True Detective: Season 1

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

As so many have during the past two years, I rediscovered a show I missed upon its release. I had heard the rave reviews of True Detective’s first season but never got around to watching it. I’m so glad we gave it another chance. The absolutely superb acting by the two leads–Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey–is the best of their respective careers. McConaughey’s performance in particular of road weary existential angst driven Louisiana state detective Rustin Cohle is haunting and award worthy. You follow the story anxiously as the looped timelines and storylines unwind themselves along the way. Storytelling at its best!

Located in TV Series (TV SERIES TRUE DETECTIVE)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

The world is hard. Escape into a season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (or, all seven seasons!). This is one of my go-to comfort shows and though initially you may find the main character, Jake Peralta, a little…much…he grows on you. There is strong character development and I’ve grown fond of each police officer for one or two of their humorous quirks. I’m split; I’m quite entertained by Captain Holt and his dry personality as well as Gina for the opposite, hers is untamable. And I can’t forget about the honest and loyal Charles, a truer friend you could not find! You’ll see this police department is unrealistic in ways- the amount of time they have to chat and the general antics the precinct manages to get into- it is a wonderful comedy all the same and worth a try.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Corporate (TV Show)

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Ever feel the monotony of doing the exact same thing every single day? Coffee, work, dinner, sleep and repeat. Meet Jake, Matt and Grace. They feel like you do. They work for a massive conglomerate, Hampton DeVille, who can’t be bothered to remember their names, take credit for all their work and make sure the piles of manila folders on their desks never, ever run out. The trio makes it through each day with a hilariously wicked sense of humor notable in the episode titles like, “The Void, The Pain of Being Alive, The Long Meeting & Facing the Void.” Anyone who works in a cubicle will be able to relate to these three and, if you like it, there are three seasons to enjoy!

Available through the Bridges Library System

The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary by Robb Pearlman

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Fans of the acclaimed TV show the Office will adore this children’s picture book by Robb Pearlman. The employees of Dunder Mifflin are now children attending elementary school! Illustrator Melanie Demmer captures Jim, Pam, Dwight, Michael and the whole office in immediately recognizable characters. While the story teachers your little one about the power of teamwork while problem solving, you will have fun seeking key objects from the show’s storyline in the beautiful illustrations. Look out for Kelly’s birthday mugs, Dwight’s growing beets, his bobblehead and Schrute bucks, Stanley’s crossword, a Dundie Award, Angela’s cat and a stapler floating in Jello, to name my favorites! I do not have any kids myself but had many chuckles with my boyfriend who adores the show as much as I do. I highly recommend it!

Available through the Bridges Library System

Parks and Recreation and Arrested Development

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

This review will be posted for a while so, for context, Covid is still very much a concern right now and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. During stressful and challenging times, even just the theme song of a favorite show will help put me at ease. I’ve been rewatching Arrested Development and Parks & Recreation for the umpteenth time. If you are seeking brief, light-hearted shows where you can count on comedic relief, I recommend both of these. Arrested Development in particular has a lot of masked humor, foreshadowing and jokes that grow from one episode to the next. Even though I’ve seen it so many times, I continue to notice things I’ve somehow haven’t picked up before, it really just keeps giving. If you’d like another reference, BuzzFeed calls it, “The Cleverest Program on Television.”

Available through the Bridges Library System

The Knick (2014)

Reviewed by Rebecca (Library Staff)

The Knick is an historical fiction show set in a 1900 New York City hospital. The show follows the head doctor who has a cocaine habit and finds he can’t be at the top of his game without it. The show takes the history and medicine that is shown is highly accurate. Which leads to some gruesome and tragic results that were commonplace for the people of the 1900. For how barbaric and gory the medicine looks, the Knick and that point in history was a time of leaps and bounds in the discoveries and invention for surgery. There are also a good amount of personal drama between doctors and nurses and racial segregation (as one of the doctors is African American). Sadly the show was abruptly cancelled after the second season by Cinemax. Cinemax’s official statement was “We have decided to return Cinemax to its original primetime series fare of high-octane action dramas”. As sad as that is I still found The Knick to be well rounded and a fascinating show that I definitely recommend checking out.

Located in TV Series (TV SERIES KNICK SEASON 1)

Strike Back Season 6 (2019)

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

A few years ago I started watching the Cinemax show Strike Back. It was four seasons of adrenaline-filled action, not for the faint of heart. Then the show got cancelled. But, last year, Cinemax brought Strike Back back with an all new cast, and their newest season, season 6, was just as enjoyable as previous seasons.

Strike Back follows Section 20, a secret unit of British military intelligence. The team of special operations personnel travels the globe during high risk missions to protect the world against harm. In season 6, the team is racing around the world to try to find nuclear weapons before they end up in the wrong hands. The team is led by Sgt. Thomas McAllister (the staid British soldier), Sgt. Samuel Wyatt (the renegade U.S. soldier), and LCpl. Gracie Novin. Along the way, they pick up a Russian agent who may or may not be telling the truth.

This show is chock-full of high-stakes entertainment. But one warning, this show is definitely Rated R. It is full of language, death, nudity, and lots of blood, so viewer discretion is advised. But all of this adds to the atmosphere of the show, and in my opinion, makes the show more enjoyable.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Dirty John (2018)

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

This TV series is adapted from an extremely popular true-crime podcast about John Meehan, a man who makes a career by lying. From fighting in Iraq to treating patients experiencing debilitating pain with his vast medical expertise, there is no line John isn’t willing to cross accompanied by a handy explanation or six ready in his back pocket to keep him out of trouble. He swoops into Debra’s beautiful, expensive life and in less than two months, moves in, deflects Debra’s children from seeing her, adds his name to her financial accounts and marries her. Aghast by their foolish mother, the daughters and her nephew do everything they can to tell Debra there’s something wrong with John, but she refuses to hear any of it. Even as the foundations the couple hastily built together begin cracking, Debra calmly and with a gratingly soft voice, chooses to ignore direct evidence of John’s harmful behavior towards her children and picks him over them numerous times. Vapid, entitled and equip with unfortunate California valley girl accents, it was the girls that kept me watching regardless. Slighted left and right, the siblings don’t give up on their mom and put themselves in harm’s way to keep an eye on her. Without spoiling anything, Debra couldn’t be more right near the end when she remarks, “this isn’t going to make me look very good.” It sure doesn’t, Debra.

Located in TV Series (TV SERIES DIRTY)

Leverage Season 1 (2008)

Reviewed by Kelsey (Library Staff)

The first of a five season run, “Leverage” is a crime show like you have never seen before, but will want to binge start to finish. Former insurance investigator Nate Ford knows all the cons in the book, both from his job and from growing up with a con artist for a father. When his son dies due to Big Business not being willing to pay for his treatment, Nate quits his job and forms a team of the best crooks he knows; a grifter, a hacker, a thief, and a retrieval specialist. Together they act as modern-day Robin Hoods, pulling elaborate cons against Big Business and governments to help the little guy.

The cast has great chemistry from the start, each with their own individual backstory and personality that turns what could have been a depressing premise into a show that not only holds your interest with intricate plots, but that will make you laugh during every episode. With its unique twist to the Robin Hood theme, “Leverage” is a show that everyone should try!

Available through the Bridges Library System

Westworld: Season 2

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Ohhhhh boy. This one was quite a ride. Having eagerly watched season 1 of “Westworld”, I was anxious to get started on season 2 as soon as it became available. Although the incredible acting and beautiful landscapes were something to behold, the overall narrative felt disjointed. Season 2 picks up where season 1 left off, with robot-turned-sentient killer Dolores enacting her vengeance upon the whole park in order to reach “the valley beyond.” We also follow fellow now-sentient robot Maeve on a desperate quest to reach her daughter. The creators, in my opinion, played too much with reality and timelines in this season. By the end, you won’t know who is a host/robot, who is a “real” human, and when this is all taking place, as the narrative has at least four different timelines. Still, it ended in an epic fashion and I no doubt will tune in for Season 3.

Located in TV Series (TV SERIES WESTWORLD SEASON 2)

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