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July 8th, 2017

Binging

I've been working so much of late that I have fallen way behind in my reading (sob) and my filmgoing (the only movie I've managed to catch in the last month was WONDER WOMAN, and it wasn't even playing at my own theatre), but there's usually time for an hour or two of television at night.

FARGO and BETTER CALL SAUL both had excellent seasons, as usual, but ended way too soon. This year's Emmy nominations will be announced next week, and I'd be surprised if both of those shows were not well represented.

After those two favorites wound up, however, Parris and I found ourselves wandering in the wilds of Netflix and Amazon and Hulu in search of more great drama... and stumbling on two other series that are, alas, unlikely to get much Emmy attention, though they both deserve some.

The second season of THE LAST KINGDOM, based on Bernard Cornwell's Saxon series, was just as good as the first. The show could benefit from a bigger budget, honestly, but for all the Uhtred fans out there (and I count myself as one), this is a pretty faithful adaptation of the books, and the writing and acting are fine. I hope there will be a season three.

The other show we stumbled on was GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, which dramatizes the struggle of the women at NEWSWEEK... er, "NEWS OF THE WEEK"... fighting for the chance to be reporters instead of simply researchers in 1969. I thought it was excellent. The actresses in the leading roles were all terrific, and the male characters were pretty nuanced as well; the show portrayed the sexism of the times, and the indignities the women were forced to put up with, without falling into the trap of painting all the men as monsters and assholes. Good writing and good acting, and hey, I loved the music and the clothes as well (what can I say? I'm the guy who wrote THE ARMAGEDDON RAG). Aside from its feminist themes, which were front and center, GOOD GIRLS REVOLT also struck me as the best show about journalism since LOU GRANT. And I like shows about journalism. Wish there were more of them. It's a pity GOOD GIRLS REVOLT won't be back. It was just getting started, and then it was over. Guess I'll just need to read the book.

Anyway, if you're looking for something good to binge on until season 7 of GAME OF THRONES hits the tube, check out those two.

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