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Hey, Netflix! Slow down!

I have a beef with Netflix. The streaming service is premiering too many interesting programs too close to each other.

I suppose the one positive development from the lousy May weather was it forced me inside to binge on even some Netflix programs I had no intention of watching.

During the hit-and-miss weather on the extended Memorial Day weekend, I began watching the true crime documentary series "The Keepers" about the 1969 murder of a beloved Baltimore nun.

The series had me at hello when it quickly introduced a retired Baltimore journalist, Tom Nugent, who is as big a pack rat as I am. He was up in his cluttered attic, roaming through all his stories about the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik.

"The Keepers" looks at the 1969 murder of a Baltimore nun, Catherine Cesnik. (Netflix)

I had to laugh a little in recognition because I recently cleaned up my office and discovered some of my papers from my college journalism classes in 1969.

That was the last laugh I had in a series that played out like a horror story.

I watched with my fiancé, a graduate of a local Catholic high school and the proud niece of a Sister of Mercy.

We were both horrified as two 60-something citizen journalists, Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub, led an investigation into the death of their high school teacher.  These amateur Jessica Fletcher's uncovered sexual abuse by a priest of multiple high school girls that was covered up by the Baltimore diocese with the possible help of law enforcement authorities and politicians.

Directed by Ryan White ("The Case Against 8"), the seven-episode series has obvious similarities to the Academy Award-winning movie set in the Boston diocese, "Spotlight."

Gemma and Abbie found a couple of heroines, who bravely revealed the abuse they endured and were unable to get the justice they deserved. None was braver or more compelling and heroic than Jean Wehner, identified as Jane Doe in a lawsuit against the diocese.

It was difficult to watch the series without getting angry at the diocese and feeling empathy for the countless victims who had kept a horrific secret for decades.

If I have any criticisms, it is that it is a little disjointed and that suspicion may be cast on some innocent people since the crime hasn't been solved.

It is difficult to watch the series without concluding that the Baltimore diocese should be ashamed of itself and that it was unfortunate the real life detectives weren't as thorough almost a half century ago as Gemma and Abbie were more recently.

As in "Spotlight," you wonder how lawyers defending the diocese and politicians protecting it can look at themselves in the mirror.

Unlike "Spotlight," "The Keepers" doesn't have as satisfying an ending.

On a much lighter note, I also watched the second season of "Master of None." Season 1 of the series was one of my favorite Netflix shows. It is co-written and stars comedian Aziz Ansari and is semi-autobiographical as it deals with his experiences as an Indian-American.

Alessandra Mastronardi and Aziz Ansari in "Master of None." (Netflix)

Ansari couldn't be more likable. I mean who else would put his real-life parents in a series to help illustrate the conflict of pulling away from their culture to establish his identity.

I was a little worried when the season started slowly with an opening episode in which Aziz's character, Dev, was in Italy learning how to make pasta and befriended his boss' beautiful daughter, Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi).

It is a stylish hour, shot in black and white, and didn't include much humor. If I hadn't loved the first season, I'm not sure I would have continued.

I'm not sure people who expect the rhythms of American sitcoms will keep going, either." Master of None," has few of the comedy routines of network television.

The 10 episodes are varying lengths, don't have punch lines and have unorthodox story lines. Aziz is hardly in one episode, something that would almost never happen in a network show.

But what it has in plentiful supply is friendship, romance and plenty of heart.

One of the best episodes centers around multiple Thanksgivings over 22 years. In it, the mother of Denise (Lena Waithe), one of Dev's best friends, eventually comes to accept her daughter is gay.

I say one of the best episodes because I enjoyed them all, especially the ones involving Ansari's parents that often led to Dev gently and reluctantly explaining that certain aspects of their culture – like not eating pork and being religious -- have become a little foreign to him.

The season ends with what Americans call a cliffhanger. It also can be referred to as a European ending. European filmmakers don't demand closure. They let viewers choose what the ending means in any way they want.

After finishing "The Keepers" and "Master of None," I had a choice between starting the final season of "Bloodline" and the fifth season of "House of Cards."

Robin Wright and Kevin Space (David Giesbrecht/Netflix)

Both series involve disgusting people so it was a tough call.

I thought "Bloodline" should have ended after the second season with the murder of the show's most interesting sibling, Danny (Emmy-nominated Ben Mendelsohn), so I headed to "House of Cards" see what is going on with President Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife and Vice President (Robin Wright).

I quickly become bored with their cynical acts of self-preservation and tried to figure out why. It might have been because I was still too raw from watching "The Keepers." Or it might have been because the current political climate doesn't make the show as appealing as it was in the first few seasons. The politics of today makes it difficult to endure the cynicism of "Cards."

So I quickly folded "House of Cards" and headed to "Bloodline."

Bad idea. The opening episode of the third season involving the Rayburn family just reminded me why I thought the series set in Florida should have ended after two seasons.

All the surviving Rayburn siblings are in a mess, even the former solid citizen turned murderer, John (Kyle Chandler). I almost didn't make it through the opening episode, which is dark in more ways than one. It is filmed in dark scenes and the characters are in extremely dark situations.

By episode's end, I didn't care if all the Rayburns ended up swimming with alligators.

I have no plans to return to "House of Cards" or "Bloodline" -- unless it really, really rains for an extended period of time.

And even then, I just might watch "Master of None" over again.

 

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