In an effort to write more often (frequently) and keep up with the things I’ve watcched so it’s easier to write lists at the end of the year, I’m going to publish thoughts on some pop culture I’ve consumed. If it becomes too unwieldy, this might even become several posts. Let’s get to it.
I like to say that I don’t do resolutions, I do goals, but when it comes to pop culture, resolution makes more sense. What I want to do this year is expand my knowledge of pop culture including knowledge of history, so I have a variety of things that I’d like to do. And since this draft has been sitting here for a few weeks, the last day of January seems like an appropriate time to publish.
I saw Thor: Ragnarok eight days ago now, and I loved it. This post isn’t about my feelings on the movie (I got most of them out at comic book club which was later this afternoon), but on the touches of Australiana that Kiwi director Taika Waititi put in the film. A couple of weeks ago, he did an interview on triple j breakfast, where he revealed that he snuck in some nods to Australiana in the film to make the movie unique.
Hey, remember when I posted this GIF yesterday? It was so my erstwhile editor Steve Molk could save it, because Slack won’t let you save GIFs. That’s what I learned late last night while I was watching the Dynasty premiere. Netflix did a number on me when they didn’t give me any warning that the latest seasons of Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend were dropping, so I had to highlight them retroactively. Last week was a little busy, so I couldn’t do both which meant I got really into my Crazy Ex-Girlfriend synopsis.
So, other things in streaming: I’m still not sure how I feel about The Babysitter, which I watched on Tuesday night. If you want to talk about it, please leave a comment or contact me on Twitter. At the start of the film I began counting how many songs had been used – there were 5 in the first 15 minutes – but when it gets to the point, it’s pretty fun. I know that last song choice as they cut to credits is supposed to be funny but it still rubbed me the wrong way. I liked that last line though! Oh well.
I haven’t watched The Meyerowitz Stories yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I have seen the season two premiere of Good Behavior, and I was drawn in immediately, despite not having seen the second half of the first season. I think Michelle Dockery’s performance is fantastic, but when I read the description, I was hoping it would be a little more like Leverage. Plus Ann Dowd and Laura Bell Bundy are guest starring! Okay, Ann Dowd was in the first season, but I’m definitely more interested in the show now than I was during the first season.
I think I’m going to start writing Riverdale recaps, but starting next week. I might put in a few bullet points tomorrow if I have time/remember. There’s a direction I think it’s going to take based on plot points I’m not allowed to reveal from my screener emails, so I’m looking forward to seeing if I’m right (I haven’t watched ahead yet – I’ll probably stick to one episode per week because I like talking about it with my friends).
I made a choice a few years ago to not be political online. There are plenty of reasons for that which I won’t go into, but every once in a while I highlight shows and films on the streaming guide I think are important. This week I chose Chasing Coral which premiered at Sundance, and is about the attempt to visually capture coral bleaching, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. I haven’t seen Bigelow’s films because I’m not very into war as a genre, but she’s also the only female director to have won the Oscar for Best Directing. That surprises me, but also it doesn’t. Aditi Mittal is one of the first women to perform stand-up comedy in India, another thing I didn’t know.
As for my other choices, Broad City and Game of Thrones are two of my favourite shows. Broad City deserves a highlight for that fantastic DMV episode (I renewed my licence last week, which you can now do at the post office. It’s the Australian equivalent of making an appointment), and there’s no season like GoT season. My podcasts are coming back, and I’m figuring out how to deal with this strange book/show world we live in. I’m happy that A Storm of Spoilers has a separate section for production spoilers, and stopping the podcast early is going to be an exercise in self-control. At the time I’m writing, George hasn’t followed up on this possibly fortuitous Live Journal entry, so that’s something to watch. I’m also going to be keeping an eye on any possible #BlackThorn evidence. Let me know if you find anything.
It’s a big week in streaming! Apparently there’s no such thing as an off-season any more. Better Call Saul just had its finale (I’m behind), and the finales of RuPaul’s Drag Race and iZombie are next week. And there are so many shows premiering! I’m very much looking forward to the new season of Younger, and all the new Diana Trout gifs. Power is a very good show that I’ll probably leave for a month (to catch up on all the other shows) before binging. As for the others…
People are raving about the new Netflix show GLOW, which I like but don’t love. Many of the critics I read watched the entire season, I just watched the first two. To be fair, I watched the first episode in April and the second this week, and I remember enjoying the first episode much more than the second. The gap could account for that. I have another four screeners I can watch, but the video quality is much better on Netflix proper, which I am paying for.
I didn’t watch much of Preacher‘s first season, but I’ve seen the first two episodes of the new season and they’re really good. For those of you who want to give it another shot, the advice I followed was to watch the premiere, the angel battle in episode 6, and the finale. The first season arguably (I haven’t seen all of it, so I can’t comment) has pacing problems, which makes sense when you find out that the events in the first season finale happened in the first issue of the comic. The second season is fun and has one of the two best uses of “Come on Eileen” in television this year (the other is Jane the Virgin, and while they are the only two instances I know of, they were both done really well). It’s still a very graphic show, which is part of what put me off season one, you just need to figure out when to cover your eyes.
I have a screener for Okja, but I haven’t watched it yet. I’ll wait until I can watch it on the TV. Snowpiercer is one of the best films I’ve seen in the past five years, and it would be great if I could see this film in cinemas, but the fact that I get to see this film at the same time as everyone else is a step in the right direction. Film distribution in Australia has a lot of problems, and I hope there’s a way that we can get both.
I wrote a full season review of Orange Is the New Black, which made me wonder whether I should highlight it on the streaming guide. I don’t want to end up repeating myself, and there are surely other Netflix properties I could promote, like Terrace House. So this post is dedicated to my beloved Terrace House: Aloha State. Part 3 drops on Tuesday, and I’m not sure when I’ll have time to watch it, but I’m glad it’s there. On Stan, there are Quentin Tarantino films and your usual feast of fast-tracked content, and Amazon Prime has a limited series about the Le Mans 24 hour car race, in which they build a car and then race it (that’s what I learned yesterday, and I’m really interested in it now).
The final season of Orphan Black premieres on Sunday, which I would be more excited for if I was up to date. I’m hoping that will happen soon, but it definitely won’t be this weekend. This weekend I’ll be at Continuum Convention in Melbourne, and if you’re interested in science fiction or even general pop culture (which is more my speed), it’s definitely worth checking out. Right now I have to catch up on as much of Twin Peaks as possible before tonight’s panel.