Showing posts with label TV Series or Mini-Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV Series or Mini-Series. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Widow Series Reviewed

Interesting Drama Series

jungle scene
The Widow searches in the Jungle
(image courtesy of pixabay.com)
My husband and I just finished watching The Widow, a drama series that we streamed from Amazon. I thought you might be interested in a review of the series.

We thought that this eight episode series was fascinating to watch. The episodes are each around 45 minutes so it didn't take too awfully long to watch. 

The story begins with Georgia Mason (played by Kate Beckinsale) suspecting that her husband Will might actually be alive after a plane crash three years before in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The reports of the crash stated that there were no survivors of that crash and Georgia has spent three years in mourning her loss. A broadcast of a riot in the DRC shows a man that looks very much like her husband that begins her search to find him. She can't see the man's face but he is wearing an orange baseball cap just like the one her Will wore. 

As you can imagine, Georgia decides to go to the DRC hoping to find her husband. She had been there before just after the crash and had befriended a man who had lost his wife in the same crash. Georgia meets Emmanuel again on this second trip; asking for his help to find out if her husband somehow survived that crash. 

The series is filled with suspense and action as Georgia encounters people who knew Will. As viewers we see corrupt people taking advantage of the poverty stricken people of the region. We find out about smugglers and the recruitment of children for rebel militias. While watching each episode we are given a hint of what it might be like to live in the Congo as a person with some means and as a person who is barely surviving. 

My husband and I liked the several twists in the plot as the story unfolds. There were some flashbacks offered to explain some of what drove the different characters in their choices and those were interesting, also. Overall, each episode kept us interested and wanting to see more. We have found that we very much enjoy the original series that Amazon has produced.

If you like suspense and action that occurs in a place you might never be ever to see, I think you will enjoy this series, too.




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Monday, January 28, 2019

Reviewing the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Reviewing The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an Amazon original series set in New York in 1958, starring Rachel Brosnahan. Mrs. Maisel (Brosnahan) is living her dream. She is married, loves her husband, has two children, and lives in a beautifully appointed apartment in Manhattan. From a very young age, she has dreamt about and planned it all: college, wedding, and her adult life trajectory. She tells us about it during a flashback to her beautiful wedding. Everything is going exactly as planned, until suddenly - in one evening - Mrs. Maisel learns that others can completely de-rail her best plans.

Midge Maisel is a loyal, happy housewife who works hard to please her husband. Mr. Maisel (Joel) is a salesperson with an office job. But at night, he performs at a club as a stand-up comedian. He's not very funny and Midge bribes the club manager with briskets to get Joel into better time slots with a better audience. On the same night that he completely bombs, things completely fall apart for Midge. She is devastated and lost. Am I making this sound like a drama? It is not. It is a comedy full of quirky characters.

A co-worker told me to watch the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Since she has recommended an author that has quickly become my favorite, I trusted her opinion and I began watching the series the first weekend I had a few spare minutes. I am able to watch it for free because of my Amazon Prime membership. I watched several episodes that first day and binged watched into season 2 the next weekend. 




The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel reminds me of I Love Lucy - but a naughtier version. The buildings, clothing, baby carriages and way of life are all from that time period. Rachel Brosnahan's facial expressions and/or timing of her humor remind me quite a bit of Lucille Ball. She's a bit sneaky, like Lucy. An example being reminded of Lucy was during a scene at bedtime. Midge goes to bed in a negligee and still made-up. As soon as Mr. Maisel is asleep, Midge gets up and does her beauty routine; putting her hair in curlers and applying an over-night face mask. She sets the blinds so that the sun shines through the crack in the morning - waking her before the alarm. She completes her beauty routine and is back to bed; perfumed, made-up, and looking beautiful. She closes her eyes and he wakes. This scene made me laugh and reminded me ever so much of I Love Lucy

Am I making this sound like an I Love Lucy rehash? It is not. There is cursing, "sex" scenes (not the type of sex scenes shown on cable tv but sex scenes nonetheless), and some modern colloquialisms that aren't from the 1950s. For me, these things are a bit like watching a cartoon with a child and the cartoon includes adult humor and references - out of place but funny (although, I wouldn't be bothered by less profanity).

If the title sounds familiar, it may be because Rachel Brosnahan won a 2019 Emmy for Best Actress in a Television Comedy. Deservedly so, I think.






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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Reviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV Series

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan
My husband and I have been waiting for the television series Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan to start ever since we saw the first trailer.  It was released on Aug 31st 2018 here in Australia and as a family we finished watching it on the 2nd September 2018.  This is a big deal as the three of us all have busy lives and it takes quite a bit for us to find the time to watch a whole season together and this is the fastest we've ever managed it.

In case that doesn't convince you, it was great!  Now the great thing about this is that we all have different levels of knowledge about Jack Ryan and yet we all enjoyed this Amazon Prime series.  So who is Jack Ryan?

Jack Ryan is a character who was born in a novel by Tom Clancy, the son of a Baltimore cop and a nurse who serves as a marine before becoming a history teacher and finally joining the CIA.  A few of the books were made into blockbuster movies and now we have a television series.

Who Would Enjoy Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, the Television Series?


Well anyone who likes action packed spy dramas will enjoy this series, you really don't have to know anything about Jack Ryan beforehand.

Let me give you a little background from my family's perspective.  I have read a few of the Jack Ryan novels and enjoyed them before watching the movies.  I must admit when I watched the first movie released The Hunt for Red October with Alec Baldwin playing Jack Ryan I enjoyed it, but wasn't sure which I preferred the book or the movie.

My husband loved the movie - he doesn't really enjoy fiction books so this was always going to be the case.

The next two movies that were released were Patriot Games then Clear & Present Danger with Harrison Ford playing the lead role of Jack Ryan.  Now I preferred these two movies to the books which is a rarity for me, but somehow they just brought the character alive for me.   As you can imagine, my husband loved the movies too!

My daughter hadn't watched any of these movies or read the books, so she was coming to the television series with no expectations.

All three of us thoroughly enjoyed the series and will be waiting with bated breath to see if it gets renewed.

How Does This Jack Ryan Stack Up?


I enjoyed John Krasinski's take on the Jack Ryan character, I haven't really seen him in much up to now.  I think he played the role really well.

Now I could get nitpicky and say that a couple of the scenes could've easily been left out and the continuity of story (from previous movies/books) relating to his relationship to the person who ends up as his wife didn't quite gel, but in reality none of that mattered.

Will We Be Watching Season 2?


The real test of a series is whether or not you'd watch the next season and in case you haven't realized the answer to that is a resounding yes.   I really do hope that they make a second series because otherwise there's going to be three very disgruntled people in this house!

Have You Read Tom Clancy's Books or Seen the Movies?

If you have I'd love to know what you thought of the Jack Ryan character (of course you could have read some of his other books!) and whether you think you'll be watching this series or not.



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Friday, September 1, 2017

Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series) Reviewed

Thirteen (TV Mini-Series) Reviewed
This is one of the best mistakes I have ever made!  I was searching Amazon Prime Video for a show I could watch while working on mundane site code.  I quickly clicked on the second season of a different tv series and the show started.  Not realizing I had inadvertently started a new miniseries, I keep thinking, who are these people?  But, soon it didn't matter because I was totally hooked on Thirteen.  

Thirteen would not have been a series I would have selected intentionally.  Child abduction is a subject I try to completely avoid on tv, in movies, or even in books.  It is a parent's worst nightmare and even though my own children are grown, not knowing where my child is, not hearing their voice on a regular basis, or not knowing they are safe, still sends me into panic mode.  

I said all of that because I want you to know that in spite of my own worst fears and horrors, Thirteen in one of the most riveting miniseries I have ever watched and I highly recommend it.


How "Thirteen" Begins


 Episode 1 of ThirteenThe miniseries begins with a young woman, 26 years old, running from a house, finding a pay phone and calling the police.  She claims to be Ivy Moxam, an abduction victim who hasn't been seen in 13 years.  The police are skeptical because over the years two others have claimed to be Ivy.  However, after DNA tests, it is confirmed that this woman is in fact the girl who was kidnapped when she was 13.  

It is immediately clear that Ivy is overwhelmed, insecure, scared, resistant to talk, and easily confused by too many people with too many questions.  This is understandable because she had been chained in a cellar for 13 years without any communication with the outside world.  Plus, her formal education had ended.  In many ways, she was still 13 years old.  

Her stress and anxiety are only heightened when the police find the house where she was held all those years.  Because her clothes are found in her abductors' bedroom, the police don't know what to believe.  They question the validity of her story and press her for answers she can't give.  After all, the kidnapper is still at large and the police would really like to arrest him.

In the first episode of the series, we discover that several people's lives suffered collateral damage.  Her parents are separated, her father has a mistress, her best friend, Eloise, left town, and her boyfriend, Tim, has married, but is still haunted by the past.  

The family strives for normalcy in order to give Ivy a secure, familiar home.  They are elated to have Ivy back home, but it is a time of readjustment for all.  Her father moves back in, hiding his secret from Ivy.  Her mother hurries to put things in the house back the way it was 13 years ago.  Ivy's sister was initially skeptical, but once the DNA test confirm her identity, she wants to help her sister.  She puts Ivy's needs above everything else, including her fiance.  

In an effort to reclaim her life, Ivy contacts her old boyfriend and invites him over.  He doesn't have the heart to tell her he is married now.  His own confusion is clear as he struggles to choose between the past and his present.   Neither Tim, nor her family, want to do or say the wrong thing.  They simply want to protect her.


Ivy has only been home for a few days.  She is struggling to find her place, remember who she is or is supposed to be, reestablish relationships and survive the constant pressure from the police to help them capture Leonard, aka Mark White, her kidnapper.  That pressure intensifies exponentially when Mark abducts a 10 year old.


My Opinion and Recommendation of "Thirteen"  


As I said in the the introduction, in only a few scenes, I was completely hooked on Thirteen.  Instead of having a tv show as background noise while I worked, I ended up setting aside my work and watching the miniseries.  I did not break between episodes.  I was so ingrained in the plot, that I watched all five episodes (5 hours) that night.  

The girl who played the part of Ivy did such an extraordinary job that I found myself siding with her completely.  Her facial expressions alone conveyed a world of anguish and uncertainty.  I could easily believe she was Ivy Moxam, a child who had been abducted, mentally and physically abused for 13 years.

This miniseries does an excellent job of showing how people can be trapped in the past, yet somehow manage to live on.  How so many things change because we can't just stop the progression of time, but how we can instantly be thrown back into time by simply having someone from our past return to us. 

From the very beginning, I was on Ivy's side.  I believed her and I believed in her strength of survival.  I was not disappointed in her final actions at the end of the 5th episode.  I believe you will definitely want to see this miniseries for yourself.

 Thirteen - Complete Mini-Series
on DVD
Check Price
 Episode 1 of Thirteen - Amazon Prime Video
Free with Prime Membership
Check Price

 



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Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series) Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Collection (A Series) Reviewed

An Intriguing Drama Series To Stream 

sewing machine for fashion
Sewing Machine image courtesy of Pixabay.com
The Collection is a series of episodes that can be streamed through an Amazon Prime membership. My husband and I started viewing it this weekend and we are really caught up in the drama of the show. 

The story takes place in the late 1940s after WWII in Paris. It revolves around the fashion industry focusing on a small house of couture called Paul Sabine. 

In case you are not much of a history buff, during the war France was occupied by the Germans. As one can imagine the fashion industry of Paris suffered during this occupation. In fact, Hitler wanted to move the fashion houses and designers to Germany. 

The series hints at some collaboration with the Germans during the occupation and also shows how the industry is trying to make a comeback and restore its recognition of being the best place in the world for couture and new styles.



I am not one who really gets too caught up in fashion but I do love the premise of this series. The set designs are remarkable! I love seeing how the staff worked at making a design on paper come to life in the sewing room. The attention to detail in how that room would have looked is amazing. In one scene a girl is working on a dress on a mannequin and my husband said, "What does she have on her wrist?" It was a wonderful old fashioned pin cushion that a seamstress would have worn on her wrist for convenience.

One might think that most men would not enjoy this series much since it deals with Paris fashion houses. My husband is really enjoying it because there is more than just creating unique dresses involved. I mentioned the hints of collaboration with the Nazis. There is an American reporter who is trying to dig up some dirt on that front. There is also a conflict between the two Sabine brothers that is quite interesting. Paul, who is known as the owner and top designer of the House of Sabine doesn't really design the dresses. His brother Claude is the real talent behind their designs but the public doesn't know that. I don't think most of the staff realizes who the real genius is. The mother of the brothers is pretty interesting too! There is something from her past that makes her mysterious. Paul is holding something over her and she does not want Claude to find out. She is a real piece of work!

We are finding that there is enough going on that both genders, male and female, can enjoy this series found on Amazon. The story holds your attention and keeps you wondering what will happen next. It is currently rated 4.6 stars out of 5 so it would appear that most viewers are rating it highly.

 Currently the only way to view it is through your Prime membership. That might change in the future but for now only Prime members can watch it for free. 



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Saturday, June 3, 2017

And Then There Were None - The Mini Series

And Then There Were None
If you're after a dark mystery set in the late 1930s that will have you guessing right up to the end then you'll love And Then There Were None.   I have read the book, but I'm actually reviewing the 2015 mini series that was made for the BBC.

The book, by Agatha Christie, was published in 1939 and I think the miniseries captures the era well and it certainly has a lot of the nostalgic Christie feel about it.  If you're thinking of an Agatha Christie novel with good manners, manor houses and a little inconvenient murder to solve then you need to revisit Dame Christie.   And Then There Were None is when Agatha Christie tapped into her dark side and the result is a real masterpiece.

One of the reasons I liked the miniseries is that it managed to capture the darkness really well.  The bleakness of the island that is the main setting for the mini series made me want to go and visit, but it turns out that it wasn't actually filmed on an island!  When I first heard about this adaptation I remember reading 'mass murder rarely gets as fun as this' which I thought would've made a great tagline.

The basic story shows 8 strangers being invited to stay on a small, isolated island by someone none of them have actually met - the mysterious U. N. Owen.   When they get to the island their host isn't there although there are two servants on the island to look after them.

As the three part mini series unfolds our island cast of ten are killed off in the same way as the nursery rhyme (known as Ten Little Indians or Ten Little Soldiers), something which is picked up on by one of the main characters Vera Claythorne (played admirably by Maeve Dermody).

As you get to the end and are still trying to work out who did it we do get to see who was pulling the strings and it is the ending where it deviates from the book a bit, but not in a bad way.

I really believe that if Agatha Christie was alive today she'd be very happy with how this mini series turned out.

If you wanted to you could always read the book and watch the mini series to see which you prefer!  You can check out all of Agatha Christie's books on Agatha Christie's Booklist.




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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Limitless, The Movie - Now a TV Series

Limitless, The Movie
Have you ever seen this movie? Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro are the stars.

The movie has now morphed into a TV Series carrying the same title as the movie 'Limitless'.

Perhaps you managed to catch the TV Season opener this past week (September 2015)? It was entertaining, and I'll be including this one on 'my fave new fall shows' list. 

Although the stars of the TV Series are Jake McDorman and Jennifer Carpenter, fans of Bradley Cooper will still see him in several episodes playing the character he becomes in the Movie, 'Senator Edward Mora' ... enough of a reason to watch!

In the movie, Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, who's a struggling artist with a case of writers block that essentially spirals him into a less than stellar life.  

He runs into the brother of his ex-girlfriend who introduces him to a drug that is designed to take the human brain from 20% usage to essentially 100% usage. The movie offers a lot of twists and turns and certainly keeps your interest all the way to the end. 

I've always been fascinated by the untapped power and mystery of the human mind and wondered what society would be like if our brains worked at 100% capacity. If every living soul operated at maximum potential, would that generate more good, more evil, or both?
In the movie, Eddie Morra is learning at light speed, working at maximum capacity - he learns to play the piano in three hours, he learns new languages almost instantly and he becomes a financial genius. 

Here's the 2011 Movie Trailer for Limitless:



Can you imagine having that kind of brain power?






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