We own this city. Mini series
David Simon and George Pelecanos from the acclaimed series The wire return to the Baltimore streets. This dramatization of a real story portrays a city with unethical authority. A place where, when it comes to policing gun violence, political gain took precedence over fundamental human rights.
Jon Bernthal does an amazing job playing Wayne Jenkins, an ethically dubious man. He is in charge of a team established specifically to use all available ways to keep drugs and weapons off the streets. The police from The wire and We own this city are remarkably different. Despite having many serious flaws, detectives McNulty and Bunk generally had good intentions. Here we are presented with the most corrupted and dirty cops that I have ever seen in a TV show. But the worst part is, that these characters are based on real officers.
We own this city is a depressing and sobering insight into the life of people of color in the United States. An insightful at America's worst social ills and a sad critique of those who support this dysfunctional system. This is a very difficult series to watch, especially if you are American. But also an essential one. All six episodes of We own this city are available on HBO Max and I highly recommend checking them out.
Black bird. Mini series
BB is an Apple TV+ mini-series Inspired by actual events. It was developed for television by the great crime writer Dennis Lehane and based on James Keene’s memoir In With the Devil: A Fallen Hero. The series stars Taron Egerton as Jimmy Keene, Paul Walter Hauser as Larry Hall, and features one of the last performances by Ray Liotta.
Set during the 1990s, the miniseries is a combination of prison drama, serial killer stories, and police investigations. Black bird is meticulous and gathers strength throughout the course of the show. I truly enjoyed the overpowering sense of dread brought on by Jimmy’s life in prison and the ferocity of the crimes for which Larry has been found guilty. The two lead actors' performances were excellent, too. Paul Walter Hauser is chilling as Hall. He is quite creepy but also strangely kind. Taron Egerton gives a similarly excellent performance. He delivers Jimmy's emotional journey perfectly. Jimmy goes from being absolutely insufferable to a really vulnerable man after his whole life was turned upside down.
The bear. Season 1
This FX’s half-hour dramedy created by Christopher Storer revolves around Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), a young chef from the fine dining industry. After a devastating family death, he gives up his career in NYC and returns to Chicago to operate his family’s sandwich shop.
The frantic pace of the two first episodes reminded me a lot of Uncut jams. I even paused the show in the middle of the pilot to see if the Safdie brothers were involved in it. They are not. But that doesn’t make this series less interesting. The bear has a lot of heart, intensity, and some amazing performances. Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri are both outstanding in their roles. But Ebon Moss-Bachrach steals every scene he is in. While watching the show I was constantly changing my mind between “I want to punch this dude in the face” and “ this dude is the funniest dude of all the dudes on TV”. He is that good!
The bear surpassed all my expectations and never let me down. The writing is brilliant and the storyline is fresh and realistic. And I loved how the show has the ideal balance of raw emotions and unique humor. Also whoever is responsible for the music in the show and its end credits has great taste. Needless to say that I want more. I want to see where this story goes next after the amazing season finale episode. Season 2 was announced already and I’m looking forward to it. FX has found a hit and I’m pretty sure they know that. This is a must-watch for everyone who loves good storytelling and great acting.
Physical. Season 2
Physical returned last June to Apple TV+ for its second season. Created, written, and executive produced by Annie Weisman, the series follows Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne), a wife and mother in the '80s who builds an aerobics video empire while battling extreme personal demons and a vicious inner voice.
The series has always straddled the line between drama and humor, and it has never shied away from dealing with important themes. I really like Weissman's attention to creating the character of Sheila. She's complicated and definitely an antihero, yet you still want to root for her. Byrne continues to show that she is up to this challenging role that requires her to be witty, vulnerable, strong, and sometimes even terrifying. This time, though, her character is not the extremely insecure and miserable lady we met in the first season. She's in recovery and dealing with her problems. Sheila's relationship with her husband Danny (Rory Scovel) has also changed. After all the drama they went through in the first season, they switched roles. She is out there growing her business and making good money while he is spending most of his time at home, looking after their daughter.
Throughout the 10 new episodes of its second season, Physical does a good job juggling sexism, eating disorders, humor, drama, and political criticism. And on top of that, the show has a killer soundtrack. I had a great time watching it and I think you will too.
Hacks. Season 2
Hacks is so funny and entertaining. I loved Season 1 and was very excited for Season 2. And I’m glad to say that the series continues to be brilliant. Hacks is still super sharp and fresh. In season two, the dark mentorship between legendary Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and her young, entitled Gen Z writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder) continues to evolve as the two travel across the country workshopping Deborah’s new stand-up act.
This season starts off just where Season 1 left off. Deborah and Ava are about to depart on a tour to work on new, more autobiographical material. The tension in the duo’s relationship is again the main topic of Hacks Season 2. They certainly love to interact with each other through caustic humor. Although there is less of a rivalry between them this time around and more mutual cooperation.
One of my favorite things about Hacks is how the show masterfully manages the delicate balance of drama and comedy. The writing in the show is top notch and the stories that unfold are insightful, genuine, and engaging. Jean Smart continues to be absolutely incredible and the chemistry between her and Hannah Einbinder is palpable. The supporting characters are also great and they all got some very well-written and funny scenes.