Santa Clarita Diet: We Can’t Kill People (Recap/Review)

Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet

Santa Clarita Diet “We Can’t Kill People” continues the hilarity and the premise of the show. How to survive dying, by vomiting up an organ, but coming back to life as a flesh eating and pretty much fully functioning zombie. (Or Mombie…)

The latest episode appeared to give a nod to “The Lost Boys,” or maybe even the comic book guy on “The Simpsons,” with the next door neighbor geek teen who takes Abby down to his comic book store hangout. The same place where he learns about zombies a’la the Frog brothers.

(A comic highlight – no pun intended- was Abby’s attack on the comic book guy running the store. After his repeating the “30 seconds” mantra that one time too many, she grabs him by the neck and slams him to the floor. The mantra ceases. “I think you were right,” she tells Eric, “I am going to like this place.”)

In this episode of Santa Clarita Diet Joel and Sheila dispose of Gary’s remains  by depositing them in a hole dug by Joel in the desert. Abby and Eric arrive and this causes her parents to panic. Spilling the plastic box full of Gary on the ground.

Joel and Sheila manage to argue throughout the episode. Firstly about the missing lid on the box, that Sheila could not find. Then they argue about the eating of flesh. (Since eating Gary, who had two very small balls, Sheila cannot eat package raw meat. Nor can she eat the dead foot they buy for $400 later.)

Dan, the cop next door is suspicious about the chemical that he saw Joel spraying on his grass and comes to investigate. It seems pretty easy money to bet on Eric’s stepdad as being the next victim of Sheila.

This episode had the very funny running argument of “yeah but maybe its not,” between Joel and Sheila. Sheila chasing the rooster down next door while wearing a transparent rain mac and hood was a show stopper and it seemed certain that the hospital orderly was so going to die…

Sheila, besides wanting to constantly hump like a “rescue dog at Rite Aid,” has become more assertive, almost aggressive one could say. It works out well this week as she manages to sell the Peterson’s house because of it.

Joel almost being committed after meeting with Dr. Hasmedi was brilliant and helps us to place him in this the comedy. He will be the one who tries the hardest to normalize the family’s new truth.

Abby moves up a notch to compete squarely with her parents as a comic torch.

Olyphant and Barrymore are perfect together. It is easy to forget that both these actors kill it with comedy. Timothy may have run with the Elmore Leonard country cop series Justified, and he can do a real mean Clint Eastwood impression (Rango) but the actor may well make his fans forget all that.

Liv Hewson is spot on as Abby, the newly rebellious teen “I’m going to be swearing in front of you a lot now.” She is as comically astute as the rest of this excellent cast.

The guest star list is impressive, Nathan Fillion as victim number one and Patton Oswalt as the virologist who wants Joel committed were both brilliant.

Santa Clarita Diet is a real winner on Netflix and should be watched…right now.  The series can be streamed or downloaded for offline viewing. Check it out.

Cast:

Guest starring Patton Oswalt as Dr. Charles Hasmedi, Roxana Ortega as Dr. Hernandez and Adam Rose as the orderly. 

‘Narcos’ Al Fin Cayó!: Finally He Fell – Death (Recap/Review)

Netflix Narcos

Episode two of Narcos starts with the mass murder of all those hookers, one of whom turned Escobar in to the authorities. Despite La Quica killing the one responsible, he still wants t0 kill Limon’s friend Maritza.

The president, who said perviously that he will not negotiate with Escobar, is blind sided when the country’s prosecutor gets a visit from the cartel leader’s lawyer. Before that, Pablo  gives an interview where he addresses the president’s statement.

Meanwhile the president orders a crackdown on all drug dealing. The soldiers are all over the area and headed up by Colonel Pinzón. A stiff necked and unrelenting military leader, Pinzón is put in charge of everything and the DEA have to deal with the prickly team leader.

Murphy and Peña get a boss. A women sent in by President Bush to head up the DEA contingent. Murphy barely avoids being fired and sent back stateside. It is Peña’s efforts that save him. The new boss; Claudia Messina (Florencia Lozano) wastes no time letting the two men know who is in charge. 

Messina is no babe in the woods, however. She snipes at Pinzón, by flanking his authority when he refuses to cooperate. While it gets her access to what she wants, the general is no fool either. The move is not wholly successful.

This episode of Narcos, follows the three sided build up of all the players  after Escobar’s escape from prison. The US, under the guidance of former CIA director President George Bush Sr., builds up a team comprised of heavy hitters and one “spook” (complete with beard, long hair and a poor attitude).

On a sidenote, the actor Brett Cullen, who plays Arthur Crosby, sounds so much like Oscar winning actor Gene Hackman that he could do (voice) loops for the star if Hackman ever goes back to acting. It is very uncanny. 

President Gaviria  sets the Army on Escobar and they cover the streets of Medellin.

Escobar, apart from giving the interview and instructing his lawyer to negotiate with the president, stays low. The streets, as the narrator points out, are his. The children of the area are his eyes and ears and the Army does nothing without the urchins telling Escobar.

Even as the cartel leader relaxes, he plans on retaliation against Gaviria and Pinzón’s troops. His network take out scores of the Army patrols quickly. Blood runs red in the streets and the president learns the hard way that Escobar is more powerful than he thought.

 

Escobar’s retributory attack on the Columbian troops is prompted by the DEA and the colonel raiding his compound. Pablo and his family flee in the night just as the authorities reach his hide out.

As the army harasses the locals, Pablo’s men, and children,  watch the troops closely.  After the raid, Escobar gives the order to kill the Army in the streets they are patrolling.

Pablo dances with his wife while the men are murdered. As one reviewer puts it, Escobar does a “Godfather.”

Meanwhile Le Quica is obsessed with killing Maritza. She had the brass to turn him down when he suggested having sex and it infuriated him. He wants her dead;  less for the alleged tip off than for his injured machismo pride.

After a narrow escape Maritza goes on the run with her child.

This is, to a large  extent, a fictionalized version of Pablo Escobar’s rise and fall as one of the richest criminals in history.  Certainly we do not really know if Pablo danced with his “child” bride as wholesale slaughter flooded the streets with crimson.

But it looks good.

The cartel leader with the Robin Hood persona had the support of a lot of  people whom he helped.  This episode shows just how much help he could rely on from the “common” people.

It is a foregone conclusion that the series must end with Escobar’s death, this is, after all, what happened in real life.  Apparently this may happen in season two.

Narcos is streaming on Netflix right now.  All 10 episodes are available to watch in one sitting. Do not miss this addictive retelling of the fight to capture Pablo Escobar.

Cast: 

The American West: AMC Wild West Episode 2 (Review)

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While still maintaining that Jesse James single handedly upset the applecart in late 1800s America, The American West zoomed into the Black Hills,  Gold, the Union Pacific and the first US economic depression in its documentary about the wild west.  It also glides over the Custer massacre of a Cheyenne village.

It is interesting to note that in the retelling of the railroad marching resolutely across the plains, that Thomas “Doc” Durant is mentioned as one of the first millionaire fraudsters in the country. The man responsible for connecting the country coast to coast was an out and out crook.

Therein lies one of the  problems with this “documentary” on the American Wild West and the expansion of its immigrant denizens.  The country’s formative years were, apparently, all influenced by greedy conmen, thieves, robbers and (not forgetting Custer) a narcissistic egomaniac.

On a sidenote, it is amusing to see the series   skirting Grant’s alcoholism.  (The man had a lifelong problem with drinking.) The show’s makers do show the president with a drink in his hand in most scenes but no mention of his record of drunkenness, which almost got him drum out of the Army is ever made.

On terms of brownie points, The American West does show how the government worked hard, initially, to get along with the Native American denizens who were here before the white man “conquered” the country. They also mention the same government shafting the other party in the peace treaties when gold looked to be an economic savior.

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Once again, it seems that chicanery and robbery put the country on the map, so to speak, and either helped the US to grow or plunged it into economic chaos. (On a sidenote, one of the colour providers mentioned that the Union Pacific Railroad scandal took millions from tax payers pockets.  Taxes were not levied on the average Joe until 1913 chaps.)

The introduction of the Missourian newspaper  editor who turned into Jesse James’ publicist was a new one and rather fascinating.  It was also interesting to note that the myth John Newman Edwards worked so hard to manufacture was catered to in the scenes of the robberies. “That was my father’s watch…”

The Pinkerton Detective Agency is also given fairly short shrift, possibly because they do not get really interesting until they blow up James’ house. The act was performed when Jesse and Frank’s mother was in the kitchen and the blast took off one of her arms. If the self centered outlaw needed any further prodding to keep committing crime, this was the perfect excuse.

With all the focus on the “bad men” of American History so far, The American West appears to be saying that the US and the wild west were populated and influenced more by crime than by heroic acts or pioneers who risked everything to move west.

The railroad did indeed provide (relatively) easy access to the west. While this show goes to great pains to paint Jesse James as not only the first train robber of the new railroad but also the instigator behind the south rising again, it should be pointed out that the James gang were not the only chaps robbing trains.

As the executive producer Robert Redford should know, there were a number of gangs robbing trains, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (played by Redford in the 1969 film). There were the Dalton’s and the Younger’s (also products of the Civil War) and the first recorded train robbery was in 1866 by the Reno gang.

The American West is fairly interesting, in that the series maintains that a select few men from history changed the face of the country in some sort of interconnected way. This focus, while interesting, leaves so much out. Although the mention  of Doc Durant was a plus.

There is no doubt that Jesse James was the best known of all the train robbers, at the time (down to Edwards’ efforts) but is odd that his activities are being credited with affecting so much of the day-to-day goings-on of the young country.

The American West airs Sundays on AMC. Tune in and get what appears to be a skewed perception of how the wild west was won.

Helix Reunion Episode Two Recap and Review

Last week’s premiere episode of Helix set things up nicely for episode two, Reunion. The time parallels at St. Germaine Island and the introduction of the mysterious Michael are followed up this week and more is learned about quite a number of things…

To read more of this review go to Viral Global News.