The Binge is our monthly list of the best movies and television shows you should be streaming. Mark Jordan Legan is our guide, and here are his picks.
SEARCH PARTY (TBS.com)
Search Party stars Alia Shawkat, who delivers a touching, complex lead performance as Dory - a twenty something who really feels lost - and this becomes crystallized when she learns Chantal, a friend from her college days has gone missing.
It affects her deeply even though she hadn’t kept in touch with the missing girl for years. The show really has fun and laser-like insight into the Selfie/Snapchat generation - can they rise above their self-indulgence and actually care about someone else? It takes the old Nancy Drew tropes and turns them on its head. It is very clever and suspenseful but most of all it is very, very funny.
CHEWING GUM (Netflix)
Our next show came highly recommended by this segment's producer, Stephen Hoffman. The British series, Chewing Gum, is written by and stars the incredibly talented Michaela Coel - though born in England her parents were immigrants from Ghana and she came from a very religious Pentecostal background - and Cole uses all of this in Chewing Gum.
There are two seasons worth of CHEWING GUM currently streaming and Michaela Cole deservedly won the BAFTA Award in 2016 for Best Female Performance in a Comedy. Sadly, there are only 2 seasons of Chewing Gum available, but there is talk that Coel is in talks with Netflix about other projects.
And finally we have the gritty drama Ozark, starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. It toes somewhat the same water as Breaking Bad, in that Jason Bateman’s character of Marty Byrd is a man who finds himself in a very difficult situation. Bateman plays a Chicago financial advisor who becomes involved with a very dangerous client - the head of a large drug cartel - superbly played by Esai Morales.
It's incredibly well done and the 10 episode first season just gets better as it goes along - the rural setting on the lake is gorgeous, hypnotic and sinister. Bateman himself directs four of the episodes and does an excellent job. He’s come a long way since he was a child actor on Little House on the Prairie and Silver Spoons.
Mark Jordan Legan is a writer and film buff living in Los Angeles. If you want to binge on previous Binge segments, click here.