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Mary Queen of Scots (2018)
Ignorance is Bliss
Artistic license can be a tricky thing when it comes to actual history. The more you know about the story of Mary Stuart, the less you'll like this move. The misportrayal of both Bothwell and Rizzio weakened the plot to no purpose, making two pivotal events seems no more meaningful than misplaced commas. Darnley, on the other hand, has in every telling of this saga managed to avoid fictional rehabilitation and remains a ne'er-do-well. The best part of this reimagining is Elizabeth I's struggle to deal with the emotional and political fall-out of the queen of Scotland. Btw, they never met in real life but the theatrical lure is so overwhelming that most plays and movies can't resist the temptation.
A Discovery of Witches (2018)
Grown-Up Fantasy? NOT
First, I haven't read the All Souls Trilogy so I can't claim to be a disaffected reader of a well-regarded work that the NYT called "imaginative grown-up fantasy." This series is most certainly NOT that (though, sadly, it might have been.)
Second, everything about this series was first-rate (locations, camera work, supporting characters and a number of leads) with the crushing exception of Teresa Palmer who plays the crucial character of Diana Bishop. The innocence expected of this role was completely overwhelmed by a cloying "Twilight" teen queen quality that undermined the strength of the story over all.
Third (and the reason for a second star), it manages to be entertaining even if it isn't completely satisfying.
You've Been Warned
You've got movies so bad they're good, movies so good they're impenetrable, and then you've got irredeemable garbage. I gave it two stars for interesting camera angles. Other than that -- really -- find something else.
Without Apology: Just Fun
We are experiencing a New Golden Age of Television. But, relax, "Zoo" is not part of that renaissance
you will not be vexed by conflicted characters, charged with remembering convoluted back-stories, or tortured by the moral ambiguity of the main plot. Consider "Zoo" an absolution, a get out of high-minded television free card. In other words, bring a bowl of popcorn or a package of Twizzlers: this is "B" television at its best: nature gone wild on a global stage (without much gore, thus far), attractive actors, plot holes big enough to swallow a rampaging giraffe, and just enough suspense to bring you back. Having come to "Zoo" without any expectations, I'm giving this high marks for being just entertaining. I imagine it will tell its tale and disappear from our memories like those Saturday afternoon serials of long ago – in that regard, it will be very successful.