Your Honor

Rated TV-MA

10 episodes, 9 hours 25 minutes

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Hunter Doohan, Hope Davis

I don’t normally watch (or binge watch) a series like this, but Christy said this was good and she was right!  Again!  What would you do if your son was involved in a hit and run accident with no witnesses?  And that accident killed someone?  And the one killed is the son of a man described as "the head of the most vicious crime family in the history of the city?”  Should he turn himself in?  Should he let someone else take the rap?  Should the father take the blame and say he did it to cover for his son?  These are just some of the questions that a judge, played by Bryan Cranston, has to worry about as one lie becomes another and another as they try to cover up what really happened, creating a giant web of deceit they keep trying not to get tangled in!  This show really makes you think about what lengths you might go to when trying to protect your children, along with how our justice system works – or doesn’t always work.  I couldn’t wait to watch each episode and it felt like it was all over too soon.  Maybe there will be a second season?  Either way, I’m glad I watched it!

Library Link: Your Honor (DVD) 


Let Him Go

Rated R

1 hour 53 minutes

Starring: Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Kayli Carter

After the last year of movies having their release dates pushed back over and over, I was excited to see a new one come out with some big name actors.  Kevin Costner and Diane Lane play George and Margaret Blackledge, a couple that has lost their son and are having trouble moving on with their lives.  After a few years, their daughter-in-law, Lorna, marries Donnie Weboy.  The Weboys are a controlling family that are known and feared all around their area in the backwoods of North Dakota.  Soon after, Margaret witnesses Donnie striking Lorna and their grandson, Jimmy.  She persuades George that they need to “rescue” him.  Once their plan was known by the Weboy family, the tension just kept building and escalating through every step of the film.  The Weboy family will stop at nothing to protect their own and keep their family together.  The movie went from a slow simmer to a full blown explosion at the end of the film.  I wasn’t expecting the ending and it threw me for a loop, but that’s what thrillers like this are supposed to do.  I’d say I enjoyed it overall and was glad I finally got to see a new “real” movie!

Library Link: Let Him Go (DVD)

 

Homeland, Seasons 1-8

Starring: Claire Danes, Damien Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend, F. Murray Abraham

Showtime TV MA (language, sexual situations, nudity, violence)

2011-2020 

This is another outstanding TV series that I can’t stop watching.  Home grown terrorism with so many twists and turns that you really don’t know whose side people are on! 

Claire Danes plays CIA agent, Carrie Mathison.  She is the top spy agent who has spent many hours in the field working cases.  Damien Lewis plays Nicholas Brody, an American Marine Sniper who has been held hostage for 8 years in Iran.  He has come home to a hero’s welcome, but all is not right with him.  This is the start of an 8 season run for this show. Seasons 1-3 deal with the relationship between Brody and Carrie and her quest to prove that he has “turned.” That he is working for al-Qaeda.  She becomes obsessed with proving the truth about Brody but no one in the CIA will believe her. 

Mandy Patinkin plays Carrie’s boss, Saul, who is amazing!  The working and personal relationship between all these characters are so intertwined it makes you wonder how much of the story is “real world spying.”  There’s a lot of revolving characters and story lines.  There’s love and loss.  Betrayal and redemption.  But you’re never really sure who the good guys are! 

What’s exceptional about this show, besides telling intriguing spy stories, is it gives you a view into a world that’s not black and white.  Sometimes the good guys have to do bad things to stop the bad people.  Is that ok? Is it justified?  By what means and how far will someone go for the truth or to create their version of it? 

Homeland is so easy to binge because the storylines are crazy insane, but yet you know this stuff happens!  If you’re bored with TV like I am and need something to help pass the cold winter nights – this show will get you through! 

Library Link: Homeland, Season 1 (DVD)

Library Link: Homeland, Season 2 (DVD)

Library Link: Homeland, Season 3 (DVD)

Library Link: Homeland, Season 4 (DVD)

Library Link: Homeland, Season 5 (DVD)

Library Link: Homeland, Season 6 (DVD)

Library Link: Homeland, Season 7 (DVD)


Breaking Bad, Seasons 1-6

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Anna Gunn

AMC TV MA (language, sexual situations, nudity, violence)

2008-2013 

I always seem to be late to the party of watching series.  But with the way TV is lately, there’s nothing to watch, which gave me a really good reason to watch some series that I’ve heard so much about. 

I THROUGHLY ENJOYED THIS SERIES!!  Who wouldn’t watch a show about a high school chemistry teacher that tried his hand at cooking meth and became the biggest drug lord! 

Bryan Cranston, “Walt,” is the typical, boring, high school chemistry teacher.  He has a wife, a teenage son and a baby on the way.  It may not have been what he really wanted out of life, but he left the business he helped build to spend more time with his family.  He finds out he has terminal lung cancer and just a short time to live.  His brother-in-law, Hank, just happens to be a DEA agent who takes Walt on a ride and shows him the dirty side of his job - busting drug dealers.  What’s Walt to do when you want to leave your family financially well off when you’re gone?  You cook meth.  Aaron Paul, “Jessie,” (who is now my favorite actor) is a former student of his, but also becomes his meth partner.  Between the two of them, they cook up the cleanest meth around town.  What started as a simple, one time deal, turns into a living nightmare that Walt didn’t see coming. 

What an intense show!  There are dealings with the Mexican Cartel that go bad. Dealing with other drug lords that go bad.  There are crimes that are committed that they thought they would never do. Everything centers around Walt trying to do the right thing for his family.  But along the way, Walt loses the reason of why he was cooking and becomes an alter ego with power.  Walt and Jessie go down the rabbit hole and when the story ends – you’re not sure who’s going to be the last man standing.  Superb show with superb actors. 

Library Link: Breaking Bad, Season 1 (DVD)

Library Link: Breaking Bad, Season 2 (DVD)

Library Link: Breaking Bad, Season 3 (DVD)

Library Link: Breaking Bad, Season 4 (DVD)

Library Link: Breaking Bad, Season 5 (DVD)

Library Link: Breaking Bad, Season 6 (DVD)

 

Unhinged

 Rated R

1 hour 30 minutes

Starring: Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman

With everything going on in the world these days, I was looking for a movie to watch to just “escape” that didn’t mention the pandemic, elections, or anything too controversial.  There also haven’t been many movies released lately that I’ve even heard of or that have any actors I know.  That being said, this was not really a “stress-free,” or “fun” movie, but I still enjoyed it.  Russell Crowe stars as a man that is a little unstable and gets pushed over the edge by a small traffic incident – and it turns into road-rage to the max!  The woman he’s upset with doesn’t help the situation and is unwilling to apologize to him, but he ends up taking things WAY too far and over-the-top!  It was kind of unrealistic, but I could still see it happening, too, especially with how close to the edge so many people seem to be anymore.  It reminded me of the ‘90s movie Falling Down, but seemed a little more relatable and also out of control, so I’d say it was entertaining.  Not the greatest movie ever, but glad I watched it.

Library Link: Unhinged (DVD)


Yellowstone, Seasons 1-3

 Rated TV-MA

1 hour episodes

Starring: Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes 

I hadn’t planned on watching this series until Christy “made” me watch it because she “knew” I’d like it.  I hate to admit it, but she was right.  She was SO right!  I loved these shows.  Watching this series felt very familiar with the backdrops and scenery being in Montana and Wyoming.  Basically, the story is about John Dutton (played by Kevin Costner), who is running the largest ranch in the United States that has been passed down through seven generations, while trying to protect it from everyone wanting a piece of it.  It’s a full-time job for him and his family to keep back the land developers, battle with a Native American reservation, along with the government threatening to take it over, too.  While all of this is going on, he’s also trying to reconnect with his son and grandson.  The writing, the story lines, the scenery, and the music all add up to make a great show!  There is definitely a lot of language and violence in these shows, so if you’re sensitive to that, you might want to pass.  

Library Link: Yellowstone, Season 1 (DVD)

 


Yellowstone, Seasons 1, 2, & 3

Rated: TV-MA

Actors:  Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Gil Birmingham, Wes Bently

Wow.  Yellowstone.  How do I describe it?  Yellowstone is an intense series with a taste of the old T.V. show “Dallas,” thrown in.  As Eric mentioned, Kevin Costner plays John Dutton, land owner of prime, coveted land.  But the show doesn’t revolve only around him.  John has 3 boys and 1 daughter and they are a very dysfunctional family!  They all have issues that revolve around their past. 

Secrets.  Lies. Betrayal. Murder.  You name it . . .they’ve done it. 

Beth, his daughter, is a “kick your butt, kick it again then take your name” kind of woman.  You don’t mess with her unless you want to come up on the losing end.

Kayce is the younger brother who has issues from being in the war.  That being said, he finds it hard to walk on the straight and narrow as there’s always something calling his name to the other side. 

Then there’s Jamie.  Wow.  He has daddy issues.  Never feeling like he’s part of the family.  Never feeling like he’s “enough” for his dad no matter what he does. 

There’s also a brother that only survives the first season. 

And I don’t want to forget about Rip.  Rip is the guy!  He’s the one you go to when you need something done and kept a secret.  He’s the one that you don’t want to tick off because he’ll take a beating and keep on hitting you back.  He also plays the love interest for Beth.  Hot! Hot! Hot! 

This series’ intensity hits high highs and very intense lows.  There’s a lot of revenge.  A lot of violence.  A lot of language.  On the flip side, the scenery is beautiful.  The ranch they live on is a real ranch in Montana.  The music is perfect.  This was the most watched series as the third season ended this summer – on an explosive twist that everyone was talking about!  It’s only a summer time series and waiting for season 4 will seem like forever.