• ERIC BUTLER

Monday ramblings and something a little...


Although it seems things are slowly getting back to normal - in some places more than others - there is still a need for things to watch as many people prefer to stay at home. So as I have become accustomed to doing on my Monday posts, I have a few suggestions...



In 2017, BBC and FX came together to produce one of the greatest shows to play on either side of the pond, Taboo. The 8 episode show revolves around the sudden reappearance of James Delaney in London during the war of 1812. He is looking to rebuild his recently departed father's shipping empire. The Crown and the all-powerful East India Company have other ideas.



From the creator of Peaky Blinders, and Tom Hardy - who plays Delaney - comes a show that plops you right down in the middle of the slop that is early 19th century London. You can taste, smell, and feel the dirt and waste that was life during this time. More importantly, the show pulls no punches in sharing all levels of life within the city. It drags you through the back alleys and underbellies of those that ruled the Empire and those just trying to survive there.



James Delaney was believed lost in Africa and when he reappears in London to accept his father's inheritance, rumors begin that he is a changed man...not longer an Englishman, a gentleman, but something darker...something unnatural. He uses those rumors to his benefit. For you see, he has been in Africa and participated in many dark and terrible things. Things he will use to gain every advantage in gaining not only his father's shipping company up and running but more importantly his revenge.


This is 8 episodes of restitution, redemption, and revenge; not just for James Delaney but for the cast of oddball characters he surrounds himself with as his plans move forward. While I think Hardy is spectacular in everything he does, he shines as Delaney. From the first scene to the final second of the first season, he grabs your attention and forces you to pay attention.


If you haven't seen this or if you only saw it when it aired 2 years ago, I suggest you sit down and watch. You can stream it on HULU or purchase it on Amazon.


Season 2 was supposed to film some time in 2020 but I have a feeling Covid-19 is going to delay it further. That being said, even if there is only 1 season, it is a full story that completely satisfies.





My 100th post was Wednesday and focused on a short story looking back on one of the characters from my monthly serial. While it does look at the backstory of a character in a series you may not have read or finished, the story itself is a stand-alone. You can read it with no knowledge of the characters and find it very enjoyable...although I might be a smidge bias.


The Ephraim Godwin Chronicles is the overall title for the universe I have built in the weekly serial, and for the books to come. It is a Victorian-based supernatural mystery, and while I might argue it is in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, it has no super sleuth to fall back on. Instead, the stories revolve around an ex-soldier who is a disbeliever of the supernatural arts, a simple inspector, and a woman raised in the world of the supernatural. The three, with their friend Dr. David Livingstone, are thrust into a story of revenge and reawakening.


I'm working on the edit of the serial to put the first group together in book form, and while doing that I plan on writing some stand-alone tales to show you a little glimpse into these character's past. You can read Zona's tale here.



The 2nd episode of Muppets Now is up on Disney+. This time we have more Fozzy and less Kermit, who only appears for a minute or two. Oddly enough Ms. Piggy and the Swedish Chef return for full segments, but this time we get to see a game show run by Pepe - one of my favorites, and Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew.



Much like episode 1, this show falls a bit flat. The format is just so limiting for the natural flow of muppets and guest stars to move in and out. That being said there are enough funny moments to keep you watching and hoping they get the balance right...


The star segment is the Swedish Chef as he takes on Danny Trejo in an Iron Chef-like battle on Tacos. Just listening to the Chef say taco fillings in his"Swedish" accent makes the whole episode worth watching.




Lastly, I wanted to share a movie that might have slipped by with all this Covid-19 madness. The Night Clerk(2020) stars Tye Sheridan as a 23-year-old man who suffers from Asperger Syndrome. He studies those around him in an attempt to be more normal. In doing so he stumbles across a murder and quickly becomes the prime suspect.



While there is nothing particularly spectacular or new about the story, this movie has a stellar cast that rises the material up. Even with the incredible talents of De Armas and Leguizamo, it's the acting of Sheridan that makes this movie a real treat. His portrayal of the main character as he battles through not only the way AS makes him feel but others around him is fascinating to watch.


I've been a big fan going back to his early work in Joe and Mud where he held his own with Nicolas Cage and Matthew McConaughey. He has had lead roles in Ready Player One and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. He's also Cyclops in the newest X-Men rebooted movies.


You can catch it on Netflix.

 

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