Entertainment Potpourri!

I’ve been accumulating some topics for which I don’t have a full post’s worth of content to write about, so I’ll compile them below:

  • Lion King (live-action movie): I liked it! It’s beautiful, and there’s some good humor in it that’s not in the original movie. I also liked how a little more time (just barely) is spent watching Simba grow up. That said, I thought that Scar’s big song and dance was a lot more memorable in the original movie.
  • Altered Carbon (2 seasons on Netflix): In terms of casting, I think it’s very clever to have a series about humans using different “sleeves” (bodies), because it lets the producers choose a different lead each season (or the same lead, if they want).
  • Ad Astra: This is a beautifully shot movie starring Brad Pitt with an interesting perspective on the not-so-distant future, but its melancholy tone made the movie feel kind of flat. It’s an interesting tonal approach that worked sometimes and not others.
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Another Brad Pitt film! Great acting and directing, as with any Tarantino film, but it really seemed to drag at parts. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it was cut down to around 2 hours or even into multiple films, as the film does benefit from letting some scenes breathe (while other parts seemed like they’d belong better in a different movie).
  • Run: We started watching this HBO show with an interesting premise in the hopes of getting a romantic comedy in series form…but instead the first few episodes are much more dramatic and sad, along with a subplot that veers even further away from what we thought the show was going to be.
  • Kimmy Schmidt (choose-your-own adventure on Netflix): As much as I love Kimmy, it took us a little while to watch this, as the Netflix choose-your-own-adventure shows require a certain level of participation at times when we want to unwind and relax. But it was well worth the wait
  • Six Feet Under (HBO): Based on your recommendation a few weeks ago, we watched this show! The writing is great–we were VERY invested in the characters. However, I think I built up my expectations a little too high in regards to the finale. It was good, but a lot of it just felt so sudden, as so much of the last season was about people acting badly and bad things happening. I wouldn’t have minded we had eased into the good stuff a little bit so it felt more earned.
  • Kim’s Convenience (Netflix): This is our current lunch show (30 minutes or less), and I’m really liking it. It’s a modern sitcom focused on a Canadian family with South Korean origins, and it’s one of those rare shows with as much humor as heart. Also, it’s making me wonder if Canadian comedic half-hour shows are just better than American shows, at least over the last few years. Letterkenny, Schitt’s Creek, now this? Well done, Canada.

What’s next? We just started Succession (an HBO series about a very rich family’s business). I’m intrigued by it, but so far I’m hoping there are at least a few characters I feel good rooting for, as no one is likable yet. We’ve also queued the Outer Banks show on Netflix. If you have any recommendations for lunch shows (30 minutes) or dinner shows (60 minutes), please let me know! It’s totally fine if they’re older series. Any thoughts on The Goldbergs versus Clone Wars as a lunchtime show?

8 Responses to “Entertainment Potpourri!”

  1. I’m sure you’ve said you watched it, but I always recommend The Good Place. The smartest dumb show (or dumbest smart show?) on TV.

    And we’ve just discovered Dead to Me. 2 seasons available, and it’s pretty compelling.

    Longmire is good too. Cop drama/western.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Thanks Shane! I love The Good Place. I haven’t tried those others, though–thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Katie says:

    I still need to watch the last 2 episodes of Run, but I’ve also been really disappointed with it. I’m not really sure what it’s trying to be, and I don’t think the show knows either. I love Merritt Wever too, so I’m really bummed about it.

    It took me about 5 episodes to really start to enjoy Succession, and then I was hooked. I kept wondering why I was wasting my time watching this rich family full of jerks, but something changed along the way and then I couldn’t get enough.

    As far as recommendations, I have to second the Dead to Me suggestion. It’s intriguing and funny, with some drama along the way, but in a way that works much better than Run. 30 minute episodes, but it’s hard to just watch one!

    For other 30 minute shows: I’ve not watched Dave on Hulu, but my neighbor keeps raving about how funny it is. And I think I’ve already recommended it to you, but have you watched Catastrophe yet? If not, you are really missing out.

    If you’re looking for some quick 60-minute shows, I recently finished Bodyguard (6 episodes, and maybe the most riveting first 20 minutes of a show I’ve ever watched) and Unorthodox (4 episodes and really good). Both are on Netflix. I also recently watched Normal People on Hulu and while it’s kind of frustrating, I found it to be an honest and real look at all the mistakes people make in relationships when they’re young.

    I enjoyed the first season of Homecoming on Amazon Prime, and the second season just dropped, so hopefully it lives up to expectations.

    I think that’s all I have for now!

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Thanks Katie! I’ll give Dead to Me a try. I do need to watch Catastrophe, but Megan has already watched a season or two, so I need to either catch up or just jump in where she left off.

      I appreciate the hour-long suggestions too–I’ll add them to the list.

  3. Chris McG says:

    Run has been an up and down show – will be curious if it makes a Season 2.

    Dave was very good IMO. Funny, hip and maybe a bit crude at times.

    One show I think you should give a look is Dispatches From Elsewhere. It was on AMC a few months ago and was written by Jason Segel. It is a really unique show. Very hard to describe. I am glad I stuck it out for the 10 or so hour-long episodes. You are best going into this show with a blank slate and enjoying the journey. You need to focus while watching this show – so limiting distractions might be required.

    I also enjoyed Tommy, with Edie Falco as the Chief of Police in Los Angeles, but CBS is not picking up season 2 so it’s tough knowing there is not real conclusion. This is kind of like a “popcorn movie” – doesn’t tax the brain too much, but still some good storylines and character development.

    For Blacklist fans – the finale of the season that just wrapped up was interrupted by COVID 19 quarantine. They had already filmed about 50% of the show and the crew decided after 5 weeks of no new shooting to do the remaining 50% of the show with animation. As a fan of the show – I am glad they completed the episode AND was pleasantly surprised about how the episode flowed back and forth between real life actors and animated actors.

  4. Derrick says:

    I’ve maintained for many years that The Clone Wars is some of the best Star Wars content created. It fixes my main issue with Episodes II & III, namely that Anakin’s descent to the dark side feels rushed (how could it not in two movies?). However, over like 80-100 episodes, The Clone Wars shows the gradual erosion that makes you understand. Also, it has other great characters, including “humanizing” the clones. It’s a worthy investment of your time. Be ware, that there are many story arcs that are 2 or 3 parts, so if you watch it over lunch you’ll be left hanging on many occasions.

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