August 7, 2019

We are just past the halfway point of 2019 and with my nerve damage plaguing me all year again I've watched more TV than I'd like.

For all those donating to our fundraiser or just friends of the site, here are my top 5 picks of 2019 so far. It's not a definitive list, just shows I enjoyed.

Chernobyl (HBO)

Each frame of sound and film is seared with dread and unless you've spent time reading up on this horrific nuclear accident, you'd never know how close they came to causing a cataclysmic event that would have scarred the earth for generations. it scared the heck out of me at times.

Fleabag: (Amazon Prime)

The best comedy of the year. Binge season one if you've haven't already seen it yet, then enjoy season 2. Phoebe Walker-Bridge's writing and acting are fantastic as well as her costars. And if you didn't know, she wrote most of season one of Killing Eve which was awesome. (Season 2 wasn't nearly as good without her.)

Fosse/Verdon: (FX)

I won a Carnegie Hall music scholarship at Hunter College and was fortunate to study with the principal flutist of the NYC Ballet. Andrew Loyla's studio was in Carnegie Hall so that was incredible and I met and talked to many dancers and from that experience, I've come to have the utmost respect for dancers, ballet or otherwise. A chipped toenail could be detrimental to their entire careers.

Anyway, Sam Rockwell played Bob Fosse superbly, the dance numbers were excellent, but it was Michelle Williams' performance as Gwen Verdon that stole the show.

Russian Doll (Netflix)

I'm not a fan of the Groundhog Day scenario except when they can surprise me and this series did just that. Natasha Lyonne, who created and stars in the series is wonderful as she tries to navigate herself through a nightmare scenario that she can't seem to fix or understand. The only thing she knows for sure is that each day gets worse.

Better Things (Hulu/FX)

I love everything about this show which is based on Pamela Adlon's experiences. And when the horrific news about her partner Louis CK came out, I was worried FX would not renew it. However, they took a chance on Adlon, scored and Season 3 was even better than the previous two.

Bonus movie Deadwood: The Movie (HBO)

The release led me to rewatch the entire series which was really fun. I found the movie good but it was actually too short to have the emotional impact David Milch tried to evoke, especially when the series has been away for so long. It would have been tremendous if they added another 60-90 minutes to flesh out all the characters since it's a decade later.

There are many other great shows to choose from so please tells us your favs in the comment section.

Bonus pick: An oldie but goodie.

Farscape in HD (20th-anniversary edition Amazon Prime)

If you need a new sci-fi series to binge then look no further than the re-release of SyFy Channel's 1999 series Farscape. It was unceremoniously canceled after season four for no apparent reason and there was such an outcry by fans that 18 months later they produced a short miniseries to at least give us some closure.

I am still waiting for a decent Buffy and Angel version to be released for streaming. Not like the ill-fated attempt by the now-defunct Pivot network. Just keep it in its original aspect ratios and don't worry about any cheap-looking special effects. Fans don't care, they just want a clean copy to watch.

Enjoy and thanks for donating (five bucks makes a difference!) to keep C&L going strong during these dark days.

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