What’s on TV this week

Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99, all episodes streaming on Netflix

Netflix appears to be carving out a new niche documentary drama all of its own: When Music Festivals Go Horribly Wrong.

2019 brought us Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened – the tale of the doomed luxury influencer festival on an island in the Bahamas.

Now, the three-part Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 tells the breathtaking tale of how attempts to recreate the legendary festival 30 years later ended in an orgy of violence.

Each episode follows a day of the festival that unfolds like a disaster movie as one terrifying decision after another creates the perfect conditions for mob domination.

A countdown clock increases the excitement, ticking down the hours and minutes until disaster strikes.

The seed was sown early in the planning. Clearly the event was for profit (what happened to those hippie ideals?), the venue chosen was a soulless disused air force base.

To deter fence jumpers, an eight-mile fence was erected around the site, as in a previous revival.

To cut costs, infrastructure and security were outsourced cheaply, and food and drink vendors could charge as much as they wanted.

As soon as the 250,000 revelers hit the grounds, things began to unravel.

It was a macho crowd with a drunk, misogynistic “fraternity boy” mentality and a slate of bands made up mostly of “nu-metal” acts that shook things up.

Teenage girls in the crowd said they were molested – and it was later revealed to be worse – including in the mosh pit while watching bands.

Actresses were insulted.

The weather was scorching hot, there was hardly any place to seek shade and if you needed water you either had to pay an inflated price or take your chances with the free supply, which turned out to be terribly polluted (if you had never heard of). of the ‘moat mouth’ you have now).

Violence increased on Saturday night and a truck was driven into the middle of a hangar filled with thousands of ravers during a Fatboy Slim DJ set.

Woodstock ’99 organizers insisted the festival ran smoothly – despite footage caught on camera by news outlets
– Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

But despite mounting evidence to the contrary, recorded by on-site journalists and film crews, organizers at their daily press conference claimed these were isolated incidents, the actions of “a few bad apples”.

There’s buck-passing and blame in today’s testimony.

Then, just when you think things can’t get any worse, last night 10,000 candles are distributed to the now dangerously erratic crowd during the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ set for a vigil to commemorate the Columbine school shooting tragedy.

What is intended as a poignant statement against violence ignites the fuse for a night of rioting.

The next morning the site is a smoldering wasteland. So much for peace and love.

Emma Lee

disconnected.  Neil Patrick Harris as Michael Lawson in episode 102 of Uncoupled.  Kr. Courtesy of Netfli

disconnected. Neil Patrick Harris as Michael Lawson

Unpaired, stream now on Netflix

The reboot of Sex and the City (And Just Like That) fizzled out for me. Tucked away in the “just OK” category, it lacked the sparkle and froth that oozed from the ’90s smash hit.

Granted, there’s nothing “jazzy” about menopause, death, or marital troubles, but my god, it was depressing, wasn’t it? It gave the impression that there is nothing to look forward to in midlife or later, apart from sagging jaws, hot flashes and digestive problems.

But I think creator Darren Star has pretty much redeemed himself with Uncoupled after following the antics of a close-knit group of middle-aged gay men in New York.

Viewers will recognize character similarities between this and SATC. Billy (Emerson Brooks) is the archetype of “Samantha” – a successful playboy who roams the city.

Colin (Tuc Watkins) is the analytical “Miranda”.

Michael (Neil Patrick Harris) is “Charlotte”. And Stanley (Brooks Ashmanska) is, well, “Stanley”. There’s no definitive “Carrie,” but we let Suzanne (Tisha Campbell), who’s just fabulous, wear that crown.

Like Sex and the City, Uncoupled prioritizes the lifestyle of New York’s yuppies, who spend more time sipping champagne in art galleries and browsing fancy dinners than actually working.

Real estate agent Michael is living the dream – he shares a chic apartment with his financial bigwig life partner Colin, surrounded by friends he loves and cherishes.

All good things must come to an end, however, and Michael falters and is taken completely by surprise when Colin announces he’s leaving at his surprise 50th birthday party.

So follow the ups and downs of a man in his late 40s on the city’s dating scene. There’s a lot of heart and soul in it (I may have cried a little in episode one), but also a lot of fun in the series that ended with so many cliffhangers that surely there will be a second season?

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Thirteen Lives

(L to R) Thira ‘Aum’ Chutikul as Commander Kiet, Popetorn ‘Two’ Soonthornyanaku as Dr. Karn, Joel Edgerton as Harry Harris, Colin Farrell as John Volanthen and Viggo Mortenson as Rick Stanton in Thirteen Lives
– Photo credit: Vince Valitutti / Metro Goldwyn

Thirteen Lives is now streaming on Amazon Prime

Hollywood heavyweight Ron Howard has opted for the lighter touch in this portrayal of the incredible true story of the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thai cave.

That’s not to say there’s a lack of thrills…but in the case of Thirteen Lives, the less-is-more approach has worked sensationally in the director’s favour.

Gone are the explosions and fast-paced sequences of his earlier work, replaced with an eerie, inhospitable underwater nightmare and a soundtrack punctuated by the clinking of oxygen tanks against rocks, heavy breathing and gear scraping at the underside of the cave wall.

It’s summer 2018. The World Cup is in full swing. And a young soccer team in Ban Chong, Thailand, play the beautiful game in the foothills of a lush valley on the border with Myanmar.

One of the boys is celebrating his birthday and the whole team is invited to a barbecue that night… but not before they’ve driven past the Tham Luang Caves with their soccer coach to explore them.

A serenity remains. In the music, the setting, the way the boys say a prayer to the sleeping goddess at the cave entrance before disappearing into the dark. It seems impossible that anything bad could happen.

Their parents, upset by their sons’ late arrival, could hardly fathom what was to come next. And when news of a lightning monsoon arrives, the unimaginable becomes reality.

When it becomes clear that the entire team is lurking somewhere in the back of the cave system, Thai authorities, led by their governor, rush to the rescue. But even Thailand’s Navy Seals are ill-prepared for the challenges ahead – a series of chambers linked by narrow tunnels and deep dives that continue to swell with water by the minute.

In the coming days, the rescue center will take over the village and become an enclave of 5,000 volunteers from 17 countries. Including Thanet Natisri, an Illinois resident (native Thai), a water engineer who is asking the government and local farmers to allow him to divert downpours off the mountain to nearby land. And veteran volunteer rescue divers, the stoic Ricky Stanton (Viggo Mortensen) and John Volanthen (Colin Farrell).

The seasoned experts are initially dismissed as oldtimers and hobbyists. But when they find the guys hours after their first try, it becomes clear that these guys are the right ones for the job.

Aided by hundreds of Thai locals, the duo, along with friends Richard “Harry” Harris (Joel Edgerton), Chris Jewell (Tom Bateman) and Jason Mallinson (Paul Gleeson), pull off one of the world’s greatest and deadliest escapes of all time.

Thirteen Lives is claustrophobic, compelling and downright inspiring. It is dedicated to Navy Seal diver Saman Kunan, who lost his life while delivering oxygen tanks to the rescue.

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

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