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Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

A frivolous British detective about a loser and a chosen one

Private detective Gently (Samuel Barnett) and his accidental companion, the loser Todd (Elijah Wood), chase the corgi, in that with the help of a bizarre apparatus they transferred the consciousness of one famous person. Time travel, killers with supernatural powers, and historical conspiracies complicate the investigation of the intricate case involving this dog.

After the dark and pretentious Sherlock, this British detective series (Netflix co-produces with BBC of America) looks like a fresh and original product. The plot of “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” has its own logic and rules, and from the outside it looks like a comedy of absurdity. It is very interesting to watch such a leapfrog, especially since the denouement of each case is shown at the end of the season, and not stretched over several years. So, in principle, you don’t need to watch the second season.

The OA

Fantastic drama about fear of the unknown

Prairie Johnson mysteriously disappeared from her home seven years ago, and now she is found. She has scars of unknown origin on her body, and her sight suddenly returns, although before that she was completely blind. On top of that, the main character now prefers to respond not to her name, but to the abbreviation “OA”. She does not speak with her parents and the police about the mysterious past, choosing as her interlocutors several local outcasts: a school bully, a tucked-in teacher and others.

The series is divided into chapters, and therefore it resembles a thick Pulitzer novel, in which a very smart and modern author mixed elements of science fiction, supernatural thriller and family drama. Moreover, at some point, the plot transforms so much that, for example, travel to other universes, Russian oligarchs and other strange things begin to appear in it. In short, before the third season of “Twin Peaks” came out, “OA” was the main mysterious series on American television.

Unfortunately, the ambitious series was not popular enough by Netflix standards, so it was cut short after the season 2 finale, without answering many plot questions.

Bird Box

If not the best, then the most viewed for sure – in terms of the number of viewers on its native streaming platform, “Bird Box” even surpassed “Stranger Things”. Post-apocalyptic horror with Sandra Bullock and teen fantasy thriller with references to King – why did the first one win?

The coronavirus has brought people a pathological love for toilet paper and buckwheat, but in the world of this movie, the demand for guide dogs, sleep bands and house birds has skyrocketed. The reason – the Earth was inhabited by dangerous creatures that, by their appearance, make people commit suicide. What kind of creature is it is not clear. It’s quite straightforward – neither in the film adaptation, nor in the original novel, these ideal killers are not described. And this is logical, because everyone who saw the monsters has already died, and the creators decided to leave the fantastic monsters to stretch the viewer’s imagination. And in the end, there will still be something to see here. The main character is sailing along the river with two children. Everyone is blindfolded. The boat sways, the water splashes, the parrots in the cage squeak. By the way, about parrots – birds are used here as signaling from monsters: when monsters approach, the birds begin to scream. Hence the name, there is nothing other birdlike here. But the “box” can be metaphorically opened: on the one hand, the box is probably a parallel with the world in which it is safe only at home (painfully familiar); on the other hand, the box is the fears that keep us locked up; with the third, it is generally something universal, something that has locked us in the models of action of the usual sense organs. In short, you can philosophize about the name and what is happening on the screen for a long time. And in vain, because the cinema itself clearly does not strive for this: here they simply created the most steep suspense, and only at the expense of psychology. No special effects, no naturalistic abominations. It’s just that a single mother and her two children are trying to get to safety, blindfolded with thin bandages.

Shaft

Light crime-detective comedy with action movie inserts. So light that you can play “I’ll guess the final from the third minute.” But the lack of intrigue and lack of action is compensated by the number of jokes: the heroes shoot them more often than pick up a pistol.

The first film with this name came out in 71, so with “Shaft” you can be on “you” – the franchise for almost fifty years. And the first film, by the way, even won an Oscar for Best Song. In the opening film, as in the two that followed, Richard Roundy plays the main role, and in the first “Shafts” there was practically no humor: John Shaft, the eldest, a private detective, was practically Blade on the streets of real New York, and witty comments there was no time to give. In the fourth film, “Detective Shaft” or just another simply “Shaft” in the original, Richard Roundtree is replaced by Samuel L. Jackson as the nephew of John Shaft, the oldest – John Shaft, the elder. However, the character of the main character in the fourth film changed no more than the name: Jackson’s character remained the same brutal and serious crime fighter, and there was still no comedy in the genres of “Shaft” from 2000. But in the new, fifth part, the main character is John Shaft Jr. – a tolerant, neat, helpful guy who is used to solving everything with words. The younger Shaft is not a rag, he just lives in the information society and works in the cybercrime department, so words for him are a weapon more effective than a shotgun. And loyal fans of the history of the Shaft family will have to come to terms with the changes in the last part: a new world – new rules, a new genre. And to make it easier to get used to, in the plot, John Shaft Jr. will call for help in the investigation of the murder of his father’s best friend John (Jackson) Shaft and his grandfather John (Roundtree) Shaft. Three generations, three approaches to work, and three tons of jokes.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

Continuation of the cult project about the chemistry teacher Walter White and his drug business. The sequel focuses on the fate of Jesse Pinkman, White’s young accomplice. Fans asked to finish the story – Netflix finished. Neat, logical and keeping the original caste.