So the COVID crisis of 2020 continued into 2021 but there were some TV highlights to keep me going!
One of the very best was Mare of Eastown on HBO. A seven part series that was ostensibly a murder mystery – cop Mare (Kate Winslet) investigates the murder of a young woman – but was so much richers than that. Winslet played the down to earth and supr-relatable Mare, someone who has had a pretty tough time in life but whose inherent honesty and integrity make her a great cop but also a flawed one. The show’s setting, the fantastic cast (Jean Smart and one of my favourites, Julieann Nicholson, Evan Peters better than ever before) but most of all, the storytelling and the sense of place. Episode 5 was better than most big screen thrillers!
This show was about ordinay, non-glamorous people – Winslet was a producer and with her recent movie, the dour Ammonite, has been quite miserable on screen recently! However, whereas I found Ammonite chilly and unengaging, Mare was given 7 episodes to reveal her depths, her warmth and her all round awesomeness! A heart-breaker of a show for several reasons, but brilliant.
A few other TV highlights
Evil – OMG this season has been dark! One of the creepiest shows and the paths they have gone down in the first 6 episodes are insane! Whereas season one was basically a procedural with cases of the week, this season has seen our heroes become murderers, be taken to hell (kind of) and most of the characters behave in ways people on TV just don’t! Is it too off the wall? It is clear they are not on a major network as the series is just going there at every opportunity – and I love it!
Gogglebox – A UK TV legend, I’m a recent addict although I’ve dipped into it before. I’ve come to love the characters – yes, I know they are real people, but it is like watching your favourite characters. Also I don’t flick through the TV channels so an interesting insight into what a lot of people watch. No, I do NOT want to watch Naked Attraction!
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – I regret to say this season has been a real dud! The fun an livliness of the show seems to have been lost. Most of the CW Arrowverse shows seem to turn in on themselves around season 4. The jetison old cast, bring in new people you don’t care about but they expect you to and often separate the star from the other cast. I guess they are trying to shake it up, but this season has been a bore frankly. I’ve given up on The Flash and Supergirl is limping to an end. Batwoman – the first post Ruby Rose season was actually ok, but still not that great.
Ghosts – BBC comedy from the creators of Horrible Histories, the third season dropped on iPlayer this week and I have to say I love it! I rewatched all of S1 and half of S2 at the weekend and the characters are just so good. Not every gag lands, but it is a warm and funny show.
My other main viewing pleasure has been sport – the Olympics, tennis and Netball – Suncorp Super Netball from Australia and the Vitality Super League in the UK. Love it!