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  • by Wes Singleton

Wes's TV Corner

Hello, everyone! It's been a few weeks since I posted, and wanted to provide an update on what I've been watching recently during the latest round of quarantine. With first-run, new release movies expected to come back to theaters in July, I still have more TV watching. I'll check in again before then with more updates.


Happy Watching!

Wes


Highlights of recent viewings:


Best Limited Series

  1. Big Little Lies (HBO) - Season 1 was excellent, season 2 solid but not as good. Season 1 deserving of its many Emmy Awards. The highlight in Season 2 came in the last episode in a courtroom showdown between Oscar-winners Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep (expect Streep to get an Emmy nomination for it). Season 1 Grade: A-, Season 2 Grade: B

  2. Atlanta's Missing Children (HBO) - A compelling, disturbing and sad documentary look at the late 1970/early 1980's serial murders of children in the Atlanta area. It doesn't answer many questions, but is still informative. Grade: B+

Honorable Mention: The Plot Against America (HBO), Grade: B


Best Documentary Series

  1. Home (Apple+) - This touching, handsomely filmed Apple+ series about the impact of unconventional home structures across the globe proves that home isn’t just the structure, but the people who inhabit them. Grade: A-

  2. The Innocence Files (Netflix) - Netflix seems to be an expert at producing these real crime stories, and some are better than others. This one, which examines the impact of evidence in wrongful convictions in criminal cases, is fascinating, infuriating and even touching. Grade: B+

Honorable Mention: The Pharmacist (Netflix), Grade: B


Best Comedy Series

  1. Atlanta (FX/Hulu) - Though it often straddles the line between drama and comedy, there are no rules that says dramedies can't be powerful. Producer, director and star Donald Glover is the chief rule breaker, and we're better off for it. Seasons 3 & 4 are coming next year, and diverse entertainer Glover (who also has more feature movies and music in the works) is a force to be reckoned with. Grade: A

  2. Silicon Valley (HBO) - The series officially ended in 2019 with its sixth season, but it was funny from start to finish in Mike Judge's satirical look at Big Tech. There's usually someone in the cast that you can most relate to, and for me it's the uptight Jared, hilariously played by Zach Woods. Grade: A-

Honorable Mentions: Better Things (FX/Hulu), Grade: B; Mythic Quest (Apple+), Grade: B


Best Drama Series

  1. Normal People (Hulu) - This compelling, superbly-acted Hulu original scripted series is based on Sally Rooney's best-selling recent novel of the same name. Though it's seemingly YA, most anyone can relate to the love, angst and emotion the two handsome leads (newcomers Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal) feel. Grade: A-

  2. Homecoming (Season 1) (Prime Video) - This thought-provoking drama from Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg and based on a fictional podcast concerns a social worker and the real motives behind an agency helping soldiers assimilate after combat duty. The strong, original first season, starring Julia Roberts, is superbly acted and compelling; the second season, starring Janelle Monae, is muddled and boring. Season 1: A-; Season 2: C

Honorable Mentions: Defending Jacob (Apple+), Grade: B; Goliath (Prime Video), Season 1: B+; Seasons 2-3: B-


Best Documentary (movie)

  1. Beastie Boys Story (Apple+) - This fascinating documentary from Academy Award winner Spike Jonze on the acclaimed rap group is a must-see, especially if you're a fan of their music. It includes a heartfelt tribute to late founding member Adam Yauch. Grade: A-

  2. Becoming (Netflix) - This documentary on former First Lady Michelle Obama and based on her best-selling nonfiction book, is charming and poignant, even if it lacks a little insight. Grade: B+

Honorable Mention: Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (HBO), Grade: B


Best new TV Movie


The Banker (Apple+) - This true story, starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two

African-American entrepreneurs who hired a white man (played by Nicholas Hoult) to front

their business venture in the South, is both fascinating and well-acted. Grade: B


Best Classic Movie


Aliens (HBO) - The 1986 James Cameron/Sigourney Weaver seminal horror classic is still as

scary and funny today as it was then. Grade: A


Best Comedy/Variety Special

  1. Ben Platt Live at Radio City Musical Hall (Netflix) - The Tony-award winning star of "Dear Evan Hansen" puts on an extremely fun, entertaining show, including a touching encore that'll leave you in tears, as it clearly did with the audience. Grade: A-

  2. Jimmy O. Wang: Good Deal (Prime Video) - The "Silicon Valley" star has one of the funniest, sharpest stand-up specials of recent memory, which is saying something given the glut of them recently. Grade: B+

Honorable Mention: Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill (Netflix). Grade: B


Best Returning Show


Dead to Me (Netflix) - the 2nd season of this dramedy starring Christina Applegate and Linda

Cardellini is just as good, if not better, than the fun first season. Grade: B+