THE WHITE LOTUS – Review by Susan Granger

As the plot of Mike White’s new HBO series unfolds, it’s as if Fantasy Island merged with The Love Boat. In the opening shot, a casket is being loaded onto a plane. It’s a mysteriously ominous beginning that soon shifts to a tropical island where smiling Armond , the smarmy resort manager, and his newly hired assistant Lani prepare to welcome new guests as they arrive at the luxurious White Lotus Hotel.

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MARE OF EASTTOWN – Review by Susan Granger

New season = new series to stream. Kate Winslet stars as an exhauted detective in this compelling seven-episode HBO mystery set in a small, working-class town in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Life isn’t easy for Mare Sheehan (Winslet), who is desperately trying to solve a perplexing murder case revolving a teenage girl found sprawled in a creek deep in the woods. Townspeople are wondering whether this grim discovery has anything to do with another young girl-gone-missing a year ago.

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STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME STREET- Review by Liz Braun

One doesn’t expect to need a hanky watching a documentary about a kids’ TV show. Yet here we are. The engrossing and surprisingly moving Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street is all about the inception and first 20 years of the game-changing children’s television show.

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OUR TOWNS – Review by Martha K Baker

If Our Towns: A Panoramic Yet Intimate Look at Small Towns Throughout America were just a travelogue through America’s small and growing towns, it would be worthy. If it were an argument for rethinking what works to raise declining towns from the economic slough, it would be worth watching. If Our Towns were merely an exercise in beautiful film-making, it would be 97 minutes of loveliness.

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THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT – Review by Susan Granger

What’s most surprising about the popularity of this mini-series is that its ‘heroine’ is a desperately defiant, self-destructive alcoholic, a condition blamed on PTSD from an abusive childhood. Kaley Cuoco plays the titular role of good-time-girl Cassie Bowden, which isn’t a far stretch from her stint as party girl Penny in The Big Bang Theory” She still mugs, smirks and does double-takes, but now she flies international routes for Imperial Atlantic.

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LET THEM ALL TALK – Review by Susan Granger

Steven Soderbergh turns a transatlantic crossing into three talented actresses in search of a script. Mercurial, manipulative Alice Hughes (Meryl Streep) is an acclaimed author who journeys to London to receive a prestigious literary award. Since she doesn’t fly, she’s booked on Cunard’s luxurious Queen Mary II and allowed to invite several guests to accompany her.

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Luis Manuel and John James on SIEMPRE LUIS, Activism and Lin Manuel Miranda – Jeanne Wolf interviews

Luis Manuel is a well-known Latin activist, an unstoppable force of change. Mid-way through his busy life in art and politics, one of his children produced a little show called Hamilton, and suddenly his name changed from Luis to ‘Lin Manuel Miranda’s Father.’ And, he didn’t mind at all.

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THE COASTAL ELITES – Review by Martha K Baker

Anyone who has followed Paul Rudnick’s career and appreciates it knows to keep following, nuisance-close lest missing a word. The Coastal Elites outshines his every other brilliance. It expands upon what it means to manage these agonizing days with heart and soul, laughter and vinegar.

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WELCOME TO CHECHNYA – Review by Diane Carson

David France’s documentary Welcome to Chechnya makes painfully clear that brutal, state-sanctioned oppression still exists in this autonomous Russian region where LGBTQ individuals suffer beatings, long-term imprisonment with accompanying torture, and vicious, unpunished killings. President since 1917 Ramzan Kadyrov has initiated and supported such action.

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BAD EDUCATION – Review by Martha K Baker

Bad Education tells well the true story of a bad principal. Frank Tassone is one of those principals who knows each student’s name — and probably what his history project is or what sport she plays. He is compassionate, considerate, competent. He also harbors a secret worth millions.

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