First airing on ABC in America, this is that crime drama that has held the marvelous Viola Davis aloft in many a conversation of esteem lately – How To Get Away With Murder (available 22/10). Just a few weeks ago she also made Emmy history as the first African-American actress to win the Lead Actress Drama prize. Davis is Philadelphia law professor Annalise Keating who with a bunch of her students become embroiled in murder investigation. The first season is 15 episodes, and any visitors of Awards Daily TV will know how highly talked about this is.
MTV’s Scream TV series, based on the late Wes Craven’s tongue-in-cheek horror by Kevin Williamson (who has no input here this time around) aired Stateside in June. It is the usual set-up, a bunch of teenagers, here played by relative unknowns, becoming directly involved in some bloody encounters – touching on the more modern subject of cyber-bullying. Already green-lighted for a second season, I won’t say don’t read the reviews for this one perhaps, but give it a shot and make your own mind up instead.
There’s also some rather badly cooked food-for-thought in the reissue on Netflix UK of the American version of Hell’s Kitchen with the illusive Gordon Ramsay. As rivetting as this kind of cursing-angerball-chef and plate-thrown-in-garbage shenanigans are, you will have to make do with the first two seasons only at the moment. And you’ve probably already seen them, right? Might be the perfect entertainment though to stick on the box while you have your microwave cooked dinner on your lap.
Based on a video game, which is evident from its refreshingly impressive Adobe Flash software animation, this is Wakfu. The animated series is a huge phenomenon in its domestic France, but if you’ve neither heard of nor been a part of this cult success then this may be news to you. The 26-episode first season is landing on Netflix shortly with it’s vibrant multitude of characters and adventures. Is it for kids? Let’s find out.
What may be more suited to get your nippers to bed is Shushybye, also the entire first season, which is essentially a dream-fueled kiddie show set in various comfy-sounding villages like Slumber Heights and Nap Valley. There’s also a bit of song and dance, including some jazz and country to lure the adults and educate the kids. I have a 3 year-old daughter who will be sampling both of these shows shortly. As soon as she is done with Sons of Anarchy.
An array of Nova documentaries broadcast on PBS show up on Netflix UK too this month. I won’t artfully hustle you like a Seattle market fish monger and throw them all at you, I’ll just put four of them out there. Feel free to take a look yourself, the documentary is a somewhat under-appreciated genre (wrongly so) and there are tons of them on Netflix. Rise Of The Hackers explores the scientific investigation into our security as well as our natural paranoia as we live a life in the digital world. This of course means a life with crime, online hackers (didn’t that used to be a much more fun term?) taking what is ours and jeopardizing our cyber-safety. Time to catch these invisible bad guys. Why Planes Vanish delves deep into that very enigmatic question in light of the mysterious vanishing of the Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which was meant to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, in March 2014. Featuring interviews with expert aviators and engineers, and produced by Emmy winner Miles O’Brien, this is a fascinating account for all to absorb.
The film-makers behind Killer Landslides intended to give “a greater appreciation for the potential for rapid and unexpected earth movement in geologically unstable terrain” as the focus hits one of the deadliest landslides in recent American history in Oso, Washington. The film documents the search and rescue mission, touches on similar, larger events in Afghanistan and Nepal, as well as trying to fathom why landslides happen at all. What else? According to paleontologists around 100 years ago, which is not a long time really in a 65 million year span, the fossil bones of a dinosaur named Spinosaurus meant there could well have been a creature walking the Earth that was Bigger Than T-Rex. The film attempts to put the pieces together to reconstruct the great Spinosaurusis as new hope follows bone destruction from World War II when further discoveries arise in Morocco.
Finally, for now, two wonders of entertainment comedy that really don’t need any introduction at all. Richard Pryor: Icon shows how the misfit genius altered the face of comedy as we knew it with his own stirring, no-holds-barred brand of stand-up humor. Revealing his often troubled, tough life behind the comedy, yet showing how those very experiences filtered through it, the documentary features remarks from those that both knew and admired the icon. Robin Williams Remembered – A Pioneers Of Television Special is an hour long tribute to the great man, taking snippets from a late Williams TV interview as he talks about his early work on TV and on stage, his longing to entertain – not just comedy, but drama. Again featuring warm words from those he knew including Pam Dawber (Mindy), Penny Marshall (director of Awakenings), and Whoopi Goldberg, among many, many others. You have no excuse to miss these.