THREE GIRLS (2017)

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Cast: Molly WindsorRia ZmitrowiczLiv Hill 

Three Girls is a mini series of child sexual grooming ring in Rochdale, where men had sex with teenage girls for years in the Northern English town and led to other cases being discovered across England.

we follow three victims of the grooming, Holly Winshaw (Molly Windsor), whose family recently moved to the town, and  Amber and Ruby Bowen (Ria Zmitrowicz and Liv Hill). These girls are given free food and alcohol by much older men before being sexually abused by them. During the four years the police ignore that those girls were being abuse due to lock of evidence. There are different aspect of the case the first one we see the girls groomed, and being raped and the network of men who are in line for sex. Plus one of the parents who tries to pull their daughter out but keeps in getting back to what she was doing like it is the thing to do. which we are getting to the second part of the interview with the girls and a new set of police officers reopening the case which was not easy to do due to the fact that the girls was pissed off because the first time the police didn’t help them. The third part is the trial and after the trial and the effect on the community. The director here made sure that the story was told like it was supposed to be told. It is a true story as they say in the beginning. Three Girls is obviously tackling a sensitive  subject and the mini-series is not for the faint of heart. Some rape scene where the director pulled away the camera so you can heard the noise and it is more freighting this way. The Rochdale case was controversial because the victims were white and the perpetrators were from Pakistani (That is all I am going to say here). The series here focuses on the girls how they fell into it and how the police failed them. Some of the girls were pregnant and as young as thirteen. Here is a brutal story which when they started investigating they found out that this was going on in at least two dozen cities in England. The thing is here it is the first time this has happen in England.

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LA MANTE (2017)

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Creators: Alice Chegaray-Breugnot, Grégoire Demaison, Nicolas Jean

Cast: Carole Bouquet, Fred Testot, Jacques Weber

Jeanne Deber (Carole Bouquet)  La mante (a famous serial killer)  who terrorized France, has been imprisoned for more than 25 years. When a murder who is  identical of  the crime scenes of “La Mante”, Commissioner Ferracci (Pascal Demolon) decides to collaborate with Jeanne. However, the latter has only one request: to have as sole interlocutor her son (Fred Testot) that she has not seen since her arrest.

Scary maybe but well writing and directed here is an other series, well here is my problem they said it is a mini-series but there may be a second season so I will let you know as soon as I can. However let’s go back to the series shall we. In the series there is this balance between action and psychology trying to get inside the head of a killer. It is not going to be easy for Damien seen his mother since he is with his new girlfriend who has a kid from a previous relationship. Carole Bouquet does an outstanding job here to play this series killer even though she has played plenty of femme fatale before that. The game between her and her son and the manipulation begins. The fear of not finding the killer in time plus other thing is going to be in play. Here is a refreshing thriller that is nice and works well because of its great cast.

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EYEWITNESS (2014)

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Creators: Jarl Emsell Larsen

Cast: Axel Bøyum, Odin Waage, Anneke von der Lippe

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy took the publishing industry by storm and everything since then  the Nordic noir is in business. Eyewitness is something slightly different, merging crime thriller and family drama.

When Philip (Axel Bøyum) and Henning (Odin Waage) witness a multiple-murder they stay quiet, fearing for their lives, normal reaction for teenagers. Philip has his foster-mother who is  the officer leading the investigation, Helen Sikkeland (Anneke von der Lippe). When the SRO are drafted in to deal with a drugs war involving The Sixers and a biker band called The Ferrymen, Sikkeland begins to see connections. However, without evidence and the gun that they can’t find she is at a halt and struggle to make progress.

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Here is a terrific Nordic Noir as I love them with some terrific actors and story telling. Henning, an alpha male motocross champion, seems more terrified by his family to discover who he is really. In keeping quiet Philip to protects him  but messes up  his already complicated relationship with his foster family. Thank god for trying to avoid the clichés. The performances of the actors are strong with some great sensitive writing to go with it. The Norwegian / Swedish nine series has 6 episodes that are dark and tense.

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THE PRINCIPAL (2015)

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Creators: Kristen Dunphy and Alice Addison

Cast: Alex Dimitriades, Mirrah Foulkes, Rahel Romahn

Here is a great TV series from Australia that is worth seeing. It is a bit of a complex story here which involves muslin kids at school. The old way is not working and the kids are miss treated. The boys in the school are almost all traumatized by violence and some of them don’t make it out alive. Every years there is one or two that died. There are in territory ghetto where the drug dealers are king and deals in school.

Enter Principal Bashir who comes from an all girls school as a teacher now is a step up as the principal and yes he has his own issues to deal with , don’t we all. The opening scene show us a murder happening we do not even know who did what and who is the victim then we jump to 2 weeks before. When the principal comes in the school he did not get the welcome he was hoping for. He has a new way of getting the kids around respect them they will respect you. But is not an easy task because the teacher here does not know how to teach and to react toward the kids. But slowly they will come around. The police on the other hand are trying to solve the murder. Well acted and written in only 4 episodes , do not miss this one.

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SHOW ME A HERO (2015)

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Creator: David Simon

Cast: Oscar Isaac, Peter Riegert, Natalie Paul 

David Simon has an incredible ability to tell stories populated with real people. Show Me a Hero, explores the long struggle of Yonkers, New York to comply with a court order to desegregate its public housing. Seven years over six episodes, the miniseries follows the city hall politics and politicians while also introducing viewers to the lives of the people they govern.This includes the residents of the existing public highrises and those who live on the side of town where new  housing will be built. The thing is this actually happen in the late 80’s in Yonkers.  And may the side-show begins.

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Nick Wasicsko, (oscar Issac)  a city council member who rises to mayor through his opposition to the Federal judge’s ruling. His election as the youngest mayor in the country (28 years old) is a trying experience as he must comply with the ruling, angering the community that put him in power, or face bankrupting the city through a series of increasing fines. the early episodes you will fall the political dynamics of city hall and the fervor held by opponents of desegregation. Yes there is scenes of backroom drama is the lives of community members most affected by the housing. plus we will follow the lives of 4 families that lives in the housing project and Nick Wasiscko’s homelife. I loved in the states so I know how the politics works over there I am learning how it is working in my country well because I kind of forgot. But the politicians and the people are frustrating with a tension that is rising fast enough. This is a terrific series from HBO Quality tv here and David Simon has done it again.

The cast is perfect here the great Oscar Isaac as Mayor Wasicsko and Carla Queveda as his wife, Nae, the city council opposition is led most vocally by Alfred Molina’s Hank Spallone. Saverio Guerra as city manager and Catherine Keener as an east side resident, LaTanya Richardson Jackson’s performance as a home health aid who is losing her sight due to her diabetes, and Paul Haggis has directed all of six episodes. Do not miss this one.

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GENERATION KILL (2008)

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Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, James Ransone, Lee Tergesen

Generation Kill, a seven-part mini-series. The series was based on Wright’s book, which chronicled his time embedded with the First Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corp during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In this mini-series there are no introduction to the characters none no background actually we know very little about them. We get right to it, right in the Iraqi war back in 2003. Wright I believe is a writer for the rolling stone and got on the front line with a group pf soldiers. Wright himself is a character in the show and once the marines meet him he gets sneer by them until he mention that he wrote for Hustler previously. Now the group in all ear and wright has respect from the soldiers. The Battalion’s Bravo Company is preparing  for the invasion of the country and finally to their daily patrols in Baghdad. They express themselves with dead honesty. Although they express their frustration with the bureaucracy of the military. And yes there is a lot of dialogue some combat as you can see that the soldier are eager to go to war and want to see some action as soon as possible. It is a all star cast here. They get lucky in not getting too many casualties. There you have it a raw and honest feel to the war in Iraq in 2003. An other great HBO mini-series.

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DANCING ON THE EDGE (2013)

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Creator: Stephen Poliakoff

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, Joanna Vanderham

Dancing on the Edge takes place in the 1930s, exploring racial tensions in Europe when a jazz band, led by Louis (Chiwetel Ejiofor), begins to get attention in London, with help from journalist Stanley (Matthew Goode). There is also some problem with the booking of venues and immigration complications for one particular member, but Poliakoff wants to do something more with the story. The forbidding romance plus a dead body surfacing.

Here is a great mini-series from Britain where Jacquelin Bisset has won a golden globe for this one if I am not mistaken. It has 6 episodes of 1 hour and 30 minutes long. It is about this jazz nabs who is trying to make a name for themselves with the help of a journalist acting as the manager, but will encounter the difficulties of a black jazz band to make it big due to racism. There is a forbidding romance that will take in effects here well done by Poliakoff. There will be an incident that will set off a series of events.  Bisset’s performance is outstanding. The decor plus the music are great here it feels that you are really in the 30’s. An other British drama that kicks ass of course it is a period piece again but I love it.

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