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Three in One Review

Keith Higgons

Posted on March 19, 2019 08:52

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Reviews of Season Five (part deux) of Arrested Development on Netflix, Shrill on Hulu and Turn Up Charlie on Netflix

The second eight episodes of season five’s Arrested Development dropped on Netflix on March 15. After an uneven season four, both parts of season five remind us why Arrested Development remains the gold standard of single camera comedy. While most of these performers have gone on to do other things, it’s nice to see them return to these characters. Especially David Cross, who seems to embrace the absurdity of Tobias Fumke’ (Mrs. Featherbottom returns). Which is saying something in a cast of absurd characters. All said, season five part two is a fine conclusion to the story of the Bluth family story. Let’s hope it’s just that. There’s no need to take the Bluth family story any further. In a family of sociopaths, we finally discover who the real sociopath is. What's left?

Based on Lindy West’s memoir Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, Hulu released Shrill on March 15. Produced by Elizabeth Banks and Lorne Michaels, the show stars Aidy Bryant and is a great six episode find. While the portrayal of men is a little hackneyed, the show isn’t ABOUT men and probably isn’t FOR men. As Bryant’s Annie points out, she is a woman who struggles with all the stigmas that come with being overweight. Annie's arc is her awakening both personally and professionally and it’s cringe-worthy, at times heartbreaking, often funny, illuminating and ultimately heartwarming. Sometimes all at once. Shrill's brilliance is that it shatters the tradition of what a smart and attractive leading lady can be.  

Lastly, Friday March 15 saw the release of the eight-episode season one of Turn Up Charlie on Netflix. Created by Idris Elba and Gary Reich, Turn Up Charlie stars Elba as Charlie, a one-hit wonder from the 90’s whose career is running on fumes as an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) DJ in London. Like Charlie's career, the show initially sputters.

To be honest, it’s dreadful and stereotypical dreck. But then Elba’s struggling Charlie gets hired by childhood BFF and uber-successful actor friend David (JJ Field) and his partner, uber-successful music producer/EDM DJ Sara (Piper Perabo) to be “manny” to the couple’s precocious daughter Gabby (Frankie Hervey). The family recently moved back to London so David can do a play on London’s West End. Standard color by numbers hilarity (not. at. all.) ensues for the first episode.

But the show isn’t about Gabby and Charlie. It’s about Charlie and Sara. Elba and Perabo’s chemistry is undeniable and they're the reason to watch. Turn Up Charlie's storyline zig’s when you expect it to zag, which makes it refreshing.

The show culminates with the annual summer sojourn to the EDM Mecca of Ibiza. Now, I have as much interest in attending an EDM festival in Ibiza as a prostate exam, but Elba and Perabo make one of those more appealing than the other. 

Turn Up Charlie isn’t shocking or revolutionary, but it does come across as honest. Not perfect, but honest. 

Keith Higgons

Posted on March 19, 2019 08:52

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Source: Isthmus

“Shrill,” which stars SNL’s Aidy Bryant, is a game-changer. It’s inspired by Lindy West’s groundbreaking book of essays,...

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