Filtering by Category: documentary

RECENT VIEWING: EPISODIC

Some stuff I’ve been enjoying recently in the TV/ streaming realm.

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THE AMERICANS

(Drama/ Thriller; Originally on FX; now available on Amazon Prime)

One of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen, depicting a pair of 1980s Soviet agents posing as a “normal” American couple in the suburbs of DC. In particular the acting is quite nuanced, suggesting strong direction as well.

I’m also a big fan of the dizzyingly complex opening credits, which are broken down well here.

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THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA

(Horror/ Comedy; Netflix)

This show is apparently based on an old Archie comic or something. Anyway, I love what’s it’s been rebooted as: it’s kind of like an American take on Hammer horror with a fair amount of comedy sprinkled in. There’s an awful lot going on here, so it’s difficult to explain briefly. But if a campy brew of witches, demons, clairvoyance, shapeshifting, and undead stuff sounds appealing to you, then check it out. The lighting and overall production design are particularly sumptuous. And there’s a strategically placed “Night of the Lepus” poster at one point too.

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WILD WILD COUNTRY

(Documentary; Netflix)

This has been out for a while now, but if you haven’t seen it yet then do yourself a favor. Again, a sprawling narrative that’s hard to describe, and (despite its truth) even harder to believe. Netflix’s succinct decription is effective: “When a controversial cult leader builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert, conflict with the locals escalates into a national scandal.” The series apparently won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary Series. I particularly love the haunting score by Brocker Way.