Good afternoon all! I hope you are all keeping well and keeping sane! Thank God that we have streaming services available to us in these times of lockdown. Phase 1 began here in Ireland. We are now allowed to exercise up to 5km away from our houses. We are allowed to meet up with up to 4 of our friends but are still very much advised to stay indoors. If we can work from home we are being advised to do so. T.V., Netflix, Prime and Disney+ are my saving graces.
This weekend I finished watching the adaptation of the controversial comic series, The Boys, and started and finished the drug-fuelled, sex-filled British/Spanish romp, White Lines.
Set in a world where superheroes are superstars, athletes and celebrities, some who hold these powers are also the most corrupt people in the world. Vought International manages The Seven, a take on the DC’s Justice League. The Seven, a paragon of virtue, strength and purity, houses some of the most vile and egotistical people on Earth. A rag tag group of vigilantes who have been wronged by The Seven and will see no justice done decide to take the matter into their own hands. Meanwhile, the newest addition to The Seven is a naive, country girl who is taken advantage of and becomes disillusioned with her new co-workers.
This series is only eight episodes long and is a non-stop thrilling ride. There are so many different threads playing out seamlessly together that you may forget about one part of the story, only for it to come and slap you in the face with a delicious twist.
Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings, Ragnarok) plays Billy Butcher, whose wife disappeared after a run-in with the sickening Homelander (Anthony Starr). Both of these men’s performances are top-notch, although Urban’s Cockney accent is as exaggerated as Don Cheadle’s in the Oceans movies.
Jack Quaid plays Hughie, whose girlfriend is killed when the fastest man alive, and member of The Seven, A-Train (Jesse T. Usher*) runs straight through her and turns her to a mush of blood and skin.
Erin Moriarty plays Starlight, the new member of the superhero group. After being sexually assaulted by fellow superhero The Deep (Chace Crawford), she becomes a shell of her former self, unsure if this is what she wants after all.
Elisabeth Shue plays Madeline Stillwell, PR exec and manager of the superheroes and their lives. She is brilliant in this and steals every scene she is in.
*No relation to Usher the superstar as far as I can tell.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, comedy masterminds, co-created this series and were executive producers on every episode. Rogen even cameoed in one as himself! The show is funny, gory and can be terrifying when it needs to be. The final showdown between Butcher and Homelander is quiet, tense and flawless.
The season two release date will be announced soon. Get on Amazon Prime and start watching, now!
Zoe (Laura Haddock) travels to Ibiza to identify the body of her missing brother. Axel went missing 20 years ago, on the night of his extravagant birthday party. She had always thought that he had gone to India, but now it is clear that he was murdered all those years ago. The only problem is that the list of suspects is growing every day, and the longer Zoe stays in Ibiza, the more she puts her own life and relationships in jeopardy.
Laura Haddock is brilliant as the unsure and unstable Zoe. Zoe puts her own daughter and husband on the back burner, and Haddock’s haunted portrayal of the character is done brilliantly. She is the mast on which this show hangs its sail. If there was a different actress in the lead role, I have no doubt that this would have been a flop. Yes, she receives great support from Daniel Mays, Angela Griffin and many others, but it is the character of Zoe and the way Haddock grows more frantic and crazy-eyed as the show goes on that make this a success.
Although he is by no means a main character, the spectre of Axel Collins hangs over the show. Tom Rhys Harries plays the larger-than-life party animal who became so desensitized by drugs, violence and sex that he alienated every single friend around him. Harries is another person who deserves huge praise for his performance. Ibiza may seem glorious but Haddock and Harries show the darker side to an island fuelled by money and drugs.
Special mention must go to Nuno Lopes who plays Boxer, a nightclub bouncer and security man who is an Adonis. He looks like the type of man who could walk up to you, take your partner away from you, bring them back later looking satisfied and you would thank him for returning them at such an early time. What a handsome bastard. Have a look, go on ye mad things.
There are no plans for a season 2 yet, but with everyone a suspect and no real comeuppance for the real killer in the finale, there is sure to be a second season. All I will say is this: whoever you think killed Axel Collins, you will have your mind changed by the perfect twists and turns the writing takes all the way to the last scene. Get on Netflix and have a look now!
I talked about both these shows in the latest episode of my podcast, The Rathpeacon Rambler’s Podcast, on Monday. Every week I review one or two shows or movies and poke fun at them in a light-hearted way. The episode is currently out on Spotify and Apple. You can also check it out on the player below!