Showing posts with label And Just Like That. Show all posts
Showing posts with label And Just Like That. Show all posts

Friday, February 11, 2022

And Just Like That...This is What I Watched (TV Series)!

[I review these TV series: "And Just Like That...," "After Life," and "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window"]

And Just Like That...(2022)

Our "Sex and the City" girls 17 years later.  

So let's take care of the elephant in the room first.  I wasn't the only one disappointed in this "Sex and the City" reboot.  But let me make this clear.  I was not one of the haters who blamed the women for getting older.  I mean, c'mon, it's been almost 20 years.  We all get older and I have to say these women look damn good.  So instead of concentrating on their looks, something women actors have to constantly deal with, let's talk about why this series didn't work.  

It didn't work because in trying to be relevant it was just silly.

We meet Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) 17 years after the series ended (11 years after the last "Sex and the City" movie but we don't want to remember that one).  Samantha (Kim Cattrall) has supposedly moved to London, so she is still there in spirit but we all know in reality that Kim Cattrall doesn't want anything more to do with this series because of her famous feud with Sarah Jessica Parker.  But, okay, I can suspend disbelief and think that Samantha still likes the girls and has just moved to London.

Possible Spoiler Alert! Read no further if you plan to watch and have not seen the first episode and don't want to know what happens.  

So, Carrie and Big (Chris Noth) are married but "they" kill Big off in the first episode after a sweaty workout on his Peloton bike (and this is NOT really a spoiler.  If you didn't know that, you must have been living under a rock, because after that happened Peloton stock fell with a thud. It was all over the news) and the rest of the series is all about Carrie grieving, trying to get her life back on track and basically playing straight woman to Miranda and Charlotte, who have pretty much gone off the rails. You will hardly recognize the more subdued, sad Carrie, though she still sports the usual originally outrageous outfits, and I use the word outrageous in a good way. I always enjoyed the clothes.

Miranda has gone to graduate school, is not happy in her marriage to Steve (Dave Eigenberg), drinks too much, tries to impress her black professor (Karen Pittman) with her wokeness and enters into an affair with Che (Sarah Ramirez), who is a fellow podcaster of Carrie's and a non-binary stand-up comic. Miranda handles all of that in a series of very cringeworthy moments. When did Miranda turn into such a nitwit?  For an actress with political ambitions who once ran for Governor of New York State, not a good look.

And speaking of nitwits, how old is Charlotte again?  She acts like an insecure schoolgirl as she tries to be Super Mom to her two daughters, Lily (Cathy Ang and Rose (Alexa Swinton, distant cousin of Tilda). But they aren't cooperating. Rose wants to be called Rock and rejects Charlotte's obtuse attempts to girly her up. Lily is particularly sullen and unpleasant and boy, did she get on my nerves. Charlotte dances around both girls to try to make them happy, but basically, they are both spoiled brats. There was a particularly disturbing episode where Lily starts her period and when Charlotte tries to help her, Lily screams a lot and carries on to the point that Charlotte should have just slapped her! I actually would have slapped both of them! Double cringe (note: no one was slapped during the writing of this review). Charlotte also tries to impress one of the other mothers at her daughters' school and basically comes out looking like a dip.  Again...cringe.

Samantha needs to come back from London and save this thing. 

The best thing about the whole series was Mario Cantone who, in my opinion, is one of the funniest men on the planet. The writers should have given him more to do!

Though I stuck with the show and it grew on me a little bit, because, hey, I was all in with "Sex and the City" and loved those girls, and I do like that it highlights the importance of women's friendships, but ultimately, this didn't work. It wasn't funny and lacked the charm of the original, and in trying to be relevant to today, there were some scenes that were just...did I mention the word cringe?... and these 50+ year-old-women were made to look like they didn't have a clue about the current world they live in. 

Like I always say about sequels.  Don't.  Let us have happy memories of our favorite movies and TV shows.  Don't try to replicate them and fail and leave us with a bad taste in our mouths.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a huge disappointment.  Where is Samantha when you need her? And it looks like there will be a second season.  Hope that one will be better. Sigh.  But I will probably watch it. (Ten episodes, HBO Max)

After Life (2019-2022)

A man is just really, really pissed off that his wife has died.

Ricky Gervais wrote, produced, directed and stars in this comedy series about Tony Johnson, a newspaper writer in the fictional English town of Tambury, who has lost his wife and is really pissed off about it.  He is so pissed off and grief stricken that he decides to kill himself...except he has this dog, Brandy (Anti, one of the cutest and sweetest dogs ever). Who will feed her if he also dies?  So he decides to carry on, but he also decides he is going to spend his life on his terms, which basically means doing and saying whatever he wants, regardless of how that might make others feel. Needless to say, Tony is not easy to be around, but as you might suspect, a series of events help to change things for Tony, but it's a wild ride over three seasons getting there, with an unusual but beautifully satisfying ending.

Like "The Office," which Gervais also wrote, directed and starred in, the newspaper office has a disparate group of misfits: there is Matt (Tom Basden), Tony's hapless brother-in-law who runs the newspaper and who Tony loves to torment; Lenny (Tony Way), the newspaper's photographer who accompanies Tony on interviews of locals where they relate eccentric stories, and Kath (Diane Morgan), the lonely advertising manager who acts like she doesn't give a hoot about being alone, but she does. There is also Emma (Ashley Jensen), a nurse at the nursing home where Tony's Dad is a resident.  She is a possible love interest for Tony, but that doesn't go at all how you would think. Other characters come and go over the three seasons - an incompetent psychiatrist, a clueless postman, a drug addicted newspaper carrier and a sex worker whom Tony befriends, all providing many comic moments.  Typical Gervais. 

But there is also poignancy. When Tony goes to the cemetery to take flowers to his wife's grave, he meets Anne ("Downton Abbey" fans will recognize Penelope Wilton), an older woman sitting on a bench.  She, too, has lost her spouse, but as the two both sit on the bench together, she imparts some comfort and wisdom to our grieving Tony. Turns out the scenes with Wilton and Gervais sitting on that bench were so powerful to viewers that Gervais partnered with Netflix and the suicide charity, CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), to place 25 benches around England to help people cope.  Each bench is inscribed with a quote from the show: "Hope is everything."

Despite the subject matter, this really is a comedy, though typical Gervais kind of humor as in dark and out there. I am a huge Gervais fan. His deadpan reactions are enough to make me laugh, but even if you are not a fan, this is a series you don't want to miss and I challenge you to get through the last episode of Season Three without sobbing.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a series not to be missed. (Three Seasons, Netflix)

The Woman Across the Street from the Girl in the Window (2022)

A grieving woman who likes BIG glasses of wine sees a murder across the street - or did she?

Kristen Bell stars as Anna, a woman whose grief over losing her daughter and husband has led her to give up her work as an artist and isolate herself in her house with big glasses of wine (and I mean BIG) and lets not forget the pills. It doesn't help that she also has a phobia about rain so she spends her time sitting and watching out of her window, and thus becomes fixated on Neil (Tom Riley), the handsome widower, who has moved in across the street with his daughter, Emma (Samsara Leela Yett).

And then…while staring into Neil’s windows, she sees what she thinks is a murder. Was it or was she imagining things? When she reports the "murder" to the police and they see the pills and empty wine bottles, they are skeptical, and when they go across the street to Neil's house to investigate and he doesn't know what they are talking about nor is there any sign of a murder, they don't believe her. But Anna isn't going to give up. Time to get your detective hat on, Anna!

Fans of those psychological thrillers “The Girl on the Train” or “The Woman in the Window (I think I will throw “Gone Girl” in there too),” will get a kick out of this eight-part Netflix series created by Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras that is a send-up of those movies and books with all of the tropes you would expect - a heroine with a troubled past, the unreliable witness to a murder, no sign of a body, red herrings, gaslighting, and the usual twist ending. Everyone and everything is suspicious. What's with Buell (Cameron Britton), the handyman who can't seem to get Anna's mailbox repaired or Anna's nosy neighbor, Carol (Brenda Koo) or that mysterious knocking up in the attic? And what's with the casseroles?

You won’t know whether to laugh or take this all seriously (don’t). It's funny if you get all of the tropes being spoofed but the humor is subtle. Doesn't matter. It's still a good story on its own: entertaining and very bingeable (each episode is only 30 minutes). And this girl knows how to pour a good glass of wine.

Rosy the Reviewer says…despite all of Anna's problems, Kristin Bell makes her engaging and fun to watch. A girl after my own heart, especially the wine part!

Thanks for reading!

See you again soon!

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And next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll over to the right of the synopsis to where it says "Critic Reviews" - Click on that and if I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list (NOTE:  IMDB keeps moving stuff around so if you don't find "Critics Reviews" where I am sending you, look around.  It's worth it)!

(NOTE:  If you are looking for a particular movie or series, check out this cool site: JustWatch.  It tells you where you can access all TV series and movies)