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A family on the run, a family in a panic and a woman fleeing her fate: Review of new series - Walla! culture


Apple's new series sterilizes everything that was significant in the original material, Amazon's horror series repeats the same sticks that completely exhausted us, and Christine Milliotti once again spreads light

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A family on the run, a family in a panic and a woman fleeing her fate: a review of new series

Apple's new series sterilizes everything that was significant in the original material, Amazon's horror series repeats the same sticks that completely exhausted us, and Christine Milliotti once again spreads light in the series starring her.

This is what we thought of "Mosquito Beach", "They", and "Made For Love"


  • Mosquito Beach

  • They - Them

  • TV review

  • Christine Milliotti

Ido Yeshayahu and Ofir Artzi

Tuesday, 04 May 2021, 00:43 Updated: 12:28

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Trailer for the "Mosquito Beach" series (Apple TV Plus)

The Mosquito Coast

There are quite a few ways to transfer a work from one medium to another.

"Mosquito Beach," Paul Thoreau's best-selling novel, was published exactly 40 years ago, and the television adaptation of Apple TV Plus updates it to the present day.

The world has changed drastically in these four decades.

Cell phones and the Internet connect us to almost anyone and everything, so that the story of a family living off the network becomes something very different than in the past.

And that could have been okay, just that it's not really.

The plot of the series follows Eli Fox (Justin Thoreau, the star of "The Remainers" and the writer's nephew), a radical idealist and brilliant inventor, who lives with his wife (Melissa George, "From Holland Drive") and his two adolescent children in a remote agricultural area in the country United States. The four are as detached as possible from civilization and modernity - without a TV, without a cell phone, even without a connection to the extended family. This is because the parents are wanted by the United States government, and when its agents find out the location of the Fox family, they have to leave everything and flee to Mexico. Why are they persecuted? Oh, one day the parents will tell this to their children, and the series will pull us by the nose until then.

In the literary source the scenario is much less dramatic.

No one pursues the family except the foolishness of the father, who decides to move with his family to South America to establish a kind of paradise in it, and then slowly loses his sanity.

One can perhaps understand the choice of Neil Cross, creator of the series (who previously created both "Luther" and "Strong Sun"), to incorporate elements of experience - both to intensify the drama and because it sharpens the need for the protagonists to avoid modern tools.

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Pour the baby with the water.

Justin Thoreau and Melissa George, "Mosquito Beach" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

To be honest, these elements are the most exciting aspect of the seven episodes of the series (all were sent for review, the first two of which aired on Apple TV Plus last Friday, including in Israel with Hebrew subtitles). The rest of Cross' choices are a little less easy to understand. Not only is the family on the run from the US authorities, they are also immediately entangled with the Mexican cartel. Even if we ignore the excessive coincidence and the amounts of bad luck that land on one family to fuel the action, "Mosquito Beach" pours the baby with the water.

The series sacrifices the interest in fleshy characters and a poignant statement - originally the protagonist is an allegory for the United States and its tendency to interfere in the affairs of other countries in the name of its own interests - in favor of a plot of mystery and mystery that is ultimately corny and predictable. This dilution also harms the story of course, sterilizing layers from it that would have made it something more intense. Even when Mosquito Beach tries to flood its statements, it does so in a rude and clumsy way. The saddest evidence of this comes when in one episode the kids meet European backpackers and hang out with them, until this new friendship shatters as strangers with accents flood more and more stigmas on Americans - fat, gun-loving and so on.

The lack of refinement and nuances also sharpens the lack of point of the series: too many scenes that are based on them are time-consuming and daring, so that they do not promote either the story or the characters. Therefore, despite occasional good moments along the way, "Mosquito Beach"Leaves mostly a great sense of innocence.

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Sacrificing the interest in meaty characters and a poignant statement.

Mosquito Beach (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

They (Them)

It's sometimes difficult to point out the particular point at which a television genre exhausts itself - when, for example, exactly are we tired of sitcoms in front of an audience?

When did most of us abandon the procedural crime series, or the Aaron Spelling-style prime-time soaps?

Rarely can you put your finger on a specific piece and say - she, she jumped over the shark, she exhausted the genre, she crossed the line.

"They", the horror anthology of Amazon Prime Video (also available in Israel with Hebrew subtitles), is a great example of a series that is so beyond the line, that even the line seems to be a point for it.

Four years ago, actor and comedian Jordan Phil stunned the world with his film "Escape," which took the horror genre (which has always acted most effectively when expressing collective fears), and claimed it in thought-provoking social racist significance.

Just like that internet blue / purple / pink / gold dress, there were those whose shaky meaning of the film passed over their heads, versus those who felt like it was written in their blood.

And that was actually Phil's genius - he sweepingly removed everyone's blindfolds and forced them to recognize and reflect on the experiences of people with non-white skin color.

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A concept that is starting to repeat itself in a rather tiring section.

"They" (Photo: Amazon Prime Video)

He has since been considered the modern guru of the horror genre, having been entrusted with another African-American horror film ("We"), a revival of "Twilight Zone", the production of "Land of Lovecraft" and "Hunters", and another future horror project. "They" is not directly related to him, but there is no doubt that his spirit hovers over her as if she were his, as her plot is reminiscent of almost every project he touched in recent years - a black family moving from North Carolina to a Los Angeles neighborhood where all residents are white, and facing overt racism , Horrific occurrences and nightmares that begin to take shape.

The social and historical message of "they" is evident, clear and important, and will never exhaust itself no matter how many times it is told. But the use of the horror genre as an allegory for the shaky (and justified, of course, but still) mental state of the black heroes - it's already starting to repeat itself in a rather tiring section. "Land of Lovecraft" managed to tell the exact same story in one and only one episode, actually one of its most successful, without mentioning "We" and other episodes of "Twilight Zone" that stirred the same metaphorical cauldron. Ten episodes of scary close-ups, multiple slow-motions, disturbing images and deceptive imaginative creations has definitely been the highlight. And this is especially noticeable in light of the fifth episode in which the family's true tragic past is revealed, which is far more frightening and shaky than other conventions that have long been eroded by "American Horror Story" and the like. In the words of a politician who repeatedly tries to repeat the same point - the people seem to understand. And since "they"It is basically an anthology, one can only hope that its next round will be more original.

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Made for Love

Christine Milliotti ("How I Met Your Mother," "Fargo 2") and Billy Magnus ("Crazy," "Kimmy Schmidt") starred together about three years ago in the great episode "USS Callister" of "Black Mirror."

Which is funny, because their new comedy on HBO max sounds like an acceptable and realistic idea for a typical episode of "Mirror" - a woman is horrified to find that her husband has inserted a chip in her head that allows him access to her brain.

But while "Black Mirror" would probably take this matter in the direction of awe-inspiring technological critique, "Made for Love" is actually more interested in talking about other topics, and rightly so.

Magnuson plays the CEO of a popular high-tech empire (given that his name is Byron Gogol, and his company logo is designed on the purity of G, no one bothers to obscure anything here), who tries to reinvent the human relationship through a product that connects the minds of two sons A couple in perfect symbiosis. Hazel (Milliotti), his young and lonely wife, discovers after the solemn launch that she is the prototype of this project without her knowledge, and of course decides to rebel and run away, though she probably does not have that how. The TV version of "Catch the Shorty" in which he also starred in the serial reuniting Magnusson) plays her embarrassed father who didn't really come to her aid any more (and he also has an affair with a sex doll - leave, that's the weak point in the series).

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"Made for Love", as mentioned, is less focused on its fictional element, and tries to channel it into a discussion of the hot potato of recent times - privacy and penetration into it. Hazel's true nightmare largely resonates with the sentiments and fears that all of humanity is able to identify with, and even when the series takes too many comical or angular twists, it's definitely the general direction and is more interesting and worthy. In doing so she joins other supernatural comedies from recent years that use their fantastic concept as a leap to other earthly heights ("The Good Place" was not really about paradise but ethics, "Living With Yourself" talked less about duplication and more about self-fulfillment, "ascension" and "forever "Aim for a relationship, etc.).

At the level of performance, "Made for Love" does not really rise above the level of general kindness, and in too many cases the viewers ride forward on the plot and have to wait for the characters to catch up.

But the beloved Milliotti is a radiant sun that illuminates everything around her, and her and Magnoson's connection produces enough fun moments that absolutely justify eight half-hour episodes.

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Source: walla

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