By Jake Myers
So, we are a couple of weeks into the semester and your favorite cable shows are currently on hiatus, but be assured that there is still time for a little binge-watching before classes ramp up.
You are in what Amazon Fire TV commercials call a “show hole.”
Luckily for you, there are some great offerings across the premium streaming platforms.
Here are some of my suggestions:
Streaming on Netflix:
If you are looking for a brand new series to binge, I recommend “Ozark,” which was released on July 21st. It stars Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, an “investment banker” in Chicago, who has to relocate his family to the Missouri Ozarks after a partner steals from their prime client who is a drug kingpin.
Marty is a quiet, frugal, reserved family man on the outside but is manipulative and intelligent to a fault. Laura Linney is incredible as his wife, Wendy, and when the crap hits the fan they join forces to try to come out on top of the situation Marty has gotten them into. Throw in a plethora of supporting actors including Marty and Wendy’s two kids who are reluctantly and naively along for the ride, and this becomes an intriguing series.
Bateman adds an air of authenticity to every role he plays. Without spoiling anything, I can say that this role reminds me of Bateman’s stellar performance in “The Gift.” It further cements the fact that Bateman’s acting abilities don’t just apply to comedies. He is versatile.
The series is written by Bill Dubuque, who also wrote the screenplay for “The Accountant.” Bateman directed four episodes in this series.
“Ozark” reminded me of “Breaking Bad” in that your emotions will roller coaster as the series progresses, new characters are introduced, and shocking elements come to light. I do have to caution that this series is sexually explicit.
The second series that I want to mention from Netflix is “Stranger Things.” If you missed season 1, you still have time to catch up before season 2 is released in its entirety on October 27th.
For me, this series is a homage to the best of the 80’s style movies, such as John Carpenter’s “The Thing” (1982), and “The Goonies” (1985) written by Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus.
they picked the series up for a second season. In fact, Netflix has already announced that there will be a third season with tentative plans to end the series after a fourth season.
Streaming on Amazon:
As far as new offerings on Amazon, I would recommend “Sneaky Pete” which stars Giovanni Ribisi as Marius Josipovic. Marius is a master con man who upon release from prison assumes the identity of his cell mate, Pete Murphy, who has not seen his family since he was 11 years old.
Marius is on the run from a mob boss named Vince, played by Bryan Cranston. Cranston co-created this series with David Shore of “House” fame. On an interesting note, Cranston claims this series is somewhat autobiographical.
There will be a second series out in 2018. Part of the charm of this series is in watching Marius con other cons. As the series progresses you empathize as Marius just runs deeper down the rabbit hole.
The other relatively new series on Amazon that I would recommend is “Goliath,” which stars Billy Bob Thornton as Billy McBride, and William Hurt as Donald Cooperman. I have to caution that this series is sexually explicit as well.
Billy is a lawyer who had everything and now seemingly has nothing. The series centers on a court case but it is so much more than that.
There are so many well-written characters including, Callie Senate played by Molly Parker and Brittany Gold played by Tania Raymonde. Billy Bob is so good at playing Billy McBride that I would liken it to Bryan Cranston playing Walter White. Yes, I just said that!
This series is by David E. Kelley who did “Boston Legal” and more recently adapted Stephen King’s “Mr. Mercedes” for television.
There is one particular scene in “Goliath” that will freak you out! I actually yelled out loud like Charlie Brown, AUUGH!
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