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)

Marcus Lemonis’ “The Partner”

Marcus Lemonis of “The Profit” has a new series on CNBC called “The Partner”.  I really want to love this show but two episodes in, the jury’s still out for me.  The concept is good – Marcus is looking for someone to be his business partner and to help him shoulder the load of work he’s taken on via “The Profit”.

I love Marcus Lemonis’ “The Profit” and the concepts of “people, process, product” that he promotes.  It’s clear that he takes this seriously and it carries over into “The Partner”.

On paper, the candidate’s credentials were very impressive.  However, their credentials aren’t necessarily translating to their actions.  I’m sure this is in part due to the presence of the cameras, as well as the enormous time crunch.

I was particularly disappointed in Chuck Brewer, who was “fired” this week.  I predicted that he and Peilin Pratt were the candidates to beat during the first episode.  However, he displayed no personality and his personal branding campaign was weak.  It was definitely the right decision to fire him this week.

Erin Cobb is a great candidate but something about his personality rubs me the wrong way.  Perhaps he’s a bit overconfident?  I really like Peilin and I think she’ll be in the final two.  I’m also biased in her favor because I love candy (she and her husband have an online candy business)!

I suspect that Marcus will keep the non-profit candidate Julianna Reed for a while because she’s the underdog.  She’s definitely impressed me more as time goes by, but I’m still skeptical that she has the gravitas to be the partner.

I believe this series only has three more episodes so I intend to stick with it.  I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it.

Marcus Lemonis’ “The Partner”

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…

What I’m watching…

We need to talk about “The Affair” (again).  So all this time Noah stabbed himself?  I wish he had finished the job.  Talk about a loathsome character.  And no, I don’t feel bad for him because of his crappy childhood.  Plenty of people have hardships and don’t become self-destructive nymphomaniacs.  I know the show has been renewed for another season so we’re probably stuck with this lame character, but I’d much rather focus on Helen and Cole.

I’m not sure how the show intends to wrap everything up in one hour tonight, which probably means that it won’t.  Why do we need the distraction of this random French woman?  Why does Noah need another woman fawning all over him?  Why does Noah need to be in the finale at all?  Did Brendan Fraser gain weight for the role or did he just get fat?  Burning questions, all.

It’s hard to make any predictions given how unpredictable the show’s been, which is one of the reasons it’s a great show.  I thought season 2 was much better than the current season.

I saw the first episode of Riverdale and I’ll stick around for a few more, if only to watch the actress playing Veronica. She’s just about the only thing this show has going for it, besides the snarky millennial dialogue.

Homeland is off to a slow start but I understand the producers have to set the table for the season.  It looks like Saul gets kidnapped again, so I expect that Carrie will come up with some crazy scheme to save him.  I wish Quinn had died last season because I can’t stand watching him behave so recklessly.

Happy tv watching!

What I’m watching…

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