Behind Her Eyes

June 27, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TV SERIES |

(Directed by Erik Richter Strand, Netflix, UK, 6-part series) The only thing behind the eyes of any of the actors in Behind Her Eyes is the sad realisation that life has come to this. Adam (Tyler Howitt, below) is a sassy-but-melancholy, innocent-but-knowing, big-framed-glasses-wearing dumpling of a kid.  The kind of kid that the writers of chick-flicks give a single mother when they want the audience to like her. The single mother in this chick-flick is Louise Barnsely (Simona Brown) who has the type of job that only those same kind of writers could think we’ll believe. Louise is a part-time…

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Inventing Anna (Episodes 5 – 9) (Netflix 2022)

February 22, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TV SERIES |

Subtle: Anna Chlumsky.

(See our review of Episodes 1-4 here). We have watched the rest of the series, so that you don’t have to.  In particular, we exhort you to never ever expose yourself to episode 9, which is without doubt the worst courtroom episode of a tv series ever made and possibly the worst episode of any tv series ever made. Before we get to that rubbish bit of drama though, our favourite Russian conwoman Anna Sorokin/Delvey (Julia Garner) and her hapless hangers-on go to Morocco. Anna’s treat. They stay at the sort of resort that the Kardashians frequent. Morocco is beautiful…

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Inventing Anna (Episodes 1 – 4) (Netflix, 2022)

February 16, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TV SERIES |

We have seen the first four parts of the new nine-part series from creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes which fictionalises the true story of Anna Sorokin, a Russian-born fraudster who scammed New York high society. (See our review of Episodes 5 – 9 here). There is a nice touch in which, at the beginning of each episode, the rubric, “This whole story is completely true, except for all the parts that are totally made up” appears in a different guise every time – on a photographer’s drop sheet, on a bronze plaque. Julia Garner plays Sorokin (usually known as…

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The White Lotus

January 11, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TV SERIES |

(Written and directed by Mike White) (HBO 2021) “Eating the lotos day by day, To watch the crisping ripples on the beach, And tender curving lines of creamy spray; … To muse and brood and live again in memory, With those old faces of our infancy Heap’d over with a mound of grass, Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass.” (Tennyson, Song of the Lotos-Eaters) We don’t know if Alfred’s weird poem informed the consciousness of Mike White’s weird satire but we like to think so. This 6 part series, a sort of ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ meets…

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The Closer

October 11, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Dave Chapelle’s last (?) Netflix Special, 2021 Chapelle is almost always controversial, and worth watching (except for his Block Party Special, which was an ocean-liner-sized yawn) but in his valedictory show for Netflix, he seems to be intent – or resigned – to cancel himself.  He has been criticized for being ‘transphobic,’ and has obviously spent a good deal of time reflecting on (and deflecting) this.  It has affected his naughty boy comedy: the naughty boy is still there, twinkling at us through his not-so-innocent eyes, but the deconstruction of his often sensible stance is slightly chilling, and the effort…

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