Just when I thought I had gained substantial control of my binge-watching habit, along comes The Knick, and I found myself clicking on “next episode” repeatedly.
This TV show explores both the professional and personal lives of the people who work at New York’s Knickerbocker hospital in the 1900’s.
Our main character, opium and cocaine imbibing Dr. John Thackery, is inhabited by the perfectly cast Clive Owen, and he is joined by equally well-cast co-star, André Holland, as Algernon Edwards, a presumably unique Harvard-educated black doctor who encounters extreme bigotry and discrimination in his efforts to be part of the hospital.
The characters of the supporting cast — every doctor, nurse, nun, driver, administrator, patient and patron — are sculpted with attention to detail, as director Steven Soderbergh waves his baton and elicits excellent performances from each.
It’s fascinating to watch each episode with its interesting plotlines. Every episode is a history lesson, and the art direction, set design, costuming, lighting, you name it, fall into place to create something we haven’t seen before.
I recommend it.
And, by the way, because I didn’t comment on this last week, another strong candidate for binge-watching would be The Affair, released last Tuesday. Dominic West and Ruth Wilson star in a deliciously addictive story of a waitress and a teacher having, well you know, an affair. Great storylines, great acting by the principals and also the supporting cast (especially Maura Tierney), and engaging subplots. Won the Golden Globe for Best Drama and Best Actress for Ruth Wilson.
Goodbye to All That
Finally, and I promise to shut up after this, Goodbye to All That, written and directed by Angus MacLachlan (Junebug), brought up my die-hard loyalty to cool indies, the “small” films, that might not have been all that well-reviewed, but are enjoyable despite flaws. Otto (Paul Schneider), has just been suddenly divorced by Annie (Melanie Lynskey), and thrown into the shark-infested waters of bachelorhood. There’s dark comedy, some good satire regarding online dating, a kid, and enough angst to give the texture of the film some heft. Came out about a month ago. I liked it.