TV Review: Young Wallander (S2): Killer’s Shadow | I Still Like That Voice

Last season, I developed a fascination – some might call it weird – with our Title character’s (Adam Palsson) speaking voice. I had forgotten about that and rereading my review of S1 I realized that I also noted it this time around. But I digress, in the sophomore season of Young Wallander – inspired by Henning Mankell‘s best-selling novels – we have Sara Seyed, Yasen Atour (The Witcher, Strike Back), Ellise Chappell (Poldark), Leanne Best (Close to Me) and even Charles Mnene returning with Lewis Mackinnon (Victoria), Josef Davies (This Is Going to Hurt, The King), Tomiwa Edun (ADOW), and Kim Adis (Foundation) joinning the cast.

Last season we left Kurt Wallander, turning his back on his detective job after losing his mentor Hemberg during his first serious investigation. This time around Kurt is sucked back in with what first appeared as a simple hit-and-run case that inevitably turns into a bigger investigation.

The series was and remains an easy binge for a 45min episode mystery crime drama. The story flows quite well and keeps you entertain throughout, even if the most eagle-eyed or attentive of us might figure some things out sooner than they’re revealed or discovered but most of the time that delay makes sense within the frame of the investigation at play here.

The story behind the investigation this time might not be the most original, but the way it’s presented and portrayed by the actors does make a big difference. Josef Davies knocked it out of the parc because even when I thought he was a bit of a prick, I still felt for him before even knowing his story.

My man Rez got some justice this season, the way he was dealt with in the first didn’t exactly sit right with me, but the writers still played with my emotions when it came to him by putting him through some stuff. As for Kurt he’s clearly evolved since the last case, it’s more apparent with the “new” detective working with him, yet he still leads with his heart and still has some bad habits to shed.

The show is not afraid to tackle difficult topics. They always serve the story and the characters, it would have been strange if they were not brought up. More of an effort is made in terms of diversity – gender and race – but I admit that I was afraid that they’d demonize one of them – the new chief – instead they took his position and background into consideration regarding his behavior, which rings very true to me.

Young Wallander: Killer’s Shadow is an enjoyable show balancing complicated topics, flawed characters wrapped in an entertaining mystery.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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Stay Close | Trailer

  • Writer: Harlan Coben (Novel), Daniel Brocklehurst
  • Director: Lindy Heymann, Daniel O’Hara
  • Stars: Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage, Eddie Izzard, Jo Joyner, Youssef Kerkour, Sarah Parish, Daniel Francis, Bethany Antonia 

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TV Review: You (S3) | Exploring The Lies We All Tell To The World

Netflix’s psychological drama with the adorkable serial killer Joe Goldberg played by Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl) is back for a third season. The series see the return of Saffron Burrows (Agent of Shields) and Victoria Pedretti (The Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor) from season two, joining newly cast Travis Van Winkle (Instinct, The Last Ship), Shalita Grant (NCIS: New Orleans, Special), Tati Gabrielle (CAOS) and Dylan Arnold (After We Collided, After).

Last seasons: After first meeting Joe Goldberg in New York, where he developed an extreme, toxic, and delusional obsession with Guinevere Beck, a customer from the bookstore where he worked. When the relationship with Beck sours – to put it mildly – and old demons comes back to haunt him, Joe moves to Los Angeles, changes his name to Will, and falls in Love with local heiress Love Quinn. His tumultuous time in L.A. came with a ton of surprises, pone of which the fact that Joe and Love have more in common than Joe first thought.

Premise: How do a couple of sociopaths like Joe and Love feel about being expectant parents and other conventional norms – especially when they have an exponentially messy series of murders to cover up ?

Review: The end of season two could have a happy ending for Joe, who now lives in the suburbs, he’s married to Love – who knows about his dark past and has one of her own – and they are also expecting their first child together. It could have been a series finale, if one is ok with Joe getting away with what he’s done but in the last seconds of the episodes it becomes apparent that Joe will never change. At first, I did not know how this move into suburbia was going to impact the show but F**k! it made it very interesting. It was nerve-racking, hot, sad and exciting at the same time.

Their new location brought a slew of new and interesting characters, like Joe and Love they have a darker side to them. They might not be as twisted as the Quinn-Goldberg couple but they all have their secrets and present a different persona to the rest of the world. I guess the tag line “Living their best lies” has more meaning than I first thought. Throughout the season, old and new characters have quite the interesting arc. The series focus on different types of relationships, how they work, and makes a good case for working on what you have t make it as good as you’d like it to be instead of constantly looking for better and more elsewhere.

For a moment things even looked like they were going to follow the same pattern with Joe’s newest obsession but they didn’t, it was worse. Having similar personalities didn’t seem to make Love and Joe the best dynamic duo that I thought they would be but a good team. Seeing a couple of sociopaths trying to act normal despite their dark impulses slipping through was fun. I also enjoyed seeing Joe explore new things and loved seeing him struggle through them. The moments with the therapist were gold, filled with dark humor like a lot of the season.

However when it comes to Love, the show kind of leaned toward a “Bitches be crazy” trend that I didn’t like, it was even highlighted by Joe’s – hypocritical – inner monologue when it came to Love and his relationship with her. She was the only one working the relationship while Joe was looking for a shiny new thing. Ultimately I don’t think that they were a great match even with their similar past and personalities because they wanted different things.

You S3 was thrilling but there is a formula to the series that is starting to get old. The writers have been good about managing Joe’s impulses, which probably won’t change, but within those parameters there’s still ways to switch it up.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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TV Review: Trese (S1) | Filipino Myth and Folklore with Shades of Familiar Heroes

If it wasn’t for Geeked Week this show would have pass me by, but I’m glad I found it. It’s a filipino animated series on Netflix directed by Jay Oliva who’s work on animated shows and movies like Young Justice, and Justice League Dark to name a few. Based on the comics by writer Budjette Tan and artist Ka-jo Baldisimo, the show features an incredible English voice cast like Shay Mitchell (You), Jon Jon Briones (Ratched), Griffin Puatu (Spider-Man: Miles Morales), Matthew Yang King (Sweet Home), Darren Criss (Glee), Lou Diamond Phillips (Prodigal Son), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place) to name a few.

Premise: Set in Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings.

Review: I knew little about the show when I dove in, I just liked the look of the animation, in fact when the trailer premiered during the Geeked Week stream I was busy on the phone. I discovered the show as I was watching it and I liked the fact that it has its own identity.

The world building is intriguing, unique in some many ways. It’s full of creatures that were unfamiliar to me, at least for some of them. I commend the show for not explaining its cultural identity but showcasing it instead. It was fascinating. However, the story is not as tightly woven as I would liked, the flow is a bit wonky despite the interesting dynamic between the characters and their history. It feel a bit rushed but it has a nice dark DC feel to it.

Trese is uniquely familiar because for some, the filipino myths and folklore will speak to them, and for others, Alexandra Trese will remind them of western comic book heroes they know like Constantine, Raven, or Zatana while being her own thing.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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TV Review: Lupin (Part 2) | A Sameness that Still Works…Kind of

I thoroughly enjoyed Lupin (Part 1) it was so engaging, nicely paced, and full of social commentaries that did not impede the story at all. Omar Sy (X-men Days of Future Past, The Untouchables) is amazing in the role, and the show is a nice spin on Maurice LeBlanc‘s The adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief.

Previously: Inspired by Maurice Leblanc’s stories on the adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief, Assane Diop sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family. Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Assane’s father died in prison, leaving his then teenage son orphaned.

Premise: After enacting his revenge on the Pellegrini, the wealthy family that had his father wrongfully convicted and murdered. Assane Diop now finds himself on the receiving end of that family’s wrath, as they try to get him before his plans are completed.

Review: We pick up right we’re we left off, Raoul, Assane’s son is missing, he was kidnapped by Hubert Pellegrini’s man so a thrilling race to save him starts us off. Part two, the second half of what is essentially one season, is just as engaging as part one. A lot of what made the first half interesting remains, the clever traps and escapes, Pellegrini’s schemes, the social commentaries, and the intriguing characters.

However, I expected the show to go more in depth on all of those things but like I said it’s more of the same, it kind of stays surface level, so it ends up feeling a bit repetitive at points. Also some of the flashbacks, the ones in the 90s didn’t feel as useful as they were in part one. That said the show is fun to watch and I love the cast.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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TV Review: Sweet Tooth (S1) | A Captivating Adventure

This TV show wasn’t on my radar until the first teaser was released. I had no idea this was coming but the teaser trailer piqued my interest in the show. Created by Jim Mickle (Cold in July) and Beth Schwartz (Arrow), and produced by Team Downey, the series is based on Jeff Lamire‘s Vertigo comics “Sweet Tooth.
The Netflix series is narrated by James Brolin (The 33), stars Nonso Anozie (Artemis Fowl, Cinderella) as Tommy Jepperd Christian Convery (Venom, Lucifer, Legion) as Gus, Adeel Akhtar (Enola Holmes) as Dr. Singh, Will Forte (Booksmart) as Gus’ father Richard, Dania Ramirez (Jumanji: The Next Level, X-Men: The Last Stand) as Aimee, Neil Sandilands (News of the World) as General Steven Abbot, Stefania LaVie Owen (The Carrie Diaries, The Lovely Bones) as Bear, and Aliza Vellani (iZombie) as Rani Singh.

Premise: Ten years after the emergence of hybrids – babies born part human, part animal – coinciding with the spread of a dangerous virus. Hybrid children are hunted by many humans who fear they are the cause of the virus. Gus, a sheltered deer-boy, who grew up living safely in his secluded forest home befriends a wondering loner name Jepperd. The two will set out on an adventure across what’s left of America where they’ll meet unexpected allies and enemies, try to find answers, learn about Gus’ origins, Jepperd’s past, and the true meaning of home. Gus quickly learns the world outside the forest is more complex than he ever could have imagined.

Review: Giving that “Sweet Tooth” was a Vertigo comic, I expected something much darker and grittier. But a few minutes into the series I shed those expectations and revelled in the atmosphere of the series. Where most dystopian worlds are grim and brutal, the show is bright and hopeful with a hint of darkness and violence. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, the series’ tone manages not to be silly or sugary.

The series follows a bunch of key characters that ends up giving us a broader view of this post-apocalyptic world. Each of these characters add something to the story, bringing answers as the season unfolds, but Gus and Jepperd’s story is the heart of the show. Jepperd’s surliness does a lot to counterbalance Gus’ hopeful disposition. Their surogate-father and son relationship is breath of fresh air and I loved it.

The first season of Sweet Tooth beautifully sets up the characters, and the world they’re in. It’s engaging and a fun watch.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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