Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Quick TV (and Movie!) Update

Following my sweeping TV update back in May, here's a quick update:

"Love Death and Robots" is a sometimes raunchy animated anthology series (each episode stands alone), sort of a mash-up of "Black Mirror" and Heavy Metal Magazine. Each episode has a different creative team, so quality is very mixed. But here's a list of the highest-rated episodes (in descending order), which makes it easy to just catch the good ones. At 6 - 20 minutes/episode, it's a neat way to fill time when you don't want to digest anything more ambitious.

If you want to list out best-to-worst episodes of a series, create a bookmarklet with the following code and trigger it from the main IMDB page for any series:
Movie, not TV: "Everything Everywhere All at Once" features an everything bagel that is literally everything. The movie itself is also every movie (it's not at all the film you think it is for the first few minutes...or ever). I thought it was fantastic, and you can still catch it in theaters (the usual streaming services charge $20).

HBO's "Rome" was their Game of Thrones (hugely expensive, sumptuous production values, sweeping purview) before Game of Thrones. At the time, it was known for being rrrrracy [Austin Powers cat meow], but I've finally dug in and find it tame compared to GOT and other more recent titles, and quite substantial (in a good way). The kind of show that tugs at you to view another episode. It can't hold a candle to "I Claudius", but what can? The latter can be streamed for free on Hoopla or Acorn (both likely available via your library account).

"The Other Two", a series about the elder brother and sister of a viral child megastar was great in its first season. This season it's been a bit too in love with itself. Still good, but not great. If you like this show, you'll love "You're the Worst", which is near the top of my pantheon of great shows nobody heard of ("Breaking Bad", "The Leftovers", and "Party Down" were originally part of that pantheon).

"Detectorist" is a lovely small, slow, charming, subtle show about metal detecting enthusiasts in England. Very highly recommended if that's your cup of tea. If you're allergic to affected, self-conscious British cutesy, don't worry, this isn't that. It's miles above pandering. Also: it's funny how emotions scale. The show's extraordinarily mild antagonists - e.g. detectorists from a competing club perennially trying to horn in on a promising meadow; a poacher from Germany; an archeologist consultant sold out to construction industry interests - seem far more awful than Joffrey in GOT or Sauron in LOTR. Absolutely horrible and emotionally scarring.

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