With spring finally arriving, reruns begin to dominate TV listings. The good news is that there’s lots to watch on cable, streaming services, and, yes, even on the major networks that launch new shows and limited series to compete.
Here are some series, whether you watch one episode at a time or set aside a day to binge watch.
With only four episodes, this well-written, taut police thriller can easily be watched in an afternoon or evening. Written by the British playwright, screenwriter, and director, David Hare, Collateral stars Carey Mulligan as Kip Glaspie, a former star pole vaulter who suffered a career-ending injury and became a cop. The shooting of Abdullah Asif, a pizza deliveryman, seems like a random crime, but Kip soon discovers he was targeted. But why? Karen Mars (Billie Piper) who ordered the pizza is the sole witness, but stonewalls Kip. So does Laurie Stone (Hayley Squires), the pizza shop’s manager, who feels guilty after sending Abdullah to his death. We learn the identity of the shooter early on, but not her motivation. The pieces fall into place slowly with several surprises along the way. The series benefits from terrific performances from Mulligan, as well as from a strong supporting case, including Piper, who can now be seen in Yerba at the Park Avenue Armory.
Seven Seconds (Netflix)
Created by Veena Sud, who also developed the American crime drama, The Killing, Seven Seconds will keep you on the edge of your seat for 10 episodes. Police Officer Peter Jablonski (Beau Knapp) has just transferred into a New Jersey narcotics unit and is still trying to figure things out and fit in. He receives a call that his pregnant wife is at the hospital in danger of losing the baby. Driving too fast on slippery roads through a park, he loses control and hits a young black teen who was on a bike. He calls his sergeant, Mike DiAngelo (David Lyons), who arrives on the scene with two other officers. Saying that the public will eviscerate a white cop for killing a black teen, DiAngelo convinces Jablonski to leave the scene, saying he’ll take care of everything. The coverup begins. The prosecutor assigned to the case, K.J. Harper (Clare-Hope Ashitey), is an alcoholic and in no shape to take on a tough case. With the teen, Brenton Butler, in a coma, K.J. promises the parents (amazing performances by Regina King and Zachary Momoh), she will do her best. Assisting K.J. (and trying to keep her sober), is Joe “Fish” Rinaldi (Michael Mosely). Seven Seconds is a thought-provoking police drama which could be “ripped from the headlines.” A must see.
Sneaky Pete (Amazon Prime)
Giovanni Ribisi is back as ex-con Marius Josipovíc impersonating his cellmate, Pete Murphy, (Ethan Embry), to evade being targeted by a crime boss he once swindled. Pete’s family runs a bail bond business which puts them into contact with some pretty shady characters. In Season 2 (best to watch Seaon 1 first), everyone in Murphy’s family is in trouble and has something to hide. Pete’s cousin, Julia (Marin Ireland) has been laundering money, ostensibly to keep a criminal from targeting her family. Pete’s mother, Maggie (Jane Adams), once stole $11 million from an East European thug and has returned home to try to get the money back because she’s had a vision (she’s a physic), that will save her and Pete. Pete’s grandfather, Otto (Peter Gerety), tried to save the family business by hiring a hit man to kill him, but the plan backfired and the hit man ended up dead. Now the hit man’s son is after him. And Pete’s grandmother, Audrey (Margo Martindale), accidentally killed a dirty cop and an NYPD detective is in town to find his killer. Marius as Pete is in the middle of the action and who knows what will happen. It’s a very funny thrill ride.
I’m been missing Castle and believe that ABC has come up with another winner with this clever production centering on an illusionist who works with the FBI to solve crimes. Jack Cutmore-Scott stars as Cameron Black, a talented, famous illusionist. What the audiences don’t know, is that Cameron’s brother, Jonathan (also played by Cutmore-Scott), is the reason Cameron can be in two places at once. But when Jonathan is framed for murder, Cameron teams up with FBI agent Kay Daniels (Ilfenesh Hadera) to solve crimes until he can free his brother. Anyone who enjoys magic (Penn Gilette of Penn and Teller fame makes a cameo appearance) will quickly be hooked by this show. Cameron performs many slight of hand tricks, but the physical feats he attempts in helping to nab the bad guys are impressive, too. Meanwhile, Jonathan tries to survive in prison without helping inmates to escape through disappearing acts. It’s fresh and fun. Enjoy.
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