Now or Later (Modern Plays)

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These rules may be conventions of writing, acting, or audience expectation. Only when all conventions are working together smoothly in synthesis, and the make-believe of the experience is enjoyed passionately with mind and emotion, can great drama be seen for what it is: the combined work of a good playwright, good players, and a good audience who have come together in the best possible physical circumstances. Drama in some form is found in almost every society, primitive and civilized, and has served a wide variety of functions in the community.

There are, for example, records of a sacred drama in Egypt 2, years before the Common Era, and Thespis in the 6th century bce in ancient Greece is accorded the distinction of being the first known playwright. Elements of drama such as mime and dance , costume and decor long preceded the introduction of words and the literary sophistication now associated with a play. Moreover, such basic elements were not superseded by words, merely enhanced by them. Only then can dramatic literature be discussed as such.

The texts of plays indicate the different functions they served at different times.

Some plays embraced nearly the whole community in a specifically religious celebration, as when all the male citizens of a Greek city-state came together to honour their gods or when the annual Feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated with the great medieval Christian mystery cycles. On the other hand, the ceremonious temple ritual of the early Noh drama of Japan was performed at religious festivals only for the feudal aristocracy.

But the drama may also serve a more directly didactic purpose, as did the morality plays of the later Middle Ages, some 19th-century melodramas , and the 20th-century discussion plays of George Bernard Shaw and Bertolt Brecht. Plays can satirize society, or they can gently illuminate human weakness; they can divine the greatness and the limitations of humans in tragedy , or, in modern naturalistic playwriting, probe the human mind.

Drama is the most wide-ranging of all the arts: it not only represents life but also is a way of seeing it.

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You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. Two old friends share a disturbing secret in a thriller exploring the weapons trade. Based on a true story. Paul is 70 years old when he is kidnapped at gun point in Nigeria. By Darragh Mortell. Toby believes he's Kanye West, but maybe he's just a guy from Newport. Comedy about the Bayeux Tapestry by Abigail Youngman. Stars Katy Brand and Charlie Anson. It certainly helped kick-start the current love affair people seem to have with crime stories on Netflix to the degree that they even returned for a second season which you can mostly skip.

The first season became such a phenomenon that the president himself had to weigh in on whether he would pardon Steven Avery. And the debate about his guilt or innocence rages still today. Some people adore this Emma Stone and Jonah Hill journey into the recesses of insanity. Some people hate it.

Now or Later

Be a part of the conversation. The second, Emmy-winning season is particularly masterful, as Ansari and his collaborators took the creative cache from year one and created something truly original and unforgettable. The first season saw the creation of the Behavioral Science Unit and interviews with real serial killers based on actual conversations. Since then, the most popular sketches in Python history have been played and replayed literally hundreds of times, influencing comedy forever with their wit, playfulness, and unique voice.

It was still popular enough to produce episodes, and this is some of the best sitcom comfort food you can find on Netflix. Zooey Deschanel is great, but this show really became better when it developed into a true ensemble piece, including great supporting work by Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone, and, especially, Jake Johnson. The Office Both the U. The British one that made Ricky Gervais a star is a masterful study of extremely awkward behavior whereas the U. It can sometimes slide into sitcomish writing, but the cast and crew find a way to make even the broadest jokes and plot twists resonate.

The pitch is simple — reimagine the hit family sitcom with a Hispanic cast — but what makes this show so lovable is the cast and writing, which stays true to its character and the modern era while also feeling like a throwback to sitcoms we loved as kids.

The latter is coming to a close with its seventh season this summer. See what all the buzz was about way back in and watch the entire run. If it works somewhere else, expect an iteration of it here.

The Great Work Continues: The 25 Best American Plays Since ‘Angels in America’

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney star in a show about a family that jumps from the frying pan into the fire when they get caught up in the criminal underworld in the Ozarks. We still miss it. Most of the family offerings on Netflix are pretty generic even if the Captain Underpants show has its moments , so why not go back to an absolute classic? Planet Earth We should have some educational content on here too outside of Ken Burns, and this is one of the best documentaries ever made for television.

It will seriously make you look at our planet in a new way, marveling at how much of it is truly beautiful. Sketch comedy that often skewered the hipster culture of the northwestern United States, Portlandia is smart comedy with its own defiant, uncopiable voice. Rectify Probably the least-hyped and least-seen show on this list, this Sundance TV drama aired for four seasons.

The Returned French TV!

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  5. Also known as Les Revenants , this is one of the best genre TV shows of the decade in any language. Based on a French film, this show has an irresistible hook — people who died years earlier suddenly return to the small French mountain town in which they lived. Why are they back? What does it mean? Riverdale Yes, that Riverdale. Sometimes you just want to escape, and nothing right now provides the same wonderfully scripted escapism as this very modern update of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead.

    Russian Doll The first major hit of for Netflix already deserves placement on this list. Drew Barrymore stars as a California Realtor who, well, dies. She wakes up, though, and finds out that she has a craving for human flesh. Timothy Olyphant nearly steals the show as her put-upon-but-supportive husband.

    Somebody better pick this show up while Barrymore and Olyphant still have room in their schedules to do it. Created by Daniel Levy and his father, Eugene Levy, it tells the story of a rich family forced to relocate to a small town after losing their fortune. Both Levys are hysterical, and the show really became something special when it started sketching in the eccentric characters who make up the small town that gives it a title. Scream File this under Guilty Pleasures.

    There have been rumors of a rebooted third season in some state of production, but just bask in the silliness of beautiful people being killed in creative ways for the 24 episodes we have to date. Or any streaming service for that matter.

    From Oedipus to The History Boys: Michael Billington's 101 greatest plays

    One of the best TV actresses of the modern era plays the mother of a boy who is murdered in a hit-and-run by a Jersey City police officer. The BBC hit that made Benedict Cumberbatch a star and redefined the legend of Sherlock Holmes is just sitting there on Netflix waiting to occupy your weekend.

    More like a series of films each time they release a new installment than a traditional American TV season, this is smart mystery television with two magnetic performances from Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. You may notice a lot of Brit TV on this list — they do it well.

    Four series available. She stars as an ordinary mother who snaps during a beach outing and stabs a man to death in front of dozens of people. A second season has aired with Carrie Coon! This could be your new obsession. Skins One of the most critically acclaimed British imports of the Peak TV era, this coming-of-age dramedy is notable for its fearlessness, often tackling issues that other shows avoid like the plague.

    However, you should know that Nicholas Hoult of Fury Road basically started his path to stardom with the first generation, as did Oscar nominee Dev Patel.

    The Different Types of Greek Drama and their importance

    The Staircase So much of the modern obsession with true-crime docu-series owes a great debt to this French examination of the death of Kathleen Peterson, such a hit that it was actually resurrected and expanded for the Netflix edition last year. In December , Kathleen Peterson fell down a set of stairs and died.

    Why not watch em all and pick your favorite?

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