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Bedlam: S01 - 2011 - 6/10

For Lease!!  Newly refurbished living accommodations with latest mod-cons!
Ongoing construction means fantastic deals for you!
Oh, yeah, this place used to be an insane asylum where multiple mysterious deaths occurred.
That's OK, our handyman Jed sees ghosts!  Ask him to protect you!  Cheers!!!

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Yes, Jed can see the lingering presences, and this place is packed with them.
All seem pissed off, have a score to settle, or an axe to grind.
Doesn't matter if living residents were in no way responsible for their plight.
Each week is a one-off adventure and watchable.  There is a S02, which I have not viewed.

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Posted

Crime Squad - 2011 - 6/10
AKA - Detectives In Trouble // 강력반

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Episodic police procedural, K-drama.
The opening 15-20 minutes of E01 are sheer crap!
Really.  Flatulent jokes, toilet scenes, folks fanning the air.
Afterward, the series never returns to moronic antics, so keep this in mind if curious.
The four man team investigate a new crime every couple weeks.
Most are imperiled females.  Bullied, battered, stalked, tortured, murdered.
The rebellious Officer Park is shadowed by perky Reporter Jo.
Will they connect?  Are there clouds in the sky?
Characters are likeable.  Middling, and mid-pack as far as K-drama crime shows go.

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Posted

Le Mystère du Lac - 2015 - 7/10
AKA - Vanished By The Lake

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During the night of the village fete, teenage Chloe disappears.
Almost twenty years after two other girls vanished, never to be found.
The best friend forever of the original duo, now a Paris detective, appears.
As does one of the males who had been accused back then.
Within a month, the village is nothing but suspects, resentments, and ugly histories.
Short series excels in casting plausible suspicion up to the last few minutes.
Mystery fans, this is killer plotting.

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Posted

Miss Devil - 2018 - 7/10
AKA - Miss Debiru: Jinji no Akuma Tsubaki Mako //     デビル 人事の悪魔・椿眞子

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Addictive J-dorama proves quite the guilty pleasure.
Kyoa Home Insurance hires HR consultant, the gorgeous Miss Tsubaki, to prepare 50 eager new hires.
After two weeks training, 40 have resigned.  HR is horrified, top management delighted.
Only one recruit dares to stand up to her, the shy, timid Saito.
The Boss gives Tsubaki her own section, and she hand picks a small staff, including the terrified Saito.
Every two weeks, Tsubaki sends Saito into an area to train:  Sales, Underwriting, Marketing, Sprockets.
His task - find the weakest member for Tsubaki to remove.
The mysterious, if frightening, Miss Tsubaki is the axe-man
Nasty little series flicks deftly, rapier-like, at everyday corporate grievances.
Sexual harassment, unpaid overtime, pregnancy, all the while treading to higher stakes.
Realize, Tsubaki, known quickly as Miss Devil, has a personal agenda.

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Mark Kermode's Secrets Of Cinema - 2018 - 7/10

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Five part documentary of the formulae used in select genres.
RomCom - Heist - Coming Of Age - SciFi - Horror
Kermode explores character types, plot crutches, mold breakers.
Aside from the "coming of age" section, I had viewed the vast majority of movies discussed.
Yes, that includes romcom.
For SciFi and Horror there were a few that had gone under my radar that I may seek out.
Good introductory doc.

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Utopia: S01 - 2013 - 8/10

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"Where is Jessica Hyde?"
Brilliant series set in the near future or today!
Online gamers find clues to the sequel of a legendary graphic novel.
Independently, and then collectively, they search for it.
Nor are they alone.  Two other hunters leave a trail of blood and death in their wake.
Highly imaginative series piles on twists, revelations, conspiracy, and splatter.
Most diabolical, near the end, viewers are tempted into darkness.
Me?  I switched teams and began rooting for the bad guys.

Note:  S01 concludes with a a couple of open doors, which I could live with.
There is a S02, which I am not inclined to view.  Reading between the lines, I gather that season advances incrementally (meaning less original ideas, more padding).  Season 3 was canceled.  Caveat emptor.

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Greyzone - 2018 - 5/10

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Security forces in Denmark and Sweden hunt for missing nuclear warhead, then advanced drone!
Soon, they realize a high-tech expert has been kidnapped, and she may be forced into dark deeds.
Reviews for this were wide ranging, so I knew there was a 50-50 chance I might dislike this.
Within a half hour you realize the terrorists are Muslim extremists.  Really?
Woman kidnapped, and her son threatened.  Child in danger, really?
To get info, she has to copy files from a security company to drive.  Huh?
Later, load spyware to said outfit.  Say wha?  The company has no malware protection?
More?  Each episode bears a title, which turns out to be a reveal or, worse, a spoiler!
On and on and on and on.  Clichés stack into each other.
The writers are sloths, the story predictable, with characters you want to shove into a garbage truck.

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White Christmas - 2011 - 8/10
AKA - Hwaiteu Keuriseumaseu  //  화이트 크리스마스

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Marvelous K-drama has nothing to do with Yule, aside from seasonal snow.
Elite high school for gifted or rich students only closes eight days a year for vacation.
Typically, every year a few students remains behind as their parents are “too busy.”
This year, each pupil receives a note accusing them of a despicable crime.
Of which, most appear to be guilty
Who sent the note?  Why?  And guilty of what?
This does not go the slasher route, though there are echoes of Lord Of The Flies.
Stakes are perilous, future employment, life trajectories, so killings may be expected.
The premise is of monsters.  Are they born, or are they created?  Nature - nurture.
Intense psychological thriller, with outstanding cinematography and evocative music score.

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Bad Banks - 2018 - 8/10

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Razor honed brief series will be a banquet for fans of Wall Street and The Big Short.
Not necessarily a tasty feast, depending on how the financial world treated you.  Or still does.
Global investment bank in Germany structures major loans, works a takeover, shifts money.
Shifting is loose phrase.  Shifting sums of money, allegiances, realities, relationships.
D and back-stabbings get confused at times, and some of the emotional points held scant interest for me.  (Though I daresay the "human angle" is why most viewers tune in.)    [
Drinking, drug abuse, meaningless sex, nudity, profanity, will keep interest from flagging.
Perfect for cynics of all ages.

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Nightflyers - 2019 – 4/10

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SciFi fans, me included, are easy suckers, desperate to watch space bits, knowing we will never personally venture there, and it is in increasingly unlikely any human will in a generation or two.
Anyway, planet Earth is dying!  Pollution, disease, global incineration, over population, the gamut!
Meanwhile, out near the rim of our solar system, there is an alien craft.
We try to make contact, it hurries away.
(Why would aliens flee from an infectious, self-destructive, crazy species, carrying weapons?)
Luckily for humanity, we have one spaceship, the Nightflyer, and it sets forth!
Early on, I knew this was going to blow, even though initial IMDB ratings were 8/10.
First warning, 20+ producers in the opening credits, including the Big Cheese*.
The plot is cobbled together twaddle, lacking logic and focus.  Acting, across the board, is Grade D ham.
Ropy special effects, blinky lights designed to excite easily dazzled boys and manboys.
The ship is huge.  Private quarters are the size of a living room.  Corridors, five can walk abreast.  Instead of crawl ducts, there is an under corridor!  For all that, interiors are dark.  As if they cannot pay the light bill.
Personnel are all nonstarters who would have been rejected by Weyland in the first interview.
I could go on and on, at this waste of time that gives zilch entertainment.
Do yourself a favor, watch episodes of the immortal “Pigs In Space” instead.

* The Big Cheese – AKA Geo RR Martin.
Working on this fiasco, instead of finishing that fire n ice thing that millions are waiting for.
Nice choice, genius.

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