Watch List: January 15 – 21, 2024

Television

Bad Sisters: Episodes 2 – Finale (Apple TV+)

This was FANTASTIC. All of the performances were impeccable, but in particular Anne-Marie Duff as Grace. I haven’t seen storytelling this sympatheic in a hot minute. It felt human and fresh (which is something that is important to me as a viewer, I am learning.)

Additionally, it had a MASSIVELY satisfying ending. Like, if you’ve watched the entirety of Season 1 of “Search Party” and got to the end where you feel like everything was snatched away from you and you can’t breathe? This is the opposite of that, you get filled all the way up with satisfaction… but you still can’t breathe.

For me, it was that good.

The Curse (Showtime on Paramount Plus)

I read as little as possible about this as I could before watching it. I’m glad I did. It’s one of the most modern-ish Lynchian things I’ve recently come across.

It is not, per se, a straightforward piece of storytelling, by any means, so if that’s what you’re looking for, don’t visit “The Curse”. Like I said, it felt like Modern David Lynch in a way, More of an art experiment than a traditional television show.

I adore Nathan Fielder, so I knew I’d love it.

Here’s what I did, though. I thought this would be a good show for me and Molls to watch for our podcast this week. I am expecting her to not like it. We shall see. Or listen, I guess.

Turn (AMC+)

Between the one two punch of “For All Mankind” finishing up another season and us finally finishing all of the available “Walking Dead” options, I made the decision to watch “The Americans”. Then I read a bit about it and saw that it was an alternative history show (I think these are some of my favorites) that is set in the 80s and is about spies.

I thought that was right up Mickey’s alley, so I pitched to to him as a show to watch together. He said we should watch “Turn” first as a little primer, so that is what we’re doing.

The characters are compelling, but I am not good at names yet this early. There is one character that I love to hate and hate to love whose name I 100% remember though. Captain Simcoe, who does not seem to be affiliated with the hops at all.

Now we are almost done with Season 2 and I have definitely crushing on one of these soldiers: Major John Andre. He’s cultured and he has a mysterious braid.

And this show really forces me to confront the love/hate relationship I have with war movies and TV. Like, battles are repetitive to me – only the people who die and the way they die change. It makes me sad that so much entertainment is filled with death and war and stuff – and how similar they are to all the other things that focus on war as the major conflict.

I’m talking even about more modern futuristic stuff. What I see these soldiers and spies going through is not much different than what the folks on “the Walking Dead” encountered. Only the enemies are different – but not really, because the enemies in any case of war are just humans that are different than you.

…that want to kill you for some reason.

Australian Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains: Episodes 4-7

This week we watched the single best tribal council of any iteration of “Survivor” that has ever aired. I won’t tell you which episode it was, because … guess what? I want you to watch it! Hit me up and we can watch together if you want!

I cannot tell you have hype I got after watching the episode in question. Because of the way my brain works, I remembered it was dramatic and awesome, but forgot exactly what happened. It was almost like I got to experience it for the first time all over again!

Harlots, Episodes 1-4 (Hulu)

I started this at the suggestion of D. It’s an entire vibe. I love the juxtaposition of the modern music and the time period. I like the playful drama of it all. I don’t have to watch heavy things all the time.

Seeing Samantha Morton in this vein after her turn on “The Walking Dead” is WILD, though. Above is her in “Harlots”.

This is her in “The Walking Dead”. Real weekend- vs weekday-lookin’ situation there, huh?

Honestly, this is a fun series. I love a period piece and I love media about sex workers. It’s a good combo.

Saturday Night Live: Jacob Elordi (Peacock)

This was a mixed bag. First off, I assumed Jacob Elordi was British. But nope, I can chalk him up to one more Australian thing I’m a fan of. He didn’t perform so great in the live sketches, but was fantastic in the pretapes.

As always, Weekend Update was aces. I think the writers are finally figuring out what to do with Punkie Johnson and it’s about damn time. She’s been excellent in every other thing I’ve seen her in, most notably “Bottoms”.

My favorite sketch was the bowling pins for the simple absurdity of it all. Plus it was one of the few that didn’t rely so hard on Elordi’s looks. He’s more than that, y’all. Do better. That’s just lazy comedy.

Movies

Birth / Rebirth

Three quarters of the way through this, I messaged D: “If they don’t boof the ending, this might be in my top ten of the year”.

They did not boof the ending.

This was an impressive debut from writer/director Laura Moss, starring Judy Reyes who most folks know from “Scrubs”. She turned out an incredible performance here. There is one scene near the beginning where her grief was palpable, I could feel it through the screen.

I went into this pretty blind, choosing it for this evening because the vibes felt right and I like Judy Reyes. It was pretty much a two person movie, with a few smaller roles that only served to further the main characters’ plot. Trying to give away as little as possible, it’s about a doctor who practices the science of bringing people back to life and a grieving mother who happens to be a nurse.

Yeah, that works I think. I’ll definitely be looking out for what Laura Moss is up to next!

Chronicles of a Wandering Saint

This was a barrage of adjectives: sweet, lovely, surprising, kooky, relaxing, gorgeous, moving and unique. It also has the best after credits scene I’ve seen, possibly ever.

Here is the description, because the pros do I better job than I do without giving anything away:

“In a tiny rural village in Argentina, a pious yet insatiably competitive woman discovers that staging a miracle could be her ticket to sainthood”

This is a tiny film from Argentina that I watched because it is nominated for an Independent Spirit Award this year. I wouldn’t have watched it otherwise, much like Birth / Rebirth. I’m glad the ISAs exist for this reason – I’ve learned about so many exciting and new filmmakers each year by watching the nominees. Well, the ones I’m able to get my hands on, at least.

Gymnastics

2019 US Women’s Gymnastics Championships

Simone Biles won, of course. Morgan Hurd is pretty much out of the picture at this point and I am disappointed.

2019 World Women’s Gymnastics Championships

So far I’ve watched the team competition, which had USA winning gold, someone normal like China or Russia winning silver (I have already forgotten). BUT for the first time in over 70 years, the Italian Women’s Gymnastic teams made the podium, winning a bronze.

Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos is the one I’m watching now. She’s from France and she’s ELECTRIC. Her floor routine is full of personality, as are all of her other apparutus, somehow. Yes, even the vault.

Okay, so at the end of this competition, Simone Biles kind of boofed her floor routine. She went out of bounds three times, pulled faces indicating that she knew she screwed up and just wasn’t up to the usual standards I’m used to seeing from her.

When she was done, the announcers praised her like it was almost perfect? Like, I know she can do skills way more advanced and worth way more points than the other gymnasts, but she should get treated the same from the announcers. If any other gymnast would have made those mistakes in the final routine of the night that could have won or lost the entire competition for them, they would have been eviscreated. Tim Dagget would have talked all over the gymnast’s routine and then pointed out all the mistakes one by one in the replay.

Not for Simone, though.

I’ll be getting into 2020 soon, so I’m excited to see how the Covid talk dominates the conversations. One of the most interesting things about this social experiment has been seeing the world and media change through this very specific lens. In particular the way they talk about gymnasts and their bodies.

Other

Emmy Awards

Honestly, this was one of the best produced awards shows I’ve seen in years. And I watch a LOT.

Last year, I noted that the BET Awards were my favorite of the season. It was a FUN show, both for the viewer and (seemingly) the audience. And I’m not talking drunken, loose, out of control fun, like the Golden Globes were at the turn of the century.

That same team produced this year’s Emmy’s and, I think, knocked it out of the park. The stage was incredible and I loved having the presenters present awards in fresh ways (on the set replications) that still worked within the confines of the show.

I loved getting to see Arsenio Hall present an award. He was my first late night host that I watched with any regularity and it made me so happy to see him, on a replication of his monologue stage.

Comments

No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *