Kyle's Career Filmstrip: TV Series and Movies

Jul 2, 2016

Jeanne Jakle: Second ‘Bloodline’ an addictive seaside ride


There was a time when bidding farewell to a juicy season of a TV drama or comedy — “Game of Thrones,” “Veep,” “Outlander” — would leave me deep in the dumps.

Circumstances have changed, however. In a world that’s crowded with television, and good television at that, I find myself strangely buoyed by such endings. They actually free up time for some choice beginnings — provocative shows that I’ve left waiting in the wings for too long.

Atop the list was season two of Netflix drama “Bloodline,” one of last year’s most riveting newcomers.
It’s a drama tailor-made for summer, as it’s set at a rustic resort in the breathtaking Florida Keys, and I was anxious to dive back in. A bonus: It features two actors with Texas ties — Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”), who makes his home on a ranch outside Austin, and Sissy Spacek (“Coal Miner’s Daughter”), who was born and raised in Quitman.

But one always loves a bit of lightness to balance out the dark. Enter the comedy “Wrecked,” an island-set romp that’s more “Lost” parody than “Gilligan’s Island.” Its cast consists of lots of fresh faces whose post-plane crash antics, bawdy talk and deft comic timing keep you giggling.

Thirdly, I finally got to dip into “Doctor Thorne” — the period multi-parter on Amazon Prime from Julian Fellowes, the creator of “Downton Abbey.” It has romance, intrigue, aristocratic manners and clever patter, a recipe that promised to help fill the hole left by “Downton’s” end.

All debuted some weeks ago, so, yes, I’m once again, as Kacey Musgraves sings, “late to the party.” But no worries; two are still accessible by streaming, and the first four episodes of Tuesday night’s “Wrecked” can be seen via On Demand or replays on TBS’ website.

If you only have time for one, however, choose “Bloodline.” The second round of the hypnotic family thriller actually tops the first. It takes you for a seaside ride full of plotline ripples and tortured characters, keeping you on edge and hungry for more through the season’s 10 episodes.

The drama features a wealth of mesmerizing performances, led by Chandler, who proves his range goes way beyond beloved Coach Taylor.

Season two picks up right after the climax of last year’s bristling finale: the murder of Danny (Emmy-nominated scene-stealer Ben Mendelsohn), the eldest child and black sheep of South Florida’s prominent, inn-owning Rayburn clan.

The shocker: His killer was younger brother John (Chandler), the area’s deputy of police and longtime family rock. What’s more, the two who helped him cover it up also were Danny’s siblings, Meg (Linda Cardellini, “Mad Men”) and Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz).

The second season is all about the fallout, which consists not only of the police investigation into Danny’s death, but also a painful jumble of emotions that constantly dog the conspiratorial siblings.

Adding to the tension is the presence of Danny’s damaged, but aggressive, teenage son Nolan (Owen Teague), who showed up unexpectedly at the end of last season.

Eager to sort out the truth about the boy and, by extension, the man her son Danny really was is lonely and guilt-ridden Rayburn matriarch Sally. These poignant scenes afford the actress who plays her, Spacek, the chance to exercise her fierce acting chops, which were underutilized in season one.

Following Nolan to the inn are two shady characters from Danny’s past: the teen’s trashy mom Evangeline (Angela Riseborough), who uses every wile at her disposal to insinuate herself into the Rayburn clan, and her menacing boyfriend Ozzy (John Leguizamo), who brings out the worst in almost everyone he encounters.

But the season really belongs to the Rayburns, notably to John, Meg (a wonderfully compelling Cardellini) and Danny, who revisits “Bloodline” in flashbacks and haunting conversations conjured by John during trying moments. The return treats us to another memorable turn by Mendelsohn.

It’s Chandler’s portrayal of a husband, father, pillar of the community — and killer — that dominates here, however.

We’re kept wondering up to the very end when this man, who initally masks his torment with a disconcerting calm, will finally crack.

Chandler brilliantly takes us on that emotional journey, from cool candidate for sheriff to pitifully ashamed spouse to a cornered man who seems capable of just about anything as he desperately tries to escape the trap being set for him.

He’s so good, the story’s so addictive and the cinematography’s so splendid, in fact, that it would be criminal if “Bloodline” weren’t allowed to continue for a third season.
 
Jeanne Jakle’s column appears Wednesdays and Sundays in mySA, and she blogs at Jakle’s Jacuzzi on mySA.com. Email her at jjakle@express-news.net.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/entertainment_columnists/jeanne_jakle/article/Second-Bloodline-an-addictive-seaside-ride-8334662.php

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