Showing posts with the label Miniseries

Long Live the Royals (2015)

Long Live the Royals was an extremely brief miniseries that aired on Cartoon Network back in 2015. When I say extremely brief, I mean it's just four 11-minute episodes long. But this was the year after Over the Garden Wall, and the bar for Cartoon Network miniseries was impossibly high. That's probably why this mediocre absurdist piece seems to have vanished almost without a trace.  (It's currently available to stream, though, which these days might just mean that the people who worked on it didn't have great contracts so it's cheap to keep up.)  The setting here is somewhat muddy. A royal family presides over someplace (all the descriptions of this show say Britain, but that isn't corroborated in the actual show as far as I remember) that at least includes a castle, a forest, and a town of peasants. It's a mashup time period, with most people dressed vaguely medieval-ish or "old-timey" and a strongly feudal society, but also smartphones and laptop

Station Eleven (2021/2022)

Well, this miniseries doesn't fit in with any of my existing approaches to defining or addressing Christmas media. A few years ago, I'd just have written up the first and ninth episodes, as those - and only those - are set around the holidays (on different years, no less). Only Station Eleven is highly serialized and intended as a unified piece. More than that, the Christmas episodes (to the extent the term even applies) are set around the holidays for thematic reasons pertaining to the miniseries as a whole. Technically, if I still cared about justifying this kind of thing, I'd point to that as a reason to write this up despite falling well short of the 50% threshold for automatic consideration as Christmas media. Really, I'm writing it up because I think it makes for an interesting anomaly exploring aspects of the season in a fairly unique and interesting (to me, at least) way. I'm not even sure how to approach a synopsis for the series. It's not so much that

A Christmas Carol (2019)

In a world where multi-season series are now set during the holidays, an actual three-episode miniseries almost feels quaint and old-fashioned, but that's exactly what the BBC's 2019 take on A Christmas Carol is. We've been meaning to watch this for a few years now, but somehow never got around to it until now. And now that we've finally watched this, I can definitely say... it is not what I expected. More specifically, it's completely different than it was marketed, and not just because the teaser made it look kind of good . From everything I'd seen about this, I'd assume it was going to highlight the horror aspects of its source material, which I've long felt get overlooked. But aside from a veneer vaguely mimicking that genre and a few jump scares, this isn't at all a horror in tone. First and foremost, it feels like a melodrama, with touches of horror and - surprisingly - comedy tossed in. Even more surprising, it's kind of a stretch to call

Días de Navidad [Three Days of Christmas] (2019)

It's been a good time for foreign Christmas miniseries, thanks to streaming platforms being desperate for content. Continuing that trend is Días de Navidad, a three-episode Spanish show chronicling the lives of four sisters across different eras and - to a degree at least - genres. That last part is an aspect I'm probably going to fumble a bit, because I have a feeling there's an entire meta-narrative I'm missing concerning Spain's recent history and popular media. More on all that in a moment - first let's dig into that premise a bit. Actually, before we get to even that, let's start with a spoiler warning and a somewhat tentative recommendation. I liked this quite a bit, but I imagine the style and tone of this series will turn a lot of people off. This leans heavily on its drama and at times almost feels like a soap opera (albeit one with money to burn). To be honest, I'm not sure why this didn't bother me more - normally, I don't give drama t

ÜberWeihnachten [Over Christmas], Season 1 (2020)

Over Christmas is a German dramedy miniseries streaming on Netflix. It's getting a little hard to tell, but I believe this was actually a Netflix production, rather than a series they picked up after the fact, though I suppose that's kind of academic, anyway. Supposedly, there's a second season in the works. The story centers around Bastian, a former resident of a small German town who moved to Berlin after high school to pursue a career as a musician. To put it mildly, things haven't been going well - he's still pining over a breakup the year before, he's working in a call center, and his auditions haven't been going well. But despite everything, he's excited to return home for Christmas. So you already know that's going to go poorly. Really poorly, in fact, beginning with the rather abrupt discovery the ex he's pining over shows up to spend Christmas as his brother's guest. Bastian then hooks up with one of his brother's exes, he and hi