I have been doing a lot of television watching, partly out of boredom and partly out of the fact that I love tv shows. I wanted to highlight two shows that I think are worth checking out and two that are going to be coming to a television (or computer) near you soon!
Already Available on Instant Netflix
1) Top of the Lake- Starring Elizabeth Moss (Peggy on Mad Men) and created by Jane Campion, this series has suspense, mystery, middle schoolers, romance, and a beautiful location (New Zealand). The only thing missing is the Flight of the Conchords. Elizabeth Moss is a revelation in this role. Also Thomas M. Wright as Johnno is heaven-sent. I could devote a whole essay on how attractive he is, but I am just going to say that he and Moss have great chemistry which forms the emotional backbone to the show.
2) Orange is the New Black- One of Netflix’s original series, Orange is the New Black is from the creator of Weeds. I liked the first few seasons of that show, but I loved every minute of Orange is the New Black. Taylor Schilling plays Piper Chapman, a new inmate at a women’s prison. Schilling is charming in this fish out of water story, but it is much more than that. Each episode delves into the backstory of each of the main inmates–in particular, I loved Laverne Cox as the transgender inmate Sophia. She is outstanding in this role and I could not get enough of her screen time. However, if it was up to me I would throw awards at each member of the supporting cast. I never watched That 70’s Show so Laura Prepon is new to me, but she makes the volatile relationship between her and Piper worth caring about.
1) The Hollow Crown- The Hollow Crown was made by the BBC in 2012, but will be aired in the US in September on PBS. It features the four Shakespeare Plays commonly known as the Henriad: Richard II, Henry IV Part 1 & 2, and Henry V. The cast alone makes this miniseries a must-see: Jeremy Irons, Ben Whishaw, Michelle Dockery, Patrick Stewart, Tom Hiddleston….the list goes on. I caught a bit of Richard II online and I can confirm that Ben Whishaw inhabits the role with a chilling transformation into the pious and prideful king. Patrick Stewart’s “This England” speech is subdued yet powerful. I had to rewind it several times, just to take in the beauty of the words. Stewart was made for Shakespeare. I cannot wait to see Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston in their respective roles. I have a feeling they will knock it out of the park. The Hollow Crown comes to PBS September 20-October 11.
2) The White Queen- Judging by the title of the blog (“Loyalty binds me” happens to be Richard III’s motto), I love me some Plantagenets. Specifically I have been reading like a mad woman the stories involving Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV, Richard III, Anne Neville, and the Kingmaker. That kind of drama was made for TV. Apparently Starz heard my request because they have answered with The White Queen. Based on the book by Philippa Gregory, The White Queen centers around Elizabeth Woodville, the widow “commoner” who would secretly marry the King of England, Edward IV. She becomes the first English-born queen since the Conquest and as previously mentioned, she is a widowed mother of two who also happens to be older than Edward. The show may subscribe to the sexy history mindset that brings to mind The Tudors, but I will still be watching. Happily. The White Queen airs on August 10 on Starz.