Big Little Lies – “She Knows” (A-)
As the women try to find some sense of normalcy while everything is falling apart, things go from bad to worse for all of them. But the biggest twist is that as manipulative and judgmental as Mary Louise is, she’s got a point about Celeste being in a bad place to parent her kids.
The Handmaid’s Tale – “Under His Eye” (B+)
Speaking of going from bad to worse, Gilead ramps up its public executions of conspirers, resulting in the clearest example yet of the banality of evil. Having to hang people and then get on your way to other errands is some seriously disturbing shit. But now June’s daughter is gone, and she nearly murders the handmaid who ratted out the people helping her be reunited.
Stranger Things – Season 3 (B+ average)
Superior to Season 2, even if things couldn’t help but feel like we’ve done all this before. The show improved by focusing on what works – the relationships and references – and spending a little bit less time on mythology. The finale would be an excellent stopping point, but ain’t no way Netflix is going to end it there, and unfortunately might even reverse some of its big, show-altering decisions down the line. But for now, this was a terrific summer experience.
Chernobyl (A- average)
Bleak as hell, but an exceptionally well-done procedural. Yes, some of its dialogue was a bit on-the-nose, but the acting was tremendous, the direction superb and the make-up effects truly disturbing. I can see why this was a sensation.