It’s hard to fathom that an over 40-year-old franchise could still have the capacity to surprise, but somehow Disney and the creators behind ‘The Mandalorian’ were able to do it for eight straight weeks in 2020. Maybe it’s the unfathomable year that was, which resulted in an audience primed for the wonder and spectacle provided… Continue reading ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 – A Christmas Miracle for the Star Wars Franchise?
It’s not often that the most popular item in the zeitgeist is also the best of its kind. ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, a seven episode limited series on Netflix, ushered under the singular, meticulous vision of writer/director Scott Frank, featuring an iconic, star-making performance from up-and-coming actress Anya Taylor-Joy, is one such example. Seemingly coming out… Continue reading ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ – A Checkmate For 2020 Limited Series’?
The first season of Netflix original series ‘Stranger Things’ came out of nowhere last summer, yet quickly became culturally ubiquitous as an example of the ‘right’ way to present nostalgia and genre homage. Set firmly in 1983, complete with period accurate design and callbacks, the cinematic eight-part maxi-series claimed its’ well-earned place in the zeitgeist. … Continue reading ‘Stranger Things 2’– Can Lightning Strike Twice?
The conceit fueling Netflix’s latest binge-worthy original program, ’13 Reasons Why,’ is an extremely challenging one. Its’ exploration of the events that led to a teenage girl’s suicide could be construed as exploitation of a very serious subject, but since the series’ structure is so compelling and its’ content so wrenching, it succeeds on multiple… Continue reading ‘13 Reasons Why’ – Addictive and Exploitive, or Absorbing and Vital?
Netflix dropped the 8-episode, Winona Ryder-starring, 1983-set series, ‘Stranger Things,’ with little of the advance fanfare reserved for its’ popular shows ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘House of Cards,’ anything with ‘Marvel’ in its’ title, or even something like its’ re-visit to ‘Full House.’ Perhaps the highly successful network didn’t quite understand the power of… Continue reading ‘Stranger Things’– Crowd-pleasing Exercise in Nostalgia?
Carrying on the Mighty Marvel tradition, Netflix rolled out a 13-episode series this past spring, adapting street-level hero, ‘Daredevil,’ with the same care and creativity afforded to the Marvel studio brand on the big screen. Perhaps the most interesting, and possibly alienating, factor about this series is the TV-MA rating it received for putting its’… Continue reading ‘Daredevil’ – Netflix Adaptation Done Right or Too Mature for a Comic-book Hero?