What We’re Watching (AKA Triple-Dub)…

3dub-nap-featpng

We could have said “What We’re Viewing” but Triple-Dub (as in 3 “W”s) is a lot more fun.

We don’t binge watch, per se. Rather, we take a liking to a series and let it grow on us with regular viewings (not back-to-back-to-back as depicted in a Portlandia sketch). The three mentioned below have a run-time of an hour or less. We can get in-and-out with plenty to ponder in the subsequent days.

These are what we’ll call “lean forward” shows (as in pay attention). You’ll want good audio and we highly recommend that you engage your eyes and ears — using subtitles (where available).

Peaky Blinders (Netflix):

Peaky Blinders Netflix

It is described as a gangster family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, England and centered on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps, and their fierce boss Tommy Shelby, who means to move up in the world.

Per the show’s creator, Steven Knight:

The stories in Peaky Blinders are based on what was told to me when I was a kid, and they were stories of things that happened to my parents when they were kids. They saw all of that through children’s eyes, which makes everything more mythological – everything a bit darker, and brighter, and better. I was a kid when I heard the stories [secondhand] and they were double-mythologised.

We found it word-of-mouth and immediately put it in our Netflix queue.

On the importance of Netflix backing, Knight remarked:

It’s fantastic because it gives people access. Because there’s no longer the tyranny of the schedule, this stuff is available whenever and what it’s meant, I think, is that you’ve got these dark horses, things that people are picking up on that no one thought they would. No money has ever been spent on Peaky Blinders in terms of publicity, there’s no massive campaign — because it’s the BBC you just get the trailers. But what’s happened is people have found it for themselves and I think the loyalty is greater when people find than when they’re told to watch something.

The downside of Netflix is that you lose some of the excellent music, like this song that puts this series over the top for us.

We just completed episode 18 (3 Seasons with six episodes per) and now we wait to find out what happens next to Tommy and the gang.

Read more about it here (7 Reasons in 7-minutes).

Netflix-it!


The Get Down (Netflix)

The Get Down Baz Netflix

We talked about Baz Luhrmann’s 12-episode series in our QuickTake 5 (http://www.jedemi.com/news/jedemi-quicktake5-a-stolen-horse-an-army-of-frogs-a-grandmaster-and-two-more/). There are six episodes currently available on Netflix.

“The Get Down” is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to a new art form. Set in New York in 1977, this music-driven drama series chronicles the rise of hip-hop and the last days of disco -_ told through the lives, music, art and dance of the South Bronx kids who would change the world forever.

Baz-style is a bit frenetic, so let yourself go along for the ride. Don’t fight it. You’ll be glad you did. The storytelling lingers on in your mind long after you shut down for the evening.


Mr Robot (USA Network)
Mr. Robot Sam Esmail
Mr. Robot was mentioned back in June, in anticipation of Season 2.

Told from the perspective of Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a brilliant but mentally unstable hacker who becomes embroiled in a plot to dismantle the global economy, Mr. Robot is one of the most daring and unsettling shows to hit the airwaves in recent years, per Rolling Stone’s Jenna Scherer.

The premiere of Season 2 blew us away. We concur with this write-up:

The episode felt like more of a character study than the action-hacker drama we experienced in Season 1. Instead of Elliot’s character moving the plot forward, time with him was spent listening to one-sided conversations, life or death delusions with Mr. Robot and examining the specifics of his volatile mental illness. As a viewer, it was extremely hard to tell what scenes were real, and what was just in Elliot’s head.

The creator of the series, Sam Esmail, is brilliant! He wants us to really identify with Elliot. See below:
 

The whole time, whenever we talk about the show in the writers’ room and making the show, we always want the audience to be with Elliot. When he believes something, we believe in it with him. If Elliot’s confused about something, which he oftentimes is, we’re just as confused as he is. And if he’s in contradiction to us, which he will say to us, then we’re opposing him. I love the relationship we’ve created with Elliot. It’s a little unlike anything I’ve personally seen. I think it’s in a weird way its own dynamic and it’s allowed us to create these scenes where you can direct attention where you otherwise wouldn’t have if we didn’t have that offscreen relationship with him.

Also notable, he has inserted an extraordinary number of “Easter eggs” into every episode.

One of the best is the opening of episode six in Season 2 where Sam Esmail, to ensure the bizarre ’90s-style sitcom that Elliot thought he was living in was authentic, went the extra mile. We played and re-ran this opening several times.

Furthermore, an old Bud Light ad appeared during the commercial break along with an ad for Evil Corp.

Fantastic!

Repeat viewing is highly recommended as we found ourselves picking up stuff we missed.

You can find it at USA Networks (viewable online, via their app, and On Demand through your cable or DIRECTV).

Season One can be found on Amazon Prime (for free) or Blu-Ray for purchase.

That’s a Wrap!

Just to sum it up, what’s notable about all three series mentioned is that they are:

  • Super immersive
  • Super engaging
  • Episodes 1 hour or less (Yup!)

Please let us know what you think! #SCMF!

—The Gang

Bonus Content

The Monday Night Football (#MNF) game this week had the New Orleans Saints hosting the Atlanta Falcons,10 years and a day after re-opening the Superdome against the same team following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the Federal levee breaches.

Thoughts of Katrina and the aftermath reminded us of David Simon’s most excellent series that appeared for four seasons (2010 – 13) on HBO: Treme.

Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, this hourlong drama series, from “The Wire” executive producers David Simon and Eric Overmyer, follows the lives of ordinary residents as they struggle with the aftereffects of the 2005 hurricane.

Note: F-Bomb warning! This is HBO, after all…

Another one hour immersive experience that’s absolutely awesome!

Fine-End-Nap

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Comments

  1. Also this — David Bowie personally phoned the producers of Peaky Blinders to give them permission to use his music, according to show star Cillian Murphy.

    http://metro.co.uk/2016/05/07/david-bowie-personally-requested-his-music-to-be-used-in-peaky-blinders-series-3-5867578/#ixzz4Lh9FY0HD

  2. We just found out that David Bowie was a huge fan of Peaky Blinders. http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/film-news/david-bowie-record-music-peaky-10983701

Trackbacks

  1. […] Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down” — a Netflix original series classified as a hip-hop drama. We wrote about it when the first half of season one aired. Now the second half of the first season is […]

  2. […] to believe that it has been over 6 months since we last posted about what we’re […]

  3. […] of the common denominators in the “What We’re Watching” piece we posted was music. They all had fantastic soundtracks which really added a powerful […]

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