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What to binge-watch this weekend

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on November 08, 2019 Published on November 08, 2019

Representative image   -  Bloomberg

Enjoy this week’s binge-watch list from us where we have tried to mix the bad, the bizarre and (to cushion it all) the funny and the steamy

Remember Lorne Malvo in Fargo Season 1? Played by the beautiful Billy Bob Thornton, the antagonist had won applause for his portrayal of a sweetly inimical, cold-blooded, philosophy-mouthing killer-for-hire. This week, I was reminded of a famous statement Malvo makes in Fargo. When a man tells him he fears a ‘zombie’ attack on the world, Malvo quips: “It’s already a dog-eat-dog (world), my friend. Not sure what worse a bunch of zombies could do.”

The case in point was all the toxicity around us. But what’s new in it, you may ask. Point taken. Still, this week the media was full of it, literally and figuratively. There was the health emergency in Delhi thanks to thick blankets of toxic particles covering the capital after Deepawali and then moving down south on the back of the southward winds. There were also reports from across the globe, of hate campaigns, public agitations, crimes and civil unrest.

Hey, that sounds like someone’s Netflix watchlist, doesn’t it? Most streaming platforms merrily mirror the dark sides of the world we live in and there is plenty you can binge-watch and feel good about the state of affairs you’re in now. At least there are no zombies hiding behind your window curtains and the chances of your husband turning into a viper in bed at night is near zero as things stand now (I’m talking in literal terms for now). So, take a deep breath, and enjoy this week’s binge-watch list from us where we have tried to mix the bad, the bizarre and (to cushion it all) the funny and steamy.

The Devil Next Door, five episodes of about 50 minutes each, Netflix

Heard of Ivan the Terrible? Not a great man to know, to be frank. He was a notorious Nazi death camp guard who represented all the evils of the era he lived in. Ivan the Terrible ran gas chambers at Treblinka and he was in charge of torturing and chopping (breasts and more) of Jewish prisoners. And he handled an estimated 850,000 Jews. The Devil Next Door is about John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian immigrant and former worker at Ford Motors living in Cleveland in the US, who is brought to trial in Israel. He is accused of being none other than Ivan the Terrible. The story is set in 1985, and has impressive script and neat editing. It’s history at its gory best.

The End of the F***ing World, Season 2, eight episodes of about 20 mins each, Netflix

 

If you have enjoyed the first season of this curiously funny ‘psychopath’ drama, you’re not going to be disappointed in the second round either. The British dark comedy is based on a graphic novel by Charles Forsman, and it features 17-year-old James who thinks he is a psychopath. And the boy meets the girl — Alyssa — who thinks James is her best bet to get out of her bad-bad life at home. They embark on a journey, literally and figuratively, that takes them to people, places and events that are dangerous, delusions and plain weird. There is a lot of good acting and there is a lot of fun. This is freaky in its own weird fashion and the climax won’t disappoint you.

Jack Ryan, Season 2, eight episodes of nearly one hour each, Amazon Prime

 

The first season of Jack Ryan was a chartbuster for Amazon Prime. The American spy thriller had all the ingredients to be a pot-boiler. Great acting, thick plots, twists and turns and truckloads of emotion, blended in geopolitics. The person, the political and the religious. The second season is set in Venezuela, a country that’s undergoing a political tumult and civil unrest as we speak. There are tense moments, terse lines and nail-biting episode-ends. Created by Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland, Jack Ryan has the suave John Krasinski with Wendel Pierce, who has repeated his surprisingly meticulous performance in the Season 1 in the current edition as well. To be brutally honest, I liked the first season more than the second; but you’re free to judge, and enjoy.

Hache, eight episodes of up to 50 mins each, Netflix

 

The series is inspired by real events, which will shock you to the core and will leave you with a lasting impression of deep angst and uneasiness, even after you’ve finished watching it, thanks to the superb performances by Adriana Ugarte and Javier Rey. Hache is the story of Helena, who scales highs in the heroin trafficking business in the Barcelona of the 1960s. The show has a decent amount of skin, sex and stunts. That said, there are several good moments of acting that lift the series from the levels of those typical drug-mafia serials. If you are a fan of Narcos (at least the first two seasons), this won’t disappoint you. Hache is darker than Narcos, but lacks the finesse of the latter. This is more raw and real.

The Protector (Turkish: Hakan: Muhafız), Season 1 and 2, 18 episodes in total, each 50 mins long, Netflix

 

Full disclosure: I’m a super-biased fan of Turkish films and serials. And I know many who share my views on this. Turkish TV and cinema produce several gems and I must tell you even their worst films are much better than many of the hyped ones coming out of Hollywood. Crime, romance, drama, political thrillers, you name it, they have it. If you have doubts, start your sojourn by watching The Butterfly’s Dream (Turkish: Kelebeğin Rüyası), a 2013 drama about two budding poets romancing the same woman, written and directed by Yılmaz Erdoğan. Or, try Karadayı, the marathon drama series. But for this weekend, I’m recommending The Protector, a Turkish fantasy drama series starring Çağatay Ulusoy and was created by Binnur Karaevli. The first season has 10 episodes and the second has eight. It has brilliant sets, edgy scenes, emotions that break your skull and heart and a lot more.

Published on November 08, 2019
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