5. Ray Donovan
Revenge has been a running theme through this show, season after season it drives one of our favorite good/bad guys, but in this season it becomes a lot more personal for Ray when he learns the truth about his sisters death all those years ago.
This was one of the best seasons of the show, as the flashbacks gave us more insight into Rays’ inner turmoil, and has Mickey finally exorcised himself from the family with his antics? Even ‘Bunchy’ seems fed up.
But we may never know, as earlier this year ‘Showtime’ cancelled the series, without any warning, although apparently behind the scenes a movie ‘finale’ for the series is planned. It’s what Ray Donovan deserves, a proper ending.
- The Last Dance
You didn’t need to be a basketball fan to enjoy this. If ever there was an athlete that transcended sport, Michael Jordon was it. This ten part series documented the Chicago Bulls star not exactly warts and all, but did show a killer extinct that didn’t exactly make him the most popular teammate.
The old playoff footage was memorizing and it was fun to relive all those title runs. It was also well crafted with the revealing interviews of Pippen, Rodman and coach Phil Jackson giving their own recollections of an NBA dynasty and the best player who ever lived.
A show about the international drug trade done right can be compelling viewing, and that’s exactly what this crime drama is, compelling. Adapted from a book, we skip continents from a dead-eyed Mexican soldier to Italian mobsters waging their own internal battle in rural Calabria, to a New Orleans based shipping family trying to broker the massive drug deal.
The two kids of the Lynwood shipping family, Emma (Andrea Riseborough) and Chris (Dane Dehaan) are the central characters and they’re wonderful here. The performance of Dane Dehaan as the son with an incurable disease is really something else.
It’s a season run over eight episodes and there’s no shortage of bodies but the action is fast between moody slow burning scenes with some wondrous scenery. Can’t wait for season 2.
Wendy (Laura Linney) really took control and imbedded herself with the Mexican Cartel boss this season. In a show where the wrong move can mean a ‘disappearance’, Wendy went it alone a lot of the time as Marty was working at the newly built ‘Casino’ and she also had to deal with Ben her brothers’ bipolar disorder. I had a real fondness for Ben who was wonderfully played by Tom Pelphrey.
It was a cracker of a season, especially when Marty ends up in the Cartel dungeon down in Mexico. A season four fourteen episode ending will be the final season of this show, with Netflix renewing it for two seven episode blocks which are planned to be released late in 2021, depending on the pandemic affected production schedule.
There are not many shows where I want to fast forward to the end to see who survived an episode, but this one does, talk about tension. The amount of sticky situations Doron (Lior Raz) gets himself and the IDF unit into seems to rise with each episode.
This season he went undercover in the Palestinian territories as the trainer of a young boxer who ultimately gets radicalized when things go wrong. It’s kidnappings, assassinations and double crossings in the Gaza strip.
This was a great season and the best show I’ve seen all year.