Reviewing The TV Series I Watched In Quarantine

Hello all,

As restrictions begin to ease in Australia and people are starting to get back to certain parts of their livelihoods I thought I share some of the entertainment I have consumed during the past 2 months in isolation – and boy, have I consumed a lot. I thought I would start by sharing the TV series I consumed over the past two months and then write a separate post on the films. Quarantining has allowed me to really immerse myself in lots of entertainment mediums and I have found some new favourites in all categories from my many late-night binges. Here are all those series I watched, rated and reviewed:

Defending Jacob (2020)

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Rating: 3/5

Defending Jacob is one of Apple TVs new drama series for their streaming service. I absolutely loved The Morning Show, so I was more than willing to give another Apple TV series a try. In fact, I was excited about this show since I thought the legal drama and murder mystery premise was interesting. I think what turned me off this show was the waiting and anticipation. There was a lot of build-up in all of the episodes, as they developed the plot and deepened the characterisation of particular characters. However, as the series went on, it seemed to plateau in terms of warranting my engagement. My interest peaked after about episode three and didn’t really continue to rise with each episode.

The characters were well developed and the acting was strong but the script could have been improved. Particularly in regards to the tropes and stereotypes which are heavily apparent and undermine the unique appeal I was hoping for. I didn’t really love any of the characters and really felt no emotional connection to them, even with the strong acting from both Dockery and Evans. However, I will commend the excellent exploration of the family dynamic which was intricate and complex. Jacob (played by Jaeden Martell) was the most frustrating character of the whole series and I didn’t have a slither of sympathy for him the entire season.  I didn’t care for him and I certainly wasn’t rooting for or “defending” him.

Overall, it was still enjoyable and tense at times but I have definitely seen far better legal dramas and murder mysteries.

The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel S1 (2017)

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Rating: 4/5

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a phenomenal comedy series which is such a feel-good series to chill back and watch when you’re feeling down. It is the show I put on when it was raining and I wanted to lift the mood. Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein and Michael Zegen are all so incredible. They have so much chemistry and embody their characters so perfectly. The show is full female empowerment even though it is set during the 1950s when there was certainly a lot of misogyny and a lot less power or influence given to women. The script is well written and the dialogue between the different characters allow them to develop so naturally. Therefore, it is no hardship to immerse yourself into the wholesome story. The characters are what makes the show so intriguing and entertaining in my opinion – not necessarily the plot itself. I love Midge and I think she is one of the most likeable protagonists on this list of series. She is flawed but she is strong. The series can get boring in some episodes when it drags on and not much occurs or gets developed but it never turned me off the series entirely. Sometimes I would just leave it for a day and come back because ultimately it was worth it. I felt so much joy from watching this series and I think others will too – especially if you like a comedy series.

Killing Eve S3 (2020)

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Rating: 3.5/5

This was probably my least favourite Killing Eve season so far, unfortunately. Killing eve is an incredible study of characters and has some of the greatest character development and star power in television at this current moment. Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are intense and incredible. They have exceptional chemistry and are powerhouses. Comer’s performance particularly shining through with her ability to play a multilingual and multidimensional assassin. There are so many layers to the character of Villanelle and at the end of the day, she is the main reason I watch the show. To my upset, this season definitely wasn’t as interesting as those prior. I think the best way to put it is that I wasn’t anticipating the show every week. I wasn’t longing for the next episode like I was for some of the other shows on this list. However, there were some episodes which were gems and the character of Villanelle was exceptional as always, which made it worthwhile.

Fleabag (2019)

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Rating: 5/5

Fleabag is one of the most incredible character studies in contemporary television that I have ever watched. The series delves into a rather awkward, egotistical look at Fleabag (portrayed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge), as she navigates her love, family and social life in London. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s portrayal of Fleabag is not only engaging and interesting but complex and emotional. Each character in this show is so uniquely different and special and in a sense, it makes it difficult to dislike any of them – except for Martin (or at least that was my experience).

The comedy in the series is unmatched to anything I have seen in recent years. I was quite literally laughing out loud multiple times in each episode. I was even once reduced to tears (from laughter). Waller-Bridge’s writing style is unique and quirky and is one of the reasons she is so brilliant. Alongside her acting and directing, she is a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.

As it was suggested to me, I will suggest to you – go into this series knowing as little as possible and you will be blown away!

Money Heist S4 (2020)

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Rating: 4.5/5

Money Heist has been a favourite show of mine for quite some time now so it was no surprise that it was once again a favourite with the new season. There is one reason alone why it lost a star this season and that is due to a certain scene (which I won’t spoil for anyone who has not seen it yet). Ultimately, this show has some of the best character development and dynamics that Netflix has to offer. There is so much chemistry between each cast member and it is blatantly obvious how well they work together. The acting is stellar and the script and dialogue is probably the star of the show. They not only have some of the most intense scenes but some of the most profound and insightful – and no matter which scene, the writers get it right!

I think what is so great about this show is that you really attach to the characters and their personalities. To the point that even the villains can be likeable for their intrigue and mysterious nature. It is a testament to the writer’s room. Money Heist is seriously the best foreign language series I have ever watched!

Dead To Me S2 (2020)

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Rating: 4/5

Dead To Me was one of my favourite shows from 2019! The humour crossed with a plot of murder and mystery was right up my alley. Another positive being the two lead cast members Christina Applegate (Jen) and Linda Cardellini (Judy), who are both phenomenal and perfectly cast in their roles (hence the Emmy nomination for Applegate earlier last year). There are countless one-liners and quotable scenes, which makes for a memorable experience and an intriguing one.

The show portrays female friendship in such a perfect way and develops the relationship between Jen and Judy so distinctly. Liz Feldman’s writing reflects directly on her ability to portray such flawed but strong female characters. Their flaws are not portrayed as a weakness but simply, a part of their human condition and growth. The complexity of the characters and their relationships is one of the biggest selling points in my opinion. You witness a full range of emotions on display in both seasons, which is a high credit to the actresses who portray them. Therefore, it is not hard to gauge from my statements, that I am a fan of the show and am anticipating season three with even more excitement and enthusiasm as I did this season.

Chernobyl (2019)

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Rating: 5/5

This was an absolutely phenomenal series! From the acting to the incredible detail that went into every single shot and scene. I knew a basic and pretty general idea of the events of Chernobyl – when I say basic, I mean basic! I had not done much research into this event before so I was pretty intrigued from the get-go, even just to learn about what actually happened. I won’t sugar coat it – this series gets graphic at times and can be confronting and emotional. Honestly, you feel a whole range of emotions, including anger and frustration. It is an incredible depiction of the events and from what I have heard is quite accurate to the true event, with minor, acknowledged differences. However, not everything about what occurred during the time of the event is completely known. There was so much secrecy and lies that veiled this event. Nonetheless, this show was outstanding and storytelling at its absolute finest. Incredible in all areas and an entertaining and gripping show throughout its 5 episode run.

The Mandalorian (2019)

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Rating: 4/5

I would say that the Mandalorian was the most surprising addition to this list. I clicked on it during the spur of the moment, a couple of days before my free week trial of Disney plus was about to end. I binged the entire season in those couple of days. This show has such an entertaining plot, every episode keeps you intrigued – or at least that is what it did for me. I mean, a good 50% of the appeal is baby Yoda but I would highly recommend this show – especially to any fans of star wars or sci-fi who haven’t already watched it. It is well written and produced and the characters are really likeable. I also love the fact that it avoids basing the plot around romance in any way. They don’t try and make a romance subplot like every other mediocre series – it focuses wholly on making each episode have an interesting adventure element. The themes are so simple and complex at the same time. It has great dialogue and fun, sassy characters who are easy to root for. I thoroughly enjoyed this series and would again, recommend it to any sci-fi lovers or just someone who wants something new and entertaining to watch on Disney plus!

– Joshie

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