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Animation Short Films

What’s on TV Friday: ‘Jett’ and ‘Aggretsuko’


What’s on TV Friday: ‘Jett’ and ‘Aggretsuko’

JETT (2019) 10 p.m. on Cinemax. A criminal decides to take one final job, and chaos ensues. This plotline features in many crime dramas, and the pulp noir “Jett” can be added to the list. But the darkly fun action thriller has a few unique ingredients, namely its star-studded cast that includes Carla Gugino (“The Haunting of Hill House”) and Giancarlo Esposito of “Breaking Bad” fame, as well as writer, director and executive producer Sebastian Gutierrez, who frequently collaborates with Gugino, his wife. The show centers on Daisy (“Jett”) Kowalski, a retired professional thief who is living a simple life following her release from prison, until the gangster Charlie Baudelaire (Esposito) enlists her to perform one last job in Havana that puts her in serious danger.

AGGRETSUKO (2018) Stream on Netflix. How can a red panda be more lovable? Make her a frustrated young professional who copes with the daily drag of corporate culture by screaming death metal songs into a karaoke microphone. The animated series featuring Retsuko the Red Panda is a creation of the Japanese company Sanrio, the originators of “Hello Kitty.” The show enters an anticipated second season. As Retsuko continues to balance her desire to progress at her job with her frustration at the sexism she faces from her co-workers, her animated features shift between softness and sharpness — a symbolic gesture of the show many female viewers can identify with in their own experiences climbing the corporate ladder.

TOO OLD TO DIE YOUNG (2019) Stream on Amazon. The filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn brings his signature mix of exaggerated characters and oppressive violence to the small screen with a 13-hour, 10-episode long drama following a police officer doubling as a contract killer. Miles Teller (“Whiplash”) plays Martin Jones, a detective who begins to question the brutality of his home of Los Angeles as he becomes the hitman-of-choice to rid the city of its sins. Under the guidance of Viggo (John Hawkes), a veteran killer, Jones becomes sharper in his craft, even as he finds his life sinking deeper into chaos, crime and violence. Like those he kills, his own redemption seems impossible.

LEILA (2019) Stream on Netflix. Similar to “The Handmaid’s Tale” but set in India, Netflix’s dystopian drama takes place within a near-future society that is segregated across religious lines. Shalini (Huma Qureshi) is forcibly separated from her daughter Leila (Leysha Mange), a “mixed-religion” child deemed a threat to society. After working in a violent prison for two years, Shalini breaks away in order to search for her daughter. Like many dystopian shows before it, the fictionalized world of “Leila” reflects some of the harsh realities of modern society.

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