The best series of spring: without “The Mandalorian” – you already know about him
What to watch in March – a review of TV series by film critic UP.Zhyttia and soldier Yaroslav Pidhora-Gvyazdovsky traditionally does not contain obvious recommendations. So, it is useless to look for references to the 3rd season of “The Mandalorian” in this review. Instead, there is sunshine, joy, women, men, victory – everything that is important and necessary for the world and life itself. In most of the presented films, women play a role, if not the main one, then the most significant one – female images are the cornerstone of plot twists. The geography of the March review is also traditionally extensive: the film industries of 6 countries are represented here – the USA, Mexico, Great Britain, France, South Korea and Sweden. But it is impossible to forget the context of the war, so the review begins with military action, which leads the victorious top 7. Black hearts (Coeurs Noir) Screening: Amazon Prime Video, France Finally, the first adequate series in the military genre in six months, where there is no artificial pathos, and all soldiers behave with weapons and in combat situations in such a way that viewing does not cause laughter. Therefore, the “mini” form for 6 series is disappointing. Because the work of the French special forces unit in Iraq is a genre, production and dramatic success, giving the opportunity to happily recall “Fatherland”, “Six” and the last similar hit – last year’s “Death List” (from the same Amazon service). The story is diverse, and touches on the local Iraqi situation at the same time, interweaving the interests of civilian Kurds and Iraqis, as well as the headquarters of the French and American armies. The series also goes beyond one area, throwing the viewer to another, because the roots of the terrorist acts committed in different cities of France are rooted in Iraqi soil. Psychologicalism is added by the problems faced by the heroes, whether after a battle, struggling with a mistake, or in a relationship situation, because war cannot destroy personal life. A sincere recommendation for lovers! Gold (The Gold) Screening: BBC, Great Britain This 6-part mini-series is like a cheesecake, whose piece the gourmet tasted, and asked for another. A perfectly acted story of Britain’s biggest real life heist with a perfectly balanced pure English crime detective and humour. Three tons of gold, stolen from a bank by 6 robbers, in the late 70s, exist here like a Hitchcockian MacGuffen – everyone talks about gold, the police are looking for it, the robbers seem to use it, but they never find it, and this makes it legendary . Read also: Not the only “Crown”: the 7 best TV series this fall. Without slowing down, without sagging, the series races like a mustang, but the dynamics do not deprive the viewer of the pleasure of viewing a perfectly reproduced era, with specific costumes, glasses, hairstyles, opaque cigarette smoke in the compartments , typewriters, men’s funny mustaches and women’s cloaks. Plus a few highlights: here the main role of the investigator is played by the unsurpassed Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey”), and the lawyer, with the surname Cooper, is played by Domenic Cooper (“The Preacher”). Formula 1: Drive to Survive (Formula 1: Drive to Survive) Screening: Netflix, Great Britain Watching the series, you understand why people (although mostly men) love cars, speed and winning so much – because it’s in our DNA, it is the basis of testosterone, the basis of life. Already for the 5th season in a row, the 10-episode documentary masterpiece of drive and tension gives maximum pleasure to fans of super-high-speed car races, which drive throughout the year on the most expensive tracks in the world. However, the main reason for the presence of “Formula-1” in the top of views, apart from the races, of course, as the lion’s share of each 35-minute series, is the talent of directors from Netflix (probably because of crazy money) to get behind the scenes: who is talking about what, jokes and zaboskalit, and even deeper – into the private lives of pilots and managers, into the circles of their families. This makes the series closer, warmer, more understandable to a wider audience. Well, the creators do not forget about the sprinkling of relevance. For example, a year ago, at the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine, the head of one of the 10 leading teams broke the contract with a Russian pilot with the words: “No more Russians while I live on this planet.” Boldly! The head of Joaquín Murrieta (La Cabeza de Joaquín Murrieta) Screening: Amazon Prime Video, Mexico The colorful and beautiful series tells the story of one of the most famous heroes of 19th century Mexico. He is cruel and tough, but there are so many friendly feelings, love for children, courage and patriotism in him – important features for the risen Zorro. 8 episodes tell about Murieta’s confrontation with the American Rangers, whose country came to the “defense” of the separatist republic of Texas, invaded Mexico and, as a result, annexed a third of it. The political moment is heard here in full voice, and it is because of the historicity, vexatiousness and explosiveness of the dialogues that “The Head…” is a model of serial art. What’s up with a modern soundtrack (no worse than Tarantino and Jarmusch’s films), sprawling filming (in 4 (!) Mexican states), staging battles, built houses and entire towns, and the brilliant debut of Becky Chu Wu, who played Moore’s partner. eat, the Chinese Adela Cheng – all this makes the series exceptional and a must see for lovers of westerns and oriental cinema. Your Company (The Company You Keep) Screening: Hulu / ABC, USA Light, but without rough stretches – what is needed for recreation for both sexes. The rating on IMDB is 7.4, so the quality is there. A handsome thief (Milo Ventimiglia, “This is Us”) admires a bright employee of the US security structure (Kathryn Haena Kim, “FBI”). They have a wild cupid for three days at the hotel. There is a ticking time bomb between them that they don’t know about each other’s work. But fate brings them not only together, but also in one and the same case – against the “meth king”, whom he thoughtlessly robbed, and she wants to thinklessly put him in jail. New, family topics are already coming into contact here, because his family is robbers, her family is congressmen. And the “king” also has his own family. That is, we have a crime, a melodrama and a comedy of situations. And all this easily goes here and there, despite all the contrast of topics. No stronger than an aperitif, the series allows itself a little sharpness, making one of the heroes a former ambassador to Russia who “launders kickbacks from the Kremlin.” It is just as easy to rob him, because he has a symbolic connection with the aggressor country – arrogance. Taxi Driver – 2 (Mobeomtaeksi) Screening: SBS TV, South Korea A somewhat naive crime comedy action with an instructive moment, made at the same time in the spirit of classic dramas and modern action thrillers. Yes, at first glance – a solid vinaigrette, which has everything. However, this is a Korean vinaigrette, and a top one, with a rating of 8.0, so not everything is so simple. In terms of structure, we are similar to “Ocean’s 11 friends”, only the goal of the heroes is not to rob someone, but to take revenge on those who robbed someone. After the twisted 1st season in 2021 (we wrote about it), the 2nd season continues the idea of verticality, when every two series are separate missions of a team of avengers hidden behind the sign “Elite-Taxi”. But there is also room for the continuation of horizontal lines, when old thieves begin to surface, punished and unmeasured in their rage for revenge. Interesting retro style of the series: 80s disco, tapes and such desperation like Indian cinema, well known in Ukraine since those times. Scheduled for the traditional 16 episodes (1 hour each), “Taxi Driver-2” will end at the beginning of April. The Rapture (Kapningen) Screening: C More / TV4 Play, Sweden The Rapture Series An amazingly underrated series whose 4.9 rating on IMDB calls into question the attempt to rely on ratings in general. The hijacking of a Swedish Airlines plane on its way to the United States sets off a complicated – and interesting – investigation, entangling dozens of people, and all over the world. Because terrorism is never the creation of just one person, affecting even more people, seemingly innocent at first glance. This is the most interesting intrigue of the series. The search for those involved in the hijacking of the plane is simply a quest, where the focus of the plot shifts from the passengers to the captain of the plane, from him to the employee of the special service, who in turn suspects other employees, and she suspects another special service in general, and everything boomerangs to the USA , returning again to Sweden, where democracy is a double-edged sword. All this multi-layering creates something more significant than a story limited to one country and one series. There are worldview issues here. All the more so because they are embedded in a harmonious polyphony of genres, combining a tense thriller, an obscure detective and a human drama. For those who would like to watch more, we have a few more recommendations: the American 8-episode “The Consultant” (The Consultant), whose exciting course can slightly spoil the mood of the viewer with the finale-without-an-answer; Franco-Italian “Django” (Django) is capable of both interest in the fantastic simulation of the history of the United States and cause unpleasant surprise; the American “Dear Edward” (Dear Edward) is one of those who simply did not fit into our 7, although it frankly causes uncontrollable tears – for someone it will be acceptable, for someone – too melodramatic. Yaroslav Pidgora-Gvyazdovskyi, specially for UP.Zhyttia. The collages were prepared by Andrii Kalistratenko.
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