Television Picks of the Week – 17/08/20
by Alison Traynor
Looking for some pandemic-time entertainment to distract you from the constant barrage of terrible news? Well, today is your lucky day, because here are three hand-picked, ready-to-binge recommendations from No More Workhorse to keep you occupied over the next week!
If you have finished The Last Dance and want something to fill the documentary-shaped void in your life, High Score, which debuts on Netflix on August 19, will do just the trick.
Video games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Mortal Kombat may be household names, but the rich and fascinating history behind their creation is considerably less well-known. This documentary series looks beyond pixels on a screen to examine the characters and events that contributed to the video game boom of the 1970s and 1980s.
Combining archive footage and in-depth interviews with various key industry figures, High Score explores how these beloved games were conceived and developed, while considering the extraordinary way that their creators kickstarted a multi-billion dollar industry without any established rules or blueprints to guide them.
American History X
While there are plenty of new productions gracing our television screens this week, it would be remiss not to mention that a long-overdue classic has finally been added to Netflix: Tony Kaye’s American History X (1998).
Starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, the film follows two disillusioned young brothers who have become involved in the Los Angeles Neo-Nazi movement. Despite its bluntly didactic tone, the emotional impact of American History X is immense, and it remains hugely relevant even today, accurately reflecting the effect that the rise of the far-right is having upon society in the United States and beyond.
Lovecraft Country – Sky Atlantic/ HBO
Continuing with the theme of race relations in the United States, the highly-anticipated ten-part HBO drama series Lovecraft Country debuted on television screens last week.
Based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name, Lovecraft Country tells the story of African-American Korean War veteran Atticus Black, who returns to Chicago to discover that his father has mysteriously disappeared. Alongside his uncle and a longtime friend, he sets off on a journey to find his missing parent. However, à la Stranger Things, he soon learns that there are also supernatural forces to contend with. With haunted houses and forest-dwelling, tentacled monsters aplenty alongside the backdrop of Jim Crow’s America, Lovecraft Country is bound to provide a suitably dark viewing experience for the current times.