REVIEW: For All Mankind – Season Three (2022)

Scene from “For All Mankind,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Series Created by Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert, and Ben Nedivi — Available Now on Apple TV+.

For All Mankind is my favorite Apple TV+ show, which is saying something considering how much I absolutely love Ted Lasso. Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert, and Ben Nedivi’s historical fiction series started as ‘what if the Soviet Union had reached the Moon first and, as a result, the United States continued and accelerated the space race,’ and the second season explored this alternate history science-fiction by having the Cold War take place in outer space, essentially. If the first season was a ‘small step,’ and the second season a ‘giant leap,’ then this third season cements that the previous season wasn’t just a fluke. For All Mankind is still one of the best ongoing shows on any streaming service.

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REVIEW: Black Bird (2022 – Limited Series)

Ray Liotta and Taron Egerton in “Black Bird,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Series Developed by Dennis Lehane.

Apple TV+ is starting to pick up steam as a serious streamer with several fantastic shows. Black Bird, from award-winning novelist and screenwriter Dennis Lehane, is one of its latest solid series. Unfortunately, since Apple TV+ is yet to have a massive subscriber count, shows like it, For All Mankind, Severance, Shining Girls, and so on and so forth will probably struggle to find an enormous audience. Black Bird should be an easy sell for many people in this day and age where true crime adaptations are all the rage. The mini-series is based on James Keene and Hillel Levin’s autobiographical novel In With The Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption.

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Bite-Sized Reviews: First Half of 2022 – Must-See TV?

Britt Lower in “Severance,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

In this edition of my recurring movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I take a look back at the first half of the year to discuss some of the new shows that I’ve really enjoyed this year, but that I didn’t have the time to review. I think all of the shows in this article are good, but which of these shows do you absolutely have to put on your watchlist? Well, let’s have a look.

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REVIEW: Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022)

Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson in “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Directed by Cooper Raiff — Screenplay by Cooper Raiff.

Life is complicated. You go to school, then perhaps you go to university, and then you graduate. Life is then supposed to truly begin, but you can easily find yourself in some sort of arrested development because things don’t happen overnight. You just want to get started, and the longer it takes for things to get started, the more people in your life move ahead of you in ‘the game of life’ and they start to create things without you. Fear of missing out on that early can lead to you craving stability, to desire a life that you aren’t anywhere close to having. Maybe you don’t have the right job, maybe you don’t have the right relationship, maybe the world just isn’t letting you get started. That desperation can make you envious, it can make you oblivious to your own self-worth and your own needs. Life and the people you meet along the way can also send you mixed signals. Growing up sometimes means having to navigate those without crashing on your way. Cooper Raiff’s Cha Cha Real Smooth is about many things including those complications when life just isn’t letting you get started for whatever reason.

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Top Ten TV-Shows of 2021

“For All Mankind,” now streaming on Apple TV+ — Photo: Apple TV+.

In 2021, both the film and television industries tried to play catch-up after films or seasons had been delayed and pushed out of 2020. This meant that Succession: Season Three finally came out this year, for example. But something new also happened in 2021. That year marked the debut of Disney+ Marvel Cinematic Universe Live-Action series, and we got a lot of those, most of which I really liked. So, today, let’s have a look at what shows I thought were the very best in 2021.

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Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Nov. 2021, pt. II: ‘The Morning Show,’ ‘A Quiet Place Part II,’ and More

Valeria Golino and Billy Crudup in “The Morning Show,” now streaming on Apple TV+ — Photo: Apple TV+.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I give my thoughts on the second season of the major Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, but I have also taken a look back at Steven Soderbergh’s latest film. And then, at the end of the article, I will finally reveal what my thoughts are on the sequel to A Quiet Place.

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REVIEW: Finch (2021)

Caleb Landry Jones (as Jeff the robot) and Tom Hanks in “Finch,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Directed by Miguel Sapochnik — Screenplay by Craig Luck & Ivor Powell.

A former storyboard artist, Miguel Sapochnik’s career as a director is quite interesting. His 2010 feature film directorial debut, Repo Men, was met with relatively negative reviews. Perhaps that reaction really hurt the young director, because his next move was to turn to television again and again. Sapochnik has since become a seasoned television director, and he has been involved with shows such as House, Fringe, and True Detective. But the project that he really made his name with was Game of Thrones, which he has directed some of the most famous episodes of including Battle of the Bastards, for which he won an Emmy. Now, in 2021, his second film as a director, Finch, is finally here, and, while it probably won’t be as big of a hit as he may have hoped (since it has been released on a streaming service without much fanfare), I really liked Finch. It is yet another solid star vehicle for Tom Hanks on Apple TV+ after Greyhound.

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REVIEW: For All Mankind – Season Two (2021)

“For All Mankind,” now streaming on Apple TV+ — Photo: Apple TV+.

Series Created by Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert, and Ben Nedivi — Available Now on Apple TV+.

In Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Feb. ’21, Pt. II, I wrote about my experience of finally binge-watching the entire first season of Apple TV+’s For All Mankind, which was originally released back in 2019. The alternate-reality angle of the show was what had originally made me interested in the show, and, ultimately, the execution was what kept me hooked throughout the solid but somewhat bumpy first season. To reiterate, the show is, essentially, ‘what if the Soviet Union had reached the Moon first and, as a result, the United States continued and accelerated the space race.’

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Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Mar. ’21: ‘The Empty Man’ and ‘Servant’

Tony Revolori and Toby Kebbell in “Servant,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I recommend an underseen horror film that I, however, have mixed feelings on, and then I tell you about my experience of watching the second season of Apple TV+’s Servant, which, I thought, didn’t advance the plot all that much.

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REVIEW: Billie Eilish – The World’s A Little Blurry (2021 – Documentary)

Billie Eilish and her father, Patrick O’Connell, in “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry,” now streaming on Apple TV+. — Photo: Apple / Apple TV+.

Directed by R. J. Cutler — Distributed by Neon / Apple TV+.

Veteran filmmaker and documentarian R. J. Cutler’s The World’s A Little Blurry is a fantastic year-in-the-life documentary about the rise to stardom for Billie Eilish, the immensely popular teenage singer-songwriter, who, in early 2019, had her debut studio album — When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — released to critical acclaim. Cutler’s film is — for the most part — a vérité documentary that allows you to experience several private moments, as well as critical moments in her — and her brother Finneas’ — creative process, as a fly-on-the-wall. It’s an eye-opening documentary epic (it even has an intermission) about the life of a somewhat anxious teenage superstar that cares deeply about her fans, precisely because she is still a fan at heart, and she knows what it’s like to need that kind of bond. Continue reading “REVIEW: Billie Eilish – The World’s A Little Blurry (2021 – Documentary)”