Monthly archives: October 2019

6 posts

Living with Yourself

living with yourself on netflix

Paul Rudd and Aisling Bea… is almost too much to handle on one screen. But TWO Paul Rudds in the one show? Well. Mind explosion. And if that’s not enough, there’s a special guest spot from Alia Shakwat. 

Miles (Rudd) is living a mundane existence that is rapidly aging him in Living with Yourself. So he impulsively decides to spend hard earned savings (that was meant for fertility treatments) on a spa day, recommended by a friend. 

And then he wakes up buried, wrapped in plastic. Upon returning home he discovers a clone of himself. But that’s not all that has changed. Something within him has come to life. Well, within one of the versions of him. Things are thrilling again— the air feels better, he no longer needs glasses and he has the confidence to kick arse during pitch meetings at work. 

And the other (original) version, remains downtrodden by life, devoid of colour and like the juice has been completely sucked out of him. 

living with yourself
Image credit: Netflix

Surely, it’s most people’s fantasy to be cloned or at least have a clone to help with the housework. As you’d expect, Miles starts putting his duplicate to good use by standing in at parties and so on. The trouble starts when people start preferring the clone. It’s a new and unexplored complexity to be jealous of yourself. 

Most episodes alternate between the two Miles’ points of view, with a bonus viewpoint of his wife which strengthens the plot and adds additional dimensions through these perspectives. 

It’s an interesting and non confronting look at identity, without being emotionally wrenching like how many dramedies are constructed these days. This is not a criticism, I like it, it’s just nice to have the reprieve and not have to have the dread of what is around the narrative corner. Plus, it retains its stamina throughout the whole season. 

You might need to binge watch because the chronology is not the easiest to follow. Any excuse to binge watch, right?

American Horror Story 1984

American Horror Story is consistently well written (by the same people that do Glee) even when it’s consciously been written badly. The ninth season, 1984, is a classicover the top slasher picture with sporadic—but sparingly— blood heavy scenes. And just enough shocking moments to keep it original (there’s an oven scene to dieeeee for). 

american horror story

Set mostly in a typical American summer camp, a bunch of young adults are terrorised by a serial killer at large. But each character comes with a dicey past and their own demons, which provides discernible motivation for escaping LA and taking up residence at the camp. 

It’s not really until the third episode that it gets into the core plot. There seems to be a lot of padding in points and flashbacks so the chronology is a bit confusing, perhaps intentionally so (the season is only halfway through).

Eighties nostalgia translates really well on the small screen, particularly when done well like in ManiacStranger Thingsand Black Mirror. And AHS are renown for taking solid horror tropes and aesthetics and making them interesting still/again. And the eighties aerobics scene/s are everything though. Everything!

However, this season is the ultimate let down. I don’t say this lightly as I will totally stan AHS, even Roanoke. But don’t totally disregard it as it dallies around some pretty intriguing sub plots about the psychology around why serial killers kill, in an almost homage to the popular series Mindhunter. High fructose corn syrup was one theory why more people were being murdered…

With a noticeable absence of the usual cast of Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters or Kathy Bates, it is reasonably lacklustre. However, Angelica Ross is outstanding and almost makes up for the lack of usual talent. 

Angela Ross is amazing in American Horror Story 1984

Time to check out some more horror shows?

What to watch after Fleabag

So you’ve finished watching Fleabag and kind of, sort of, gotten over the Hot Priest. After you’ve come down from the absolute genius that is Fleabag you’ll be scouting around for your next “dark and dry” to keep fuelling the fire if your inner unexpressed angst. 

I don’t know about you but I am grieving the end of the show and miss it like a beloved friend has moved away. Which is silly because it’s *just* a TV show. Right?

Here are some shows that you can watch next:

This Way Up

I love a post breakdown recovery series. Irish comedian, Aisling Bea, has created a very witty series called This Way Up about getting your life together in your thirties.

Back to Life

what to watch after fleabag back to life

By the producers of Fleabag, Back to Life is about a woman in her thirties returning to her hometown after serving a jail sentence. 

Pure

This is a little hidden gem, Pure, tackles some huge, unexplored issues such as sex addiction and intrusive thoughts. Be warned: it gets pretty real.

Crashing 

This is Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s other show but Crashing didn’t quite grab me. You might like it though.

Game Face

what to watch after fleabag game face

A hilarious, modern look at being a hot mess in your thirties. Not a unique TV premise but I can’t get enough. Can you? Tell me what you think of Game Face.

Finding Joy

what to watch after fleabag finding joy

Finding Joy is about a woman struggling to get her life together in her thirties… I mean, you get the idea, right?

Okay, I should rename this post from what to watch after Fleabag to ‘shows about women in their thirties’ but that’s not as fun. 

Not sure what to watch next? Read the television blog.

Barry

Barry (Bill Hader) is a hitman who launches his alter ego as an actor in a community theatre group. Barry wants to leave his life of crime and marine past behind him and embrace his new life as a performer. Of course, balancing double lives cannot come without consequences and one life must come out victorious. As an audience member, you almost feel sorry for him and his lack of emotional ability, lack of acting success and love interest gone awry. 

barry tv show

With 30 Emmy nominations, Barry is pegged as a tragicomedy. It’s straight faced darkness is as appealing as the deadpan comedy it effortlessly delivers. The levity is peppered in with the gloom so much so that you could be forgiven for being genre confused. But that’s a credit to Hader’s acting. 

barry tv series

It sets a new standard for the way comedy is delivered and executes the antihero device that modern television watchers are so drawn to these days. Barry evokes our sympathy, despite the fact that he is still a cold blooded, calculating killer. A fact which is easy to forget because it’s almost a by product of his narrative, rather than a central focus. 

Anthony Carrigan is a standout supporting actor in Barry and adds a comedic contrast to Barry’s darkness.

Should I watch Barry?

If you love dark comedies, this will blow your mind.

Why Women Kill

Why Women Kill tells the story of three relationships (and more) across three separate decades.

Beth Ann (Ginnifer Goodwin) is the perfect doting nineteen sixties housewife, Simone (Lucy Lui) is an eighties socialite and Kendall (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) is a modern day feminist in an open marriage. 

why women kill tv show

This is not a podcast cum documentary like the title would suggest but a camp dark comedy that looks at infidelity and negotiating romantic unions throughout time and how each woman, in her own ingenious way, deals with it. And sometimes with fatal consequences. But not without rediscovering who they are and what they truly want out of life. 

Infidelities, which sprout in their own ways with their own meanings pertaining to each couple, are revealed early on, so it’s clear the TV show is not about how infidelity spells the end of a relationship. In fact, this show depict how it’s the start of every good story.

why women kill tv
Photo credit: Jessica Brooks/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc.

All tied together by one house, Why Women Kill is like Desperate Housewives (both were written by Marc Cherry) mixed with Mad Men but on a heap of sugar. And the outfits are off the hook. It even has fun episode titles like I Killed Everyone He Did, But Backwards and in High Heels.

Should I watch Why Women Kill?

Yes, it’s super fun.

Cheat

Cheat is a British psychological thriller that tells a story in a tight four episodes. How often do you watch a dark TV series these days that has a four ep season? 

Cheat TV series

In Cheat, a university professor is stalked by her student, who quickly becomes more aggressive and conniving in her exploits. All the while, those around the professor are discrediting her as being paranoid, including her own husband who continuously dismisses her fears and even begins to side with the stalking student. As with any high stakes thriller and precarious dynamic between characters, it escalates and ultimately ends up fatal. 

The writers create great audience empathy with the protagonist. Her frustration and confusion is portrayed well and believable without being melodramatic. 

What’s odd about the telling of this story, is the choice to flash forward in the first episode to the conclusion. Essentially, giving away a chunk of the ending. Which isn’t a terrible spoiler as there aren’t any dramatic surprise twists (maybe one quite easily guessable one).

cheat tv series to watch

Other reviews have penned this as chilling but I think that’s hyperbole. It’s intriguing and watchable but it won’t give you nightmares.

Molly Windsor plays the student and her portrayal is excellent. I expect her to appear in many more delicious dramas and thrillers. Including the upcoming Traces (which features an all female production crew).

Should you watch Cheat?

Yes because the storytelling is riveting but it can be lagging at times.

You will like Cheat if you liked:

  • Gypsy
  • Deep Water
  • Black Swan