ON THE VERGE

On the Verge Netflix mini-series

Guest Reviewer:  Jerry Ludwig, retired Hollywood screenwriter and author of The Black List   

            Let’s hear it for the ladies.  Actually, let’s hear from the ladies.  “On The Verge” is a popular new Netflix show.  Twelve half hours set in the snazzy Venice and Santa Monica beach playgrounds of L.A.  It features an overlooked section of the audience.  “Sex and the City” was about 30ish women, “The Golden Girls” covered the over-sixty crowd, now we have four (always the optimal number) besties in their fifties.

            Justine  (played by series creator Julie Delpy) is a French transplant frantically running Chez Juste, her chic restaurant.  She’s got kids but her malcontent, thorny out-of-work Paris architect husband is the real handful.

            Anne (Elizabeth Shue) is on marriage number two or three, a rich girl courtesy of her money-bags ultra-critical mother (Stefanie Powers, “Hart To Hart,” remember her?).  Anne has artistic talents, but mostly she’s affably high on pot.

            Ell Horowitz (Alexia Landeau) is a single mom with few marketable talents, scrambling to pay the bills, while refereeing the hassles between her three kids — until she gets the idea to tape the skirmishes and try to package them on YouTube in hopes of becoming low-rent Kardashians.

And then there’s Yasmin (Sarah Jones), formerly a political campaign staffer, now a stay-at-home mom at loose ends.  Money is no problem; her husband is a brainy well-paid code writer.  Her talent is attracting self-made crises that frequently suck in the others.

Which is fine because these four are happiest when they’re hanging together.  That’s when all the laughing and real talk goes on.  It’s like eavesdropping at the command post for the Battle of the Sexes.  “On The Verge” is a light-weight series that occasionally deals with heavy-duty issues.  I can’t wait for Season Two.