What to Watch This Week: Reviews of Ripley, Sugar, Parish, and more

A blockbuster week for premieres, find out which ones are worth watching.
Colin Farrell stars in Apple TV's Sugar which had a great premier this past week.
Colin Farrell stars in Apple TV's Sugar which had a great premier this past week. / Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY

Last week had a huge volume of premiers and the quality was very high. Of all the con man, heist, and crime dramas (and, of course, there had to be one science fiction and one comedy show) that debuted, find out which ones you should watch.

Parish (AMC+)

Starring Giancarlo Esposito (Kaleidoscope), Parish is streaming weekly so AMC only released one episode of the new show.

Esposito plays a retired getaway driver who now, not surprisingly, owns a car service. However, when his family falls on difficult financial times and they may need to downsize their house, he turns back to his former profession. Again, not surprisingly, things don't go as planned and the job ends in more violence than he would have liked.

Unlike Esposito's recent work like Breaking Bad, The Gentlemen, and Kaleidoscope, Parish feels a little soft. From a language, action, and violence standpoint, the premier felt a little watered down.

Verdict: Wait and See

The Red Queen (Amazon Prime Video)

Amazon released all episodes of The Red Queen.

The Red Queen tells the story of the smartest woman in the world (Antonio). Of course, a Spanish intelligence agency adopts her as an investigator to solve high-profile, discreet murders. She is partnered with an ostracized police officer (Jon) who agrees to the mission to keep his job. Antonio, due to her intelligence, is somewhat antisocial with other mental issues that include hallucinations of monkeys.

Nonetheless, the pair tries to solve the complicated crime that combines kidnapping and murder. As a backdrop to their current assignment, Antonio is also trying to track down and verify the identity of the smartest man in the world, Mr. White.

The Red Queen never totally wraps everything up but is very convoluted at the same time. The show is captivating and hard to stop watching, but the mystery, the way it is solved, and the way they end things, don't totally jive. If you are truly out of stuff to watch, this show will pass the time.

Verdict: Pass.

Loot (Apple TV+)

Starring Maya Rudolph (The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy), Ron Funches (Harley Quinn), Nat Faxon (I'm Sorry), and Adam Scott (Severance), Apple released two episodes of Loot's second season. You do not have to watch the first season to understand the second.

Rudolph plays the ex-wife of the world's richest man played by Scott. Very MacKenzie Scott, ex-Mrs. Jeff Bezos, Rudolph is worth $78 billion. She decides to use her money for philanthropic purposes but realizes that she doesn't quite have a connection with reality and the way non-billionaires live and what their issues may be.

In comes her team at her foundation (that she didn't even know she had) to help her invest her money, deal with the press, and start to understand the world around her. Each episode usually focuses on a specific crisis that the foundation is facing in a 30-minute set.

When the show is at its best, it makes fun of Rudolph's character who is way out of touch and does and says all the wrong things, sometimes in public. The opening scene of the season where they poke fun at celebrities answering Vogue-like questions while touring their house is fantastic. Her supporting cast of Funches, Faxon, Joel Kim Booster (Big Mouth), and MJ Rodriguez (American Horror Story) are funny enough that they could each have a show of their own.

In Season 1, the show started off extremely funny and then spiraled into some more serious narratives around Rudolph's character finding herself, her life, and her friends. So, we will hold final judgment until we see if they decide to stick to a comedy or explore other areas that are not as funny.

Verdict: Wait and See.

Crooks (Netflix)

Netflix released all eight episodes of Crooks this week. I used to like the foreign shows because they were typically six episodes, but now they all seem to be eight. Not sure if that was Netflix's doing or some sort of trend.

Crooks is a heist and organized crime show that spans, at least, Germany, Austria, and France. The heist revolves around Charly, a retired safecracker, and the theft of a very special coin. Like Parish, Charly is hired to do one job to get the coin for the Austrian mob, and, remarkably, the job doesn't go correctly.

Charly, now on the run from the Al-Walid crime family, tries to blackmail the Austrian mob for money in exchange for the coin and to start a new life for his family who ran away to Marseille. More bad luck follows him.

Crooks is high-intensity, suspenseful, violent, and really entertaining. It sounds just like another failed heist and escape story, but for some reason is much more intriguing and engaging.

Verdict: Watch

Star Trek: Discovery (Paramount+)

The final season of Discovery brings back the entire cast and crew of the Discovery and Paramount released two episodes to kick off the season. You don't necessarily need to watch the previous seasons to understand the finale. Though there is much baggage and history, the plot is a brand new story and you'll get the hang of the characters quick enough.

This season, the Federation is tackling a Red Directive. A Red Directive is apparently the most sensitive and classified of missions. In this case, an 800-year-old Romulan vessel has been discovered. The vessel, and the scientist that was aboard, hold the key to the Progenitor's technology. The Progenitors created all humanoid life across the galaxy. Sounds important.

Get ready to turn your volume up as Captain Burnham whispers her way through the galaxy. Like all seasons, it starts with Burnham making seriously bad mistakes which loses her credibility with Starfleet and the Federation. Don't worry, I am sure she will make better choices as the season goes on and prove to everyone that she was right the entire time.

Since an outlaw duo has pillaged the vessel first, the Discovery must chase them and the other clues (there are four main clues), that will help them retrieve the massively important technology before it falls into the wrong hands. Consequently, the final season is half an Indian Jones archeology and riddle hunt, half a science fiction action show,

Like all Star Trek finales, it looks like they will say goodbye to each character individually and in the most sappy way. The first two episodes were action packed and the mystery is intelligent and entertaining.

Verdict: You have no choice to but to Watch if you have been following the show. If you are a Star Trek fan and haven't watched this series, Watch. If you aren't a Star Trek fan and haven't followed the series. Pass.

Ripley (Netflix)

Starring Andrew Scott (His Dark Materials), Dakota Fanning (The Alienist), and Johnny Flynn (Vanity Fair), Netflix released all eight episodes in black and white. Steven Zaillian writes and directs the show whose other works include Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, The Night Of, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, Moneyball, American Gangster, Gangs of New York, Hannibal, Mission: Impossible, Shindler's List, Clear and Present Danger, Awakenings, and The Falcon and the Snowman. Apparently, Zaillian is the real deal.

Unlike Sexy Beast, where the creators decided to do a prequel to the movie, Ripley is the series equivalent of the Matt Damon movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley. Basically, they recreated the movie in eight episodes.

Tom Ripley (Scott) is a small-time conman in New York who is approached by the Greenleaf family to retrieve their son from Italy who is wasting his life away. Tom befriends Dickie (Flynn), much to his girlfriend's chagrin (Fanning), and starts to make inroads. Somewhere along the way, he comes up with a more devious plan to take over Dickie's identity.

The show basically focuses on Ripley's ability to keep juggling various lies, evade Dickie's friends and relatives, and, at some point, the police.

Even if you have seen the movie, even if you remember the movie, this show is fantastic. The dialogue and the way it is filmed is really elegant and entertaining. The show is based in 1961 and some of the plot and dialogue feel like it belongs in 1961 (not to mention the black and white aspect), while at the same time giving it a modern, multi-faceted plot. Scott does a great job playing the scumbag and it is filmed in a way that suggests that even people that meet Ripley for the first time, don't trust him immediately.

You will have a hard time not binging this show at once, I hope you don't have much work to do this week.

Verdict: Watch.

Sugar (Apple TV+)

Starring Colin Farrell (The Batman), Amy Ryan (The Office), James Cromwell (Succession), and Dennis Boutsikaris (Better Call Saul), Apple's much-awaited series released two episodes on Friday. Like Ripley, the creator, Mark Protosevich, is a major veteran with shows like Oldboy, Thor, I am Legend, and The Cell.

Farrell plays John Sugar who finds missing people for a living, helps random people fix their lives because he is such a nice and generous guy, and is a huge film buff. Farrell has been hired by the Siegel family patriarch, Cromwell, to find his granddaughter. Farrell, who seems to be suffering from a variety of physical and mental illnesses, can't help but take the case.

Farrell narrates the show which gives it an old-school detective show kind of feel. The plot involves the family working against him, a crime family, the murder of a young woman, and a former rock star (Ryan). The story is complicated and wild. The filming is fantastic, switching back and forth between multiple conversations about the same topic at the same time and small clips of old movies that have some relevance to the scene. I wish this show was bingeable like Ripley.

Verdict: Watch.

Beacon 23 (MGM +)

Very quickly, Beacon 23 has returned for season 2. You cannot watch season 2 without watching season 1.

Season 2 kicks off literally minutes after season 1 has ended. Astrid is dead and the revolutionaries want to enter the artifact and Halan is the only one who can do it. Whereas season 1 was kind of a setup and introduced us to the characters and the situation, season 2 looks like we will start to get answers about what the artifact is and what the show is really about.

Beacon 23 is hard-core science fiction and season 1 was great. Season 2's premiere started a little slow but started to really pick up at the end. Right now, I have high hopes.

Verdict: Watch.

Recent and Current Releases to Continue Watching

  • The Feud: Capote vs. The Swans (Hulu). All episodes streaming.
  • Halo (Paramount+). All Episodes streaming.
  • Formula 1: Drive To Survive (Netflix). You don't have to like the sport to like the show.
  • The Tourist (Netflix). All episodes streaming.
  • The Gentlemen (Netflix). All episodes streaming.
  • The Regime (MAX). The Chancellor is overthrown.
  • Shogun (Hulu). All out war has to start soon.
  • Invincible (Amazon Prime Video).
  • Girls on the Bus (MAX). The political part of this show is great but could do without the extraneous storylines like somebody's wedding.
  • 3 Body Problem (Netflix). All episodes streaming.
  • Ark (Paramount+). All episodes streaming.
  • Manhunt (Apple TV+). It is really hard to find people when there is no Internet.
  • Constellation (Apple TV+). All episodes streaming.

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