More TV Reviews on Netflix Insant: Sherlock and Sports Night

Sherlock
Year: 2010
Genre: Three 88-minute murder mysteries
Format: Available on Netflix Instant Viewing
Rating: ****

This excellent updated version of Sherlock Holmes takes place in modern-day London.  Holmes describes himself as a "high-functioning sociopath" and  Watson is a medical doctor and veteran of the Afghan war.  The three murder mysterious are engaging, witty,  and satisfyingly solved by Holmes and Watson.  I never read the original books so I can’t compare how closely the modern update uses canon, but they do introduce Holmes’s arch-enemy Moriarty. 

Sports Night
Year: 1998
Genre: Half-hour Comedy
Format: Available on Netflix Instant Viewing
Rating: *** 1/2

If you missed this show about a late-night cable sports show the first time around, check it out now.  The cast is full of talented familiar faces. The sports anchors are played by Peter Krause (Nate from Six Feet Under, Adam from Parenthood) and Josh Charles (Will from The Good Wife).  Felicity Huffman (Lynette from Desperate Housewives) is the show’s producer and Robert Guillaume (Benson from the show Benson) is her boss.

Sports Night is written by Aaron Sorkin so the dialog is smart and funny. The cable show studios are supposed to be in the World Trade Center so there are a lot of now nostalgic shots of the Trade Center and even an eerie episode devoted a bomb treat in the building.  Initially the writing showcases Sorkin’s main weaknesses — a tendency to get preachy and have all the characters sound alike.  Within the first couple episodes, each character takes on his or her own voice, the preaching stops, and the fun begins!

Book Review For: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June

Title: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June
Author: Robin Benway
Published: August 2010
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Read eBook on Nook for Droid App.
Rating: *** 1/2

Sisters April, May, and June just moved to a brand new high school because of their parents’ divorce.  Starting a new school and dealing with divorce is always hard, but the sisters’ lives are further complicated as the teens realize they might have super powers now, too.  April can see flashes of the future.  May can become invisible, and June can read minds.  They don’t have a lot of control over their powers, though, which come at inconvenient moments causing trouble for each sister.

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June is an entertaining YA novel that deftly combines the normal problems of high school with the complications of having a super power. Benway gives each sister her own unique voice so the dialog between the sisters is especially fun.

Netflix Instant Movie Reviews For: Heartbreaker and After the Wedding

Heartbreaker
Year: 2010
Genre: French Foreign Film / Romantic Comedy
Format: Watched on Netflix Instant in French with English subtitles
Rating: *** 1/2

An adult brother, sister, and brother-in-law work as a team of professional heartbreakers.  According to our team, there are 3 kinds of women in couples, "knowingly happy, knowingly unhappy, and unhappy without admitting it."  The heartbreakers work for the family and friends of the women in category three.  "The goal: open their eyes. The method: seduction."

Heartbreaker
is a fun romantic comedy that just happens to be in French. One of the leads is Vanessa Paradis –Johnny Depp’s partner– who looks like a younger, French Michelle Pfeiffer, but with an adorable gap in her front teeth.  She’s quite cute and so is the movie. Check it out.

After The Wedding
Year: 2006
Genre: Danish Foreign Film/ Drama
Format: Watched on Netflix Instant in Danish with English subtitles
Rating: *** 1/2

 Danish Jacob has been in India for over a decade working at an orphanage.  He dislikes Denmark and everything having to do with the wealthy.  When the orphanage director asks him to fly to Denmark to meet with a potential wealthy donor, Jacob is reluctant, but the orphanage is almost bankrupt and the donor insists on talking to Jacob in person. Once Jacob gets to Denmark his life is changed in ways he hadn’t planned. 

This is a wonderful small drama about people, family, and helping others.  I don’t want to say anymore or I’ll give away the plot, but check it out, it’s worth watching.