Best thing I've watched lately:
The newest (5th) season of Fargo, "based on a true story," started back up a few weeks ago, each season its own unique universe/mystery/characters. Let me tell you...it is spectacular. Juno Temple (Keeley Jones in Ted Lasso, among other roles) HAS GOT RANGE. First of all, playing Dorothy-who-goes-by Dot, her Minnesota accent is on point. IRL she's British and in TL, had a really thick, almost cockneyed dialect. Here, oh my, gawsh, yeah, she is all in. It's phenomenal. And she plays this role of sweet mom/wife with a dark secret with such purpose and absolute control. It's impossible to look away when she's on the screen. When her past catches up to her- where she's been living in hiding with a new identity- she has some Lara Croft meets Kevin McCallister ways of defending herself and her home. The past includes an ex-husband, played with dark and heavy tones by Jon Hamm, as a God-like sheriff in North Dakota. For generations, his family have made their own laws, based on the Bible and laws of nature as they understand them, and in his mind, there's no one above him and his methods. He has a slow, steady, terrifying demeanor, with a little levity coming from his jittery son, "Gator," played by Stranger Thing's daddy-to-all, Joe Keery.
The writing is perfect, the set and costuming just right- have a stack of blankets with you to watch this show- they're trick or treating in the snow. It's never, ever, ever warm there. The rest of the cast is just as excellent as the top billed names- Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a bit of a melodramatic rich mummy to Dot's milquetoast husband, complete with her villain sidekick attorney with an eye patch, played by David Foley (Kids in the Hall). Larmorne Morris (Winston on New Girl) plays a local cop with dexterity and heart, and Richa Moorjani (the hot/smart cousin in Never Have I Ever) is fantastic as another cop with some baggage at home that many will find relatable.
I haven't watched the first 4 seasons of this show- based on the 1996 source movie of the same name, but if the quality is like this, I will definitely be going back to catch up. We're four episodes in and they're being released on Wednesdays- catch up so we can talk about it!
(Yes- there's some violence, but so far nothing nearly as squeam-inducing as the movie. And the women are hella-empowered in this version.)
Best thing I've read lately:
This is a stand-alone murder-mystery by an author who is new to me, Sulari Gentill, but who I'm now binging. She's the kind of writer whose pros is so beautiful and ideas and research are so involved and creative, that when you find out she's written a BUNCHA books, including a whole damned mystery series, you get a little mad/jealous, but also grateful because now you get to read them forever. (Oh, btw, her bio tells me that she was also an astrophysisist and a lawyer before becoming a prolific author- so there you go, none of us need bother, she's an actual super hero).
Anywho, THIS particular book is a story within a story, about story writers. Four apparent strangers happen to be sitting in the reading room of the Bostom Public Library when they hear a woman scream. Later, they bond over her murder and there's romance and intrigue and pasts popping back up and making us wonder who dunnit....and all of that is being written chapter by chapter by the author, in correspondance to someone across the world...who has his own suspicious intentions. It's great fun and absolutely kept me glued to the page. I'm now starting the first of her Rowland Sinclair mystery series. Join me!