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Damages – (USA), 5 Seasons; 12 episodes each

Writers: various;  Stars:  Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, great guests each season

Complicated relationship between powerful attorney Patty Hewes and her young hire, Ellen Parsons. Complicated structure and stories “ripped from the headlines” + murder

         I   (2007) – class action suit by employees of a recently sold company

         II  (2009) – corporate fraud; foundations

         III (2010) – Ponzi scheme for investors

         IV (2011) – military contracts for supplies and soldiers in the Middle East

         V  (2012) – cyber hacking and a custody suit



The Killing – (USA, Detective series) – Detective Sarah Linden  (Fox, AMC)

Developed by Veena Sud;  Based on a Danish series, Forbrydelsen (Crime).

Set in Seattle, filmed in Vancouver; Stars: Mirille Enos,  Joel Kinneman

Detective Linden is about to retire but ireturns with the murder of Rosie Larsen

         I   (2011) – 3 strands of the Larsen murder intertwine - 13 episodes

         II  (2012) – investigation resumes, family secrets, election, apprehension

         III (2013) – missing girl linked to Rosie Larsen's death - 12 episodes

         IV (2014) – twists and turns from season III end the series - 6 episodes



My Brilliant Friend – (Italy/USA, 2018-2020), 2 seasons, so far – 16 episodes  (HBO)

Based on the Neopolitan Quartet novels by Elena Ferrante;

Creator: Saverio Costanzo;  Stars: Alba Rohrwacher, Margherita Mazzucco, Gaia Girace

Epic story of the lifelong friendship and conflicts between Elena and Lila who grew up together in bleak Naples (born 1944), their divergent paths and later reunion.  Beautiful and passionate series.

My True Brilliant Friend (Documentary, 2018)

Director: Clarissa Cappellani; Writer: Clarissa Cappellani

Selection and transformation of the young actresses who portray Elena and Lila



Mrs. America (American Drama, Biography, History, 2020), 9 episodes – (FX on HULU)

         Dir: Dahvi Waller; starring Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Elizabeth Banks, Margo Martindale, Tracey Ullman, Srah Paulson

Controversial but brilliantly acted fictionalized version of the conflicts within the American Feminist Movement of the 1970s. Threading throughout is Phyllis Schlafly's activities of STOP vs. ERA's tensions among Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisholm. Lots to discuss.

Refer - IWC-V --  The Glorias (film); Marchese "Interview" (Articles)

Review:  “Mrs. America’ Depicts a Different Kind of Feminist: The Anti- Kind,” Lara Zarum, NY Times (10 April 2020)

Review:  “The Voice of the ERA,” James Poniewozik, NY Times (14 April 2020)



Prime Suspect –  (British, Masterpiece Theatre, WBGH) - Helen Mirren

Chief Inspector Jane Tennison must overcome inter-office misogeny as she takes over murder investigations and wrestles with her rather messy personal life. 

Analysis:  “A Complete Look at a Complex Person,” Mike Hale, NYTimes (9/3/10)

Each season, 2 episodes.  Adapted from work by Lynda La Plante

         I   (1991) – sexism: promoted to DCI after years of being passed over

         II  (1992) – racism: racially charged murder of a young boy

         III (1993) – pedophiliavice squad and prostitute murder

         IV The Lost Child (1994) – abducted baby, personal emotions, and political scandal 

Stand alone film - Director: John Madden; Author:  Paul Billing

         V  (1996) – drug murder linked to a crime boss

         VI  (2003) – murder of a Bosnian refugee, Serbian massacre

         VII (2006) – retirement looms after a school girl's murder

         Prime Suspect 1973 (2017), 6 episodes – flash back to 22 year old Tennison;

                  Dir: David Caffrey; Script; Glen Laker; Stars Stephanie Martini, Sam Ried



Unbelievable (USA, 2019), 8 episodes   (Netflix)

Creators: Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman; Stars: Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Merritt Wever

Based on the true story of Marie Adler, a Washington teenager with a complex background who was charged with lying about having been raped, and a parallel story of the two Colorado female detectives who tracked down the serial rapist.



Unorthodox (Germany, 2020) Netflix – drawn from the memoir by Deborah Feldman

Creator: Anna Winger; Stars: Shira Haas, Amit Rahav, Jeff Wilbusch; 4 episodes

Este, brought up in the Satmar sect of a Hasidic community in Brooklyn's Williamsburg, leaves her arranged marriage and tight-knit community and strikes out for Berlin to discover her own place in an unfamiliar world.

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