• by Wes Singleton

Wes's TV Corner Update

I hope this finds you safe and well. Wear your mask! Now is a great time to update you on what I've been watching the last few weeks.

Best Movie: "Da 5 Bloods" (Netflix)

This thriller is Oscar-winner Spike Lee's new drama, and is exciting, bloody and timely, featuring an excellent, award-worthy performance from one of cinema's most underrated actors, Delroy Lindo. At 2 1/2 hours, it is a little lengthy, but otherwise is one of the best of the year so far. You might see this again come awards time. Grade: A-

Best Docuseries: (tie) "Lenox Hill" (Netflix) and “Dear" (Apple)

"Lenox Hill" is the new Netflix docuseries that looks at the lives of a few doctors and their patients at the famed Lenox Hill hospital in New York City. Shot pre-pandemic, it's a compelling, touching look at the medical field. Grade: B+

"Dear" is the new docuseries on Apple TV in that has several 30-minute episodes in which celebrities read inspiring fan letters thanking them for their impact. The Lin Manuel-Miranda episode, followed by Spike Lee and Oprah's, are the standouts (and have tissues handy). Grade: B+

Best Comedy (new): "Little America" (Apple); previously aired: (tie) "Baskets" (Hulu/FX) and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix)

I watch more comedies than anything else (hey, it's a pandemic, laughter is required!), so this is a difficult choice, as there are so many good ones I've seen. "The Righteous Gemstones" on HBO and "What We Do in the Shadows" (Hulu/FX) are both strong and I'm also going through Netflix's "Dear White People" at this writing which is also stellar, but my choice is a low-key comedy currently on Apple TV.

"Little America" is a tender, funny look at real stories of immigrants in America. You get to see photos and an update of the real people at the end of each scripted episode. Executive produced by the husband-wife "Big Sick" team of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon, it's one of the most diverse and pertinent comedies of the year. Worth a look. Grade: A

Interestingly, I recently watched two very different comedies concurrently: "Baskets" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

Created by and starring "The Hangover" star Zach Galifianakis, F/X’s "Baskets" is a funny, dark dramedy about two twin slacker brothers (both played by Galifianakis) and their caring mother, hilariously played by Emmy-winner Louie Anderson, who manages to steal every scene he's in, even from the brilliant GalifIanakis. Grade: A-

The Netflix comedy “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," created by Tina Fey and starring "Office" and "Bridesmaids" star Ellie Kemper in the title role, is markedly different from the dark “Baskets” but just as hilarious. With a tremendous ensemble cast, it's also quite silly, with a gloriously over-the-top Tituss Burgess (who really deserved an Emmy for this role) and the always loopy Carol Kane as standouts. Grade: A-

Best Drama: "Breaking Bad" (AMC/Netflix)

I watched both "Better Call Saul" and then "Breaking Bad" and thrilled that I was finally able to catch one of the most talked about series in recent years. "Breaking Bad" is the better of the two and will go down as one of the best, all-time TV series, brilliantly acted by Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul and expertly told by creator, director and writer Vince Gilligan. Grade: A

Best Comedy Special: Yvonne Orji (Prime)

If you don't know Yvonne Orji, she's from the amusing HBO series "Insecure." She's also one of the funniest people around, providing hilarious insight into family, friends and her own life. I watched it twice, it's definitely worth a look. Grade: A-