Monday 23 April 2018

New on netflix: Blood thicker than water in dark family drama

Bloodline, Series 2 From May 27

Linda Cardellini plays Meg in this dark family drama set in Florida
Linda Cardellini plays Meg in this dark family drama set in Florida
Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

In some ways the return of Bloodline is a bit of a surprise. The incredible ending of the first series - no spoilers here - seemed to prime it for One and Done status and there has been the fairly constant smoke of rumours about its second series without the actual fire of an announcement from Netflix.

On the other hand the ending was also a bit of a cliffhanger, which did open the door and it was known that the writers and cast were on board for more. So here we are. Briefly the first series focussed on the lives of the Rayburn family, which owns and runs a seafront hotel in the Florida Keys. When the oldest son and black sheep of the family, Danny (played to perfection by Ben Mendelsohn), returns home for his parents' celebration of their anniversary of running Rayburn House and the scheduled dedication of a pier in their name, he quickly causes uproar among the family, who have a dark past. Danny's involvement in a murky underworld threatens to bring down his entire family and tarnish their legacy. Like Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad Netflix has both whetted the appetite and shown there is nothing to prove with the second series here. But it will be interesting to see if the liberal use of the flash-forward mechanism in the first series affects how this one plays out.

An Education

Available now

There was a hell of a lot more in Lynn Barber's riveting memoir than just her schoolgirl skirmish with a conman but that was the passage that seemed to catch the eye of Nick Hornby, who wrote the script for this. Carey Mulligan stars as a youthful version of the writer who would go on to become the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. What was really good about this film was that in the hands of another, dare-we-say-it drippier intelligence this could have easily been a woe-is-me story of exploitation and abuse. But director Lone Sherfig instead brings us a clear-eyed view of the absurdity of the situation and how it forever created a suspicion of strangers in Barber, one which she harnessed professionally to wonderful effect (hence the title). Carey Mulligan is brilliant as the schoolgirl and Peter Sarsgaard is just the right mix of creepy and charming for the conman. Anyone who ever went to school in south Dublin will instantly recognise the youthful pretension on display here ("Q: "why are you speaking French to me?" A: "I don't know")

Dramaworld, Season 1

Available May 21

Notoriously there are less Asian people on prime time American television than any other race, despite them making up a significant portion of the population. That might be about to change with the growing popularity of Korean dramas. This series stars Liv Hewson as a twenty something college student named Claire Duncan, who is obsessed with Korean dramas. As of the moment, she is obsessed with a drama called Taste of Love, in which a young chef named Seo-yeon (Bae Noo-ri) falls in love with her boss, the rich and talented Joon Park (Sean Dulake). Fans of actual Asian drama have been slightly aghast at the trailer but the CEO of streaming service Viki, which commissioned the series has called it a "friendly entry point into Asian dramas", so we'll go with that.

Narcos Season 1

Available now

When it comes to the premiere date of Narcos Season 2, there's still no official updates. But according to some reports, it might actually come back this August. In case you are not familiar with the show Narcos is based on the life of Pablo Escobar, a real-life drug kingpin in Colombia who became a billionaire through production and distribution of cocaine. It's one of the most watchable series on Netflix and worth getting into, especially if you want to be ready for its inevitable return.

Catch up now

Emily Hourican

First Dates Ireland

RTE Player, ends tonight, season 1, ep 1

The show that seems to satisfy us all: the hopeless romantics, the hardened cynics, the people-watchers, the I-told-you-so-ers and the betting fraternity. It’s a concept that is perfectly simple — get two people who are looking for love, put them together over dinner, wait and see what happens — which means all we have to do is sit back and watch, as chemistry, or its opposite does the work. For those who have missed the series, and are now kicking themselves because it seems to be all anyone talks about at work on a Friday, here is a chance to begin at the beginning, with maitre d’ Mateo Saina’s (left) particular brand of Croatian wisdom (“if she doesn’t like you, someone else will”), and the first batch of potential couples. There’s Federica and Lee, perhaps not made in heaven; Darryl and Amy who just might be, and Simon and Tynan, who look like a matching-celebrity-couple-in-the-making.


UTV Player, until May 31

This is a docu-drama, based on the tragic events of 1989 when 96 people died during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest; the worst disaster to hit British sport. Based around three families, the award-winning Hillsborough was written by Jimmy McGovern, and stars Christopher Eccleston and Ricky Tomlinson. First broadcast in 1996, it was re-screened to coincide with the recent inquest verdict, which concluded that the fans who died were unlawfully killed, as opposed to the original inquest which recorded a verdict of accidental death, much to the dismay of the victims’ families. Eccleston stars as Trevor Hicks, who lost both his daughters, 19-year-old Sarah and 15-year-old Victoria, in the crush. The film also follows the families of 20-year-old Ian Glover and Adam Spearritt, 14, and concludes two years after the tragedy, at the time of the original inquest. Be warned, this may make you furious on viewing.


Emily Hourican

Zen And The Art Of Triathlon

Tis the season of triathlons, and half the country seems to be 'in training' for major tests of strength and endurance, so this is a timely one. Zen and the Art of Triathlon does pretty much what it says on the tin - podcasts devoted to getting the best from your exercise regime, diet and psychological approach. Presented by an ultra-endurance athlete, Brett podcasts as ZenTri, and features a range of athletes, including America's fastest Ironman record holder Andrew Starykowicz, who give tips on nutrition, overcoming injury and staying in the game, as well as motivational messages. If you are that way inclined, this should push you that crucial bit further.

The Broad Experience

This bills itself as "a thoughtful, humane, and accessible analysis of the unique challenges facing women in the workplace," and is, frankly, pretty much required listening for serious working women, and men. Fortune described it as one of '9 Great Business Podcasts You Should Know'. It's a 20-minute show hosted by Ashley Milne-Tyte, that tackles some of the big issues facing women in the workplace today - the things we think about, but don't always talk about, even to each other. Expect everything from discussions around race, communication styles and being a professional woman without kids, to sexual harassment and ambition. Pieces on how to ask for more, whether it's money or time-off, sit alongside debates about which of those brings greater added-value. There are contributions from, company CEOs, authors, consultants, business psychologists and more.

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