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The Last Thing He Told Me—Things Unsaid

Based on the popular novel by Laura Dave, The Last Thing He Told Me is an Apple+ mini-series in  eight episodes. It tells the story of Hannah, a newly married second wife (Jennifer Garner) and  her teenage stepdaughter,  Bailey  (Angourie Rice), who go in  search of the suddenly gone-missing husband and father, Owen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau- Jaime Lannister in  “Game of Thrones”).  The FBI  suspects Owen of involvement in a high-tech Ponzi scheme.  Owen leaves a two-word message for Hannah:  “Protect her.”  The problem: ...

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The Whale–- Moby Dick Revisited

The Whale is an  adaptation of  Sam Hunter’s play, directed by Darren Aronofsky (“Requiem for a Dream”, “Black Swan”, and “mother!”). The  opening scene zooms in on a middle-aged, morbidly obese professor, Charlie (the Academy-Award winning role for Brendan Fraser) sitting in front of a computer in his claustrophobic, dark apartment in a small town in Idaho.  He teaches creative writing online to aspiring college students.   His face is blocked out by the camera, revealing nothing of his physical condition.   Now terminally ill with congestive...

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A Man Called Otto–A Warm Kiss for the Soul

In this Netflix movie we see a retelling of the bestselling Frederick Backman novel, A Man Called Ove,  set in Pittsburgh instead of Sweden and with cultural shifts in narrative. Themes of aging,  loneliness and depression from  the loss of one’s soulmate,  isolation and feelings of irrelevance from forced retirement all play front and center […]

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Stranger (Season 1)–Let the sleuthing begin

Stranger is a Korean crime thriller in two seasons (2017-2020) and  was included  on the New York Times 2017 list of Best TV Shows.  Prosecutor Hwang Si-mok (Cho Seung-woo) underwent surgery as a child removing part of his cerebral cortex so that he would not suffer from the excruciating pain of hearing high-frequency sounds.  However, the postoperative result was an extreme absence of empathy, a lack of social skills similar to autism spectrum disorder and its associated lack of communication, difficulty in expressing emotion through facial expressions, and lack...

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The Diplomat–Tact Needed

In this new Netflix series, The Diplomat is part comedy, espionage, politics, combined with a troubled marriage thrown into an action-packed eight-episode drama. The drama takes place mainly in British embassies and cabinet offices with plenty of tense negotiations and suspicious deaths in both England and the US. The opening scene focuses on a bombed British warship off the coast of Iran. Who bombed the ship and who is trigger-happy enough to cause a world war over it? Enter US Ambassador Kate Wyler (Keri Russell from “The Americans”) who is determined to use reason and diplomacy...

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The GloryForgiveness vs Revenge?

The Glory is a sixteen-episode Korean revenge drama about high school bullying and associated  trauma. Eighteen years later an elaborate, convoluted plot is conceived by the beautiful, scarred victim, Moon Dong-eun.  Her obsession is to destroy the two girls and two guys who brutalized her and caused her to drop out of high school at the age of fourteen.  She has been waiting eighteen years to mastermind their annihilation and humiliation. Dong-eun, abandoned by her drug-addicted, alcoholic mother at the age of fourteen, works menial jobs for years, earns her high...

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