Two out of three isn't bad.
Mildred Pierce, taken from James M. Cain's (The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity) novel of the same name, is a fine production. In his first two novels he cast women as she-devils using men for their own ends, but in Pierce he switched gears and made a woman with two children the sympathetic lead. Kate Winslett's acting is great; the woman has chops, it's hard for me to take my eyes off her. Everyone else on the cast is superb, too, and the set designs are perfect: unlike Boardwalk Empire's (HBO) Prohibition-era Atlantic City which has a soft-focus appearance, Pierce's post-Prohibition settings of Glendale and Pasadena and the coast highway from LA to Santa Barbara are brilliantly and crisply re-created. Only two episodes left. I'll miss it when it's gone. (HBO)
The Killing. Dunc noticed the lack of stereotypes. I appreciate the lack of sand-state locales. These both because the series is a Danish import. No cops with $100 haircuts on this show, no hot actresses slumming as forensics experts, no handsomely-stubbled matinee idols playing detective, no unusually good-looking people at all. There is darkness and tragedy, struggle and pain. (AMC)
I saved the worst for last. The Borgias. Period piece set in 15th century Rome. Sumptuous settings surprisingly well-lit for a time predating electric lighting. Vatican intrigue! Illicit love! Sword fights! Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Why...you can tell just by looking at them! High school level writing! Why is it high school level writing? Because it has more damn clichés than a parody ("the suspense is killing me"), and because whenever anyone speaks a phrase in Latin there's always someone handy nearby to repeat it in English. (Showtime)
It's nice to see two good shows because the lack of anything worth watching has made Jack despondent.
Breaking Bad is still on hiatus. Dexter, where's Dexter?
But Nurse Jackie is back on again.
Coming: Game of Thrones. It looks great in the trailer, but fantasies are usually so full of themselves and pompous that they can't help but catch a case of "the stupids" (thanks, Dunc) early on. My idea of a proper fantasy is Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire (Comedy Central)
That about wraps up this episode of Amateur TV Review.