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There is actually some bright news: Good new streaming series have appeared just when we need them the most. Whether you want to watch healers or frauds, more narco-noir, sci-fi, or Victoriana, there’s something for everyone.
The New Pope (HBO):
The series has just finished airing, and together with its predecessor, The Young Pope, they’re supremely high-quality productions. Even Fellini would be in awe of the sumptuous sets, cinematography, acting, and originality of this surreal take on what happens when Jude Law ascends in the Vatican. In Season 2, John Malkovich becomes a new Pope for a little too long, but it all builds to a magnificent, crazy crescendo of beatitude.
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The show asks the questions, “Would we give a Savior the bum rush if He showed up today?” And how would we know if He/he was the real deal? Mossad, the CIA, the FBI, and a bewildered public are on the 10-episode case, and everyone is dying to find out.
Sanditon (PBS/Masterpiece, via Amazon):
Jane Austen’s unfinished novel recently received a high-gloss interpretation that will gratify her admirers. A cash-stretched family with an ambitious plan to turn waterfront property into a Victorian Hamptons, a farm-raised heroine, a dashing sophisticate, and a Maggie Smith-ish dowager are some of the characters whose trials and tribulations will keep you tuned in.
ZeroZeroZero (Amazon Prime):
This series follows a heroin shipment around most of the world, tracking the buyers, sellers, shippers, and dealers involved. From the caves of Calabria to the mansions of Mexico and the mean streets and rocky seas in between, the players are all unforgettable personalities, and the action is intense.
Iceland is in play with a new police procedural that’s good enough if you have seen and somehow liked all the Nordic cops, killers, and child molesters that have been dramatized before. Why do I binge on these? Maybe because someone somewhere has endured worse weather than me.
And guess what?! As I sit here writing this at the end of March, Ozark Season 3 (Netflix) premieres today! For someone immersed in the latest and greatest Better Call Saul season (AMC), my sterilized cup runneth over.