In Yang Ya-che’s 2017 masterpiece “The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful” there is an impulse for meticulous perfection rarely seen in the industry. Presenting an elaborate labyrinth of a storyline sometimes just as captivating as it is enigmatic, the film’s Chinese title is more telling of its ruthlessness: “The Bloody Bodhisattva.” Unlike other films in the crime drama genre, “The Bold” eschews the ubiquitous themes of guns, exile and intimidating masculinity for a far more understated, yet just as potent, evil, presented with an appetizing elegance and style.
When Donald Trump ascended to the White House in 2017, the creators of CBS’s “The Good Fight” found themselves unable to continue its feel-good vision of an “optimistic” second season. “The current administration was infecting so much of the culture, it felt like people were tired of it,” creators Robert and Michelle King told Variety.
“‘A million years’ means: When he wants to be ‘normal’ one day and leaves you—after that day, every day is a million years.” — Chieh. It is almost callous to describe the central tension in “Dear Ex,” the 2018 Taiwanese film, as a “premise.” Titled (more aptly, in my opinion) in Chinese as “Who Loved Him First,” the story, unfolding in the unassuming streets of Taipei adorned with folk temples and vendors of fried chicken chop, is told with such passion and humanity that its otherwise politically-charged theme of gay romance drew widespread critical acclaim on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Content warning: The following contains discussions of sex, nudity and addiction; as well as spoilers for the season two premiere of “Euphoria.” The premiere of the second season of “Euphoria” finally hit television over winter break, at a similarly unhinged juncture in real life—quickly depleting stocks, COVID tests, soaring case loads and declining public trust.