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Very Good Things

Recommendations on podcasts, movies, TV, books, recipes, restaurants, technology, travel, shopping and more. Things that make life more interesting or satisfying.

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Watching

War On Waste – A Shocking And Important Documentary

In Australia, waste is growing at double the rate of our population with 52 mega tonnes generated a year. Australia is ranked 5th highest for generating the most municipal waste in the world. In this three-part series ‘War on Waste‘, Craig Reucassel is on a mission to see if we, as a nation, can all do a little bit better. The scene with the ridiculous banana specifications imposed by supermarkets is sickening. It seems we’re all aware that we can be doing better but after seeing this shocking and eye-opening documentary, shame on us if we carry on with our ignorant ways. Watch the trailer. Watch the series on ABC iView (the three episodes around an hour each).

Aziz Ansari’s Master Of None Season Two On Netflix

The second season of Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang‘s Master of None kicks off the first two episodes with Dev (Ansari) undertaking an apprenticeship in a pasta shop in Modena, Italy, trying hard to make perfect pasta and hilariously overusing the word “Allora” because he just loves saying it. There’s a trip to the world’s second best restaurant, Osteria Francescana, a wedding in Tuscany and much pasta and cheese is consumed. Dev then returns home to New York in episode three to try and elevate his dating game and jump-start his acting career. He is, as always, warm, likable, silly at times and very funny. It’s worth watching the award-winning first season as this new season follows on from it. Fun fact: his parents are played by his real-life parents. Watch both seasons of Master of None on Netflix. If you like his style, Aziz Ansari also has some witty stand-up comedy shows on Netflix.

Seven Types Of Ambiguity TV Series – A Gripping Psychological Thriller

Based on the critically acclaimed novel ‘Seven Types of Ambiguity’ by award-winning author Elliot Perlman, this six-part TV series is a gripping psychological thriller told from the shifting perspective of six characters following a complicated chain of events triggered when a child is taken and relationships are thrown into crisis. The Australian cast is impressive on paper and on screen with Hugo Weaving, Alex Dimitriades, Xavier Samuel, Leeanna Walsman, Andrea Demetriades, Anthony Hayes and Susie Porter. I read the book years ago when it came out (2005), loved it, and wondered how long before someone would adapt it for the screen. Read more about Seven Types of Ambiguity. See what SMH has to say about it. Watch the trailer. Watch the series on ABC iView (until 1st June) or on iTunes.

Fargo Season 3 – Crime/Drama/Thriller TV Series Starring Ewan McGregor

Fargo is a crime/drama/thriller anthology TV series that is inspired by the Coen brothers’ 1996 film of the same name. Set in 2010, the third season centres on “Emmit” (Ewan McGregor) and his brother “Ray Stussy” (also played by an almost unrecognisable McGregor). Emmit sees himself as an American success story, whereas Ray is more of a cautionary tale. Forever living in his more successful brother’s shadow, Ray has a huge chip on his shoulder about the hand he’s been dealt. He blames his brother and their sibling rivalry follows a twisted path. I’ve only seen the first episode and it’s excellent (and again, perfectly cast). You don’t need to have watched seasons 1 and 2 to enjoy this but they are worth seeing (available on iTunes and Stan). Watch the season 3 trailer. Fargo premieres in Australia on SBS 17 May or catch episode 1 on SBS On Demand from 10 May. It’s also currently airing on FX.

Broadchurch Season 3 – Suspenseful And Hard Hitting TV Crime Drama

Broadchurch is a British TV crime drama that is currently airing season 3 and one episode away from the finale. Hardy (David Tennant) and Miller (Olivia Colman, who is also in the excellent Fleabag) are investigating a sexual assault that takes place in the small town of Broadchurch and the impact it has on everyone that is connected to the victim. Whilst the whodunit component of the show is intensely suspenseful, the more moving and hard hitting parts are when the show explores themes of consent, teens with technology and porn, misogyny and sexism. The key cast have been present for all seasons and whilst there are story links to the first two seasons, you could watch without having seen them and still be enthralled. Watch the series on iTunes if you haven’t started yet or on iView or itv.

 

Fleabag – A Dark, Hilarious And Heartbreaking Comedy TV Series

Fleabag is a six-part comedy series adapted from the award-winning play about a young woman trying to cope with life in London whilst coming to terms with a recent tragedy. Fleabag (the main character’s nickname who is played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) describes herself pretty accurately in the first scene as having “a horrible feeling” she’s “a greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can’t even call herself a feminist.” It is a comedy but it’s very dark, blunt, heartbreaking in parts and unlike any other comedy I’ve seen. Her godmother who she can’t stand (played by Olivia Colman) is hilarious. Season 2 begins filming this year. Watch some clips (start with the Obama one from episode one) and the trailer. Watch the series on Amazon Prime (7-day free trial) or BBC Three.

TV: American Crime Story Season 1 – The People v. O.J. Simpson

American Crime Story is a true crime anthology TV series in which the first season covers the trial of O.J. Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. The show is based on Jeffrey Toobin‘s book The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. SimpsonA behind-the-scenes retelling of the trial, it is a fascinating look at the implications of race, celebrity, media and the criminal justice system on this infamous case in America in the early 1990s. It is one of the best cast shows I’ve seen recently with Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark a standout. Apart from the superb acting of all involved (including Cuba Gooding Jr., David Schwimmer, John Travolta and Courtney B. Vance), these re-creations of the real people they played are uncanny.  There are 10 episodes, all around an hour each. Watch the trailer. Watch the series on Netflix.

T2: Trainspotting – A Sequel Worth Watching For Quality And Nostalgia

First, there was an opportunity… then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by since the original Trainspotting film, directed by Danny Boyle. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends: Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Spud (Ewen Bremner), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Much has changed but much remains the same. I was so taken with this film because (1) I hadn’t expected it to be any good and it was and (2) It made me quite emotional due to the fact that I sat there mulling over friends, time and paths chosen. This was all very much amplified upon returning home to an 18-year-old babysitter who, when asked what I saw at the movies, replied: “Hmmmm… Trainspotting… I don’t think I’ve heard of that. Who’s in it?” I couldn’t speak. Watch the trailer. Watch the film wherever you can catch it.

The Missing Season 2 (TV) – New Family, New Drama

If you haven’t seen season 1 of The Missing, do so, though it’s not mandatory to appreciate the excellence of season 2. Alice, daughter of Sam and Gemma Webster, went missing in 2003. In 2014 the police inform them that Alice has reappeared and claims she had been held captive with Sophie Giroux, a French girl who disappeared around the same time. French detective, Julien Baptiste (who starred in season 1), was in charge of the Giroux investigation. Although now in retirement, he cannot help becoming involved again and travels to Germany and Iraq to find answers. There are eight episodes and you will you be gripped by the drama the entire time. Watch the trailer. Starts on BBC First 5 March or buy it via UK iTunes.

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