Tell Sharon Stone where to go in ‘Mosaic’

Steven Soderbergh directed this show, which stars Sharon Stone as a glamorous children’s book author who is murdered in her home.

Television series 'Mosaic' (photo credit: Courtesy)
Television series 'Mosaic'
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Most of us watch television to lose ourselves in the complex stories written by some of the most talented writers working today. But the latest gimmick in the TV universe is Mosaic, a show that gives you the option of choosing how the plot turns out.
Steven Soderbergh directed this show, which stars Sharon Stone as a glamorous children’s book author who is murdered in her home in a scenic town in the mountains. The police investigate a number of men in her life who are suspected of the murder.
The twist is that viewers have the choice of watching the show the usual way or of downloading an app where they get to choose where the plot goes at certain points. A few clips have been released, but no preview episodes were available to critics yet at press time. Based on the clips, the series looks oddly reminiscent of Stone’s big break, Basic Instinct, in which she also played a glamorous writer, but it doesn’t look nearly as compelling as that film, which was no masterpiece, either.
Personally, I’d much rather just sit back and let the screenwriters tell the story, especially under the guidance of a brilliant producer/ director such as Soderbergh, who has directed such films as Sex, Lies and Videotape, Traffic, Erin Brockovich and, most recently, Logan Lucky. But HBO seems to be banking on the fact that this app where you can take the drivers’ seat will make the series a hit.
Mosaic will be shown each night starting on January 23 at 9 p.m. on HOT HBO and HOT VOD, and on Tuesdays on YES Oh starting on January 25 at 6 a.m. and 10:45 p.m., and on YES VOD.
American Crime Story is back with a nine-part series called The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which is now showing on YES VOD, and new episodes will be available on YES Edge on Thursdays at 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. You may have forgotten the story of Gianni Versace, the most popular designer to the stars, who lived the high life in his mansion in Miami Beach, and who murdered in 1997. It features Edgar Ramirez as Versace, Penelope Cruz as his sister, Donatella Versace, and Darren Criss of Glee as his killer.
How much you like it will depend on how interested you are in this true-crime story and how much you like the actors. Versace’s story doesn’t feature the larger issues — race, class and the power of celebrity — that made the previous American Crime Story series, which focused on the O.J. Simpson trial, so compelling, even though we all know how it turned out.
Stand-up comedians are the new black. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the best show that isn’t available in Israel, just won two key Golden Globes: Best Actress for its star, Rachel Brosnahan, and Best Series Comedy or Musical. It’s about a 1950s Manhattan housewife who is married to an aspiring stand-up comedian and then becomes one herself.
We’ve also had I’m Dying Up Here, a rather maudlin series about stand-up comedy in Los Angeles in the 1970s, which, like Vinyl, proved that an amusing sounding premise and a period setting are not enough to make a show interesting, let alone watchable. And any series about comedians that isn’t very funny just misses the point.
But Crashing, the series by Pete Holmes and Judd Apatow which is now in its second season, is a show about comedians that is actually funny. It’s showing on HOT HBO on Tuesday nights at 10:30 p.m. and Mondays on HOT VOD, and on YES Oh on Mondays at 5:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. and on YES VOD.
Holmes plays a version of himself, a religious comic who has his faith and just about everything else in his life questioned on a regular basis, while he tries to break into the competitive comedy club world. Its cast is full of real comedians who make you understand the allure of this world — it’s a lot of laughs.