Non-spoiler review

Binge-worthy: Dracula on Netflix

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So many of us are stuck with nothing to watch since the sports world is on pause. So I will drop on occasional non-spoiler review on shows that might keep you busy while we wait for the plague to end and give us our sports back. (Yes, we still have horse racing, which is keeping me busy, and it is worth checking out if you have nothing else to watch. An RTN subscription will get you all the tracks you need, or you can just watch TVG if you have that channel. Sam Houston shows its races live for free at shrp.com). Or you could just pick up a copy of Jesus Just Left Chicago, the greatest novel ever written, available in paperback, Kindle and audio book. For everyone else, here is a non-spoiler look at Dracula on Netflix:

What it is about

The name pretty much tells you, this is based on Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel. I was skeptical at first, because I have seen every iteration of the Dracula story and did not feel the need to see another. But it is the brainchild of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the creatives behind perhaps the greatest television series ever, Sherlock. While Moffat's work on Dr. Who is questionable, these two together are incredible. The writing is very much along the lines of Sherlock, with clever jokes, not-too-obvious plot twists and strong writing and characterizations. Minor spoiler: Gatiss, who is also a fine actor (he played Mycroft in Sherlock and also had a role in Game of Thrones), makes an appearance in episode three.

There are three episodes: The first two are classic horror stories, while the third puts a modern twist on the legend.

The positives

1) Only three episodes makes it an easy watch. They are each over an hour in length, which is a tendency in the really good BBC shows. (This was released by both BBC and Netflix). There may or may not be a season 2, but if not, it ends perfectly. It is not a major time commitment, and once you are done you find yourself wanting more.

2) The writing, acting and storytelling are off the charts.

3) Claes Bang, a relative unknown, plays Dracula, and he is brilliant in the role. Maybe it was just me, but you find yourself rooting for him. (Yeah, I know, I have issues).

4) There is a nice twist on Van Helsing, which only adds to the charm.

5) From a plot standpoint, it is very well done and unlike any Dracula iteration I have seen.

The negatives

1) It starts a little slow; it's really about halfway through episode 1 that it starts to take off, so you have to stick with it.

2) If you are squeamish, it might not be for you. This is a horror series at heart, after all. There are some pretty gross scenes (even for me), especially in episode 1.

Overall analysis

Time commitment: Minimal. It is one season with three mini-movie episodes so you can watch it in a day.

Kid friendly: Probably not, unless you are raising your kids like my parents did me.

Bottom line: If you like Dracula movies, vampire movies, horror movies or Sherlock, this is a must-watch. It has elements of all the classics, but like Sherlock puts a clever twist on it. If you don't like those things? Stay tuned for the next binge-worthy.

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The Texans should swing for the fences. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With each passing day, the Deshaun drama thickens. It's progressed to Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, basically humbling himself to Deshaun.

A city that a few short weeks ago offered up mega star power across the board, has now seen James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and George Springer all depart for a variety of reasons. The impact of Deshaun leaving would be irreversible guaranteeing the Texans resting comfortably in the bottom of the AFC South for the next decade, wallowing in futility.

The saga will only intensify in two weeks should Patrick Mahomes collect another Lombard Trophy. As 2017 draft class contemporaries, Deshaun is comparing his career to #15. Another ring would place Mahomes up 2-0 in that discussion with Watson.

Perhaps the Texans should take a play from the Oilers playbook and inquire on Dabo Swinney. In the pursuit of securing the services of Warren Moon, the Oilers made a power play and secured the services of Moon's former CFL coach, Hugh Campbell. I've attended several luncheons and engagements in which Deshaun served as the keynote speaker. In many of those venues, a short video presentation would include personal greetings and feel good overtures directed to Deshaun from Dabo. The end result was Deshaun lighting up like a Christmas tree. There's a viable relationship in place there.

At the end of the day, Deshaun is a competitor. Losing DeAndre Hopkins was a major loss, but not to the degree that you might think. Deshaun still went out and threw for over 4,000 yards this season, and with a sub-par supporting cast, even pulling guys off of the practice squad in late December contests to fill out the receiving corps. The issue for Watson is trust, and culture. Hence, the recent headlines surrounding the Jets as a future home make very little sense. The Jets in 4 of their last 5 seasons have had double-digit losing seasons. Until the recent resurgence of the Browns, the Jets far and away have held the title of the "laughingstock" of the NFL.

The biggest challenge for the Texans is who could persuade Deshaun to stay? Could team President Jamey Rootes calm down the noise? It certainly won't come from Texans Ring of Honor recipient Andre Johnson. If I were Cal McNair, I would place a call to 105 Sikes Hall in Clemson, SC and ask for Dabo's office. That's as good of a place to start as any other.

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