Latest Watchlist Impressions

It’s that time again. Time for me to tell you what I think about all the stuff that has been playing on my TV. I know. I know. I hate everything. But that’s not true. I liked almost everything I put on this page. Read on if you don’t believe me and see for yourself.

Did you see Deadwood? The movie, not the series. I mean you should watch both, particularly the series. I mean, watch the series before you watch the movie. This isn’t a Firefly situation where you can see one without having seen the other. You need to see the series. Good news is, it’s a great series so you’ll enjoy it. But I’m here to talk about the HBO movie that picks up 10-years after the series ends. First things first, I’ve been looking forward to this since I heard they were making it. I watched the trailers. I watched the interviews. I listened to the NPR interviews. I guess what I’m saying is I had some anticipation going into this one. I watched it the night HBO released it. The problem here is one of expectations. Something like this is never going to make everyone happy and everyone is looking for something different. But whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ve got to say that they did a great job taking you back to Deadwood. It may be my memory playing games with me, I haven’t gone back and watched any of the original series, but it seems to me (and Lady Ronn) that they amped up the elocution on the dialogue a bit. Noticeably so. Not bad, but noticeable. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but I’m not sure what that would have been, and it felt long, so it may have been a bit slow, but I was happy with what they gave me. Everything made logical sense and the passing of years was well done. The story wasn’t one that I would have written, but I enjoyed it. And given how reunion shows generally turn out, that’s not a given. This one was a winner. If you like the series, you’ll probably like the movie.

Mad Men – I enjoyed this series, mostly. I mean it’s basically about Don Draper and he’s not the best person in the world. Is it the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, no. But it was very good and even though there were times I wanted to give up on all these characters, I didn’t. This is another one of those shows where I find myself saying, “All of these people are screwed up. None of them are good people. Why am I watching this.” But then I keep watching. It’s got good writing and the characters stay consistent throughout the series. The glimpse into life in the late sixties is enlightening, and as that’s when I was born, I found it interesting. It’s not perfect, but I did like it. This is another show that I’d say is good TV and makes for good watching.

Aquaman – This was more fun than I would have expected. But dear lord, did it ride the edge on being cheesy as fuck. Never quite went over the edge, but this could have been a bad movie. I mean really bad. Jupiter Ascending bad. But, it wasn’t. Sure it was a big budget CG ladden, popcorn flick of the first rate. It could have taken itself too seriously, but it didn’t. It balanced the source material pretty well. It was just a fun romp with your favorite super dude-bro. I’m still not a fan of Jason Momoa, but this was probably my favorite thing I’ve seen him do. This was no Wonder Woman, but neither was it Batman V. Superman. I hope this is an indicator that DC has figured out how to make movies and will do it’s own thing, rather than trying to copy Marvel’s thing. One other thing… with all the CG and the enormous budget, what’s the deal with the bad wigs. Can’t we just dye Amber Heard’s hair a reasonable shade of red and call it good?

The Handmaid’s Tale – This is our current watch. I listened to the audio book before we started this series and while we’re only a season and a half in, I think they’ve done a great job with it. This is one of those stories where you could really expand on the book without damaging the connection to the original material. The stories are strong, the acting is good, the world is believable, and the writing seems strong. This applies to the parts where they’ve expanded the world as well as the parts straight out of the book. I was concerned that they were going through the story at breakneck pace in season one, but they’ve done a good job of weaving the story together in some unexpected ways. This one has great production values and I’d call it good TV. Series is very good so far and while it’s not really my thing, I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse – I don’t watch a lot of animated stuff. Partially, this is because Lady Ronn doesn’t care for it. But she was gone and I wanted to check it out. Some of the animation was of a style that I found disconcerting, but not bad, and I didn’t think it was the end-all be-all that some of the reviewers I’ve seen seem to think it is. I enjoyed it. I liked the new spider-kid, the alternate dimension spider-man, spider-lady-girl Gwen, and would have liked to seen more of the noir version of spider-man. Spider piggy and anime spider robot girl, however, didn’t do anything for me. Aunt May having a Spider-cave under the shed was odd, too. But I don’t follow the comic books, so maybe that’s a thing. My biggest complaint about the movie was the post credit scene with the old cartoon spider-man. That was dumb and a total wasted opportunity. Otherwise I found it to be an enjoyable watch and I’ll call it a good movie.

Catastrophe – I really liked this series. All four seasons were great. They did a few jumps in time that I found unexpected and passed over some things that I would have expected to get more air time, but it worked. I didn’t feel like I was missing much and some of the places they left you at were unexpected. I think I liked this one more than Lady Ronn, it really resonated with me and felt genuinely funny. The writing was good. The acting was good. The characters were good. The interactions between the characters was entertaining. Sure, this is a comedy, and it is genuinely funny, I mean I laughed a lot while I watched this, but it is also a realistically amusing look at relationships, marriage, and the ups and downs of both. I’d recommend this one all day long and am actually sad that they’re not going to make more.

Wine Country – Six ladies get together for a vacation getaway and hijinks ensue. This is a comedy? Because it’s not all that funny. I found myself thinking, “Oh my, is this what a girls getaway is about?” Getting your drink on and hiding your problems? Because that seems to be what the majority of this movie is about. Maybe it’s because of the gout, but I’m always surprised at the weight placed on the value of getting drunk and/or the anticipation of getting drunk. Maybe I’m just envious. It was entertaining enough, but it didn’t get but one or two laugh out loud moments from me. My favorite scene was the one at the art show, where the younger crowd was basically clueless. But I wouldn’t recommend this one. Not because it’s bad, but simply because I don’t think you’ll be missing anything by not seeing it. This gave me pretty much what I expected and nothing more.

A few things that we tried, haven’t given up on them, but they didn’t stick on the first watch. The Strain – kinda gross to watch while eating dinner, Better Call Saul – another show about horrible people that has high production values and good writing, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – just not pulling me into this world, am I the demographic for this show?, and

I feel like I’ve watched some other stuff that I haven’t mentioned, but enough is enough with the reviews. You know the deal, I mostly don’t like watching movies and TV. Very little of it leaves an impression on me. I’ve got a few things on the watch list, but there’s so little time and so much content. We need to watch season 3 of True Detective, the latest season of Agents of Shield will definitely make the list, we’ll probably finish all the series I listed above, and our “to watch” list is far longer than we’ll ever have time to watch.

Movie-wise, I still haven’t seen Captain Marvel, Incredibles 2, the Shazam! movie, or Avengers: End Game. I’m a little behind on my superhero flicks, mostly because I’m waiting for them to show up on the streaming services. So that’s where I am with my watch time and what I’ve been up to. Now, get out of here and go look at something else. Later.