Another Netflix series bites the dust
It's a week of endings.
And not simply because once the tennis is over and the ratings season starts our senses will be assaulted by more than just ads for My Kitchen Rules and Married At The First Sight - there will be actual episodes, brimming with adults who should know better than to sign up to be devoured by a voracious public desperate for concocted scandal.
But, hey, anything to kick off that Instagram career, right? Maybe someone will give them a free beach umbrella to promote! #ad #blessed
No, it's the end of one my favourite shows, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which has been on the wane for a little while but still has moments of comedic gold.
Netflix's original content has been going growing for almost six years and Kimmy Schmidt was among those first shows back when the streamer didn't churn out dozens of new programs every month - so you could trust that it was going to be at least semi-decent.
Now, not so much.
So, the end of the show is also the end of an era when we could trust that being on Netflix alone made it worth watching.
UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
(Netflix - Friday, January 25 from 7pm AEDT)
For the final six episodes of Tina Fey's Netflix comedy, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt wisely swings behind its strongest character - Titus Andromedon, he who can't spell his surname without a mnemonic device - with hilarious results.
The wacky story about a plucky and optimistic young woman who spent years being locked up in a bunker before trying to find herself in New York City is drawing to a close with this second half of season four.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was among Netflix's first wave of original content, most of which have either ended or have their expiry date stamped in ink.
Now is probably the right time for it to finish. It feels like Kimmy's story, who despite her Pollyanna surface is dealing with some dark traumas, has been played out. That's partly why her bestie and roommate Titus has been the real spark for the series for some time now.
This last batch of episodes will tackle the #MeToo movement through comedic absurdity and a Muppet while a special extended episode will ask the Sliding Doors question of what would have happened if teenage Kimmy never went into Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne's white van.
(Fox Showcase and Foxtel Now - Tuesday, January 22, 8.30pm)
Few shows make it to nine seasons, especially when they're not cop dramas with an acronym in the title. So it's remarkable that Shameless, the story of a recalcitrant single dad and his six kids, have stuck around for this long.
The back half of season nine starts this week and it's the swansong for Emmy Rossum who confirmed during the hiatus that she was leaving the series after this season.
So expect the next seven episodes to be dedicated to how Rossum's character will bow out and how much is she doomed to live her father's life.
(Stan - now)
To this day, no one knows for certain what caused the Black Monday stock crash in October 1987 - the financial calamity that brought to an end the era of greed is good (and free-flowing cocaine in the open).
Which means the whole thing is ripe for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's bonkers take with the story of a group of Wall Street outsiders who inadvertently take down the economy, starring power players Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells, Paul Scheer and Regina Hall.
Black Monday is rude, crude and often cringe-worthy. But it also has moments of biting commentary about sexism, racism and capitalism in between the literal ball-grabbing. I've only seen three episodes and it's a mixed bag so far, but it has the potential to tighten up over its run.
At the very least, it's more watchable than The Wolf Of Wall Street.
BROAD CITY S5
(Comedy Channel on Foxtel and Foxtel Now - Friday, January 25, 8.30pm)
After shenanigan-ing around New York City for five years, the post-college misadventures had to end sometime. For Ilana and Abbi, that time is now - there's some adulting to be had in their near future. Also their Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson's film and TV careers have become much busier since they started down this road.
Glazer and Jacobson's cult comedy Broad City closes out with its final season, starting this week, as the characters approach their 30th birthdays.
The irreverent and hilarious comedy about a couple of lost friends with a knack for trouble, Broad City's devoted fans will hate to see the show end but will savour every moment of it until then.
ESCAPE FROM THE CITY
(ABC and iview - Thursday, January 24, 7.30pm)
As a self-confessed fan of the British original, Escape To The Country, I was excited about an Australian version, even if it's not going to feature the verdant landscape and stone cottages of the Cotswolds.
But, hey, Australia has some pretty picture-perfect postcard views too and the concept is easy, relaxing watching.
With five rotating presenters, the idea is that each week, one Australian family will try to trade the hustle and bustle of the city for a more idyllic and quiet lifestyle - a seachange or treechange.
They're shown four properties that might be suitable and have to decide if giving up the cosmopolitan life is an adventure they want to take.
This week, a newlywed couple is on the hunt in Kangaroo Valley.
NICK CAVE: ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING
(SBS and SBS On Demand - Saturday, January 26, 9.25pm)
Filmed less than a year after the accidental death of his 15-year-old son Arthur in 2015, Nick Cave's One More Time With Feeling documentary is a portrait of loss and creativity.
The movie, directed by Andrew Dominik (Chopper, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford) was originally pitched as a straightforward music doco, but after his devastating personal tragedy it became something else, especially for a man who has been famously guarded.
Made during the studio recording of his 16th album Skeleton Tree, it gives a rare glimpse into the mind and emotional state of a father, a musician and a legend.
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