Today we are going serial. No fear, I will not spoil any series for you, but here are all the TV series and miniseries that I have seen in the last three years. They are ranked and accompanied by outdoor sitting as spotted here in Tuscany.
Yes, it has indeed been three years since my last movie review post, no matter that my blog(s) used to be called Manja Mexi Movie.
This list will start with the least and end with the most enjoyable title, and the sitting arrangement in the photo will mirror my opinion.
A bit surprisingly, the bottom and the top entry on my list look similar but the difference could not be more pronounced.
Some of these were viewed a while ago so I don’t remember the details any more, but I’ll never forget how they made me feel.
First, those that were a bit rickety. 7 or less out of 10.
38. True Detective, season 2. I have soooo many questions. After the stellar first season, why do something like this? Was it a test, an inside joke, a tanking attempt? Why do they speak so strangely? I still finished the entire season for some strange reason. Probably I couldn’t believe me senses.
37. Lucifer. I’ve only seen one part and decided that I was not its target audience. Too fluffy and cute.
36. Making a Murderer (doc). Again, I only lasted one part. It didn’t pull me in enough to continue. A sad real-life tale.
35. American Crime Story, season 1. I found it devastating when it was going on, as much as I followed, and now watching it again I found it even more so. I’m not even sure if I finished it. OJ did it, okay?
Let’s continue with some that earn grade 8.
34. Exhibit A (doc). I had high expectations for this short, 4-part documentary series following real-life forensic scientists. Clearly they didn’t succeed in convincing me that real life tops Hollywood.
33. Biohackers. They are Germans. Nothing wrong with it as such, but I found it all a bit forced and far-fetched. And the season ends with a hook into the next one (which I won’t be watching), so it left me unsatisfied.
32. Away. Ms. Hilary Swank is more than fine, but I found the story a bit hard to swallow. Now I read that Netflix cancelled the series after the first season. Mars is far. It’s expensive.
31. True Detective, season 3. If I saw this season first, I’d like it more. It was fine but still not nearly what the first season had been. Why change everything after each season?
30. Chef’s Table (doc). Probably I’d be more impressed after watching it further than two parts, but I’ve only seen the one with Ana Roš, the best Slovenian chef, and one other, with the Indian chef Gaggan Anand. Lots of rock’n’roll in cooking. I like that.
These three deserve to be together. Watch and weep.
29. The Loudest Voice. Imagine: You work for that TV channel and under that boss. And then you can’t tell anybody.
28. Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (doc). Imagine: Your name is found in his little black book. You’ve been to his island on his airplane. You are prince, president, rock star, child.
27. Allen v. Farrow (doc). Imagine: Either she is lying or he is and you don’t know which is worse.
Here are ten that were really good but not brilliant and deserve a 9.
26. American Crime Story, season 2. In this season we can follow the killing of the Italian fashion mogul Versace. Rather terrifying, all of it. Every time I feed my dog I think of that dog food.
25. The Killing (Danish original title: Forbrydelsen). Quite good but I have seen some better Nordic noir series. At the end it dragged a little.
24. Carmel: ¿Quién mató a María Marta? (doc): Who killed her indeed. This crime really happened, in a gated community in Argentina, and this changes everything. Can the rich really get away with everything?
23. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (doc). The online community of amateur detectives lost one of its most active members, a true crime author who wrote a book about the Golden State Killer.
22. House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths (doc). Eleven members of the same family in one household in Delhi were found dead, ten of them hanging. What happened?
21. Fall River (doc): Another true crime docuseries about three murders from 1979 and how they attempted to present them as Satanic.
20. The Woods (Polish). This one is helped by being Polish. More old murders to clear (what’s up with me and that?), but at least they are fictional. Satisfactory.
19. The Valhalla Murders. See? Murders again! This time in Iceland and it’s not pretty. The detective Kata, played by memorable Ms. Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir, gets some male help from Norway.
18. Patrick Melrose. Maybe no murders but abuse. Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch is superb, as is his mom in the shape Ms. Jennifer Jason Leigh, but again horrible subject matter. It makes you happy that you’re not rich.
17. Honour (doc). Hm. I would watch happier things, I really would, but it’s the bad stuff that needs to get out in the open! This is a two-part story of a real-life victim of an “honour killing” within a family. Say what?
And finally, 16 series that are urgent, brilliant or just a damn good watch.
16. The Future Is Wild. A revisit of an old favourite, in which they were playing with hypotheses about the future of fauna on our planet. How can we know for sure that snails won’t grow into monsters and the last mammal won’t be farmed by spiders?
15. Our Planet (doc). Sir Richard to the rescue. I’m not sure if I’ve even seen all the episodes. It’s such a hard, but important watch. You’ll remember those sea lions forever.
14. Vigil. A recent watch about a detective sent on a submarine where people are dropping dead. One season so far. Well done.
13. Spiral (French original: Engrenages). Minus the last, season 8, which I have yet to track down. Cops and judges and lawyers and how it probably really works. Not pretty but determined. You start seeing white vans everywhere.
12. Shetland. I was astonished to see that this series, which I have just finished, only ranks at #12. I loved it! And yet there were so many better. But there were a few times when I almost yelled at the screen as the killer was revealed: Suuuuure!
11. The Beatles: Get Back (doc). This one should probably be higher too. I still feel them in the room with me. An exceptional view into the creative process, personalities and behind the scenes of their last album and concert. Which was on the roof.
10. I May Destroy You. Ahhh!!! Much love for the co-director, writer and actor in this drama miniseries, Ms. Michaela Coel. It’s useless to say much about it, you have to see it for yourselves and will not forget it. (A minor story point: How about that Italian! Stronzo!!)
9. Line of Duty: A harsh but believable British police drama series that keeps you keep watching, all six seasons of it, and hoping it’s not that bad for real. And yet you know it is. I most remember his eyes. (But not his name, I have to check. Right: Mr. Martin Compston.)
8. Mare of Easttown: This is different! Ms. Kate Winslet plays a detective in Pennsylvania, with the accent, personality and problems. Real people here. A strong one.
7. Sharp Objects: When I think of it, I first remember the colours. The story is hard-hitting family stuff. Ms. Amy Adams is the reporter who comes back home to cover two murders. Ms. Patricia Clarkson is awesome as her memorable mom.
6. Unbelievable. Yes, well, you better believe it. It’s sad and hard-hitting and not for everybody (it deals with rape) but must be told. Ms. Toni Collette is a darling who you wish on your side.
5. Chernobyl. What to say. You feel that radioactivity. You wish to shower after watching this, and yet you know it won’t help. How old were you in 1986? I was 16 and lying on that grass.
4. Bron / Broen (The Bridge, Swedish original). So far the most satisfying Nordic crime series. Saga Noren, played by Ms. Sofia Helin, is one of the most outstanding characters I’ve ever encountered. She is unable to lie and so remarkably human.
3. The Queen’s Gambit: This series is pretty amazing as such, including acting, costumes, cinematography, the works, but I was also reminded of my card tournaments where I was a rare woman among men, and let me tell you, they aren’t happy when they lose, even more so to a woman. I can’t play chess though.
2. My Brilliant Friend, season 2 (L’amica geniale). I raved about the first season three years ago, and the second season is just as good as is the second book of the four in the Neapolitan series by Ms. Elena Ferrante. I was astonished because the series made me feel exactly as the books had done, and this is rare. Both leading actresses are amazing, as is everything on display. I watched it in original Neapolitan dialect with Italian subtitles and was proud of that. That scene on Ischia though…
1. True Detective, season 1. I watched this one sooooo long ago that I must watch it again. I do know that Mr. Matthew McConaughey is rather glorious in a Brandoesque way and Mr. Woody Harrelson just a little less so. They have created something special. The story… oh yes, there is a story too, gruesome at that, but he’s on it. We can sleep safely.
And my hero is on watch too. Until the next time when I will look at the films. Oh yes, I keep track of them too.
And if you like lists, my meandering murderous taste, and movie recommendations as much as I do – and you are always welcome to tell me what to watch – here are my IMDb Christmas presents. Enjoy!
- The list of all the films and series I have ever seen (well, almost; 517 titles), rated
- The first half of films and series I wish to see (A-L, 636 titles)
- The second half of films and series I wish to see (M-Z, 498 titles)
This day in my blogging history
Children find everything in nothing, men find nothing in everything. ~Giacomo Leopardi