“To Binge or Not to Binge: The Streaming Shows You May Be Missing Online"
(2017, TV-MA, 4 episodes approx. 24 minutes each, NETFLIX ORIGINALS/1984 PRIVATE DEFENSE CONTRACTORS/FREDERATOR NETWORKS/POWERHOUSE ANIMATION STUDIOS)
Elation filled my wicked, withered heart when I heard the announcement of CASTLEVANIA. One of the most memorable old-school games was getting its own show, and something not beholden to TV-rating lameness. Vampires require blood and so do I when they are in a story! NETFLIX knows no boundaries and blood will be spilled… limbs will fly. But be warned, this was a prequel… four quick episodes. Yeah, I was disappointed at that. Have hope my little vampireling, this will be where your sorrow stops. The animation was unquestionably fantastic, the choice in voice actors spot-on, and the story rich in visceral love.
Binge Worthy: Don’t be a dolt you goblin minion, of course.
(2016, TV-MA, 10 episodes approx. 45 minutes each, HULU ORIGINAL/TRISTAR TELEVISION/GRAN VIA PRODUCTIONS)
Jeffrey Donovan found a suitable home after ‘Burn Notice’, and I am happy that he has. Donovan was first spotted on my viewing radar in ‘Touching Evil’, finding his ability to hold my attention with his unusual, charismatic presence. As far as his latest project goes, SHUT EYE turned out to be no slouch of a show. As scam artist, fortuneteller Charlie Haverford, accompanied by his devious wife Linda (played by KaDee Strickland from ‘Private Practice’), Charlie tries to survive as a gadje in a business ran by gypsies. From someone who was intrigued by the gypsy culture at a very early age, this series will take you places you only wonder about. The plot maintained a sense of grounded realism while having crazy twists and turns, all being driven by ‘cause and effect’.
Binge Worthy: You’ll be sorry if you didn’t.
(2016, TV-MA, 10 episodes approx. 60 minutes each, HULU ORIGINAL/FOX 21/GROUNDSWELL PRODUCTIONS)
It’s tough seeing Hugh Laurie in a role other than House. Though not a hospital drama junkie, ‘House’ was such a great show and I watched religiously. So, to see Laurie getting work deserving his talent thrilled me like a compulsive gambler with a bucket of quarters. Based on the book by Kem Nunn, he plays a forensic neuro-psychiatrist who gets over-invested in a patient’s twisted life. But, the show was stolen by Ethan Suplee (of ‘My name of Earl’ and CHASING AMY) who played ‘D’. ‘D’ does not miss a beat with his unwavering confidence and the pure intensity. I could not look away and became totally invested in his purpose. ‘D’s world circled around the need to be a perfect soldier, and it resonated in me on certain levels. Oh, and being a series about the higher echelons of intellectual observation, the rest of the show was crammed with deep thought and gripping subplots so that it wouldn’t be bogged down in banality.
Binge Worthy: ‘D’ will find you if you don’t.
-- James S. Austin