Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Anthologies


I'm very excited to talk about this week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves because it's all about anthology series. Not only is one of my all time favorite TV shows an anthology, but there has been so many good ones on TV lately. Here are three of my favorites below. 

1) Black Mirror

Showcasing the dangers of technology, this is one of the best series I've ever seen. It's not perfect, a few of the episodes are duds, but the overwhelming majority are spectacular. You don't have to watch them in order (I started with two episodes in season three, then went back and started from the beginning) but I have to caution you, if you start with season one episode one, please note that none of the episodes that follow are that gross. I forgot to warn people about this when I started enthusiastically recommending this and that episode really is for someone with at least a sense of humor. I could talk about this show forever.

2) Fargo

Unlike most anthologies, this one is best viewed in the proper season order. While the film Fargo had to grow on me, this series is a nice companion to it. Season one is still my favorite. 

3) American Crime Story

I love the idea of this series, focusing on a big crime per season. The People vs OJ Simpson was excellent from start to finish. While season two, The Assassination of Gianni Versace was also done very well, I took issue with the episode order. With that minor complaint, I'm still looking forward to season three. 

17 comments:

  1. The only one I've seen of these is the second season of American Crime Story which was fascinating and Criss deserved his Emmy. The time line was a bit wonky and when it tried to work up sympathy for Cunanan it pissed me off but it was involving. I couldn't do the O.J. Simpson arc, that whole story sickens me.

    I've heard of the others and watch and really liked the film of Fargo but never really made an effort to see either.

    I love a good anthology as well and here are three of my faves.

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1965)-The master of suspense turned his eye to the airwaves for a decade of thrills and chills in the 50’s. Ranging from dramatically ironic (Lamb to the Slaughter with Barbara Bel Geddes-one of the best of the series) to eerie (Forecast: Low Clouds and Coastal Fog with Inger Stevens) to humorous (Outlaw in Town with Ricardo Montalban and Constance Ford) the stories were reliably entertaining stacked with familiar faces and Hitchcock himself doing a droll introduction and wrap up on each episode. Fronted by Hitch’s silhouette and jaunty theme music this ran a half hour its first seven season then morphed into The Alfred Hitchcock Hour for the final three.

    Masterpiece Theater (1971-Present)-Beginning with The Forsyte Saga and hosted for its first 21 years by Alistair Cooke this anthology series presented some of the most acclaimed programs (The Six Wives of Henry the VIII, Elizabeth R, Upstairs/Downstairs, Prime Suspect and the original House of Cards among many others) ever shown on television. Rebranded in its 38th years as simply Masterpiece this is still going strong.

    Faerie Tale Theatre (1982-1987)-Conceived and produced by Shelly Duvall this anthology of live action fairy tales was star studded in almost every case and while the production values were sometimes wanting they had a charm to them and the opportunity to see the actors/actresses trying a little something different. While some stand above the rest (The Frog Prince with Robin Williams and Teri Garr, The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers-one of the darker tales with Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Frank Zappa & Sleeping Beauty with Christopher Reeve as Prince Charming and Bernadette Peters as the sleepy beauty are particular standouts) none are outright bad.

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    1. These ones were all before my time so I've never seen them, nor really heard anyone talk about them. I think I'd be the most interested in the Hitchcock one.

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  2. LOL I had the same issue with telling people to watch Black Mirror - they watch the first episode and get all grossed out, and I have to be all "No, I PROMISE they're not all that icky!" But then again, my fave episode is still White Bear, which is pretty damn icky. Anyway, the series as a whole is brilliant, and even though some episodes aren't so great, I do love a LOT of them.

    American Crime Story is pretty stellar, much better than I would expect from a Ryan Murphy series. Maybe the whole "true story" thing keeps his worst impulses at bay? Or maybe it's because the series is always written by someone else? Anyway, the first season was near-perfect, and second I thought was brilliant. I liked the backwards structure more as it went on, but I do wish they had gone into a bit of the aftermath of Versace's death a bit more, because Penelope Cruz was so fantastic.

    I still haven't watched any of Fargo, and I kind of hate myself for it.

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    1. White Bear grew on me a bit too. It's towards the bottom of the list just because there's so much screaming. The twist is amazing though.

      Nothing quite beats the "icky" that happens in the first ep. I was laughing all through the episode because I didn't think he'd actually do it and then......oi.

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  3. You are the 2nd one to talk about Dark Mirror which i never even heard of. I wouldn't mind giving this a try. Fargo is supposed to be quite good and American Horror Story I would love to see but, like Joel, I will pass on the OJ debacle. I remember sitting in my boss's office with him and another counsellor waiting to hear the verdict. I couldn't believe that SOB got off.

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    1. Black Mirror is wonderful. I could see you specifically really liking the episodes Be Right Back and U.S.S Callister!

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  4. Brittani,

    I have not watched any of these shows but hope to change that somewhere down the line. I do have two of thing on my Netflix Watch List. Unfortunately "Fargo" isn't available on Netflix yet. :( Thanks for sharing your TMP. Have a pAwesome weekend!

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    1. If you have cable I'm sure Fargo is probably on FX's On Demand. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. omg I still didn't start new ACS and finish season 2 of Fargo :P

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    1. You're so behind! And Patrick Wilson is in S2 of Fargo!

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  6. Check me out - I've seen the first two! Not totally up to date on Black Mirror though. I need intestinal fortitude for that one.

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  7. Nice picks! I've gotten a little lost with Fargo. I liked the first and second seasons, but three was a bit of a mess. People vs OJ is almost unforgettable.

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    1. I still think the best season of Fargo was the first one, but I've at least enjoyed all the actors in each season.

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  8. This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you. buy dvd macgyver season 2

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  9. I want to see Fargo, have heard good things.

    Don't watch true crime, so skipped ACS.

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