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Non-Chinese TV recommendations


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Prompted by this.

 

Here's what I've been enjoying lately. Links are to trailers. 

 

High Seas (Alta Mar). Thriller, played for laughs at points, think Agatha Christie on a boat. Watch until: end of first episode.

Babylon Berlin. Weimar Republic noir. Lots of factions and players to keep track of. Watch until: Second episode dance scene. It's available as two seasons, but it's just one story, so you need to watch the lot. I'm only halfway through. Forgive the dubbing in the trailer, couldn't find a subtitled trailer. 

Counterpart. JK Simmons sci-fi - an experiment in pre-fall-of-the-wall Berlin created two parallel earths. 30 years later, the two timelines have diverged and all is not well. Simmons' scenes with himself are fantastic. Watch until.. can't remember any particularly good bits.

Crashing and Fleabag. Both Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The first cruder and less dark. If you think you like British humour, watch these to check. One episode of each should be enough to decide if it's to your taste.


Eagerly awaiting: Fourth season of The Expanse (am up to date with the books) and second season of High Seas. 

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Luxi

OK, I'll bite. The trailers for Babylon Berlin look very good and the music is brilliant. The Weimar era is quite a period for interesting stories - for some reason, I keep on seeing a parallel with the Republican period in China, but maybe it's me.

 

Few days ago I watched the Spanish (Basque) film Coven of Sisters in Netflix, one to remember for some time. The original title is Akelarre, the Basque Country word for Witches Sabbath. Dark, violent, moving, and a superb film, with beautiful cinematography and great acting. It rings true as a portray of the Inquisition (and shows there were much worse times than 2020 in humankind's history). The original sound track is in Castilian Spanish and Basque. 

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roddy

I'll take a look. In a similar vein, the Baztan trilogy, available on Netflix, is Basque country set. Usual story, detective sent to home town (do detectives do anything other than get sent to their home towns these days) to investigate murder, witchcraft and family connections soon appear. It's not great, but it's watchable.

 

I'll reiterate my recommendation from the other thread - Giri/Haji, BBC production about a Japanese detective sent to... oh, London, there goes my theory... to recover his Triad-member brother. Kelly MacDonald co-stars as the London copper love-interest, and it's just all round smashing. I did wonder at the time if the daughter side-plot was necessary, but overall, it gets a double thumbs-up from me. 

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Luxi
17 hours ago, roddy said:

it's just all round smashing

Thanks for the recommendation. Giri / Haji Episode 1 that I watched yesterday certainly was. What a sleek production! I hope it carries on this way until the end. Apart from the style and performances,  I was very impressed by the script, even the Japanese translations were sharp. I also loved that it was bilingual, I don't understand Japanese but I like the sound. Looking forward to Part 2. 

 

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roddy

Excellent! Like I said, there are side-plots which could seem like a distraction, but think of it as an ensemble cast with each character getting time to tell their story. And don't assume the daughter is 12, like I did, she's meant to be considerably older.

 

Good to know the attention to detail extends that far - I don't have any Japanese to tell. 

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Luxi
8 hours ago, roddy said:

don't assume the daughter is 12

She looks more like 20!

 

8 hours ago, roddy said:

I don't have any Japanese to tell

Neither do I (sadly)! I just meant that the subtitles don't read like translated subtitles (speaking as a sometimes subtitler).

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