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Glen Weldon

"Plucky" is one of those words that doesn't get out and about much anymore.

Something about it feels off, a bit — regressive, condescending, even vaguely sexist, as it's usually only seen in the company of the word "heroine" these days.

The first episode of Luca Guadagnino's We Are Who We Are opens the way his film Call Me Your Name closes: in extended close-up of a young man's face. In the 2017 movie, the face belonged to Elio (Timothee Chalamet), who stared into the fireplace, wracked with sobs as he nurses his first heartbreak. In the eight-episode HBO series, which Guadagnino directs and co-writes (with Paolo Giordano and Francesca Manieri), the face in question is that young Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer).

I'm Thinking of Ending Things premieres on Netflix on Friday, September 4.

Cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt's recent work in TV animation — she designed the look of Bojack Horseman, and created the series Tuca & Bertie — is bright and bold and cartoony, shading occasionally into the absurd. But on both shows, that absurdist strain gets folded so deftly into the established visual texture that its essential weirdness ceases to register. Bojack may have been peopled with (animaled with?

Here is a list of things that the HBO series Lovecraft Country, premiering Sunday, August 16th, has in common with the 2018 film Green Book:

1. Setting: Jim Crow-era America

2. Acting: Subtle, nuanced performances (Viggo Mortenen's dese-and-dose Green Book gangster notwithstanding).

3. Subject: Story features a road trip involving a travel guidebook written to inform Black people where they can safely eat and stay. (Green Book: Entire film; Lovecraft Country: Opening episodes only.)

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