(Note to our Readers: We only have subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon.
If you have seen something noteworthy on Hulu, etc., we would appreciate your review.)
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Beecham House (seen on PBS): We watched the first and only season of Beecham House. It’s the story of John Beecham, a former soldier of the East India Company, who arrives in Delhi in 1800. He left the Company because he despised what the Brits were doing to India. He is determined to make a new life for himself, but he carries a secret--a secret he hopes will never be revealed. The series is a bit of a pot-boiler, but the costumes and scenery of India rescued it for us. There are no plans for a second season.
The Devil Next Door (5 episodes on Netflix) This is the true story of John Demjanjuk, a retired Ukrainian-American autoworker living a peaceful life with his family in Cleveland, Ohio suburbs in the 1980s. When a group of Holocaust survivors identify Demjanjuk's photograph as "Ivan the Terrible," Ivan the terrible was a notoriously cruel Nazi death camp guard who tortured and killed nearly one million Jewish prisoners during World War II. Demjanjuk's American dream is shattered and he is extradited to Israel to stand trial for crimes against humanity. Israel is transfixed as a media frenzy erupts around the trial in Jerusalem, the nation plunged into trauma and fascination by "the trial of the century." As the case uncovers dark corners of memory and the horrors of war, the Demjanjuk case becomes a race against time for the defendant and his alleged victims.. The 5 episodes cover the trial and appeal. At first, we were puzzled to learn how they would fill all 5 episodes, but with the twists and turns of the trial, they managed to fill all 5. We were caught up in the case.
The Handmaid’s Tale, (seasons 2 and 3 on Hulu): Gary wonders why they never pick up their cues. All the actors seem to ponder for a few seconds before answering. The director uses a lot of slow motion techniques which further slowdown the action. These become more obvious in seasons 2 and 3, but we still watched it, hoping that it would end happily. It didn’t for June who has been shot, but I suspect she will survive. We are now waiting for season 4 and, perhaps, 5. Unfortunately, The Handmaid's Tale Hulu has announced that season four premiere has been pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Originally set for release this autumn, the series has been delayed after COVID-19 halted production in Canada back in March like many other shows. The writer of the original novel, Margaret Atwood, recently completed a new addition to the universe of The Handmaid’s Tale, a new title under the name of Testaments. So it’s a possibility that we may see flash-forwards in the series 15 years into the future. One of the executive producers of the series, Warren Littlefield, stressed that although they do not plan to finish the series in season 4, there is nothing planned yet for the next seasons. I, for one, hope there will be a season 5, because to not finish the tale would be a disservice to its many fans.
Love (2016 3 seasons on Netflix): When his cheating girlfriend leaves him, people-pleasing nice-guy Gus (Paul Rust) moves into a trendy apartment complex inhabited by lots of college students. A chance encounter introduces him to wild-child Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), also recently single, and who despises her job in radio. Though wildly different, the two are drawn to each other, and that relationship is the basis for the Judd Apatow-helmed Netflix original series. And in the end, their differences may be what help them figure out just what love is.
Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All (2015 seen on Netflix) -- Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra's life and talent are captured in this documentary series featuring fond memories from friends, family and colleagues. It’s from the 2-part special that aired on HBO in 2915. We had no idea that Sinatra did so many things to help people. and that he was a tireless advocate for Civil Rights. People who love his voice will be thrilled with this documentary, and you may learn some things about the man.
The Umbrella Academy (2019 seen on Netflix) On the same day in 1989, forty-three infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who showed no signs of pregnancy the day before. Seven are adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a billionaire industrialist, who creates The Umbrella Academy and prepares his "children" to save the world. But not everything went according to plan. In their teenage years, the family fractured and the team disbanded. Now, the six surviving thirty-something members reunite upon the news of Hargreeve's passing. Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Vanya and Number Five work together to solve a mystery surrounding their father's death. But the estranged family once again begins to come apart due to their divergent personalities and abilities, not to mention the imminent threat of a global apocalypse. I’ve only watched a couple of episodes because I’m not a fan of the genre that describes itself as “action and adventure,” but Rotten Tomatoes gives the series a critical score of 82%, while audiences give it 87%. Perhaps fans of action and adventure will like it more than I did.