“Follow the drugs, and you’ll find dealers and users. Follow the money, and you have no idea where the case will take you.” This epic series set the high water mark for television drama.
The Canadian domestic espionage drama is smarter and more sophisticated crime drama than the American counterparts of its era, cleverer in its tangle of narratives and less showy in its visual style.
The TV sequel to/spin-off of the ‘Terminator’ films was short lived but delivered both smart science fiction and gritty, spectacular action for the small screen in its 31 episodes.
Somewhere between Dawson’s Creek and Booksmart is the sharp, funny, and surprisingly poignant high school dram-edy (for lack of a better word) Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000). Linda Cardellini grounds the series as Junior Lindsay, the former class brain who rejects her place in the school hierarchy and, in startling identity crisis, gravitates toward the school […]
Pride and Prejudice (1995) – Movies are great for spectacle but the miniseries format has the luxury of time. This co-production between the BBC and the American cable channel A&E is still considered by Jane Austen fans to be the definitive adaptation of Austen’s most famous novel and her work in general. Jennifer Ehle is […]
In 2015 Richard Matt and David Sweat, two inmates at Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, escaped with the help of Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell, who ran the sewing shop and engaged in sexual affairs with both men. The eight-hour limited series Escape at Dannemora (2018), originally produced for Showtime, dramatizes the true story. Benicio […]
Mad Men: Seasons 1-7 (2007-2015) – “Who could not be happy with all this?” That’s the question at the heart of Mad Men, the series that transformed former movie network American Movie Classics into cable channel AMC, home to smart, daring, addictive original TV shows. Set the way-back machine to 1960, a world of cigarettes […]
Spies of Warsaw (2013), adapted by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais from the novel by Alan Furst, has an almost old-fashioned clarity to it. It’s set in 1937 Poland, and Germany is quietly amassing troops outside the border. David Tennant continued his post-Doctor Who career redefinition playing French military attaché Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, an […]
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2015), adapted from the dense, richly-woven debut novel by Susanna Clarke, brings a different of approach to fantasy fiction and the idea of magic in the real world. Set in 19th century England, at the start of the Napoleonic Wars, it weaves the tale of two magicians—Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan), […]