My thoughts on Hotel Beausejour…(spoilers)

So I finished the Belgian Netflix series Hotel Beausejour this weekend.  I really enjoyed it but it did have some flaws.  A lot of it probably had to do with my lack of familiarity with Belgian culture (and language).

The story is about a teenage girl named Kato who is murdered.  She realizes that she is dead and appears on the show as herself, but as a ghost figure.  She can feel pain and is basically still a human.  The interesting part is that only 6 people can actually see and interact with her.  To the rest, she is dead.

Not even Kato knows how she ended up dead or who did it, so she is determined to identify the killer.  She enlists the help of the 5 people who can see her (more on # 6 later).  The 5 people are her dad, her stepsister, a police officer who happens to be the uncle of her ex-boyfriend, her friend, and the son of the aforementioned police officer, who she hooked up with the night of her murder.

It is a murder mystery but there’s a lot of emotion involved, and Kato is both a tragic and an unsympathetic figure.  The 6th person who sees her is not revealed until the last episode, and that person ends up being the killer.  I totally didn’t see it coming and the show did accomplish that element of surprise.

I do recommend this show if you like foreign shows and films.  It reminded me of a Belgian “Veronica Mars”.

 

My thoughts on Hotel Beausejour…(spoilers)

Back from a Scandinavian hiatus…

Sorry I’ve been away for a while.  To be honest, I didn’t have much to write about recently.  However, I just finished the third season of “Rita” on Netflix.  The show is from Denmark and is about a middle-aged single mother who is a teacher at a struggling school.  She is the resident anarchist at the school and looks out for the students in unconventional ways.

Of course, she has a lot of personal baggage that’s covered on the show as well.  I enjoyed the exposure not only to the Danish school system, but also how different Danish culture is from American culture.  For example, an episode about abortion was handled very pointedly and didn’t have a happy ending.  In the USA, that topic is the third rail of television and is rarely addressed.  And if it is, there’s a pollyanna ending that has no basis in reality.  I highly recommend this series.

I also finished “Occupied” on Netflix.  This is only one season so far but I’m intrigued.  It’s set in Norway where the political party in power has done away with using fossil fuels because of climate change.  Russia and the rest of Europe get nervous because this cuts off their access to Norway’s rich oil stores.  Russia essentially occupies Norway in an attempt to intimidate the government into changing the policy.  International intrigue ensues, and I was hooked.

I am onto Jessica Jones next.

Happy watching!

Back from a Scandinavian hiatus…

DVR alert

Warren Buffett documentary – HBO Monday night

Trumped (unseen footage from The Circus re: campaign) – Showtime Friday night

Planet Earth – BBC 2/18

Billions – Showtime 2/19

Tickled – HBO 2/27

The Partner – CNBC 3/7 (moved from 2/28)

Better Call Saul – AMC 4/10

House of Cards – Netflix 5/30

DVR alert

Binge-watching Dicte (Major spoiler warning)

So I’ve been binge-watching Danish crime series Dicte.  That is, until the second episode of season three.  That’s right, I’m done with this show now that they killed my favorite character.

The show is about probably the most egocentric female character I’ve ever seen, named Dicte.  She’s the only character I don’t like.  She’s a crime reporter for the local branch of a  major newspaper.  Somehow she gets herself involved in the center of all the major crimes that occur in the town of Aarhus.  That way, she not only writes about crime, but she’s usually a part of the investigation.  This brings her into the orbit of police officer John Wagner.

Wagner is a no nonsense homicide detective with no tolerance for Dicte’s bullshit/meddling.  Over the three seasons of the show, and several years in time, they develop a friendship.  I sensed trouble in the first episode of season three, when the producers had Wagner telling his son how much he loved him, and generally exhibiting feelings in every scene he was in.  That’s when you know a character is doomed.

Unfortunately, instead of killing off Dicte’s husband, the producers killed Wagner.  I have no idea whether Lars Brygmann, who played Wagner, intended to leave the show, or whether the producers thought this was a good move.  Either way, I’m done watching it.  Oh well, now on to give Hinterland a try.

Binge-watching Dicte (Major spoiler warning)

2016 Wrap Up Report

We’re about to embark on another year so instead of coming up with “resolutions” I’ll never keep, I decided to do a year end wrap up:

Best book:  “River of Doubt” by Candice Millard.  Lots of great books this year but this was my favorite by far.  Waiting for Ms. Millard to come out with a new book in 2017.

Best new tv show:  Tie between “Happy Valley” and “Gomorrah”.  Two totally different shows but I just can’t decide between them.

Best tv season:  “Game of Thrones” – ’nuff said.  Honorable mention:  “Better Call Saul”.

Best line:  “What’s the point of having fuck you money if you never say fuck you?” – Billions.

Best song:  I am so not qualified to judge this but I find Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” oddly addictive.

Biggest surprise:  Hillary Clinton lost the election.

Most upsetting celebrity death:  Tie between George Michael and Prince.

Show I broke up with permanently:  The Walking Dead.

Best podcast:  “In the Dark”.

Best documentary:  “OJ Simpson:  Made in America”.

 

 

 

 

2016 Wrap Up Report