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Fallout and Beyond: The Best TV Series of April

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Photo: The Best TV Series of April, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: The Best TV Series of April, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko

Spring 2024 turned out to be rich in dramatic events - the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East is gradually escalating; entire cities in Russia are literally sinking underwater, as instead of combating floods, it battles non-existent Nazis in a neighboring independent state; American senators and congressmen broke ranks over the bill to aid Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan... The news cycle is so dense that there seems to be hardly any time to switch to entertainment content.

But sometimes, it's still worth getting distracted from the insane reality and immersing oneself in the world of fictional stories, where evil (usually) will be punished, and good (albeit by force) will prevail. We've selected the most captivating series that will be hard to tear yourself away from, even if the world plunges into chaos.

Fallout


This post-apocalyptic science-fiction western with a considerable dose of black humor and conspiracy theories is an adaptation of the eponymous RPG game series by Interplay Entertainment and Bethesda Softworks. Whether the adaptation is successful or not - it's up to the viewer to judge. Some will be captivated by the dynamic action with flashy plot twists and charismatic characters - the cynical two-hundred-year-old Ghoul portrayed by actor Walton Goggins rightfully takes his place in the pantheon of popular screen villains. While others may see blatant manipulation in the series regarding the omnipresent insidious "deep state," conspiracy theories, sympathy for communist ideology, and overt victim-blaming.

The plot consists of three parallel stories set in a post-apocalyptic alternate America of the future: naive Lucy from Nuclear Vault 33 ventures to the surface for the first time in her life to find her father; the obedient soldier of the militarized "Brotherhood of Steel," Maximus, embarks on his first combat mission; former Hollywood actor Cooper Gordon, who has turned into a mutant ghoul and bounty hunter over 200 years, begins hunting down a scientist-fugitive who stole an incredibly powerful artifact.

Ripley


One of the most anticipated premieres of April is the stylish and gloomy serial adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's famous eponymous novel. This novel has already been adapted for the screen in the film "The Talented Mr. Ripley," starring young Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Matt Damon. Here, the cast is no worse - the cunning intriguer, scammer, and sociopath Tom Ripley is played by Andrew Scott (Professor Moriarty from the British series "Sherlock"), along with Johnny Flynn and Dakota Fanning. The plot does not differ from the canonical one - a millionaire shipbuilder hires a small-time scammer Tom Ripley to go to Italy and persuade the eccentric millionaire Dickie Greenleaf, the son of the millionaire, to return home. Tom's acquaintance with Dickie Greenleaf's comfortable and measured life in Italy becomes the first step in building a complex intrigue full of deceit, fraud, and ultimately, brutal murders. Each season of the series will be an adaptation of one of the five books in the Ripley series.

The Sympathizer


A mini-series in the genre of historical drama from the recognized master of shocking stories, South Korean director Park Chan-wook ("Oldboy", "Thirst", "Lady Vengeance"). The script is based on the story of the fall of the South Vietnamese government in 1975 and the subsequent dramatic events that unfolded in the USA. At the heart of the plot is a classic "double agent" story.

The main character, the nameless Captain, who works for the South Vietnamese intelligence General, escapes from Saigon to the USA with his boss and family. In California, he tries to start life as an immigrant while helping the General and the CIA develop an underground network in Vietnam to fight the communist regime. At the same time, the Captain sends encrypted reports to his friend on the enemy side - in Vietnam. And all because the hero sympathizes equally with the communists and the capitalists. It is noteworthy that in addition to well-known South Korean actors, Robert Downey Jr. starred in the series, managing to play four different characters at once.

3 Body Problem


A science fiction series based on the "Remembrance of Earth's Past" trilogy by the prominent Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin. By the way, this is already the third adaptation of the popular trilogy - first came a multi-episode Chinese anime series, then in 2023 there was another Chinese adaptation of the first volume, and now - a condensed and somewhat simplified 8-episode adaptation by Netflix. The plot covers a time period from 1967 to 2024.

The story begins with the talented astrophysics student Ye Wenjie falling victim to repression by the Red Guards during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and eventually, after imprisonment and forced labor, ending up at a secret radar base engaged in the search for extraterrestrial life. Using her knowledge of physics, the girl manages to amplify the antenna signal and make contact with the alien civilization Trisolaris (San Ti). However, the first message turns out to be alarming - an anonymous alien warns the heroine that contact between the two civilizations will lead to catastrophe and advises her to abandon attempts to establish communication. However, disillusioned with humanity, the heroine decides that only an external force can bring order to the planet - and invites San Ti to Earth. The consequences of her decision will have to be faced by the main scientists in 2024.

Franklin


It's impossible to miss the series when Hollywood superstars like Michael Douglas step onto the set. In this TV adaptation of Stacy Schiff's novel "A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America," Douglas will play President Benjamin Franklin. The story tells of the eight years Franklin spent in France. There, the founding father of the United States tried to convince the country's officials of the need to support American democracy, which should break free from British dictatorship and gain independence. If the politician fails, the independence of the United States and his own career and even life will be threatened.

Franklin is old, he lacks experience in diplomatic negotiations, but he has no choice but to confront French intrigues, British spies, and other obstacles on the path to his desired goal. Sounds relevant, doesn't it? Ukrainian diplomats are currently experiencing something similar as they try to convince Western elites to support Ukraine in its democratic path away from Moscow's totalitarian dictatorship towards integration into the European Union. It's not difficult to guess that both in Franklin's fictional story and in the real history of the Ukrainian state, everything is at stake.

Sugar


An exquisitely aesthetic neo-noir detective series about a private detective plagued by inner demons who tries to save at least one lost soul in the city of sins, Los Angeles. Colin Farrell takes on the title role, so we don't recommend skipping this show. Private detective and film buff John Sugar takes on the investigation of the sudden disappearance of the granddaughter of a famous Hollywood producer. The mystery of the granddaughter's disappearance, a former drug addict, is intensified by the enigma of the detective Sugar himself - his past is shrouded in darkness, he suffers from a mysterious disease causing tremors in his hands, and feels guilty for the death of his sister.

The plot unfolds gradually, under the prolonged riffs of a jazz saxophone and the voiceover of the main character, giving the feeling that you're watching an old-fashioned film noir with Humphrey Bogart, which is doubly enhanced. However, the contemporary agenda in the series is also present - by studying the missing girl's social media and her feminist publications, Sugar finds her car, and in the trunk - the body of a rapist...

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