ART & CULTURE
Alexa is back with some reviews of the hottest new series available to stream in France. There is one more week of confinement, so there is still time to binge before we go back to some kind of schedule... Here is a selection of the latest HBO series (available on OCS in France) to get stuck in.
In these chaotic times of social distancing and hanging out at home, having new TV series to look forward to (and some takeaway) is just about as good as it gets. There is plenty of brand-new series that have and will be premiering in 2020, starring A-list casts, written and directed by well-known experts of the small (and big) screen - and it seems like HBO has plenty of good TV to keep us entertained—for the foreseeable future, anyway. Here is a selection of the latest HBO series (available through OCS in France) to get stuck in.
The Plot Against America (17 March)
HBO’s six-part mini-series is adapted from a Phillip Roth’s novel of the same name. “The Plot Against America” spans from June 1940 to 1942, during which America goes through a transformation that makes the members of the Levin family and other Jews across the country feel like the United States isn’t their homeland anymore. Charles Lindbergh gets elected to the nation’s highest office, boosted by his promise that U.S. forces will stay out of World War II. In the process, Lindbergh sparks feelings of anti-Semitism and racism that had once been bottled-up. As adapted by HBO regular David Simon and Ed Burns, who previously worked together on “The Wire”, “The Plot Against America” inevitably strikes notes in its fictional, reimagined, 80-year-old world which may resonate with the political climate in the United States right now.
Run (13 April)
“Run” was created by “Fleabag”’s own Vicky Jones and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and it follows two of the actors you’re happiest to see pop up on TV, Domhnall Gleeson and Merritt Wever, as they flee from their ordinary lives together after texting each other one simple word: “RUN.” This series proves that the rom-com isn’t dead, it just went on the run. The series is described as 'part romantic comedy, part thriller' about “ex-lovers who made a pact 15 years ago that if they ever needed to escape life, they could send each other a simple text message — ‘RUN’ — and impulsively disappear together.” Plus, Phoebe Waller-Bridge will have a recurring role in the series.
Devils (18 April)
Composed of ten episodes, “Devils” is the new European creation defined as an international financial thriller; starring our favourite doctor, Patrick Dempsey. Created and directed by Nick Hurran and Jan Michelini, the series is based on a novel by Guido Maria Brera. “Devils” takes place in 2011 at London Stock Exchange, following Massimo Ruggero (Borghi), a charismatic Italian banker who’s working for the investment Bank NYL. Suddenly, one of his colleagues dies and Massimo quickly becomes the primary suspect in the murder investigation. With the help of journalist, Victoria (Laia Costa), Massimo fights to discover who really killed his friend. Meanwhile, he and also discovers he is at the very centre of an international war breaking out contributed by the chaos created by Europe’s financial crisis; but the war’s roots are closer than he thinks.
I Know This Much is True (28 April)
Mark Ruffalo applies to this year’s Emmys in HBO’s newest limited series, portraying two emotionally heavy characters based on Wally Lamb's late-'90s novel of the same name. Indeed, in the upcoming limited series, Mark Ruffalo stars as identical twins: Dominick and Thomas Birdsey - the former suffers from PTSD, while the latter is a paranoid schizophrenic. “I Know This Much is True” bills itself as a story of betrayal, sacrifice, and forgiveness in 20th-century America. And its new trailer indicates the six-episode set will be faithful to the frequently heartbreaking source material; all episodes are directed by Derek Cianfrance (“Blue Valentine,” “The Place Beyond the Pines”).
The Undoing (10 May)
Fresh off the massive success high of “Big Little Lies”, David E. Kelley is pretty confident he knows what you want from Nicole Kidman in HBO’s new vehicle “The Undoing”: peacock-coloured dressing gowns, mirror pondering, private schools, insomnia, murder and, of course, that Wig. In the latest trailer for the limited-run series, based on author Jean Hanff Korelitz’s 2014 novel “You Should Have Known” and directed by Susanne Bier, Kidman’s Grace Fraser finds herself reeling from the brutal murder of a local mother. Once the “Who?” and “Why?” of that murder come to light, there probably aren’t enough jewel-toned coats in the world to cover up the hidden secrets set to spill from the cracks in Grace’s perfect life. Hugh Grant, Noah Jupe, Lily Rabe, and Edgar Ramirez round out the cast.
The Third Day (12 May)
Immersive theatre company Punchdrunk leaps into TV with an intriguing thriller, starring Jude Law, Naomie Harris and Paddy Considine. They get trapped on a secluded island paradise, something that may not have sounded so bad a few weeks ago - in a post-epidemic-world. But that mysterious premise may tap into some very relevant anxieties nowadays. At least, that’s as much as can be gleaned from the intriguing first trailer for “The Third Day”.
- Alexa Bouhelier-Ruelle
With a life-long passion for film and a master’s degree in journalism from the Sorbonne, Alexa joins Riviera Insider as our film critic.