Yes, it’s that time again, the weekend and time to review the new movies and TV shows added online to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Let’s get started!
Okay, Hulu hasn’t added anything good, so I will feature some foreign TV series that have been recently added, like Jo, the 2013 French crime drama series. Jean Reno stars here as Jo St-Clair, an experienced detective in France, who is experienced in murders and serial killers and called upon to solve a series of murders taking place in the most iconic Paris locations, like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Catacombs. The show also stars Jill Hennesey(!), Tom Austen, Orla Brady and Heida Reed and was developed by screenwriter Rene Balcer, of Law and Order. Sam Waterston, Geraldine Chaplin, Leslie Caron and Olivia d’Abo even guest star! And it all takes place in Paris. It seems it wasn’t too well received in France critically, being too conformist and American, but I loved Law and Order, so I’m giving it a try. And it gets a 6.5/10 on IMDb. Hulu also has Agatha Christie’s Marple, the BBC mystery series from 2004. There are 6 seasons here and two Miss Marples, played by Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie–neither are my favorite M. Marple, she was perfectly played by Joan Hickson. But it’s still based on Agatha Christie’s stories, however loosely, like Body in the Library and Murder at the Vicarage, and the casts are always superb, featuring players like Samantha Bond, Sharon Small and Anne Reid and great sets and production, too. And it gets a 7.8/10 on IMDb. If you love a mystery, that’s it. Hulu also offers the British series Hunderby, a dark comedy from 2012. This takes place in the 1930’s, when a woman washes up on shore on the English coast, and ends up marrying a pastor there, who thinks she’s “pure” and doesn’t dream of her terrible past. It stars Julia Davis, Alexandra Roach, Alex MacQueen, Rufus Jones and Julian Barratt. It’s won British Comedy Awards, but critic Sam Wollaston called it “filth, the filthiest filth, but also top quality filth and you can get away with a lot by being very good and very funny, which it is.” So be forewarned. And it gets a 7.4/10 on IMDb. And, finally Hulu has Miranda, the 2009 British comedy series starring Miranda Hart. If you don’t think you know who she is, think again, if you watched Call the Midwife and loved the character Camilla “Chummy” Fortescue-Cholmondeley. In this series she plays Miranda, a semi-autobiographical character she developed in stand-up, who is tall and awkward and always having a difficult time fitting it. The show also stars Sarah Hadland, Tom Ellis, Patricia Hodge and Bo Poraj. This, too, has won numerous comedy awards from organizations like the British Comedy Awards and the Monte Carlo Television Festival. Hart always plays such realistic and warm characters, she’s a joy to watch, the series gets a stunning 8.1/10 on IMDb. I’m watching.
The biggest add on Netflix this week has to be The Politician, a 2019 satirical comedy series. In this, Ben Platt(Book of Mormon, Dear Evan Hansen) plays a young man who has great ambition and a rich family standing behind him in his goal to become President of the U.S., who has first to become president of his high school student body. And there are many roadblocks, smears and slings and arrows to overcome before he can win. The cast is amazing, with actors like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Zoey Deutsch, Lucy Boynton and Laura Dreyfuss and Dylan McDermott, January Jones and Judith Light making guest appearances. And the show is created by Ryan Murphy(Glee). And while this show doesn’t exactly meet the high Glee bar, it is funny and cynical enough to be worth one’s time, especially if you love Murphy’s other shows like Glee, Nip/Tuck, American Horror Story, etc. And it gets a 7.4/10 on IMDb. Netflix has also added In the Shadow of the Moon, a 2019 supernatural thriller. It stars Boyd Holbrook as a Philadelphia cop on the lookout for a mysterious young woman supposedly dead, when mysterious deaths by hemorrhage start to occur again, after a nine year lapse. It also stars Cleopatra Coleman, Bokeem Woodbine, Rudi Dharmalingham, Rachael Keller and Michael C. Hall(Dexter), and it’s directed by Jim Mickle(We Are What We Are). Noel Murray of the L.A. Times calls it “an appealingly polished thriller,” and it gets a 6.2/10 on IMDb. It’s on my list. Netflix has also added the third season of Glitch, an Australian horror series. Here, seven people return from the dead, after actually digging their way out of the grave, to the small town of Yoorana, Victoria, with no one knowing how or why they returned. One of the returned is the wife of the State Police Sergeant there, played by Patrick Brammall, who tries to find the cause of their revival, while hiding them from the public. The cast also includes Genevieve O’Reilly, Emma Booth, Emily Barclay and Ned Dennehy and has won numerous awards as well, including Best Director for Emma Freeman. It’s a truly scary show, and gets a 7.5/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Netflix has added Birders, the short 2019 documentary from director Otilia Portillo Padua. This film follows the birders and other volunteers who track, study and defend the birds that migrate across our border with Mexico every year. It’s thrilling and beautiful, especially when people from both countries and all sides of the political spectrum fight for the rights of the birds and their shrinking habitat. And it gets a 7.3/10 on IMDb. A must see for any animal lover, like me.
Amazon has one big add this week, with Transparent Musicale Finale, the last episode of Transparent. This is a two hour musical extravaganza, featuring the death of Jeffrey Tambor’s character Maura Pfefferman(since Tambor’s firing after accusations of sexual misconduct) and everyone dealing with their grief in different musical ways, with a big staged finish featuring Judith Light as Shelley Pfefferman. It stars all the other regulars, including Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and Gaby Hoffman. Creator Jill Soloway wanted to end with something different, and this is certainly it. Some critics don’t like it, Slate called it a “must-see train wreck,” but I think every new idea deserves a chance and watch with an open mind. And Transparent gets a 7.8/10 on IMDb. Amazon also has A Touch of Cloth, a British comedy series. This one centers on a police detective named Cloth(get it?), played by the great John Hannah(Four Weddings and a Funeral) who looks for a serial killer with his new partner, played by Suranne Jones, when he’s not having visions of his dead wife. This is a send-up of police procedurals, especially A Touch of Frost, and also stars Julian Rhind-Tutt, Navin Chowdry and Daisy Beaumont. There are three seasons now available on Amazon, and the show gets an amazing 8/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely watching. And, finally, Amazon has added the horror satire Fido, from 2007. This takes place in a 50′s alternate universe, where zombies came back from the dead after radiation from space raised them from death and society is now forced to live in a fenced community called ZomCon. A housewife(Carrie Ann Moss) gets a zombie(played by the wonderful Billy Connolly) controlled by a collar, against her husband’s(Dylan Baker) wishes and though her son(K’sun Ray) loves him, things go awry, of course. The movie also stars Henry Czerny, Sonja Bennett and Alexia Ross and is directed by Andrew Currie. It gets a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.7/10 on IMDb.
So sit back and relax this weekend, while you binge on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!