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Woman in the Wall–Imprisonment in  the Magdalene Laundries

Set up as a six-episode thriller, Woman in the Wall is based on the horrific exploitation of teenage girls and young women in “the homes for unwed mothers” in Ireland.  The scandal of the Magdalene Laundries has damaged the Catholic Church for over a century and a half.   This fictionalized account focuses on Lorna Brady (Ruth Wilson of “The Affair”, “Luther”, “Saving Mr. Banks”, “Dark Materials” among many others) and her determination to find her now thirty-year old daughter who was taken from her at the Magdalene Laundries....

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Mr. and Mrs. Smith–Trust Issues

The mini-series, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which premiered in February of this year on Amazon Prime, is much more than a remake of the popular 2005 movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  While still  anchored in a main plot of espionage hijinks, now the drama has been embedded within  a rom-com  infused  by the chemistry between its charming leads, Donald Glover (John Smith) and Maya Erskine (Jane Smith).   As two lonely, unemployed millennials, they  independently agree to become secret agents for a mysterious organization requiring them to go undercover as a married...

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Black Cake–Crumbs from the Past or Just Desserts?

In this haunting story of a young girl’s treacherous journey from Jamaica to England and then to California, we see the erasing of her past in order to survive. Black Cake is  a Hulu eight-episode miniseries based on the titular best-selling novel by the Jamaican American author, Charmaine Wilkerson.  Opening in the late 1960’s with a beautiful young Jamaican teenager, Covey Lyncook (Mia Isaac) is practicing swimming in order to compete competitively.  Her mother left when she was a young child, and her father, a debt-ridden gambler, does the unforgivable:  trade his debts for his...

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Queen Charlotte–A Royal Prequel

Some may dislike misconstruing the history of great female leaders–or any history, for that matter,  for the sake of entertainment. Queen Charlotte, the newly created Netflix series by Shonda Rhimes, is a rollicking reimagining of the Regency period of King George III and Queen Charlotte. It follows from the three-seasons’ blockbuster series. Bridgerton. Since watching the opening episode of Bridgerton in which the magnetic Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) presides over a competition to select the most eligible maidens for courting marriage proposals, Queen Charlotte has become...

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Lessons in Chemistry–A Delicious Dose

Based upon Bonnie Garmus’s bestselling blockbuster of the same name,  the AppleTV+ mini-series Lessons in Chemistry opens in 1961, at the cusp of the feminist and civil rights revolutions.  Elizabeth Zott (Brie Larson, Academy Award-winning actress of “Room”),  a highly educated and talented chemist, has taken a job as a low-level lab tech supporting  an all- male team of chemists at a renowned research institute.  The major problem:  none of the male chemists see her as a peer. However, one equally brilliant chemist, Calvin Evans (Lewis Pullman), sees her for who she really...

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The Long Song–An Aria of Grief and Strength

Based on the largest slave uprising in Jamaican history, leading to the abolition movement in Europe, the three-episode The Long Song is adapted from the late Jamaican-British author Andrea Levy’s acclaimed 2010 historical novel.  The author has fictionalized the uprising through the story of a young girl, July. “The life of a white missus on a Jamaican plantation,” a narrator (Doña Croll) intones in voiceover, “be surely full of tribulation — from the scarcity of beef to the want of a fashionable hat.” Within seconds, the hideous screech of that “white missus” interrupts the narrator. ...

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