“Towards the Stars”, “State of Happiness”, “The Pentaverate”

♥ ️ ♥ ️ “Against the stars”

American series by Holden Miller and Daniel C. Connolly (2022). Available on Prime Video

Starring Sissy Spacek, JK Simmons. 8 sections.

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Alongside the deluge of SF series that travel to the limits of the galaxy, where heroes with a strong character are entrusted with dangerous missions aboard spaceships of all kinds, this creation has the good idea of ​​taking the genre completely off its back. The heroes of “Against the Stars”? The Yorks, an elderly couple in good shape, married for fifty years and living in a small town in the United States where nothing happens. Access to the stars? A simple door in the basement, placed a stone’s throw from their work table. Like Clifford D. Simak’s rural science-fiction novels, it offers to penetrate a universe without mutants and laser weapons, where the strangeness, camouflaged in a most banal reality, is only more fascinating. Another welcome subtlety, the planet to which these slippers have hidden access, is desolate. Beautiful but deserted. Every night they will look at it through a bay window while watching the stars twinkle in the sky on summer evenings. Their routine will come to an end when they find a lifeless man in their basement, which will reinforce the suspicions of a neighbor who is already fascinated by their nocturnal walks.

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As the episodes go on, the quality of the two main actors’ plays, as touching as they are annoying, as old couples know, makes you forget the thinness of the plot and the slowness of the story. Depending on his mood, one can appreciate the series for its way of telling the fate of the world through this thin canvas or for its ability to show how curiosity is the only effective distraction from boredom, old age and death. Little by little, the series also sacrifices itself for contemporary serial demands – tensions, violence and passages between different parallel worlds. But we remain a taker, and we continue to envy these little old moons.

♥ ️ “State of Happiness”

“Happiness”

Norwegian series by Mette M. Bølstad (2018). Available on Arte.tv

With Bart Edwards, Malene Wadel. 8 sections.

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We had little suspicion of it, since “Dallas,” “State of Happiness,” confirms it four decades later: it’s not good to be an oil king. The Norwegian framework for this series, which arrived late in France, does not change the situation, although many studies claim that life is good there, at least more than anywhere else in the world – a small miracle, knowing that half of Beer is often sold for eight euros per. device that we could verify on the spot. This is because this vast territory, leaning against the Atlantic Ocean with breathtaking views of Iceland, is particularly fortunate, thanks in large part to the exploitation of the hydrocarbons in its marine subsoil.

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“Happiness”

This miniseries tells how the discovery of an oil field in 1969 will change life in the port of Stavanger, especially the lives of a group of young people with different backgrounds. On screen, we find the elegance of the characters in “Mad Men,” and what usually seduces fans of family sagas: the conflicts of bursting, the knowing glances, the thwarted loves, and a social determinism at all times. However, we remain very far from the bourbon-tasting nervous breakdowns of “Dallas”: “State of Happiness” is more like a skilled or academic study of manners, depending on its degree of tolerance to the genre. Yet the gesture is still commendable: like our Nordic friends, we would have loved to see a French series about the beginnings of Elf or Total in Africa. We poor Latinos are still waiting.

“The Pentaverate”

“The Pentaverate”

American series by Mike Myers (2022). Available on Netflix.

With Mike Myers, Ken Jeong, Keegan-Michael Key. 6 sections.

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On paper, marriage seemed a given. On the one hand, the author of the “Austin Powers” franchise, a humorous (albeit heavy in places) parody of the aesthetics of the sixties and the James Bond film in particular; on the other hand, conspiracy, a subject dreamed up to scorn, which was one of the most prominent phenomena of the time. The Canadian Mike Myers has therefore set out to portray the adventures of a mediocre journalist who infiltrates a secret society called The Pentaverate, which has ensured the survival of mankind since the great plague of 1347. As usual, Mike Myers’ interpretations made up most of the roles, in this case eight of them. And if some make you smile, most are imbued with a weight and a vulgarity that you only see on the small screen on the side of reality TV.

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Autumn is therefore particularly painful for the star of the cult show Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s: at best little poo, at worst sexist, his new punchlines no longer pass in 2022 at all. That’s not the topic to come in a way – others, like Blanche Gardin or Jonathan Cohen, come out with the same material – is the writing, which is totally outdated. And that is despite the on-screen reinforcement of comedy heavyweights like Keegan-Michael Key and Ken Jeong. To keep its subscribers in the face of competition at the higher end, Netflix is ​​misled by taking them for rednecks. The critique of generalized conspiracy was better.

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