CHERNOBYL (2019)

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Creator: Craig Mazin

Cast: Jessie Buckley, Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård 

One of the world’s worst man-made catastrophes happened on April 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Soviet Union.

An excellent US series  where sacrifices was made and men have suffered a great deal. It is an hommage to those people who died in the explosion and those who fought to keep it from spreading and contained it. And what a bunch of brave men they were. Well made and filmed with the  great performances from Jared Harris, Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgard, and more. What happened on April 26, 1986 when a safety test went extremely  wrong. They are the workers that are most inexperience with no proper equipment to work with combined with the abusive supervisors who didn’t know what they were doing and the disaster that is going to follow is going to be so intense that they are not going to believe their eyes. Harris Played by Valery Legasov, a key Soviet nuclear physicist who is the first to realize what has happened at Chernobyl, and what it means is going to happen now. The series capture what happen after the incident and how they are going to contain it and clean up this mess. What killed me it that the Soviet government saw it happened claimed nothing was wrong. You have got to be kidding me. After the meltdown, there were several ticking time bombs related to Chernobyl, including the even of a massive explosion, the containment of the nuclear radiation leaking across Russia, and the fact that it was headed down into the water supply for most of the country. How was this avoided it is simple it is called human sacrifice. People who were willing or were ordered to contain this mess and clean it up. It is an all star cast here that delivers an outstanding performances. Here is a bit of news the Soviet Union where the city was evacuated because of radiation of which the military told them they could go back later is now a ghost town but wait there is more now that the radiation is low somewhat in some places ,the government have decided to make it a tourist attraction. You have got to be kidding me. So they decided to make money out of it and what killed me, is that the tourists are coming. They are strict rules and if the tourists does not obey them and have too much radiation on them they are fined 1000 Euros. A terrific series from HBO were I salute the men who sacrificed their lives for others to live.

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WHEN THEY SEE US (2019)

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Cast: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse 

The true story of five teenagers who are accused of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989. The thing is they did not commit the crime.

1989 five boys as forever known as the Central Park Five when they were put on trial for a crime they did not commit. Coerced confessions that didn’t even have consistent details of the crime, the press and the prosecutors in New York City convicted Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Jr., Korey Wise and Kevin Richardson, sentencing them to years of prison . While the NYPD harassed and terrorized these minors, the actual criminal walked unseen through Central Park. The story has been told as the documentary The Central Par five. When They See Us uses a four-episode Netflix miniseries, starting with the events of April 19, 1989, when investment banker Trisha Melli was brutally raped and left for dead in the North Woods of Central Park and ending in 2002 when an inmate confessed to the crime. Some scenes are horrifying, harrowing, upsetting and infuriating. To think that the police has done their job and still today they think they did their job is unbelievable. The series never loses sight of its thesis statement that Black and black people are presumed guilty at all times. The series is not going to let you forget how the justice system and the press have failed even today nothing is changed. The system failed those kids. You will see how the interrogation was coerced then the trial. The last episode unleashes the full horror of both prison life and the assault on Melli. The NYPD was tormenting the Central Park Five, the real rapist was walking  through the park covered in blood and free to commit a few more attacks before being captured. A Horrific and hard to watch series. Sadly it is still going on today.

 

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THE FOREST (2017)

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Creator: Delinda Jacobs

Cast: Samuel Labarthe, Suzanne Clément, Alexia Barlier

Sixteen-year-old Jennifer disappears one night from her village in the Ardennes. Captain Gaspard Deker leads the investigation with police officer Virginie Musso, who knew the girl well. They are helped by Eve, a lonely and mysterious woman.

The Forest is a mystery revolving around the disappearance of 16-year-old girl Jennifer. As the series develops which the plot tension is going to be tense , The Forest evolves from a detective mystery with family drama as secrets close to home are revealed. Girls has been disappearing years earlier and they think that the perpetrator is at it again.  Here is a French production on Netflix . Alexia Barlier who plays Eve portrays the kind of character that is tough and courageous as has a soft spot. It is at a pace of a thriller this series and the writers made sure to build up the tension until the end. And who is this mysterious woman who wants to help. The atmosphere is misty with some beautiful shot of the forest. Only 6 episodes for this mini series.

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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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