Need some distraction from the current chaotic and divisive political environment? Now is a good as time as any to seek solace in peak television. Whilst the #White House may be embroiled in drama and chaos, and #North Korea may have developed major nuclear weapons; whilst Europe may be fearing its disintegration and Trump is planning to scrap the Environmental Protection Agency, never fear. Divisive and upsetting political moments usually produce great art, and it looks like we could be in for some epic storytelling.
Look at the Romans. They created wonderful art works in a time of war. The Greeks and their gods always seemed to be fighting against something or someone and their plays and stories have nourished our western souls for centuries.
Today, #television is the new theater in the round. And it's here that our tales of drama and conflict are excelling. This is where the community comes to watch and listen to stories of modern greed, evil, competition and social alienation.
Mr Robot is a contemporary take on alienation and technology
Look at #Mr Robot. It's the most contemporary drama on television today. Rami Malik excels as a socially awkward and lonely outsider who also happens to be one of the best computer software programmers in the world. The pilot episode builds on both his internal emotional and psychological issues, as well as the themes of greed, corporate power and the one percent behaving badly. It's cogent, timely and well-structured television for a modern and clued-in audience..
FX's Feud: Betty and Joan
If you're sick of seeing men in suits in Washington DC squabbling, then look to some of the more creative dramas and comedies being aired on both cable and network. Catch the new #Feud: Betty and Joan by Glee's prodigious and prolific #Ryan Murphy in a limited series for FX; it debuts on Sunday, March 5.
The show revisits the film 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' which was about two previously famous female actors whose lives have come to a halt. The actors in the original film, Davis and Crawford, weren't playing themselves, but their onscreen and #off screen rivalry was a something that really shone through and grabbed the audience. Davis and Crawford were in their mid-50s when they signed onto the film and Davis took the role of Baby Jane Hudson, a star from vaudeville turned into a famous actress. Crawford played her partly physically paralyzed sister called Blanche. Blanche wants to sell their expensive home and possibly push the mentally and emotionally unstable baby Jane into an institution – but baby Jane has her own plans..
The film was directed with a strong thematic punch by #Robert Aldrich and is a brutal portrayal of the lengths to which people go in Hollywood. Today, what remains unclear is how much the conflict between the real actresses was myth and how much was made up by the chattering filmmakers, PR people, press agents and entertainment executives. Ryan Murphy injects his trademark high camp drama into the story for some edge-of-your seat moments.
Big Little Lies
If you want to see some of the most intelligent and talented actresses in #Hollywood giving paired back and pitch perfect performances, than look at HBO's #Big Little Lies. Based on a book by Australian author Lynne Moriarty, the film looks at the lies and secrets surrounding a hit and run that takes place after an elementary school fundraiser. It combines bitchy schoolyard gossip (from the parents, not the kids), mom-to-mom rivalry and career-versus-stay-at-home Socratic arguments. It opens with a gently building mystery, an astonishing performance by Nicole Kidman and some pretty deep insights into relationships.