Showing posts with label miniseries review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label miniseries review. Show all posts

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
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 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:
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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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