April 21, 2020: Hulu Documentary: Margaret Atwood (2019)

Quote by Margaret Atwood

“Good writing takes place at intersections, at what you might call knots, at places where the society is snarled or knotted up.”

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Director: Nancy Lang and Peter Raymont

Executive Producers: Steve Ord and Peter Pearson

Major Cast: Carl Atwood, Harold Atwood, Margaret Atwood, Ruth Atwood, Louise Dennys, Peter Florence, Graeme Gibson, Charles Foran, Phoebe Larmore, Susan Milmoe, and Charlie Pachter

Genres: Documentary

Running Time: 1 hour and 33 minutes

MPAA Rating: NA


Watch the Trailer


This documentary is about Margaret Atwood, the Canadian writer responsible for The Handmaid’s Tale and many other stories. If there is ever a writer that stays true to her vision, it would be Margaret Atwood.  From the very beginning to the present time, she never strayed far from Canada.  Her inspiration and creativity run deep and found it fascinating she finds the usage of index cards to plot out your story as atrocious as I do.  I’ve tried this method once and it will never work for me under any circumstance.  Never wanting to be a popular writer but a good one, Atwood graduated from Harvard, married and had three children, and wrote a lot of stories and poetry.  Atwood is part of writing history and the most recent projects of hers is graphic novels.  It’s a progression of her life thus far from her childhood influences and friends she made along the way, at times maybe too curt, but she remains an authentic voice in modern times.

I give Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power 100%.


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February 26, 2020: The Last Three Documentaries I Watched

I decided to do this a little differently this time around. I’m not going to list all the behind the scenes people involved and focus more on the content of each documentary and my short thoughts on each one.

Inequality for All (2013) is the first one I watched. It covers the former U.S. Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, as he makes it his life mission teaching others about the dangers of the widening economic gap in the U.S. and its consequences. He brings up valid points and stresses the positives about a capitalistic society that can work for everyone instead of the top 1% of earners. They basically take up 20% of the income and as Reich points out the richest 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. So long the American Dream, it doesn’t exist anymore, but hopefully change will not make things look so sour for most of us. The favorite part of it was the statistical data and graphics. My thoughts about the American economy: I hope I can retire at a decent age and where someone doesn’t have to bury me in a pauper’s grave. It is one hour and 29 minutes and watched it on Netflix.

Crime + Punishment (2018) is the second one I watched. It covers the 12 whistle blowers in the NYPD who exposed the illegal quota practices. Just because a piece of paper is passed around outlawing quota practices in 2010 doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur now. As interactions between superiors and street patrol officers are secretly filmed, retaliation for bringing this into the open manifests in obvious retaliatory ways. These quotas once used only by large police departments across the U.S. has seeped its way into smaller towns. It’s a brutal fact that New York City financial well being depends on arrests and summonses as well as other cities. My thoughts about this police policy is this: the whole criminal justice system needs to be gutted from top to bottom and for those police officers whose goal is to help people, it’s a shame they get caught in this net. It is one hour and 52 minutes and watched it on Hulu.

The House of Suh (2010) is the last one I watched. It covers the evolution or more de-evolution of a Korean family that immigrated to the United States. While it takes some time to get into the story, keep watching because it’s a fascinating story. You have old Korean cultural values intersecting with two different personalities growing up in America. One is a rebellious female teenager and the other a dutiful male that gets absorbed into the chaotic life of his sister. It this is a tragic story? Yes. Does this highlight family brokenness? Yes. Does this make for a good movie? Yes but only if Kristy Swanson can play the lead. The TV movie is called Bad to the Bone. My thoughts about this brother and sister relationship is this: the brother was blind to his sister’s intentions and because of his loyalty to her found himself in a bad situation. It is one hour and 30 minutes and watched it on Amazon prime.

November 11, 2019: Movie Recomendation: The Nightingale (2018)

Quote from Nightingale by Lieutenant Hawkins

“That’s just the way isn’t it? You don’t want trouble but sometimes trouble wants you.”




Executive Producers: Ben Browning, Jason Cloth, Aaron L. Gilbert, Brenda Gilbert, and Andrew Pollack

Director: Jennifer Kent

Writer: Jennifer Kent

Major Cast: Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr, Damon Herriman, Harry Greenwood, Ewen Leslie, Charlie Shotwell, Michael Sheasby, Matthew Sunderland, Magnoolia Maymuru, Christopher Stollery, Nathaniel Dean, Claire Jones, Luke Carroll, and Dallas Mugarra

MMPA Rating: R for strong violent and disturbing content including rape, language throughout, and brief sexuality

Running Time: 2 hours and 16 minutes


Nightingale has the same pacing of The Piano by Jane Campion, but unlike the character of Ada McGrath, Clare Carroll has some major bones to pick with a few soldiers who left her with nothing to live for except revenge. The movie begins with Clare, a young Irish woman married to a man named Aidan, trying to set herself free from the grips of a British lieutenant, Hawkins . The lieutenant along with his sergeant, Ruse, and private, Jago, make it clear to Clare she will not be freed despite finishing her seven year sentence. She continues to plead for her freedom so she can move with her family. This only angers Hawkins, punishes her, and leaves for his post in Launceston. It sets off a chain of events and after being regarded as a liar, Clare follows the soldiers with an Aborginal tracker named Billy. As they make their way across the harsh lands of Tasmania, Clare and Billy learn about each other, the reasons for risking their lives, and the lengths each will go to get what they think will bring them justice. Besides being beautifully shot and the friendship that evolves between Clare and Billy, there is a brutal rawness of the whole story. For all the heavy subject matter, it’s captivating and liberating as well.


I rate Nightingale PERFECT with FOUR FINGERS AND ONE THUMB at 100%.


October 30, 2019: Documentary Recommendation: Free Solo (2018)

Quote by Alex Honnold from Free Solo

“I think it’s the best thing in life to be able to take the one thing you love the most and have it, like, work out that you can make a living that way.”

free solo

Executive Producers: Tim Pastore, Matt Renner, Carson Hood, Laurie MacDonald, Stefan Sonnenfeld, and Walter F. Parkes

Directors: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelvi

Cast: Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, Jimmy Chin, Cheyne Lempe, Mikey Schaefer, Sanni McCanless, Dierde Wolownick, Peter Croft

Cast as Archive Footage: John Bachar, Derek Hersey, Sean Leary, Dan Osman, and Dean Potter

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language

Running Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes


This documentary is about Alex Honnold, a free solo climber, who scales rocks for a living.  As one’s upbringing affects most people when they become adults, Alex is no different.  His mother left an impression on him where the brightest is only the best.  He was not short of intelligence as he was accepted into Berkeley for civil engineering, but university life wasn’t for him.  He dropped out and lived frugally out of his van until it broke down and bought another one in 2007.  This was the start of his climbing endeavors where he free soloed Yosemite’s Astroman and Rostrum that same year.  In 2012, he was interviewed by 60 Minutes and set a new record for climbing a part of El Capitan.  After he made the decision to free solo El Capitan in 2017, you watch how his mental ability and physical prowess support and betray him.  You find out the results of his MRI and the dangers free soloing El Capitan.  If he succeeds, he will be the first.  If he fails, he will fall and die.  While he clearly spends a lot of time at Yosemite as he’s climbed El Cap, Half Dome, and Mt. Watkins, it only takes one misstep to ruin his day.  He’s an interesting athlete and his nomadic way of life suits him.   It’s a mesmerizing entry into a part of Alex’s life.  I learned more about rock climbing and Yosemite.

I rate Free Solo Four Fingers and One Thumb.

Near Perfect at 97%.


October 9, 2019: Documentary Recommendation: Ballet Now (2018)

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Executive Producers: Paul Allen, Elisabeth Moss, Alex Blavatnik, Olga Blavatnik, and Simon Perry

Director: Steven Cantor

Major Cast: Isabella Boylston, Zachary Catazaro, Preston Chamblee, Reece Clarke, Harrison Coll, Lauren Cuthbertson, Jeanette Delgado, Michelle Dorrance, Virgil Gadson, Marcelo Gomes, Rachel Hutsell, Bill Irwin, Lauren King, Claire Kretzschmar, Marc Moreau, Lars Nelson, Tiler Peck, Kleber Rebello, Taylor Stanley, Cory Stearns, Byron Tittle, Daniel Ulbricht, James Whiteside, and Indiana Woodward

MMPA Rating: NA

Running Time: 1 hour and 14 minutes



As one of the principal dancers with the New York City Ballet, Tiler Peck is only 4 feet 10 inches tall and 29 years old (at the time). She’s the first women ever asked to curate the Ballet NOW program at The Music Center in Los Angeles, CA in 2018. Peck was also the director and lead performer, in addition to a varied cast of dancers with different styles. As the camera chases her around the stage during rehearsals or while she tries to nail down her own routines, it all leads to the night of the show. There’s hip-hop, clapping, tap dancing, and a comedic performance with a live orchestra. As with many artistic endeavors, it somehow comes together in the end through all the stress to make a success. This is not like the other documentaries I’ve seen about ballet, but just as interesting to watch especially for someone who has no rhythm and has one move on the dance floor.


I rate Ballet Now GREAT with Four Fingers at 90%


October 7, 2019: Documentary Recommendation: Frank Serpico (2017)

Quote from Frank Serpico by Frank Serpico

“I said this to the Knapp Commission over 25 years ago,… We must create an atmosphere where the crooked cop fears the honest cop, and not the other way around.”

frank serpico

Executive Producers: Brian Devine Sr. Silvija Devine, and Jonathan Gray

Director: Antonino D’Ambrosio

Writer: Antonino D’Ambrosio

Major Cast: Frank Serpico, Stanislao Pugliese, Janet Panetta, John O’Connor, John Bal, Londel Davis, Ramsey Clark, Bob Delaney, Eddie Mamet, David Burnham, Robert Daley, Luc Sante, Donna Murch, and John Turturro plus archive footage of John G. Avildsen, Dino De Laurentis, David Durk, Daryl Gates, Rudy Giuliani, Charles Grodin, Whitman Knapp and voice of Al Pacino

MMPA Rating: NA

Running Time: 1 hour and 38 minutes


When the movie Serpico was released in 1973, based on the experiences of Frank Serpico while employed by the NYPD, he probably didn’t think it would lead to Al Pacino’s Oscar nomination for Lead Actor or Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler’s Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay from the book written by Peter Maas.  Al Pacino did win the Golden Globe for Best Actor in 1974 although the real Frank Serpico was in Switzerland during this time.  He has since returned to live in New York and continues to speak out about police corruption and brutality.  While any random police department has never operated 100% completely in the negative or positive, there are some departments that seem more prone to operate in the shadows.  It’s in these larger police departments, where corruption, violence, and greed breeds, that is the concern of Frank Serpico.  It’s easier to get rid of a few sour grapes, as I call them in police departments, compared to a whole organization operating outside written policies and principles.  The justification seems to be “it’s always been done this way” without looking at ways to change things for the better.  Many current police officers view Serpico as a traitor while others view him as a hero.  It’s easier to stay in the background and remain quiet than speak up for your convictions as fellow officers point out in the documentary.  I believe it’s possible to dissect parts of any police department without destroying everything around it including morale.  With the right open minded people, it’s possible to improve police relationships within their own ranks, let alone the communities they are to protect.  To quote Serpico himself, he said, “the problem is that the atmosphere does not yet exist in which an honest police officer can act without fear of ridicule or reprisal from fellow officers.”  It’s hard not to think he was put there for a reason.  I’ve said before you’re a human first and profession second.  Your childhood upbringing will influence your views later in life.  If you grew up in a family committed to certain beliefs, chances are you won’t outgrow them until you move away from your family or you find the strength within yourself to challenge them for whatever reason.  Serpico held fiercely onto his need for authenticity and while it got him kicked off the movie set of Serpico, he was willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good.  This documentary ends on a sobering note where it’s clear some important aspects of police work have remained the same despite the amount of time passed since the 1970s.


I rate Frank Serpico GREAT with Four Fingers at 90%



September 30, 2019: Documentary Recommendation: Untouchable (2019)

Quote by Harvey Weinstein

“People want to see big, escapist fare. They don’t want to be challenged to think.”


Executive Producers: Charlie Dorfman, David Gilbery, Hugo Grumbar, Tim Haslam, Tom McDonald, and Simon Young

Director: Ursula Macfarlane

MMPA Rating: No Rating Given

Running Time: 1 hour and 38 minutes


Have you ever wondered about the actual power Harvey Weinstein possessed and why the actors and actresses chosen for his movies won Oscars time and time again in the 1990s and early 2000s? It’s because he knew a great story when he saw one and had the guts to take risks. It’s because he knew how to wine and dine those associated with the Academy, which led to crucial votes for his movies. It’s because he had his hand in every inch of Hollywood. How many times have you heard of a particular movie that saved or bankrupted a studio? Not that Miramax and the Weinstein Company needed rescuing unless you’re talking about their bad year of 2017 and the really bad year of 2018 when the brothers filed for bankruptcy. To make matters worse, Harvey Weinstein was kicked out of the Academy in 2017 too. Untouchable points to the weaknesses and insecurities of Harvey Weinstein as a child and yet he grew into a man who used tactics to get what he desired and did anything to make his movies tantamount to gold. He was the “IT” man who could make things happen. He could also make things bad for you. The negative result of his fame, fortune, and status without boundaries is where the tender meat of the documentary is found. It is found in those people who challenged him after all the liquor had been drunk, the drugs had been swallowed and snorted, and the paparazzi had moved onto someone else. It is found in the women that had something to say after many years of silence. For all his generosity that appeared genuine, he wanted something in return later. As his power grew and no one bothered to intervene, his personal need to dominate others increased. As Brad Pitt recently spoke about when he confronted Harvey Weinstein for making a pass at Gwyneth Paltrow in her early days as an actress, Pitt made it to clear to him that nothing else was going to happen between them. But not every actress has a caring partner in the movie business as Gwyneth did and even if she did, Harvey Weinstein knew what it took to gain the upper hand. As he said himself at one point during his life, he was the “sheriff of this shit-ass fucking town.” I’m sure he was worth his weight in gold back then, but after his second wife divorced him in 2017, after he was arrested in 2018, and now waiting for his trial in 2020, he can’t feel too powerful anymore.  He had a lasting impact on the movie industry,  but whether it is viewed as more positive or negative thirty years from now remains to be determined.  If this documentary highlights anything, it is the following: Hollywood cycles where nothing lasts forever, but certain memories do and it is those people they belong to that have a way of making history.


I rate Untouchable FOUR FINGERS at GREAT at 90%.


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%


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


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%


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.”


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%.


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.”


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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