Il birrificio

Normal People 2020

Outspoken student Marianne Sheridan (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is an outcast at school. Connell Waldron (Paul Mescal) is the quiet popular jock. His mother works as a cleaning lady in the Sheridan’s large family home. The two Irish teens have a secret sexual relationship but he refuses to acknowledge her in public. Their lives and loves would intertwine over the years.

I don’t want to raise one to knock the other, as normal people season 2 is excellent too, but I’ve seen her in other things. Paul Mescal is revelatory. So vulnerable and open to showing that Connell is as broken as Marianne, even if he has been able to mask it more.

That it pierced the heart of this wretched old soul speaks volumes to the quality of the series. I’ll have to come to the next Sally Rooney adaptation a bit sooner.

I have to be really honest. I was a little unconvinced at first. The actors are too old to play teens. Both characters have issues that put me off. Marianne is too bitter. Connell is too quiet and his treatment of her is emotionally brutal. By the fourth episode, the age thing stops mattering. Quite frankly if I knew they would be aging up in the show, I wouldn’t sweat that issue. As for these characters, they really grow on me, both as roles and the actors. These young new faces are truly engaging and they are beautiful to boot. As characters, there are emotions beneath that are really worthwhile to explore. They become more and more fully formed people and that’s the brilliance of this limited series. These are great characters performed by compelling new faces.

Into the Badlands 2015

You know the moment you start watching that some series are going to attract something of a cult following. My suspicion is, Into the Badlands, is one such series.

Into the badlands season 4 takes already interesting elements from 19th century Southern USA, cyberpunk, Gung (Kung) Fu and Samurai/Western action series, mystical and medieval epics and drops the whole fruit salad of seemingly incompatible concepts, into the creative blender.

The resulting series is an elaborate and flamboyant cocktail, that works in spite of itself. The primary reason it works, is all these cultural icons are familiar. The futuristic setting is something of an anachronism, reminiscent of any 19th century Southern plantation. Lurid splendor and vice, gained from the oppressive toil of poppy field workers called cogs(cogs in a wheel), who are little better than slaves.

I saw one reviewer wrote about it being too unbelievable and that the actors look too perfect. I don’t think that person quite understands the whole concept. The series is supposed to be like that. The colors are supposed to be incongruous to the depravity of the time and supposed to dazzle the eye.

I think the acting is great! I think that some of the actors, like the Barron and his son, are supposed to be over the top just like the colors are. I thoroughly enjoyed the premier episode and in fact, watched it a second time. I am mesmerized by it all.

Update after watching season 1: My affinity for the show only grew. I felt connected with the characters and naturally am concerned about their futures. As the season went on the stories of the “villians” were more flushed out which gave some insight into their reasonings and made them more relatable.