What I’ve been watching: May 2015

Because the television season is mostly over in the United States, I was at a bit of a loss on what to write today, I’m still figuring things out. I thought about the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, but Joanna Robinson has pretty much articulated my thoughts on the topic over at Vanity Fair, and on A Cast of Kings. The backlash she’s gotten over her thoughtful and articulated commentary on one of her favourite shows is completely unfair, and I may end up writing something later, I just haven’t decided yet. The other thought I had was to write about tonight’s episode of MasterChef Australia, which was really good (there’ll be a bit on it here, but not a whole post), so I’ve decided to leave some thoughts on what I’ve been watching on streaming and DVD recently. The Fall: I’d heard about this show on Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan, and Mo Ryan has positive things to say about it. It’s not a light show by any means, and the serial killer who commits violent crimes against women is so close to being completely worn out, but this show is fascinating. Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan (#notmyChristian) are fantastic, and the female murder victims are treated as people both by the show and the police. One thing I have to say is that I have never seen 50 Shades of Grey, and now I don’t think I ever could, because Jamie Dornan is so creepy in this show that I’d just be worried about him murdering Dakota Johnson for the entire film. Lost: Spoiler alert? I’m still going with season five! I love time travel, so I’m all in on this season. I watched “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” today, and it was fantastic. Why did Ben kill Locke after convincing him not commit suicide? Is it because Jacob/Christian told Locke about Eleanor Hawking, which means Ben is truly no longer the leader of the Others? Is Charles Widmore really the bad guy? (Alan Dale’s accent was definitely more Australian than British this episode). We know that Ben plans on killing Penny so we shouldn’t like him, but Michael Emerson’s performance is so magnetic that I can’t help but be drawn to him. This show is at its best when it’s just Emerson and O’Quinn talking in a room. Also: time travel. Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats: A friend recommended this to me, and I’ve only seen the first half hour of it, but I love it. There’s a severe lack of sitcoms on Netflix Australia, so I’ve moved onto standup specials. I really want to see a ‘making of’ or rehearsal of this comedy special, because there are layers of jokes. As Peretti is onstage doing her standup, she’s also organised for interruptions in the middle of the set, and for some reason dogs have their own seat. I know a lot of people had/still have problems with Peretti on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but I’ve always liked Gina. I mostly had problems with Peralta in the first season, but Samberg’s performance got better as the show continued. Also I’m totally an Amy. And now a word on MasterChef Australia: The editors for this show deserve all the awards. They’re so good at creating a narrative from what I assume is hours of footage. Tonight’s team challenge was a relay, and each team member only had 45 seconds to communicate the dish to the next team member. It was thrilling, and I love the way this show documents disaster. Over at the blue team, our Brunswick hipster Jarrod decided to make a mussel broth, and halfway through the challenge one of the other team members decided to change it and include white chocolate for some reason. The final ten minutes of the challenge became a story on how Georgia managed to pull together a dish from all these disparate elements. Despite Georgia’s efforts, they went through to elimination anyway, but it was still great to watch. These people know how to make good television, and even though I have trouble remembering people’s names at the start of the season, episodes like this are why I watch MasterChef.

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