Things That Are Making Me Happy – (May/June 2018)

Killing Eve

If you’re going to watch only one show this TV season, let it be Killing EveSandra Oh plays a bored, desk-bound MI5 officer who becomes obsessed with hunting down a master assassin, the young, vicious, and hilarious Villanelle (Jodie Cormer). Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (the creator of Fleabag and the breakout star of Solo: A Star Wars Story), this show is deeply infused with her trademark quirky sense of humour. And her distinct voice makes this story about infatuation and female psychology such a rollicking ride – one that is extremely unique even in the crowded landscape of prestige TV.

The Last O.G., Ep. 103, 27038_003

The Last O.G.

Tracy Morgan makes a triumphant comeback with this comedy about an ex-con trying to get his life back on track. Having been in prison for fifteen years, Tray (Tracy Morgan) returns to his neighbourhood of Brooklyn to find it gentrified. His girlfriend (Tiffany Haddish) is now happily married to another man, and the children he never knew he had calls another man “dad”. Funny and heartfelt, Morgan is doing the best work of his career on this show. And it is a shame that both him and the show are not getting more buzz.

Queen Sugar

Created by Ava DuVernay (director of Selma and A Wrinkle In Time), Queen Sugar follows the lives of the Bordelon family and their attempt to make a success of their sugar cane farm in Louisiana. One of the finest family dramas on the air right now, the show has carved out a niche for itself by exploring the complexities of modern African-American life with care, courage and unflinching honesty. The middle Bordelon sibling, Charley, (Dawn-Lyen Gardener), is also a personal favourite TV character of mine, and whenever the conversation about the best female characters on TV comes up, it is a travesty that her name is never mentioned.

A Very English Scandal

Written by Russell T. Davies (of Doctor Who fame), A Very English Scandal is based on the true story of Jeremy Thorpe (played by the brilliant Hugh Grant), the British Liberal Party leader in the early 1970s, who became embroiled in a national scandal when he was accused of trying to murder his gay ex-lover Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw). This show has all the ingredients of an amazing British TV drama: superb acting, a wonderful script, humour and a damn entertaining story.

Dissect Podcast

Dissect is a serialised music podcast that provides in-depth analysis of groundbreaking albums: Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly”, Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, and, for its current season, Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” and “Blonde”. In an era of podcast mania, Dissect not only stands out for its meticulous research, but also for its host Cole Cuchna’s ability to bring great empathy to the material. If you’re a music lover, I promise you’re going to love – absolutely love – Dissect.

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