Scout Tafoya, author at Cult of Mac

WeCrashed dishes out another week of disgusting scammer porn [Apple TV+ recap]

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WeCrashed recap Apple TV+: The story WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann just keeps getting seamier.
The story WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann just keeps getting seamier.
Photo: Apple TV+

WeCrashed, the Apple TV+ drama about real-life startup WeWork, goes big, goes crazy and gets bitter this week.

As WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann starts trying to expand his co-working company, he decides he’s got to tear down the competition, too. Meanwhile, his wife Rebekah is having her own crisis of confidence — and it may end with her having burned every last bridge she has.

Though cheaply entertaining a few times an episode, this show suffers from an insurmountable problem: It never picked an identity. It has to believe enough in Neumann’s prowess as an entrepreneur to find his tactics interesting, while also tacitly admitting he was wrong and crazy and a huckster.

But you can’t sort of admit your hero is a bad guy, not when you keep charting his rise to success without giving you any kind of window into who he was.

Flashbacks and a funeral propel The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey [Apple TV+ recap]

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The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey recap Apple TV+: Astounding acting makes for another compelling episode.
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey recap Astounding acting makes for another compelling episode of this touching show.
Photo: Apple TV+

Ptolemy starts tying up loose ends in this week’s episode of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, the Apple TV+ series based on the book of the same name by Walter Mosley.

We see reconciliation and revelations for almost everyone this week, in a finely acted and carefully directed hour of television. Ptolemy’s memories are fading, but before they do, he remembers his days as a boy. And he realizes he wants his nephews to feel protected the way he used to.

Pachinko packs an emotional wallop [Apple TV+ recap]

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Pachinko recap Apple TV+: This is what memorable television looks like.
This is what memorable television looks like.
Photo: Apple TV+

Pachinko, the epic, time-hopping Apple TV+ series about a Korean family’s struggles, hits its stride in a truly unbelievable fourth episode.

The show started strong enough, but it reaches pantheon level in this incredible installment, which sees Solomon renouncing his capitalist training, Sunja saying goodbye in the past and hello in the future, and a climactic singalong uniting people, eras and cultures.

This is the kind of thing you’re lucky to get out of serialized TV.

Lumon’s drones plot their escape this week on Severance [Apple TV+ recap]

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Severance recap Apple TV+: Lumon Industries doesn't know what lies ahead.
Lumon Industries doesn't know what lies ahead.
Photo: Apple TV+

The plan is set on this week’s episode of Apple TV+’s dark comedy thriller Severance. But will our heroes make it out of Lumon Industries? Will anyone believe Mark, Helly and Irving when they wake up from their regular lives and emerge their work selves?

This week’s magnificently tense episode, directed by series executive producer Ben Stiller, is a real nail-biter. It’s wonderfully edited and excellently performed.

Severance has abandoned its early crux — the depressing lives of office drones who literally have no souls because they’ve been surgically stripped of them — for a more fast-paced approach to the show’s thriller aspects.

It’s no longer a show about the drudgery of both lives lived by lost people. It’s about the race to get back some measure of its characters’ personhood.

Spy series Slow Horses comes out of the gate fast and sarcastic [Apple TV+ recap]

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Slow Horses recap: Gary Oldman plays Jackson Lamb, head of a group of screwup spies in new thriller series Slow Horses.
Gary Oldman plays Jackson Lamb, head of a group of screwup spies, in new thriller series Slow Horses.
Photo: Apple TV+

Slow Horses, based on the first book in the Slough House series by author Mick Herron, is the newest addition to the Apple TV+ roster of thrillers.

In the series, which premieres Friday, Gary Oldman plays Jackson Lamb, the leader of a group of misfit spies who work cases in secret while MI5 looks down its nose at the scrubs.

Directed by James Hawes and created by Will Smith (no, not that Will Smith), the first two episodes of this oddball spy show prove reasonably diverting.

Servant season 3 finale will leave you desperate for more [Apple TV+ recap]

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Servant season 3 finale recap: Just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder in the Turner household ...
Just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder in the Turner household ...
Photo: Apple TV+

Dorothy has one final trick up her sleeve on the season finale of Apple TV+ thriller Servant, M. Night Shyamalan and Tony Basgallop’s show about a mystic nanny and the troubled family she appears out of nowhere to help.

Just when it seems like things can’t possibly be more warped than they already are, a handful of desperate events throw the Turner household into tragedy and disarray. Is there any coming back from this?

Servant‘s riotous third season comes to a close on a dreadful cliffhanger, promising more chaos and darkness in the currently filming fourth season.

Severance cues up a disturbing dance party [Apple TV+ recap]

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Severance recap,
Actor Tramell Tillman, left, gets a chance to cut loose in this week's episode.
Photo: Apple TV+

A depressing dance party and a murder round out the crazy goings on in this week’s episode of Severance, the Apple TV+ show about a workplace plagued by secrets and underhanded, science fiction-style practices.

Once Mark (played by Adam Scott) sees the truth of his situation, there’s no turning back. But he can’t fix the problems at Lumon Industries alone. Wouldn’t it be helpful if something traumatic happened to everyone on his team, aligning them against their employer?

This week’s episode of Ben Stiller and Dan Erickson’s trippy workplace thriller brings a cavalcade of violent upsets — and each new incident stings intensely. It’s all a hair convenient, but it’s compelling enough to clear the hurdle anyway.

It’s time for tears on The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey [Apple TV+ recap]

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The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey recap: Things get emotional this week.
Things get emotional this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey takes a tour through the past this week and finds clues to its central mysteries. The Apple TV+ show, based on Walter Mosley’s book of the same name, continues to be one of the best shows on television, with actors Samuel L. Jackson and Dominique Fishback leading it to greatness.

The Last Days might be the best investment in a TV show Apple TV+ has yet made. All the right people will be talking about this series for years to come.

WeCrashed refuses to admit it’s about monsters, not people [Apple TV+ recap]

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WeCrashed recap: Rebekah (played by Anne Hathaway, right) tries to make a new friend this week.
Rebekah (played by Anne Hathaway, right) tries to make a new friend this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ show WeCrashed tightens up at long last for a reasonably entertaining fourth episode that nevertheless lays bare the essential flaw in its calculus. It’s still asking us to watch and care about the vacuous psychos at the heart of the story of co-working startup WeWork — and it has not made them any more interesting.

Actor Jared Leto’s portrayal of Adam Neumann, the CEO and founder of WeWork, remains unwatchable. And the show keeps hitting Anne Hathaway’s character, Rebekah Neumann, with more and more embarrassment to overcome. But at least there’s the occasional joke.

Pachinko will hook you from its opening credits [Apple TV+ recap]

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Pachinko recap: This sprawling tale of love and tragic loss will keep you spellbound.
This sprawling tale of love and tragic loss will keep you spellbound.
Photo: Apple TV+

In epic new Apple TV+ series Pachinko, three generations of a Korean family — caught between Japan, America and their homeland — eke out a living as times change and fortune fails to provide for them.

Series creator Soo Hugh and director Kogonada based the show on the bestselling book by Min Jin Lee of the same name. Frequently gorgeous, this show provides necessary context for modern Korean sociopolitics, while also delivering healthy doses of gripping melodrama.

The series, which debuts Friday on Apple TV+, also boasts what might be the best opening credits sequence of all time.