Sunday, November 27, 2022


 I've written in the past that all of the content currently being produced is not sustainable. I stand by that thesis. You cannot have close to 600 series produced per year (that's domestic) and expect to have filmed entertainment survive this way. I'm not even counting what passes for a description of a movie. I repeat - series alone stands at a near 600 per year. 

To find what you may want to watch is difficult and in the "old days" one would rely on word of mouth and promotional trailers/ads/spots. That went out the proverbial window. Try going to lunch with a few people. None of the people you are breaking bread with have ever even heard of what you are watching and you haven't heard of anything they are watching. 

The best series of the year is Dark Winds on AMC and AMC+. Absolutely outstanding series. One of the few times this year or even in recent years where I sat back and thought I am looking forward to a second season. Dark Winds is great television and I write that knowing some of the acting was pretty second rate, but the writing and story were so good you let a few subpar performances go by the wayside. The question becomes - how many people have seen this great series? AMC+ only has eleven million subscribers and they all aren't watching Dark Winds.  

The other series that is so entertaining is the PBS mystery series, Miss Scarlet & The Duke. The first season premiered in 2021, but the second season just finished its run on Masterpiece Mystery and it is delightful. Kate Phillips (Peaky Blinders, The Crown, The Aftermath) and Stuart Martin (Medici, Jamestown) are both terrific actors and in an earlier era they both would have become big stars. With all of the content today, no one becomes a big star. Not enough people view these series to catapult an actor to big stardom. Having written that, Miss Scarlet & The Duke is a big hit based on our current standards of what a big hit is. It managed to get nearly nine million viewers in the U.S alone and that is a near phenom in today's marketplace.


The Calling is a Peacock original. Unfortunately, that is bad right out of the gate, since Peacock (Owned by Comcast/NBC Universal) is one of the weakest streaming services. Few covet having it, but Peacock managed to produce one of the best series of the year. 

Season One has eight episodes, but they are split into two separate stories with one of those stories hanging around for the back four. The first four episodes are epic. Superb writing and acting. The series has several executive producers and these aren't lightweights. David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, The Practice, Boston Legal) is clearly one of the best scriptwriters of the last 30 years. Barry Levinson (Donnie Brasco, Rain Man, The Natural, Avalon, Diner) is one of the most gifted filmmakers of the last 40 years. Jonathan Shapiro, Peter Traugott and Avi Nir round out the EP team and all of them have worthy backgrounds, so it is no surprise they would all gather together to make one of the best series of 2022.

This is a surprisingly intelligent series, since much of what is available today is not in the least bit smart. The cast is terrific with the four leads all doing magnificent work. Jeff Wilbusch plays Avraham Avraham (that is correct, first and last name are the same). Avraham is a detective with the NYPD. He's a distinctively original character. He is a practicing Orthodox Jew who reads from the Torah, prays in Hebrew, mentions Job, Cain and Jesus in his musings. Wilbusch (Keep Breathing, Oslo) is absolutely fantastic in the lead role. Charming without trying and totally believable even in situations that seem out-of-place. Juliana Canfield portrays his partner (he never had one before). The always terrific Michael Mosley plays Detective Earl Malzone and Karen Robinson is Captain Helen Davies. Robinson, as always, just shines in the role of their boss. 

The Calling deserves a shot of airing on the big network in the Comcast/NBC Universal world. Hopefully, NBC (the original Peacock) will give The Calling a broadcast network try. If this show had a wider world opened for them, the audience would grow and this show deserves to grow! Network television isn't dead yet. We see with the wide popularity of ABC's Alaska Daily that network television still thrives if you provide a show people want to watch. 

Must see TV. Watch The Calling

Copyright The Flaming Nose 2022    



No comments: