• 2022

Year: 2022

“The First Lady” (2022)–Second to None

Three remarkable women, in The First Lady, a  Showtime mini-series (released April 17),  provided indispensable support to their husbands before and throughout their presidencies.  Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Michelle Obama (Viola Davis)–all three made soul-crushing sacrifices, wearing masks of the “political wife” who stands by her man.  Almost miraculously, they achieved meaningful successes on their own, despite the political machinery determined to relegate them to merely decorative roles, a  poise...

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“Tokyo Vice”–Yakuza on Ice

Tokyo Vice, adapted from the titular 2009 memoir, by Jake Adelstein, retells and also fictionalizes the experience Adelstein had as a 20-something  American expatriate determined to be a reporter for the largest Japanese newspaper.  The first episode details Jake’s (Ansel Elgort of “Baby Driver” and “West Side Story)  obsession to  pass  the competitive entrance exam for one of the prestigious internships at Meicho newspaper.  Hired in 1999 into a newsroom with strict rules of journalistic procedures Jake fights the beaucratic...

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“Anatomy of a Scandal”–Autopsy of Privilege

Anatomy of a Scandal, a Netflix thriller mini-series created by David E. Kelley and Melissa  Gibson, is based on Sarah Vaughan’s novel by the same name.  Released on April 15, 2022, Anatomy of a Scandal  takes the viewer into familiar territory: the  “he said, she said” of a rape trial involving an illustrious and powerful political figure. Handsome and elegant British  MP James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend) is a scion of the illustrious and aristocratic Whitehouse family. “Being a Whitehouse means you never lose,” his young son...

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“Operation Mincemeat” (2022)–Chopped and Diced

Operation Mincemeat (2021) is based on the true story of a successful British subterfuge against Nazi Germany during   the Second World War.  Released by Netflix on May 11 in time for Memorial Day, Operation Mincemeat retells the unfamiliar story of a pivotal operation by British intelligence to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily and dupe Hitler into thinking the target battle zone is Greece instead.  Thousands of Allied lives could be saved if their mission was accomplished. Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth), a Naval intelligence officer, is in charge of  masterminding...

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“Four Good Days” (2021) –After Ten Bad Years

Inspired by a Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post article, Four Good Days tackles the almost insurmountable ordeal of drug withdrawal.  And also confronts  the parent-adult child relationship that fails repeatedly to lead to a successful outcome. Thirty-year-old Molly (Mila Kunis) is the  damaged and severely addicted daughter who knocks on the door of her mother’s house after ten years of drug addiction. Deb (Glenn Close), her mother, has since remarried  an extremely empathetic man, Chris (Stephen Root), yet has a deeply disturbed past.  Both tormented...

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“Dead To Me”: A Balancing Act

Guest reviewer:  David A. Kennedy, horticulturalist and author of the thriller, RICOCHET Mortality, deceit, redemption – these are bread-and-butter themes for the storyteller. Add a little meat to them bones, and you might have something special. Netflix’s Dead To Me (two seasons with the third coming this fall.) attempts that balancing act, and as a comedy-drama, no less. And, for the most part, it succeeds quite well. In the pilot episode, Jen (Christine Applegate) meets Judy (Linda Cardellini) at a group bereavement meeting. Jen recently lost husband Ted in a hit-and-run...

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