There is heaps to watch. If you have the time and the money to spend on different streaming services. Most people have one or two and you share with family and friends. I have oh dear….umm...I have Netflix, Apple+, Disney+.
I also have the entertainment package from Optus which gets me the Futbol, all the on demand and catch up services from the ABC, SBS and local commercial stations. Add to that Kayo which is essential in following most world sports. So yeah I have a lot.
Amidst all of this there have been two shows that are viewing highlights for me. One has made me cry. And both have made me realise that we need more joy, more grace and more forgiveness in our stories.
Maya and the Three
Maya is the Princess of the Mesoamerican city known as Teca. Her Father and her brothers are warriors. To be like them is the life that Maya desires for herself, not the diplomatic role that her parents want. Maya’s father and brothers are inspired by a prophesy which appears to be about them, or is it?
In the nine episodes the first one is exposition heavy and if you are not captured by the animation style then this will be a hard slog. Trust me this is all worth it. Maya and the Three comes from Jorge R. Gutiérrez, a name you should recognise. It is a familiar tale, you know, the heroes journey. This time it takes place in Mesoamerica and for some reason there are old people with huge noses.
Jorge R. Gutiérrez is not a stranger to our screes. Gutiérrez was the creative force behind the Nicktoon El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera and the movie The Book of Life. If you have seen The Book of Life and El Tigre, you will recognise the animation style.
While The Book of Life focuses on a time after the Spanish Invasion, Maya and the Three harks back to the time before. Here the land is populated by different tribes and groups. Each one as colourful and different from the other. It is only together that the humans of this land have any chance against the wrath of Lord Mictlan, The God of War.
I am not going to spoil the ending, I am only going to tell you that this show made me cry, twice. Episode Seven and the Episode Nine made me cry. Stephanie Beatriz who you may know as Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn 99, voices Chimi. Chimi like all our heroes has a sad tale, the climax of her sorrow comes in episode seven. I am not ashamed to say that I teared up.
I tweeted that I cried to Stephanie Beatriz and was re-tweeted by Jorge R. Gutiérrez. It is still my most liked and retweeted post on twitter. Twitter, who would have thought I would ever get a good moment from twitter? Not me.
So please, check out Maya and the Three. It made me cry twice.
It is pretty late for someone to be boosting Ted Lasso as the second season has already aired on Apple TV. But wait there is more because there is a third season coming.
The premise of the show is that an American College Football coach is hired by an English Premier League club. So we are dealing with a duck out of water sport comedy. For a lot of people this is an immediate turn off.
Let me tell you, there is no reason for you to know anything about sport to love this show. There is barely twenty minutes of game time in the whole first season. Because this is a show about kindness, forgiveness, grace and hope.
Yes there are warnings about sexual themes. They boil down to the penchant of English Futbol supporters being their bad selves. The word umm...(can I get away with it?) ‘wanker’ is used a lot. As an Australian I see no fault in this. I have been to many sporting games where what is used in Ted Lasso is, in comparison pretty soft.
So a naive, but well meaning, gregarious Football coach from the American south attempts to coach a Premier League team. The Premier League is one of, if not, the biggest futbol competition in the world. The media surrounding it is cynical, jaded and very, very aggressive. Anger and rage are common, as is duplicity, theft and worse.
Lasso enters with no credibility, no one thinks this is going to go well for him. Ted along with his long time friend coach Beard are up against it. The players sense fresh blood. Egos are about to collide you expect something horrible, but what does happen is a surprise.
Unlike recent productions the wild, often expected violence and conflict is dissolved by a personality that is genuinely kind and generous. You expect a moment when Ted cracks. And he does, but it is not due to his job.
I do not wish to spoil this show. All I can tell you is that I have been drip feeding this good story about a good person who brings the best out of those around him. I do not want to finish this show. I watch one episode a week. I do not want it to end, because a show that has grace, forgiveness and kindness should be treasured for the rarity it is.
Phillip Hall has been too long in Melbourne to see AFL in the same light as those back in Fremantle. East Fremantle born and bred, he would love to see the Dockers back in the eight. But would settle for just beating West Coast twice a year.