Monday, November 16, 2020

Two Further Cures for Boredom

In The Rap Sheet’s last news round-up, I mentioned some of the television series and movies that have gotten me through these last eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, I forgot to highlight two others that really ought not to be missed.

First is Enola Holmes. A lighthearted Netflix mystery feature, it stars teenager Millie Bobby Brown as Sherlock’s younger but equally perceptive sister, who’s trying in this story to save the life of a new friend, while also searching for her eccentric missing mother. Adapted from the opening installment in a six-book young-adult book series by Nancy Springer, this teleflick was popular enough to merit a sequel, though a lawsuit brought by Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate may discourage such a possibility.

My second viewing recommendation, The Queen's Gambit, comes via Netflix, too, but it strays from the crime and mystery lane. Instead, this beautifully filmed seven-part mini-series, based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, follows a chess prodigy—played by the consistently bewitching Anya Taylor-Joy—who, thanks to a janitor instructing her in the finer points of chess, escapes the privations of an orphan’s life, achieves unlikely renown as a tournament champ, and then must overcome addiction issues and fears of intimacy in order to become a world chess champion. A concern that this tale would be one long downer prevented me initially from watching it; but thank goodness, I overcame my hesitation, because The Queen’s Gambit provides one hell of a satisfying ride. Again, there’s talk of a sequel, but I for one am happy to see the plot conclude as it does.

READ MORE:There’s a Very Good Reason Why Everyone Is Watching The Queen’s Gambit,” by Elamin Abdelmahmoud (BuzzFeed).

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