Another binge fest: What We Do in the Shadows

This bat-on-the wall documentary series follows a group of vampires living on Staten Island, New York.

Yes, it’s a comedy, based on a movie of the same name made by the awesomely strange Taika Waititi (Waititi’s version was set in New Zealand and I think he’s the executive producer of the TV series).

Now I’m a big fan of Matt Berry, so I’m probably a little biased, but I think it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen on telly this year. The script is hilarious, the acting is brilliant, with standout performances from Berry (of course), Natalia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, Kayvan Novak, Mark Proksch … yeah, I know, that’s pretty much the whole cast, but they’re all really really good.

If I’m honest, I wasn’t so sure about Colin Robinson, but over the two seasons, he’s actually grown on me. He’s still annoying, obviously, but he’s supposed to be; it just took a while for my sense of humour to realign.

What We Do in the Shadows is definitely worth a look if you’ve got a few half hour slots to spare. Yet another ten out of ten.

Binge treat: The Umbrella Academy (season 2)

Season one was great, but the second run of this off-beat superhero caper turned out to be my binge choice for the summer.

Picking up straight after their temporal escape from the first season’s destruction of planet Earth (pretty much their fault), our barely competent crew of metahuman misfits land in the sixties, where they have to contend with the awakening the civil rights movement, same-sex relationships, an organisation of assassins tasked with maintaining the integrity of the timeline, the assassination of Kennedy, and a nuclear holocaust that is six days away (again, mostly their fault).

The little fella with blood on his face is in his late fifties, and the guy on the far right is actually dead …

With so much to pack into ten episodes, it cracks along, but amazingly, doesn’t feel rushed. There’s plenty of time and space to delve into Black oppression, attitudes to homosexuality, love, sacrifice and being willing to do anything for your family … even when you despise them.

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Netflix: The Old Guard

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Old Guard is Netflix’s most watched movie at the moment, and since I had a spare afternoon (one of many) I thought it was worth a look.

Okay, to begin with, the plot isn’t really much to write home about: The Old Guard is a group of immortal mercenaries (ably led by Charlize Theron) with a conveniently flexible set of moral values which has steered them to champion the downtrodden and oppressed for the past several thousand years, while presumably making a ton of cash on the side.

Through a series of flashbacks and moody chats around the campfire, the story tells us who they are and why they’ve been targeted by a pharmaceutical wunderkind who wants to carve them into slivers so he can unlock secret behind their immortality.

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