these are the series of the week

Alanis Morissette during the recording of the album ‘Jagged Little Pill’.Image Glen Ballard / HBO

Mark, you tip the HBO Max docuseries this week Phoenix Rising† Why?

‘In the two-part series Phoenix Rising Actress Evan Rachel Wood talks about her toxic relationship with rock star Marilyn Manson. Wood, a former child star we know from the series, among other things west world, had an affair with Manson when she was eighteen. He was 37 at the time. The rock star has made quite a notorious character of himself – with things like colored contact lenses, extremely provocative lyrics and all sorts of nods to Satanism. In the documentary, Wood talks about the abuse and psychological terror she experienced in her relationship with Manson. His created, satanic stage personality is a reflection of who he really is, she explains.’

‘She describes a hell full of physical and psychological abuse, under the influence of all kinds of drugs. Due to the short statute of limitations on domestic violence cases in California, she cannot file a case against Manson. Incidentally, Manson did sue her for libel earlier this month. Phoenix Rising was made by Amy J. Berg, who previously made an impressive documentary about abuse in the Catholic Church: Deliver Us from Evil

HBO Max has more of this kind of harrowing documentary series, you said.

‘Yes, Phoenix Rising reminded me of the documentary Jagged, about Canadian singer Alanis Morissette. She suddenly became a world star during her teenage years. In Jagged she looks back and describes how she ended up in a very adult world as a young girl. A world full of predators, from which she came out quite damaged. The Documentary Series Showbiz Kids has a similar theme: the problematic stories of young child stars in Hollywood. In particular, the young women among them, again including Evan Rachel Wood, were hardly supervised and have experienced terrible things. All serious, important topics. Netflix also has a similar series, Maid. About a young woman who flees an abusive marriage and starts working as a domestic worker for wealthy families. It’s a drama series, but based on a true story.’

Then something completely different: the new season of Killing Eve

‘The first episodes of the fourth season are indeed on NPO Start. Finally. Killing Eve has – especially in the first season – great characters, strong dialogue and a well-written screenplay. The mutual obsession between agent Eve Polastri and hit man Villanelle had turned into a perfect TV series. In the following seasons, there was a bit of a lack of completion. There were always new writers and directors, which always made me feel like I was watching an echo of the first season. It got a bit directionless. But it’s very well made and therefore still pleasant to look at, as a sort of guaranteed minimum entertainment value. I’m curious if there will be another surprising ending.’

And John Oliver is back with Last Week Tonight

‘Yes, Last Week Tonight is the source of inspiration for the programs of Arjen Lubach. Oliver makes very good, cleverly made broadcasts about interesting news cases. Often about American current affairs, but sometimes it also relates to the Netherlands. This week, for example, it was about the tricks of the Ticketmaster company to drive up the ticket price enormously. A huge scam, clearly explained with the help of short, funny videos. Highly recommended.’

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