Previously on our small screens … From Mare of Easttown to It’s a Sin via Small Ax or Loki, here are the unmissable events of the first six months of the year.
15) SWEET TOOTH – on Netflix
Against the backdrop of a touching metaphor around the acceptance of difference, this original and optimistic adventure takes on the aspect of a post-apo-poetic tale, which works largely on the face adorned with horns and two too cute little ears. ‘a stunning and endearing toddler.
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14) THE MOSQUITO COAST – on Apple TV +
Justin Theroux at his uncle, the writer Paul Theroux, in this distant adaptation of the 1981 novel, which reveals an attraction for the great outdoors, playing on the notion of border and territory dear to the road movie. But the series prefers especially to concentrate on the mystery which surrounds the central character, less than the quest for freedom, which made the salt of the eponymous film of Peter Weir, with Harrison Ford (1986).
13) MIXED – on Amazon Prime Video
The second was the correct one for the American streaming service. After the industrial flop of Deusch-les-Landes, Mixed finds the right mix between teen series and vintage series. A new original French creation, which brings us back to France before 1968, with teenagers from another time, perfectly embodied. The painting of an era, tender and uplifting.
12) SHADOW AND BONE – on Netflix
Teen fantasy as we like it. This Grisha Saga reveals a rich universe, with a complex geopolitics, which mischievously reenacts the east / west conflicts of our world. An aesthetically sumptuous decorum (the costumes, the sets, the effects are impressive) with refreshing Soviet connotations, brilliantly embodied by a new face, that of the young Jessie Mei Li, who bursts the screen.
11) WANDAVISION – on Disney Plus
The first Marvel series produced for the big-eared platform was a true ambitious and daring achievement, totally apart in its approach to the MCU. Full of references, humor and boosted by a touch of delectable madness, it also made Wanda Maximoff a major character in the sequel to the franchise.
10) THE FLIGHT ATTENDING – on Warner TV
It’s not easy to forget Penny, the perfect “girl next door” she played for twelve years in the most popular sitcom of the 21st century. However, Kaley Cuoco has found a job that suits her. A sexy and unbridled role, in this fun and millimeter thriller, overflowing with energy. Perfect to definitely turn the page of The Big Bang Theory.
9) INVINCIBLE – on Amazon Prime Video
This bloody and scathing animated series, adapted from the new comic book from the creator of The Walking Dead, is a real slap in the face … as was the first season of the zombific series. A clever and ultra-violent replay of superheroes, which manages to surprise us with each episode.
8) LOKI – on Disney Plus
Yes WandaVision was cool, if Falcon and the Winter Soldier was much agreed upon, Loki’s post-Avengers: Endgame is simply exhilarating. An insane fantasy that juggles with the codes of MCU and shines thanks to the spectacular debut of Owen Wilson, the ideal partner of the phlegmatic Tom Hiddleston. Definitely the best Marvel series so far.
7) UFO (S) – on Canal Plus
Without making a mystery, this original creation immersed in the 70’s gives us ufology and paranormal phenomena. Ambitious and unusual in French fiction. A series that also exudes a scent of assumed nostalgia, an authentic tribute to the time of which it piles up references with greed. SF comedy, but not only, UFO (s) adapts to all genres to investigate the existence of beings from elsewhere.
6) THE GOOD LORD BIRD – on Canal Plus
Ethan Hawke is in the oven and in the mill to tell us the (true) story of the mad fate of abolitionist John Brown, a divisive figure in the American Civil War. The actor of Boyhood delivers a supercharged performance and carries this fascinating picaresque western on his shoulders.
5) IN THERAPY – on Arte
It is undoubtedly the French event of the beginning of the year. An extraordinary series, which blew up the counters of Arte, live and in replay. With its 35 episodes, this first television season by Nakache and Tolédano has established itself as an exciting dive into our national psyche, targeting the widest possible audience, from drama buffs to style exercise enthusiasts, in passing by rhetoric enthusiasts.
4) THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD – on Amazon Prime Video
Despite Barry Jenkins’ slightly over-mannered style, the Oscar-winning filmmaker for Moonlight brings up a hot topic on television. Without being the definitive series on slavery that it could have been, the strength of The Underground Railroad lies in the reversal of the gaze imposed by the director. Through the epic of the African-American experience in its diversity and from within. And by asking the question of the gaze, that of white slavers, that of a black woman on her own condition as a woman, black, slave, that of the men who exploit her. And especially the gaze of the spectator, constantly questioned through the frontal close-ups of his heroine.
3) IT’S A SIN – on Canal Plus
Sacred in recent days at the 60th Monte-Carlo television festival, the new nugget from the creator of Years and Years is one of the important series of the beginning of 2021. Russel T. Davis delivers an uncompromising testimony to the AIDS years and a vibrant ode to life. A success that brings together all the emotions.
2) SMALL AXIS – sure Salto
As a sign of the times, it is still a very committed series which finds favor in our eyes. A conceptual and educational anthology by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) which cuts through the heart, by recounting the struggles of the West London Caribbean community, from the 1960s to the 1980s, through five films of varying strength, with the mad ambition of filling in the gaps in the official English history.
1) MARE OF EASTTOWN – on OCS
Or the Kate Winslet masterclass. As much as the concept of the tormented town cop is hardly new, the performance of the British actress, combined with a striking writing, which touches all the clichés of the concept, while managing to transcend it, make this mini-series a Breathtaking criminal drama, which is reminiscent of the slap True Detective from 2014.