Monday, December 29, 2014

Crime and the Holidays

Happy Holidays!  A time for family and friends to enjoy gifts, company, reflection and binge television watching!  I've been watch three more series over the break and I'm not sure what it says about me as a human being as all are violent and twisted shows.

This is a nice photo and way too pleasant for what the show depicts
The Killing is a show that just concluded in was originally on AMC, then Netflix picked it up for a fourth season.  It's based on a Danish show and it revolves around a Seattle police detective, Sarah Linden played by Mareille Enos and her partner, Stephen Holder, played by Joel Kinneman.  When I first started to watch the show, it made me think of Top of the Lake...when I googled both shows, there's been much comparison with folks seeming to like Top of the Lake better....I sure didn't.  Not a Jane Campion fan.  The first two seasons revolve around one murder with lots of twists and turns allowing the viewer to be unsettled throughout as the detectives weave their way through clues while the viewer gets to know the intimate details of several characters.  The third season holds onto some of the issues and storyline introduced in the first two seasons which then provides us more intel into the psyche of the main detective, Linden.  Enos is fantastic as as her performance is quiet and somewhat painful.  Not many lines in each episode, so her face has to do most of the acting.  Kinneman is equally good as he plays a recovering addict with a street speaking pattern.  All characters are flawed -- from the criminals to the "good guys" and the story of the first two seasons is beatifically cinematic.  I also thought of Twin Peaks as I watched.  All is set with a rainy Seattle backdrop.  There's nothing sentimental about the people or the City, just compelling performances joined with a dark storyline.  It's somewhat hypnotic.  Final note, the last episode was directed by Jonathan Demme....director of Silence of the Lambs...perhaps I'll devote a future entry to him and his films.

Charlie, see, he's beautiful
While I was enjoying my time off from work and being at home alone, I thought I'd start to watch The Sons of Anarchy....I'm only on season two, but I'm enjoying This tobacco infused bubble gum of a show.  Katey Segal stars as the matriarch of a motorcycle club.  Her husband, played by Ron Pearlman, is the leader of the gang and her son (his stepson) is really the main character -- Jax Teller played by Brit Charlie Hunnam.  Jax's father is deceased, but a memoir he wrote is in the hands of Jax and acts as a guide for the vision of the Sons of Anarchy's Motor Cycle Club -- in the show they're know as Sam Crow -- an acronym.  It's full of murder, sex, porn, drugs and general violence.  It even weaves in the IRA as the club makes its money from arms dealing.  Kurt Sutter is the creator and writer of the show and is also married to Katey convenient.  That being said, she's wonderful in this role....from how she physically looks to her general acting, it's like the show was created for her as a platform.  The show is well made and the actors are so good you think they are real real Harley guys pulled in to do a television show.  Charlie Hunnam is distractingly beautiful, but it suits his "Jesus like" character...although, he's no saint.  Great entertainment, especially for binge watching via Netflix or other streaming modes.

Some of the cast....don't hold the Bacon, he's the main character
The last show I'm now involved in over the holiday break is The Following with Kevin Bacon.  In all honesty, it's kind of bad, but the storyline is somewhat gripping and it holds the viewer's attention.  In short, Bacon plays a former FBI agent called back into duty to deal with a former serial killer/now cult leader and shenanigans ensue.  It's like 24 with cults.  I'm still only on the first season and want to watch, but it's no 24.  So, I'm recommending this only if you're bored and have several days of TV watching to kill....see, I used kill....dark holiday.

On a lighter note, I also like to watch The Holiday and Love Actually as a tradition...still need to watch Love Actually...maybe New Year's Eve or Day.  I'll need something sweet after all of the bitter.

Happy Holidays!

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