Hulu

hulu

I watch way more Netflix than Hulu.  I have the option of streaming Amazon, but I don’t even go there.  Too many options to choose from already and not enough time.   Maybe one day in the distant future.

August 16, 2019: Hulu TV Review: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 (2019)

Do not read if you haven’t seen all seasons from The Handmaid’s Tale!!!

Quote from The Handmaid’s Tale by Moira

“Everybody’s talking about happily ever after, but there’s just after.”

*******

Creator: Bruce Miller

Directors: Mike Barker, Kari Skogland, Daina Reid, Reed Morano, Kate Dennis, Floria Sigismondi, Jeremy Podeswa, Amma Asante, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Dearbhla Walsh, and Colin Watkinson

Writers: Bruce Miller, Lynn Renee Maxcy, Margaret Atwood, Nina Fiore, John Herrera, Kira Snyder, Eric Tuchman, Dorothy Fortenberry, Yahlin Chang, Leila Gerstein, Wendy Straker Hauser, Marissa Jo Cerar, and Jacey Heldrich

Major Cast: Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne, O-T Fagbenle as Luke Bankole, Jordana Blake as Hannah Bankole, Samira Wiley as Moira Strand, Clea DuVall as Sylvia, Alexis Bledel as Emily Malek, Amanda Brugel as Rita, Madeline Brewer as Janine Lindo, Nini Kiri as Alma, Bahia Watson as Brianna, Kristen Gutoskie as Beth, Ashleigh LaThrop as Natalie, Sugenja Sri as Sienna, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia Clements, Edie Inksetter as Aunt Elizabeth, Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello, Bradley Whitford as Joseph Lawrence, Julie Dretzin as Eleanor Lawrence, Stephen Kunken as Warren Putnam, Ever Carradine as Naomi Putnam, Christopher Meloni as George Winslow, Elizabeth Reaser as Olivia Winslow, Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford, Joseph Fiennes as Fred Waterford, and Max Minghella as Nick Blaine

TV Rating: TV-MA for sex/nudity, violence/gore, profanity/alcohol/drugs/smoking, and frightening/intense scenes

Episode Running Time: 60 minutes although season finales run longer

Not everyone enjoyed the third season and recognized some noticeable flaws. I choose to overlook them and the feasibility of certain scenes. The Handmaid’s Tale is still a TV show I’ll watch and will continue to watch until it ends. Most of us know it’s an adaptation from Margaret’s Atwood’s book with the same title and about living in an autocracy with limited freedoms and bathed in religious doctrine. We were still learning about Gilead in the first season and the second season continued to explore the reality of the situation presented to those enslaved and those who escaped. We learned what happens to undesirables and the forced participation of violence by the handmaids. The season finale of season two left you cheering and screaming at the same time. It doesn’t take long to realize why June’s decision was made.

The first episode of season three begins after June made the decision to stay in Gilead instead of leaving it. We see the unusual relationship between Commander Lawrence and his wife in their home. We get a good picture of how horrifying it really can be for the handmaids in the Capitol. Christopher Meloni is great in his role as Commander Winslow as he is proud of his dutiful wife and army of children. The relationship between Mrs. Waterford and June/Offred gets interesting as each other question the other’s intentions, sacrifices, and bravery or lack of. I find the character of Serena Joy Waterford defeated and lost as she battles within herself what she has done. You can see it on her face, but in the season finale, she had what was coming to her. There’s a definite shift of power happening between those in leading and those following in Gilead. The fourth season will more than likely focus on Gilead commanders trying to defend their practices and beliefs to the United States and Canada on a larger scale and smaller scale the consequences of what the handmaids and marthas did to hurt Gilead’s stability.

There’s some heartbreaking moments in this season for June, Luke, Emily, and Sylvia. We learn more about Aunt Lydia before Gilead and how much it has affected her negatively. Her apple didn’t fall far from the tree before Gilead. There will be more opportunities for June to show her heroics, but it’s come at another cost. This is clear as she’s letting nothing stop her agenda as she’s willing to kill in the name of justice. I enjoyed this season because June has grown as a character, gotten stronger in some respects and weaker in others. The effects of Gilead is more pronounced, but she still is a fighting force. By her not being on the wall means she’s a valuable member and I’m looking forward to seeing how the show angles this because her recent action alone would lead to a painful, slow death. Being she is the driving force behind the resistance and basically central character of the show, June will not be killed but those angry with what she has done will make question her sanity. The fourth season will be released sometime in 2020.

Pisaries Creator rates The Handmaid’s Tale Season Three

Four Fingers and One Thumb at 100%

pcratingfive

 

March 19, 2019: Hulu and Netflix Recommendation: Fyre Fraud (2019) and Fyre (2019)

Quote by Fyre Festival: “Things got off to an unexpected start at day one of Fyre Festival, thank you for bearing with us as we work through the growing pains that every first year event experiences.”

Fyre Fraud (Hulu)

Producers (main): Lana Barkin, Cameron Davison, Dana Miller Ervin, Kate Ferraguto, Kelsey Field, Angela Freedman, Jenner Furst, Sharmi Gandhi, Michael Gasparro, Jed Lipinski, Alec Macrae, Julia Willoughby Nason, Patrick Newell, Alyssa Raimann, Michael Swaigen, Lavell Wells, and Joanna Zwickel

Writers and Directors: Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason

Major Cast: Billy McFarland, Ja Rule, Bella Hadid, Austin Mills, Cameron Davison, Maria Konnikova, Ava Turnquest, and Matthew Burton Spector

MPAA Rating: NA

Running Time: 1 hour and 36 minutes

fyrefestival

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Netflix)

Producers: Guy Belloch, Gabriel Bluestone, Danny Gabai, Jon Karmen, Brett Kincaid, James Ohliger, Max Pollack, Mick Purzycki, Matthew Rowean, Cassie Sagness, Chris Smith, and Elliot Tebele

Director: Chris Smith

Major Cast: Billy McFarland, Ja Rule, Jason Bell, Gabrielle Bluestone, Shiyuan Deng, Michael Ciccarelli, MDavid Low, Samuel Krost, Andy King, J.R., Brett Kincaid, Mick Purzycki, James Ohliger, Grant Margolin, Keith van der Linde

MPAA Rating: NA

Running Time: 1 hour and 37 minutes

*******

Along the same veins of Ponzi scheming and insider trading, these documentaries cover the disaster of the music festival called Fyre Festival that was supposed to happen in 2017, conceived by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule. Fyre Fraud, a Hulu production, was released before Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, the Netflix production. While both covered the same event or should I say lack of event, both managed to include insight and coverage the other did not despite the final consensus that the Fyre Festival was a complete disaster from start to finish.

McFarland was born in the year to make him a millennial, where social influence is more abundant than ever before, and he saw an opportunity to get a slice of the American pie as an entrepreneur. When you combine all three, the Fyre Festival was conceived and while it might have been a good idea on paper, a music festival of this magnitude takes a lot of timing and planning. This is where McFarland failed in a big way. He probably should’ve stayed in school because he might have learned a half thought out conceived plan rarely goes well, and combined with his delusion things went from bad to terrible. He clearly didn’t have the patience or years to know you just can’t live the high life and earn millions of money without adequate effort and work.

Fyre Fraud included the interview of McFarland after he was charged with mail and wire fraud. He seemed to have a blank stare on his face most of the time, a huge disconnect with what the documentary filmmaker was asking, which to me is a sign he still hadn’t absorbed what he had done and probably the magnitude of it either. While there was some coverage of those McFarland had financially hurt, it was more prevalent in Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. It might have been done to draw attention away from Jerry Media’s involvement, but the stories tended to be more personable. Those who suffered because of this failed music festival, from the workers on Great Exuma to the concertgoers to the American investors, were basically duped. The only people who got paid their due were the celebrity promoters.

This puts me near the end of this music festival, barreling toward the grand finale that turned out to be pretty chaotic in most respects and dismal on the music front. There was no Blink-182 because they had dropped out. They obviously smelled the danger from far away. For whatever reason, maybe to take pity on the people who paid thousands of dollars to attend, a local band offered a few hours of their time. The disaster relief tents leftover from Hurricane Katrina served as the luxurious housing promised and were completed with soaked mattresses from prior rain. There wasn’t adequate lighting so when the sun disappeared and night fell, you can imagine the horrors that occurred when people had to use the portable toilets. Good luck washing your hands because there was no running water. People couldn’t get cell phone reception either. I could go on and on, but seeing this part further made me realize McFarland didn’t care about anyone but himself.

I wish I could say McFarland learned his lesson after this doomed luxury music festival, but he did not. I’m not sure he will learn his lesson after he comes out of federal prison, but only he knows that. Given how many lives he wrecked along the way, I’m not sure anyone would give him another chance. The Netflix documentary primarily focused on McFarland’s delusions, victims of his actions, and his true character behind the scenes. The Hulu documentary focused on his character as well, but it didn’t go in-depth of his life prior to the Fyre Festival as much, although both were willing to place most of the blame on him. I encourage anyone who likes documentaries to watch either one or both.

I rate both documentaries GREAT at 90%

pcratingfour

October 10, 2018: Hulu TV Review

Castle Rock (2018-)

Quote from Castle Rock by Ruth Deaver: “Life used to go in one direction, forward, like one of those people-movers at the airport. But somehow I got off it.”

castlerock

I was looking forward to this show coming out on Hulu during the summer. I didn’t get around to it until August, then took me even more time to get back to it in September, and finally finished the last episode not too long ago in October. For Stephen King fans who can forgive his wordiness and copious description in his books, this will be the show for you because he can do no wrong. Now for those who have never read a book of his or cared for his movie adaptations that are centered around evil and good, life and death, sane and insane, have and have nots, well this probably won’t be the show for you. In other words, this isn’t the best adaptation of King that had been made.

The issue is not that it isn’t compelling because it grabs your attention. The issue is there are so many parts to it that you can’t keep left from right, up from down, and front from back. It’s a show where everything including the kitchen sink is found, and because of it, it’s highly confusing for someone who hasn’t and some that have read his books. Not saying you have to explain everything that every character does, but without adequate explanation you are left with too many unanswered questions. It needed a little more purpose for the back and forth between the past and present. The randomness of minor and major characters was okay, but the transitioning caused unnecessary confusion. There were times I was thinking so X happened, then why did Z happen?

The universal themes of the show such as future uncertainty, past influences, past mistakes, drug addiction, allure to darkness, different personas, effects of prison, and fear of the unknown are not what you have to grapple when the show ends. It’s the significance and meaning of the character played by Bill Skarsgård. I won’t go into detail of his character, but it begs a lot of questions: those with deeper meaning or possible multiple meanings. There’s basically spooky stuff going on throughout the show. It took me a while to be invested.

The actors who shined the most were André Holland as Henry Deaver, Bill Skarsgård as The Kid, and Adam Rothenberg as Reverend Matthew Deaver. Sissy Spacek as Ruth Deaver, Melanie Lynskey as Molly Strand, and Scott Glenn as Alan Pangborn deserve applause too. There were many additional cast members such as Francis Conroy, Rory Culkin, Aaron Staton, Terry O’Quinn, Ann Cusack, and Charlie Tahan. With this in mind, there are 10 episodes with a length of 60 minutes to see these characters interact together. It has a TV rating of MA (Mature Audience). I’m curious what Season 2 will bring. It has been renewed, but no release date yet. I would like to see fewer ideas jam packed into the next season or at least, have more of a direction of the different plots, and if they do intersect, see more definitive answer(s). I feel a little guilty about my rating because King is a master storyteller with great understanding of human interaction and problems. I’m glad I stuck with it to the end, but this is a watch one time only show for me.

One Sheet by Bad Robot/Warner Bros.

Pisaries Creator’s Rating

I rate Castle Rock GOOD at 75%.

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September 19, 2018: Hulu Show Recommendation

The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-)

Quote from The Handmaid’s Tale by Commander Waterford: “Thank you. We will certainly discuss the issue seriously.”

thehandmaidstale

The Handmaid’s Tale is an adaptation from Margaret’s Atwood’s book with the same title. This show is about living in an autocracy where “families” are limited in their freedoms and bound by laws rooted in religious doctrine. The different strata found in Gilead often live their days without deviation and as they go through the motions it’s the same events happening over and over again. It becomes clear to the handmaids, whose only responsibility is to give birth to healthy babies, have little resources offered to them. Therefore, they can and do turn on each other, as well as finding it difficult to know who to trust. Much of the show’s appeal is rooted in the common human desires we all have, and throughout the two seasons the abundant lack of compassion and tolerance doesn’t hurt either. Viewers want to see inside the workings of Gilead. They want to witness the brazenness of the people who follow willingly the rules in Gilead in order to understand it. They want to see how well those who serve the wealthy are able to cope and survive the demands placed on them. The weaving of backstory, sometimes lengthy but necessary, allows you to better understand the current events happening. The power struggle is real between the have and have nots, and the line is not so clearly defined as you might think. As the viewer you want to sympathize with certain characters over other ones, and reminded that not all bad people are bad and not all good people are good. If you’re not hooked by the first two episodes, then this probably isn’t your kind of show. It stars Elisabeth Moss, Max Minghella, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, Amanda Brugel, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle, and Alexis Wiley. It has guest roles superbly done by Marisa Tomei, John Caroll Lynch, and Cherry Jones. It’s an MGM production. It had the release date of April 26, 2017. The rating is TV-MA for sex/nudity, violence/gore, profanity/alcohol/drugs/smoking, and frightening/intense scenes. Each episode has a running time of 60 minutes. The third season will be ready for viewing in 2019. I can’t wait.

I rate Handmaid’s Tale GREAT at 97%.

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