twenty-three things tagged “tv shows”

WandaVision (2021) · IMDb · B+

Wonderful, wonderful stuff with the TV Eras. So creative! Slightly disappointing in how an intriguing and promising Twilight Zone-like plot was resolved via a good old Marvel laser shootout1. Can’t wait to read an analysis of how it was a ‘triumphant exploration of Grief’ (which it really was.)

  1. Or whatever. Energy Beam. Aura Projection. I don’t know. ↩︎

“Hypocrisy is the Vaseline of Political Intercourse”

Somoza called himself “president”. The Sandinistas called him a “dictator”. They called themselves “freedom fighters”. He called them “Commie terrorists”. So they kicked him out then they were in charge. Ronald Reagan called them “Commie oppressors” and he sent in the Contras, whom he called “freedom fighters” and they called “mercenary terrorists.”

So basically, what you’re called depends largely on who’s doing the talking because hypocrisy is the vaseline of political intercourse. They didn’t like what they saw, so they changed it to make it sound better. Just like in these personal ads. It sounds great; but it’s all lies.

Billy Connolly

Taboo (2017) · IMDb · B+

Saw with LD. Eight-episode miniseries, with Season 2 in the works. Could’ve been at least two episodes shorter. Trippy, wonderful cinematography, just unbelievable production quality, and backed by (yet another) amazing score by Max Richter.

Especially great if you, like me, are a fan of Tom Hardy. His character growl-mumbles his way through Regency-era London as a traumatized 5-D Chess-playing badass with a vendetta who takes on the East India Company and the Crown, and who may or may not have supernatural powers that allow him to commune with the dead.

And when I say “growl-mumbles”…

My favorite character was Brace (😭😭😭), played to perfection by David Hayman.

Hand of God (2014–2017) · IMDb · D

Tedious, uneven, rushed, and a colossal waste of an interesting premise and the talents of several amazing actors (Ron Perlman, Dana Delany, Andre Royo, Alona Tal, and a brilliant Garret Dillahunt.) You can skip the latter half of the episodes in the first season (here’s a recap) and skip-watch all but the last three episdoes of the second, and still know what’s going on. It’s as if they were told there wasn’t going to be a third

Raj on Hell’s Kitchen

Tapped this YouTube suggestion on a lazy Sunday. This man pushed my capacities for sympathy and empathy to their breaking points in this 20-minute highlight reel. I don’t know what to type here other than quote the very first sentence of his Fandom wiki page:

Raj is widely regarded as one of the worst and most useless chefs in Hell’s Kitchen history.

I don’t watch the show and don’t have a full context. But the most charitable assessment I can offer after sitting through the highlight reel below is this: The man is wired very, very differently, which I suppose makes for engaging (cruel?) television 🤷‍♂️

Mirzapur - Season 2 (2020) · IMDb · B-

A bit sloppy compared to the first season but still quite the entertainer (or maybe I just love the surfeit of bad language, of which there is plenty ♥️)

Excellent stuff from the main cast, especially Sheeba Chaddha and Rasika Dugal.

But Pankaj Tripathi could read the backs of shampoo bottles in 40-minute episodes and I’d still binge the ‘show’ and write encomiums about how good a performer he is.

The Outsider (2020) · IMDb · B-

Jason Bateman directed the first few episodes of this show and appears to be on a roll (saw this right after the third season of Ozark.) It was a 10-episode miniseries that was 5 episodes too long. Everything about the antagonist was either laughable or inconsistent. Cynthia Erivo was magnificent as the wicked-smaht and quirky Holly Gibney whose savant-superpowers remained largely unused by the plot.

Chernobyl (2019) · IMDb · A+

On Post-Truth

What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all. What can we do then? What else is left but to abandon even the hope of truth and content ourselves instead with stories? In these stories, it doesn’t matter who the heroes are.

But it is still there. Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid. That is how an RBMK reactor core explodes. Lies.

To be a scientist is to be naive. We are so focused on our search for truth, we fail to consider how few actually want us to find it. But it is always there, whether we see it or not, whether we choose to or not. The truth doesn’t care about our needs or wants. It doesn’t care about our governments, our ideologies, our religions. It will lie in wait for all time. And this, at last, is the gift of Chernobyl.

Where I once would fear the cost of truth, now I only ask: What is the cost of lies?

And: What would happen were you to ingest a grain-sized piece of the Reactor No. 4’s core today:

If you ate this fuel chip, not much of it would likely dissolve in your gut; the matrix is UO2, and U(IV) Oxide is poorly soluble even in the acid environment of the gut. But let’s say it did dissolve completely and got metabolized. You’d be committing yourself to about 20 mSv (2 rem) from Cs-137, and probably a similar dose from Sr-90. Basically, if you were a radiation worker in the USA, your annual dose limit of 5 rem would be met. In many countries and facilities, you would exceed annual allowances.

Mirzapur - Season 1 (2018) · IMDb · B+

Binged this. Narcos (kinda) + Gangs of Wasseypur. Violent, stylish, predictable. Pankaj Tripathi is excellent.

The 41-year-old actor had nine releases last year, of which he bagged a special mention at the National Film Awards for his performance in ‘Newton’. “With the films I am offered today, I’m satisfied, in the sense that from the last two months, I have been choosing really good scripts. But I’m still searching for that one script which would truly amaze me, challenge me. It will take time and I’ll get what I want. I am an actor here but my approach is still that of a farmer. I’ve sowed the seeds, now I’m waiting for the plant to grow. I’m in no rush,” he said.

Ozark - Season 2 (2018) · IMDb · A

As brutal, breathless, and excellent as the first season. Julia Garner, Lisa Emery, and Janet McTeer FTW 🙌

Garner on her portrayal of Ruth Langmore

She’s in a much more vulnerable place. She’s really struggling and having an identity crisis because of her dad. With Season 2, I think you have a much deeper understanding why she behaves like she does. People always go, “Oh Ruth is such a badass character — how does it feel to play her?” And it’s much deeper than that. It’s more that she has no choice.

and

[. . .] I don’t know if you remember, but I had that handbag. And I know it’s a prop, but it’s important because that’s Ruth — she wears something really ugly, but she’ll have the pink handbag she probably got at Walmart because she secretly wants a real leather pink bag. She wants nice things, and you realize this girl is a child.

TIL that they shot the series in Atlanta.