We’re due for a top notch Samuel L. Jackson streaming show, after all, it seems like everyone else has one right now, and I was hopeful upon seeing “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” previews, where he seems to experience some kind of mental transformation from a hopeless old man to something more. This is fertile ground for good acting from Jackson. The first two episodes dropped today on Apple TV.
And it’s fine. It might be slow for some. But it’s okay.
We meet “Papa Grey” after a flashback, as a senior citizen who is dealing with some memory issues is his rundown apartment. He remembers some parts of his youth working in the cotton fields but everything else comes and goes. He has people taking advantage of him and stealing his disability payments, and the love of his life haunts him from time to time.
When an experimental study arises, “Pappa Grey” has a chance to improve.
This series is all about watching Jackson at his best. And as a master of his craft he has no problem making us feel what we’re supposed to feel. We’ve also got Dominique Fishback (Judas and The Black Messiah) and Walter Goggins (The Righteous Gemstones) doing some great work here.
The problem is pacing. Two hours in and we haven’t gotten into the crux of the story, which is supposed to be this evolution of the character. This is a big ask for a fan that might be on the fence over whether they want to watch this show or not.
I’m going to go ahead reluctantly recommend the program off of the strength of Jackson’s performance. But just prepared for a long wind-up that will provide some kind of payoff eventually, with no certainty of how good it will be.
Did you watch the premiere? What do you think of Ptolemy Grey? Will you watch the rest of the episodes?
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