Welcome back to my monthly television recap! I hope you are staying well during another month of quarantine life. May felt like an extremely long month, but luckily, there were a lot of great shows to keep me occupied. If you’re looking for some new things to watch, make sure to look back on my other monthly recaps.
Trying (Apple TV+)
I really wasn’t too drawn to Apple TV+ when it first launched, but after Defending Jacob proved to be worthy-TV, I decided to give some other originals a fair shot. Next on my list was Trying, a British comedy about a couple trying to start a family. After facing fertility struggles, they decide to proceed with adoption, which proves to be no easy feat. Starring Rafe Spall (The Ritual) and Esther Smith, this sweet show offers plenty of laughs alongside some more heartwarming moments.
After Life (Netflix)
This month marked the season two release of Ricky Gervais‘ dark comedy series After Life. The show follows Tony (Gervais) who is dealing with the loss of his wife to breast cancer. In the first season, it takes a realistic look at the messy healing process one deals with when losing someone they love dearly. Tony’s journey to acceptance, and even forgiveness, continues in the newest season. With such dark subject matter, the series really hits a cord with those who have experienced such a severe loss, but with Gervais’ dreary comedic snarks.
Dead to Me (Netflix)
Another fantastic series that premiered its second season this month was Dead to Me. It’s without a doubt one of the best offerings Netflix has currently. Starring Christina Applegate (who received an Emmy nomination for the show) and Linda Cardellini, the series focuses on Applegate’s character Jen, who is dealing with the death of her husband, a victim of a hit-and-run. She winds up meeting Judy (Cardellini) in a grief counseling group and the two become fast friends, as well as each others pillar of strength – but not without a hell of a lot of chaos, drama and twists.
Creepshow is a new-ish series that premiered last year for Shudder, produced by The Walking Dead‘s Greg Nicotero. The show is a continuation of the 1982 film of the same name (and its 1987 sequel). As an anthology film, it perfectly translates to the smaller screen, with short-format horror stories, featuring guest stars David Arquette (Scream), Tobin Bell (Saw), and Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), among many others.
The series is a fantastic quick-binge for some spooky tales. The entire first season is available on Shudder (with a second in the books). If you don’t have Shudder, you can also catch the episodes airing on AMC now.
The Great (Hulu)
A surprising favorite of mine this month was The Great, an occasionally true story, a very not-so-accurate miniseries based on the very real Catherine the Great. Starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, this satirical comedy drama is full of laughs – with Hoult really standing out for his comedic delivery. With just 10 half-hour episodes, I went through this one too quickly, as you likely will as well. It is such a creative concept and I am anxiously awaiting news of a second season.
I Know This Much Is True (HBO)
Starring Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True is a compelling drama miniseries that really tests its stars limits. Based on a novel of the same name, the story follows Dominick, a divorcee with his own set of problems, balancing the needs of his mentally unwell brother Thomas. Playing identical twin brothers, Ruffalo delivers two incredible performances that couldn’t be further from one another, or anything else he’s done. I do sometimes wonder if I’m mostly pulled in by the exceptional performance rather than its story, as I have some minor issues with its pacing – though it is one I think is worth watching.
Homecoming (Amazon Prime)
After being intrigued by the first season, and still craving more from it, I was surprised to see season two of Homecoming pop up, as I wasn’t even aware it was in progress. While the first season starred Julia Roberts, the continuation of the story focuses on Janelle Monáe‘s character, after she wakes up with no memory of who she is. We follow her journey to uncover the truth, which leads her to an unethical company known as Geist. The suspenseful series is quite a ride and if you have yet to experience it, I highly recommend.
Truth be told, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the 2013 film Snowpiercer, an adaptation of the 1982 graphic novel Le Transperceneige. Though I was intrigued by a television version as an opportunity to explore the source material in a longer form. Starring Hamilton‘s Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly, the series follows the survivors on board a train-ark, after Earth has become inhabitable. It explores many themes surrounding class and social politics. With only two episodes having aired so far, I’m not certain on my thoughts just yet, but it definitely has me continuing to tune in.