Bingeing the Pandemic


This is a good news/bad news situation. There isn’t a lot of great stuff lately, but some of it is worth a look.


The Queen’s Gambit

This is my top pick for watching right now. Loved it. Loved the adult sensibility, the lack of idiots and idiocy, and the entire production was top notch. (more)

The Mandolorian

I’m stuck in the first season at the moment, so I haven’t seen enough for a full review. The opening was clearly a Spaghetti Western set in Star Wars, and so I was instantly sold. Mando is very much like Clint Eastwood’s man with no name. The Baby Yoda twist works on its own, but I haven’t seen where that thread is headed yet. I’m sure to the Disney Store.

Black Mirror

Now caught up: this is the hard scifi show to watch. If you have Netflix streaming, definitely do not miss. Charlie Brooker is a genius.

The Expanse

For its vibe, its dark perspective the show has legs. It’s not my favorite, and I’m not enamored of the characters, but sometimes you need to head out beyond the belt.

AHS 1984

Jason & Freddy may be in a different copyright zone, but American Horror Story has returned to the big 80s to aerobicize the terror out of you. With the expected callbacks to previous characters, you may see Richard Ramirez get his own Satanic-powered subplot. The problem with this season (and others) is that there’s no one to root for. They pretty much all turn out shitty by the end. They’re big on redemption stories of the worst killers, and that doesn’t work for me.

The End of the Fucking World

This is kind of a show of, by, and for young psychotic serial killers. For that alone, it’s worth checking out. The deviant kid in the lead role is creepy.

Humans

One of the best realizations of The Singularity yet. (review)

Parasite

A Korean language film won the Oscar for Best Picture? Yes it did. And it’s all about class conflict. (review)

Knives Out

This is like an old time thriller they don’t make anymore. (review)

1917

Amazing achievement and also takes you away to another time and another war that has little bearing on our current reality. There’s a kind of escape. (review)

Other films I’d recommend are Destroyer (Nicole Kidman), Woman at War, Capernaum, Ford v. Ferrari, Little Women, Harriet, Queen & Slim.

There’s also Possessor, which I would have reviewed if it was a better film. It’s Brandon Cronenberg, his second film–the first one was better.

If you’re all binged-out and burned through those, there is always the greatest reality TV show of all time: Taskmaster UK, and the other good British panel shows including Mock the Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, QI, and Hypothetical. All are up on the web in various locations.

Or read a book.

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