The must see small screen offerings to check out this March

Mar 09, 2024
Source: Getty Images.

Marching on into the year, awards season over and settling into routines. Here are some viewing options. Just like lollies, it’s a mixed bag this month.

Moving On

Jane Fonda (Claire) and Lily Tomlin (Evelyn) team up again in this mostly lightweight movie, written and directed by Paul Weitz whose credits include About a Boy. It is never too late for revenge could well be the tagline as the dynamic duo reconnects at a funeral and realise they have a mutual enemy.

Don’t expect to see this nominated for any awards but it is an easy watch as the women make peace with their past and each other. Fonda and Tomlin really do connect well and their Grace and Frankie style of interaction continues in this movie. It has some serious and comedic elements and as always

Fonda and Tomlin move seamlessly through the elements of the story their connectivity like an intricate dance. Fonda’s retelling of the sexual assault committed against her decades before is anything but lightweight and a reminder that she is and always has been a powerhouse of acting ability. I absolutely loved the twist at the end.

Dance Life

Dance Life follows a group of “full-time” students through their final year at Brent Studios in Sydney. These students are hoping to become full-time professionals having devoted years to their craft. A five-episode season it follows a few students as they work toward their “grad performance” where agents and scouts look for unsigned dancers to represent them or even recruit them directly to jobs.

This is a lifestyle that requires absolute commitment and you can’t help but become attached to the very young people as they seek to find their way in a cutthroat competitive world. Directed and written by Luke Cornish the young dancers are from varied backgrounds and groups and their journey is captured in five episodes with their astounding performances on graduate performance night a highlight. I found the series captivating and binged it on Prime.

All the Light We Cannot See

Based on the book of the same name some argue that there is significant nuance present in the book that was lost in the transition to screen and that may well be the case as apparently the Pulitzer Prize winning novel took author Anthony Doerr a decade to write.

As World War II draws to a close a young German soldier, Werner, and a French girl, Marie cross paths. Marie, who is blind, is broadcasting and Werner listens in. During the four episodes the connections between them are explored and the link to Marie’s uncle and Werner’s orphanage childhood. Marie’s father has educated her with the use of tactile maps of the city so she is able to navigate her way around the streets of her town.

Aria Maria Liberti plays Marie and Hugh Laurie is perfect as Uncle Etienne. I’m not usually a fan of the war movie genre but this was an exceptional story with visual and musical interest. There were lots of unanswered questions though and some big issues skirted rather than explored. I watched it on Netflix.

Game on: Tipping Point and Deal or No Deal

The commercial networks have jumped on the gameshow bandwagon with the introduction of Tipping Point, originally a UK-based gameshow, and the return of Deal or No Deal, a long-running US-based game show originating in the Netherlands. An Australian version screened back in 2003 and hosted by Andrew O’Keefe and it has now returned to Channel 10 with Grant Denyer as host. It’s a game where a player selects a briefcase from 22 with differing amounts of money in each. It’s a game of probability, (and a bit of greed), and players eliminate differing amounts each round with the bank offering them the chance to “sell” their briefcase based on the amounts revealed and those that remain. Deal or No Deal airs each weeknight on 10.

Todd Woodbridge hosts Nine’s Tipping Point. It’s a general knowledge-based game where contestants earn counters in three rounds, eliminating one contestant each round. The machine is the star of the show with correct answers winning counters to drop into the machine to bank money. In the final round played by the last person standing the machine has a special star counter which they aim to get into the collection area. If you think of the chocolate game machine at the club where the prizes are gathered and then pushed down into the collection chute you get an idea, but the Tipping Point machine is on a much bigger scale

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