Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas (@peteramartin)

It's getting mighty crowded on my television!

All six episodes are now streaming on BritBox. I've seen the first three episodes.

We debuted the first trailer last week, which reminded me that I enjoy watching complex mysteries that unfold in environments that I have not experienced before.

Now that I've seen the first three episodes, I can say that the trailer only hints at what is unveiled. Kim Engelbrecht is very good as Reyka, a police investigator in South Africa who moved to the UK in her youth and has only returned to her native land for a few months.

Iain Glen is downright chilling as the monster responsible for her trauma; he's a soft-spoken man who kidnapped Reyka when she was just 12 years old, kept her under lock and key, and groomed her to love him and his female companion. Reyka now has a 12-year-old daughter of her own, and her current case involves more than one woman who has been murdered. Who is doing the killing and why?

I love the atmosphere, which looks like an overcrowded hothouse, as well as the multiple languages spoken, which is strikingly different (for me) from a cultural perspective. In addition, the storytelling method by creator and writer Rohan Dickson is quite good, in that it drops morsels of revealing information as it goes, allowing the viewer to piece things together.

Each episode reveals more information, piece by piece, and the tone moves from dark to very dark to extremely dark. All six episodes are available now; I will definitely finish watching the show as soon as possible, but be aware that binging all at once may overload your nervous system.


sa_hulu_hit_monkey_300.jpgMarvel's Hit-Monkey
All ten episodes are now streaming on Hulu. I've seen the first episode.

Is there more than one Hit-Monkey in the universe, prompting Marvel to include its branding in the show's official title, to make sure no one got confused about which Hit-Monkey this is?

Created by Will Speck and Josh Gordon, based on comic books first published by Marvel in 2010, the first episode of the television series introduces a wisecracking assassin (Jason Sudeikis) who completes his latest mission, the public killing of a political candidate, before being double-crossed, getting shot, seeking refuge in the mountains, being rescued by a group of snow monkeys, and then being killed himself by the double-crossing group of hired killers, but not before one of the snow monkeys grabs an automatic weapon and kills off the hired killers.

Well, it's bloody.

I've only seen the first episode so far, and there is some promise in the series beyond the blood, jokes, and 'monkey see monkey do' premise, namely, an unexpected respite during the assassin's flight from Tokyo aboard a train, before he is double-crossed, when he is contemplative and allows the events to sink in.

Also, Olivia Munn is briefly introduced as the voice of Akiko, the niece of the political candidate, so I've got to believe something more will be developed, besides repeating the one-joke premise of a monkey as an assassin. It's an animated show, and the animation looks solid, leaning heavily on primary colors, which helps it stand out from the crowd as well.

For now, though, binging the remaining nine episodes are not at the top of my 'to-watch list,' but if you have more of a tolerance of and/or enjoyment of blood and jokes, go for it.


star_trek_discovery_ver43_300.jpgStar Trek: Discovery
The first three seasons are now streaming on Paramount Plus. I've seen the first episode of the fourth season, which premiered today.

The fourth season begins with a recap of the third season that runs less than three minutes, which is really helpful for people like me, since I cancelled the CBS All Access streaming service after Season 2 a couple of years ago. (Rebranded as Paramount Plus, I resumed my subscription a few weeks ago.)

Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) is introduced as the captain of the Starship Discovery, a long-awaited promotion for her, and her captaincy is tested as her ship heads out on an emergency mission to help a damaged Deep Space station that's in trouble, with the president of the Federation along for the ride.

Filled with action, humor and heart, I enjoyed the first episode and am now inclined to catch up with the third season, just to see what happened to characters who are no longer on board. The first episode also includes a thread that holds promise for a season's worth of intrigue, which has prompted me to add it to my personal watchlist.

(As a side note, I've really enjoyed the first three episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy, an animated series that is targeted at younger audiences, and which I've covered at my personal newsletter on family programming.)

Now Streaming covers international and indie genre films and TV shows that are available on legal streaming services.

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BritBoxHuluJapanParamountPlusSouth AfricaUKUSRohan DicksonKim EngelbrechtIain GlenAnna-Mart van der MerweCrimeJosh GordonWill SpeckJason SudeikisOlivia MunnAlly MakiAnimationActionAdventureBryan FullerAlex KurtzmanSonequa Martin-GreenDoug JonesAnthony RappDrama

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