The Night Manager

The_Night_Manager_titlecardThe Night Manager (2016) – 6/10

Cloak and dagger television series adapted from the novel of the same name by John le Carre.  A nod to my father for his love of intrigue and a great spy novel; maybe my interest in this genre is genetic.

Tom Hiddleston is the enigmatic night manager of an exquisite hotel in Cairo.  He is ex military, cool and calm under stress.  Aloof and apparently irresistible to women.  A fate he cheerfully accepts.

Hugh Laurie plays his nemesis.  An evil arms dealer unfazed by the deaths his actions permit.   Strangely and blindly loyal to those he holds dear.

The night manager is recruited by British intelligence to infiltrate the arms dealer’s inner circle.  A most wanted man for some time but clever enough to remain just out of reach. I think revenge forced the final crack in this man’s armour.  Revenge for witnessed atrocities that burned and possessed.

Directed by Suzanne Bier.  Did her influence create the depth of character of the female roles?  Three women, backgrounds glimpsed, motivations cemented after contact with the night manager.  A heavily pregnant British intelligence officer an unusual sight in the field.

Complex and exciting.  Gorgeous scenery.  Well acted except for the ‘oh my gosh this is so obvious’ ogling between Hiddleston and Hugh’s paramour.  This went on for the last few episodes and was so annoying that it was, for me, a major detractor.

I was disappointed to read that they are considering making a season 2.  I think the story is finished.

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Fargo (season 2)

Fargoseason2promoFargo (Season 2) – 1/10

I’ve got a good idea.  The first season of Fargo was so good and brilliantly acted, let’s just throw in as many clever plot elements as we can think of.  More is more right? How about:

Aliens; a horde of characters; sing/song Tarantino-esque hitman; idiot mobsters and lawmen; crazy Lynchian hairdresser and her none too bright husband; butcher’s assistant who reads and quotes Camus’ absurdist philosophy; aliens; Ted Danson in yet another incarnation of, well, Sam Malone, John Becker . . .; Coen-esque mute identical twins who ‘sort of’ dress alike; time period references (Jaws, Gilligan’s Island etc); Ronald Reagan; sunken living room; oh yeah and aliens; ad naseum.

1/2 point for the beautifully tragic Solverson family; Lou a loving husband and father and the only smart police officer, his wife Betsy – strong, smart but fatally unwell, and little Molly.  1/2 point for the amazing, desolate, winter setting.