Hifalutin Shakespeare, a heavenly sitcom, and the highly gross mortifications of the pubescent body: small-screen recommendations from Editor Kim Jones
Reviewed by Kimberley Jones, Fri., Oct. 5, 2018
King Lear (Amazon Prime) The original Succession, if not the Bard's original, strictly speaking. Richard Eyre trims Shakespeare's tragedy about a vain and increasingly unhinged king carving up his kingdom to three daughters (two of whom are the worst) down to a galloping 115 minutes and transposes the action to vaguely modern-day (military tanks, a mixed-martial arts duel). The whole cast – top-notch – takes Anthony Hopkins' lead and chews the scenery down to gristle and bone.
Big Mouth (Netflix) It's kind of a shame that Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg's cartoon about puberty and its endless mortifications has too much "adult content" to make it recommendable for 12-year-olds, the demographic that stands the most to gain from its awful/hilarious/sincerely sweet exploration of the weird shit happening to their bodies. Season 2 drops Friday, Oct. 5.
The Good Place (NBC) Season 3 just kicked off last week, but if you're new to The Good Place, you're going to want to start at the very beginning, because the joy of it – and this really is a surprisingly joyful comedy that just happens to be tangling with the idea of heaven and hell and who belongs where – is in seeing how its self-described dirtbag characters become better just by being together, and in how each season radically reboots itself. Binge the first two seasons on Netflix.
Agatha Raisin (Acorn TV) The former PR maven-turned-accidental detective from M.C. Beaton's books is a lot more chic in her TV incarnation (played by Ugly Betty's Ashley Jensen), but all the better: Ogling Aggie's absurd high heels and boss-bitch suits are half the fun of this pleasantly frothy British murder mystery set in a Cotswolds village. Series 2 premieres Monday, Nov. 19.