revisiting the passion of joan of arc (carl theodor dreyer, 1928)
geezer cinema: light from light (paul harrill, 2019)

tv in the 2010s: the half-hours, part two

(Cut-and-pasted from an earlier post.) I don't write as much about TV these days. One reason is that there is indeed too much good stuff ... it's hard enough to keep up with the watching, much less the writing. But I've found a catch-all way to inject TV into the blog, AV Club's "The 100 best TV shows of the 2010s". It's an obvious way to make my point about too much good stuff ... the list has 100 shows, and I haven't watched many of them (about a third). (Not to mention the thing about all such lists: each of us wonders why our favorite show didn't make the cut? Shout out to The 100Lights OutAgent CarterSweet/ViciousOutlander, and Hot Ones.) What follows is a few comments about the shows I did watch. This will be a multiple-post thread.

There are so many excellent half-hour series nowadays. Something about the format allows the creators to delve deeply into characters, infusing the shows with humor but always about more than just the jokes. Most of these series make room for people who are usually shunted to the side, when they turn up at all. I wrote earlier about Fleabag ... here are a few more that made the AV Club list (numbers are their place in the poll). In reverse order:

Better Things (62). Has gotten better in each of its three years, and since Pamela Adlon is the only one in charge now, she finally gets credit for what she always deserved. The setting (a divorced actress raising three daughters) mirrors Adlon's own life, although the show is not meant to duplicate that real life. But it informs the show in the way Adlon is so connected to the situations that arise.

Girls (61). In some ways, Girls never recovered from a line in the very first episode: "I think I might be the voice of my generation. Or, at least, voice of a generation." The second sentence shows a strong understanding of the young heroine's place, but it's the first sentence that people remember, and without the second sentence, the first sentence sounds extremely arrogant. Since Hannah Horvath had many similarities with creator/writer/star Lena Dunham, many assumed Hannah was Lena. Girls had many flaws, but the relationships between the four girls of the title felt real. And it was the introduction for many of us to Adam Driver.

Broad City (34). This show would rank much higher on my own list. Always funny, Broad City was one of the best portraits of women's friendship to ever appear on TV or anywhere else.


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