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Arts & Entertainment

The Binge: Genius, The Handmaid's Tale and Fortitude

Elizabeth Moss, star of the Hulu series, The Handmaid's Tale.
Elizabeth Moss, star of the Hulu series, The Handmaid's Tale.

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Every month we get a list of great movies and shows that are available for streaming. Writer Mark Jordan Legan is our guide.

Here are his picks:

GENIUS (National Geographic Channel

Albert Einstein is the subject of this terrific new series from Ron Howard & Brian Grazer which  is based on the 2007 best selling book by Walter Issacson, "Einstein: His Life & Universe."

What truly makes this series are the performances – it is wonderfully cast - Johnny Flynn is fantastic as the younger Einstein, and matching him step by step is Geoffrey Rush as Einstein in his golden years.

Just like the book, GENIUS tries to show us the man behind E=MC2, foibles and all. 


Based on the famous Margaret Atwood novel -- which was made into a forgettable feature film in the 90s -- this is an incredibly powerful and timely series. But it is bleak.

It is set in the not-so-distant future where a dictatorship is now in power, women are basically treated as property, and a mass occurrence of infertility among the population makes any fertile young woman a prized commodity. 

FORTITUDE (Amazon Prime)

Fortitude is a murder mystery set amongst frozen landscapes and breathtaking glaciers. The main economy had been the mining industry but the mines are drying up and many are hoping that with tourism, their fortunes will turn around.  

But in this tight-knit community, where everyone knows everyone else’s business and there is basically very little crime, someone turns up dead and because of the inexperience of the small police staff, an American FBI forensics expert who now works for the London Police is called in to help with the investigation.

The excellent cast also has Christopher Eccelston and Michael Gambon – it is smart and compelling and the stunning wintery location really gives it a sense of isolation and mystery. I look at FORTITUDE like FARGO meets BOROADCHURCH with a little bit of TWIN PEAKS but with huge snowdrifts and polar bears!

Mark Jordan Legan is a writer living in Los Angeles. If you want to catch up on past segments, click here.