder,
Watch afterDexter: New Blood, Severance, Silo The Night Agent,
StarringJosh Segarra,

In Season 1, The Big Door Prize felt like a cracked mirror version of a small-town Stephen King story. When the Morpho Machine—a device that spits out a card revealing the user’s “potential”—arrives in Deerfield, it does indeed disrupt life. However, most Deerfield residents are nice. Or, at least, they're not mean in the “could be tempted by Randall Flagg or Leland Gaunt” way. As a result, the disruptions were more of a “the principal buys a motorcycle” and “that dad grieving the death of his son declares himself sheriff without ever abusing power.” No escalating series of pranks culminating in out-and-out bloodshed or betraying one’s former friends to the dark embodiment of evil found here. For those expecting The Big Door Prize Season 2 to start stacking the bodies like cordwood, I have bad news. It keeps the King’s small-town vibes without wandering into King’s “the secrets we keep will literally tear us apart” territory. Opening moments after Season 1’s end, the Morpho machine has stopped spitting out cards, instead offering the town folk a move to the next level. While the result is, essentially, yet another projective test, the results bring a distinctly different flavor to the mix. While the series retains a certain goofiness, it also gains a sadder complexity. The longer we look at the characters, the more forced their good-time silliness becomes. Instead of the exception, Season 1's Father Reuben (Damon Gupton) centric fourth episode feels more like Season 2’s template. Mary Holland and Josh Segarra nail the couples' costumes category. (AppleTV+) To find that tone, the series does reshuffle its character decks. Many of the students we met last year are nowhere to be seen, for instance. New characters are introduced, including a music teacher played by Justine Lupe. Others, like Cass’s (Gabrielle Dennis) best friend Nat (Mary Holland), get a much bigger spotlight. The overall result gives the series a stronger ensemble feel, even if it is not necessarily without downsides. Continue Reading →