The fact that the stock footage of the white house and grounds they use for this show never depicts the same season twice in a single episode tells you everything you need to know about "Designated Survivor." In one shot, the trees are bright orange, in the next, it's mid summer. By the end of the episode, the trees are bare. They approach the rest of the production in the same way.
It's fair to say that all television productions are commercial ventures, but the best shows appeal to a large audience and are not written merely to satisfy the lowest common denominator. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's when characters are referred to as "brilliant" without actually doing or saying anything even particularly clever. This show was not written by Aaron Sorkin!
That said, I'm up to episode ten of the first season and can't stop watching. I've never seen Kiefer Sutherland in anything in decades and he's eminently likable as President Krirkman.
I've been intrigued by the story of Eli Cohen my whole life and was thrilled that it was finally made into a mini-series. Sacha Baron Cohen is a superb dramatic actor and I loved him in this! The only thing I would have changed is the language. It would have felt more authentic if it had been in Arabic and Hebrew like "Fauda" instead of heavily accented English.
Dread-inducing, but riveting television. Much better than Ewan McGregor's film adaption of Philip Roth's American Pastoral. John Turturro was excellent, as always, and Winona Ryder was brilliant as one of the most unlikable, yet sympathetic characters I've ever seen.
Astounding! It was thrilling to see Yiddish-language production on Netflix. The entire cast, including the extras should win an Emmy, but the performances of Shira Haas, Amit Rahav, and Jeff Wilbusch blew my mind. Every detail of the production, from the costumes to the rituals, was perfect. They even got the posture of the male dancers during the mitzvah tantz right! The only thing that saddens me is that some uninformed viewers may come away believing that all ultra-orthodox women are powerless and unhappy, but this is not the case. I have known many ultra-orthodox families over the years and, while abuse exists, many lead an enviably peaceful and joyful existence.
After being somewhat disappointed in season two, I love season three so far. I absoulutely love the addition of Aaron Paul to the cast and I adore the performamnces of Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton. But the best surprise for me this season was the radical transformation of the character Charlotte Hale played by Tessa Thompson. In the previous season she was my least favorite charcter, but the broad emotional rage in her "new" character this season is riveting and Thompson totally carries the show now.
There were some very strong performance in this show, including those of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Joel de la Fuente, Brennan Brown, Genea Charpentier, and Chelah Horsdal. But Rufus Sewell was absolutely mesmerizing as John Smith. I had never seen him in anything before and am now a huge fan. He carried the show from the beginning to the end.
Extraordinary. I am blown away by how good this show is. Definitely in the top ten TV series of all time. The cast, the writing, the cinematography, and the directing--unbelievable. Do not miss this gem of a show!!
Big Little Lies was difficult to watch because of the abuse. At the same time, it was impossible to look away. I don't think I've ever seen anything as emotionally affecting or poignant on television before. The entire cast and crew deserve an Emmy.