Monday, January 30

Tag: TVStreaming

Natasha Lyonne, Rian Johnson Make a Perfect Team for Peacock’s Poker Face | TV/Streaming

Just as important as finding the lead in a show like “Poker Face” is to find guest stars able to stand toe-to-toe with the protagonist. Whether that’s in the case of a would-be victim, the falsely accused, or the murderer, half the fun of this series is discovering who’s involved with each episode. Johnson and Lyonne are working with a great list of stars including Ron Perlman, Stephanie Hsu, Clea DuVall, Lil Rel Howery, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and many others. Each episode, out of the six screened for review, had at least one standout performance—”The Night Shift,” for instance, has an appearance by actress Hong Chau, and she makes an outstanding impression in her limited screentime as a trucker framed for the murder of a local. In another episode, “Time of the Monkey,” Judith Light and S....

HBO Confidently Adapts Breakthrough Video Game The Last of Us | TV/Streaming

Of course, while these “side quests” are fun, the show is always about Joel and Ellie, two characters that fans started to cast from the minute the game became a hit. The good news is that Pascal and Ramsey are perfect. The star of “The Mandalorian” portrays Joel as a flawed hero without melodrama, never leaning on some of the crutches that other actors would have used for this performance. It’s a nuanced turn that balances trauma, cynicism, and the character’s emerging hope in a way that always feels true. A show like this doesn’t work without relatable human emotion in its center. Not only does Pascal find that but so does future star Ramsey, a performer who reminds me of a young Jodie Foster in her raw, in-the-moment truth. We believe Joel and Ellie are actually experiencing the events...

Awkward, Misguided Kindred Lets Down Its Source Material | TV/Streaming

“Kindred” is filled with moments where the craft fails to match the story, opting for visually bland design choices at every turn. The plantation, the clothes, the period detail lack a lived-in quality. When Dana and Kevin arrive at the plantation of the drunkard slave owner Thomas Weylin (Ryan Kwanten), for instance, we learn that since the death of his wife and his remarriage to Margaret (Gayle Rankin), that the grounds and home has, in some respects, fallen into disrepair. And yet, nothing in the set dressing tells us that. Even when relatives of the Weylins visit, and they chide Tom and Margaret on selling off the finer items, it doesn’t immediately hit amid the seeming opulence. That same generic aesthetic carries over to the shooting of the series: Inert compositions that re...