This installment in the festive season series takes a look back at some of the TV featured on the blog this year.
Vintage black coat, Levi’s 501s, pattern shirts and boots. The 90s inspired style tells its own story in this updated version of High Fidelity as record store owner Rob (Zoe Kravitz) recounts the sorry state of her love life soundtracked with memorable music. The TV series, which recasts best friends Simon (David H. Holmes) as a gay white man, and Cherise (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), as a straight black woman, is a remake of the film starring John Cusack, based on the Nick Hornby book of the same name. This time there’s a touch of Sex and the City to this High Fidelity as the genders, face and sexual identity of the three central characters are flipped and it’s moved from London to Chicago to Brooklyn. Find it on ABC, Google Play, YouTube and Apple TV.
Little Fires Everywhere
In Clinton-era US, Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) tries her best to live a picture perfect life in the perfect small town of Shaker. Sexual relations with her husband are neatly scheduled twice a week, her grand home is immaculate and she has a neat job several days a week. Into the town comes mother and daughter Mia and Pearl Warren (Kerry Washington and Lexi Underwood) who rent Elena’s house and pique her interest in their less regimented life and unclear background. As the story of Little Fires Everywhere (Amazon) unfolds, based on the novel of the same name by Celeste Ng, small fires lead to a towering inferno as mother and daughter loyalty cross-over and small acts of rebellion turn into larger statements.
Marrying your life partner is one thing, but what about if it meant spent post-death eternity together? This is the question at the heart of Forever, where husband and wife June (Maya Rudolph) and Oscar (Fred Armisen) both find themselves united in a pst-death life. XX is happy to carry on as they did in life, living a small, repetitive but comfortable life together. June, who’d felt the stirrings of entrapment in their lived life, and now finds herself in a kind of middle class purgatory isn’t so sure she wants to settle down again, in death, forever. This small story takes on some of the biggest things in life with a wry humour and a lot of heart.
The L Word – Generation Q
‘Generation Q’ is the nest installment in The L Word, a TV series that ran for five years from 2004. It was about a group of lesbians and bisexuals living in Los Angeles and their loves, lives and everything in-between. This new series doesn’t have the singular place it once did in providing a voice and characters for non-straight storymaking, but this also relieves it of the singular responsibility. The cornerstone characters are back with new ones in the mix as they tangle and tango through the new queer landscape a decade on. The Broad can also recommend several other series, perhaps sharper and more darkly comedic, such as Vida, The Bisexual and One Mississippi.
An Ordinary Woman
Billed as the female version Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Marina Lavrova An Ordinary Woman lives in Moscow and works as a florist, but behind the veil of normalcy is another life. The ordinary woman runs a prostitution network through WhatsApp on her phone, but things start to get dangerous when one of your employees turns up dead.
Better Call Saul
If you’re following Better Call Saul, then there’s more to be excited about this month with the release of the latest season of the Breaking Bad prequel. We’ve been edging ever closer to the events of the teacher-turned-druglord drama and this new season of the show about lawyer-gone-bad Saul Goodman promises appearances from some main players. And if you’re a fan of the series, you might like this hot take on why Saul is better TV than Bad.
Apple Tree Yard
If you like complex legal dramas, then have a look at Apple Tree Yard, the British four-part series featuring Emily Watson adapted from the novel of the same name. Watson plays an accomplished scientist who falls under the spell of an attractive associate and makes a series of questionable decisions with dire consequences. It’s an engaging examination of the way taking seemingly calculated risks can have much graver, unintended consequences.
The Twelve is a Belgian drama about a jury who must decide if school headmistress Fri Palmers is guilty of two separate murders, one 20 years ago of her best friends, and the other of her own pre-school age daughter, following her custody battle with recently separated husband. The 10-part series, available on SBS On Demand, is gripping and takes viewers on an intimate journey into the lives of the jury and weaves in and out of the murder trial. It will leave you guessing right up until the end.
Summer/Lockdown Watch List
More suggestions for things to watch, whether you’re on a break or in confinement.
- Is TV fatigue killing TV?
- Were you raised by TV?
- How do we watch The Crown?
- Making sense of the Black Lives Matter protests.
- After the pandemic, then what?
- Catch up on the last season of Julia Louis-Dreyfss as Veep if you missed it. The Looming Tower, The Split and more.
- Need a reason to watch Fleabag or Killing Eve?
- Chan & Dee’s Drink Tank plus Patti Smith, The Testaments and more.
- Read Girl, Woman, Other by Booker Prize-winner Bernardine Evaristo.
- Check out Mindhunter, Crashing plus The Erratics.
- Helen Garner, Peaky Blinders and Modern Love plus some films.
- Dystopian TV with Years and Years, plus Black Mirror.
- Pros and Cons, Olive Kitteridge plus Invisible Women.
- Fearless women war correspondents in film and print.
- And let us all be slacker chicks and fellas for a few weeks.