Posts Tagged ‘"Obi-Wan Kenobi"’

In which I dish thumbnail sketches of various shows I’ve been streaming over the last month.

“A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN” (Amazon Prime):  It’s an extended riff on Peggy Marshall’s classic 1992 movie about all-female professional baseball during World War II…with a couple of major differences. 

For starters, this is the gayest TV show since “Pose.” Series creator Abbi Jacobson  found in her research that something like 70 percent of the professional women baseball’s were lesbians; indeed, Jacobson plays the lead character, a married catcher (her hubby’s off to war) confronting her own conflicted sexuality. And then there’s a major subplot centering on an African-American woman who dreams of becoming a pro pitcher (and, yes, she’s gay, too).

Series creator Abbi Jacobson (center)

 The only major male role — that of a washed up professional ballplayer hired to coach the ladies (played in the film by Tom Hanks) — is taken here by Nick Overman, but he is given little to do and vanishes halfway through. 

The series does a pretty decent job of balancing comedy and drama (and it’s got the biggest collection of authentically 1940’s faces I’ve ever seen in a modern production). It’s also a MAGA-ite’s worst nightmare.  Despite the utmost in modesty when it comes to woman-on-woman action (the language is far raunchier than anything we see), this show undoubtedly will trigger seizures in those uninformed folk who tune in expecting inoffensive nostalgia and instead  get a massive dose of baked-in wokeness.

Ewan McGregor

“OBI-WAN KENOBI”(Disney +):  Got through an episode and a half of this “Star Wars” prequel before bailing.  Too bad…I looked forward to seeing Ewan McGregor as the Jedi legend in exile on Tatooine, but wretched writing and awful acting (especially from the heavies) quickly soured me.

“LOSING ALICE” (Apple +): If Alfred Hitchcock had made “All About Eve” you might get something like this Israeli mind-twister.

Fortysomething director Alice (Ayelet Zurer) comes out of retirement to make a film based on a hot screenplay by first-time writer Sophie (Lihi Kornowski). Along the way she decides to cast Sophie in the leading role, opposite Alice’s actor husband David (Gal Toren).

Ayelet Zurer, Lihi Kornowski

Thing is, Sophie is a sly, seductive, infuriating trickster.  She does awful things, but always talks her way out of hot water. It’s even possible that she swiped her screenplay from a fellow film school student (who has mysteriously vanished. GULP!).

Both Zurer and Kornowskii are borderline brilliant here. The former is a mature woman starting to come apart amidst the pressures of a problematic film production, a marriage starting to unravel and the gnawing insecurities. The latter is a sly minx who can shift from charm to hysterical betrayal in the blink of an eye; one moments she’s radiating youthful cheerfulness, the next she’s oozing malevolent sensuality.

At the same time “Losing Alice” is a nifty insider’s look at the nuts and bolts of putting together a movie.

“BAD SISTERS” (Apple +):  This black comedy actually makes a solid case for murder.

Adapted by the prolific Sharon Horgan (“Catastrophe”) from a Belgian series, “Bad Sisters” centers on five Irish siblings who conspire to kill one of their husbands, a supercilious male chauvinist schemer played with such malevolent relish by Danish actor Claes Bang that you’ll hang on every episode just to see what evil shit he’ll come up with next. 

Bang took the starring role in the 2020 Amazon Prime miniseries “Dracula,” but his bloodsucker was actually pretty likable compared to the character of John Paul.

Sharon Horgan, Klaus Bang

Here the actor more than holds his own against a cast of great female performers, psychologically tormenting his wife (Anne-Marie Duff) while infuriating/defying his sisters-in-law, all of whom have personal reasons to consider homicide.

He sabotages Eva (Horgan) at the office where both work, reneges on a promise to finance a massage studio for little sister Becky (Eve Hewson), threatens to expose the extramarital affair of Ursula (Eva Birthistle), and simply infuriates the bad-tempered, one-eyed Bibi (Sarah Greene).

The show’s narrative runs on two intertwined timelines: One follows the siblings’ often comically inept efforts to kill John Paul; the other post-murder scenario finds the sisters dogged by a couple of insurance drones who suspect foul play. 

The dialogue is absolutely wicked. Can’t wait to see where this takes us.

| Robert W. Butler

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