Recent Movies and TV

Agents of Shield: Absolutely killing it in this, their final season. The writers' room is demonstrating that they are fully out of fucks. The field in which they grow their fucks is barren, and they are just absolutely going for it. It makes me reconsider my Rule About Time Travel. (If you haven't been watching it recently, you need basically no backstory to start S07. Just jump in.)

    Update: The remainder of the season was... less good. But the first half of S07 was gold. Gold!

Zomboat! I pretty much swore off anything zombie-related years ago, but this was very funny. Perhaps zom-com still has some meat on its bones.

Solar Opposites: This is to Rick & Morty what American Dad was to Family Guy. Not that Family Guy was any good (it was not) but somehow American Dad managed to be exactly the same show but worse. This is that.

Space Force: From the first couple episodes, this seemed like it was going to be another Veep: a show comprised entirely of venal idiots being cruel to each other. It's not quite that, but there's far too much of that in it. It gets better about halfway through, though. (Also Lisa Kudrow's character made me think it might be time for a Romy & Michele sequel.)

Hamilton: I'm surprised to find that this was good, actually.

Hanna, S02: I enjoyed this, but it was literally exactly the same story as Treadstone, except Treadstone was better.

Warrior Nun: Has kind of a Buffy vibe. Maybe halfway between Buffy and Impulse as far as the "reluctant hero" trope goes. Very fun. Unacceptable cliffhanger for a "binge" season release. (Watch Impulse!)

The Great: This was hilarious! And we're doomed forever!

We Summon The Darkness: The Craft meets Green Room. Such amazing costume design! The mullets and moustaches, the crimped hair, the Brooke Shields eyebrows. And it's nice to see some serial killers who are just not very bright, and kind of shit at their jobs. As we know, even dimwits can make a real mess of things.

The Turning: Pretty standard Victorian haunted house story, set in the early 90s for some reason. It hits all the usual ghost jump-scare, cruel-caretaker and creepy-kid notes, and there's not a lot to the plot, but it does look really, really good, because it's by Floria Sigismondi.

Guns Akimbo: I did not expect to make it more than 10 minutes into this, but it was kinda funny.

The Old Guard: Charlize Theron is a Highlander? Shit, that's all you had to say. (And it's based on a Greg Rucka comic that I hadn't heard of, somehow...)

Palm Springs: It's Groundhog Day and it's fantastic. It actually brings some new perspectives to the trope.

The Beach House: It starts off slow and fakes you out by pretending to be a "bad boyfriend" story, but once the eldrich body horror kicks in it is absolutely terrifying. I was impressed.

Sea Fever: Another eldrich horror on a boat! There seems to be a sub-genre of "climate change strikes back" horrors where the villain is unthinking and incomprehensible, and I'm here for it.

Aniara: A three week escape-cruise to Mars from a scorched Earth goes off track. So it starts off as Avenue 5 but fully bleak rather than a comedy. Then it takes a detour into some Solaris hallucinations, and then decades-long descent into isolation and Lord of the Flies. It's good, but in hindsight this was maybe not a good movie to watch during quarantine.

Brave New World: I'm only halfway through this but it is... not good. I haven't read the book since I was 13 but I don't remember it being about heterosexual monogomy as a revolutionary act. I think I liked this better when it was called Logan's Run. Though if someone were to offer me one of those bottomless MDMA pez dispensers that they all carry around, I wouldn't say no.


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20 Responses:

  1. I think you might like Doom Patrol. It's so wonderfully weird and fresh. Similar vibe to Umbrella Academy, but just way sillier. The shit they throw in is just hilarious and weird, but the show still has an arc and compelling characters.

  2. Josh says:

    Yeah, Brave New Workd definitely had a the-future-hates-monogamy story line. I remember the girl that the protagonist liked was weirded out that he wasn’t just copping a feel in their transport, or sleeping with other people. Naturally, that’s the side story line a modern take will focus on.

    • Aaron says:

      Side story? It's the major theme of the back half, and the whole front half is spent setting up a world in which it can even make sense as the major theme of the back half.

  3. nooj says:

    Thanks for the recommendation to jump into S07 of SHIELD! That makes it a lot easier to get back into.

  4. Rodger says:

    Aniara was absolutely fantastic and one of the bleakest things I’ve seen.

    The Untamed/La región salvaje might be up your alley.

  5. phuzz says:

    This series of Agents of SHEILD seems like they went round the cast and asked them if there's any scenes they'd like to do, and just wrote them all into the plot.
    "You want to do a musical number in an entire episode full of 80's movie references? Sure!"
    They know that the Marvel films will never acknowledge them, so they're just enjoying themselves.

    • David Konerding says:

      The other show I watch in which the writers have determined they have no more fucks to give: Legends of Tomorrow. It feels a lot like SHIELD. Now I've gone back to watch the source shows (a lot of LoT seems to come from Supergirl and the Flash) and they're not nearly as good.

      • jwz says:

        I'm sorry, Legends of Tomorrow is 100% garbage. People keep saying how it got better and "so crazy" and I've tried a few times, but what are you on? It's just total garbage. I even tried only watching only the Constantine episodes. Nope, still garbage.

        Flash isn't very good, it's like 80% "but my feeeeeeeelings about my maaaaaaaariage" by volume. Supergirl is ok as a kid's show (a kids show that did like 3 full seasons about fascist immigration policy and spends a lot of time in a gay nightclub, so there's that).

        Arrow is vile. Just tough-guy bullshit vile.

        • They recently did a crossover bit between the various DC shows so I decided to just download those specific episodes. I was surprised at the huge jumps in writing quality between the shows, with LoT being the most absolute rock-bottom, unintelligible nonsense ever. Flash was... tolerable. At best.

          I gave up on Arrow just before it became the Felicity Show, so at least I missed that.

    • Lloyd says:

      I think I accidentally stumbled onto that 80s episode of Agents of SHIELD.

      Max Headroom? VCRs? Simple Minds? The Bangles? Robots yelling “Exterminate!”? A-Team references? Road House? Number Five? Cylon red?

      I must have missed half of the nods, and I lived through the eighties. I don’t know what the target audience would think, but then I tuned out of Agents early in series 1 for being way too portentously patriotic American and low-budget with it.

  6. ....Wait, you're saying American Dad and Family Guy are two different shows?

    • Dude says:

      Waaaaaaaay back in the halcyon days at the tail-end of Dubya's tenure, Mad magazine ran a segment called "Why Family Guy is like the Bush Administration". It was when The Cleveland Show had been announced and was in production on its fist year.

      I remember the latter detail because, although I don't remember much else about the segment, I remember it ended with Mad comparing The Cleveland Show to Obama by saying some like "As bad as [Bush/Family Guy] has been, how could a follow-up with a Black guy possibly be any worse?"

  7. DMW says:

    If anyone is a fan of Fred Willard you should check out the first 3 episodes of Space Force. His last role was a small part but he was hilarious as usual.

  8. Anonymous says:


    @0:07: Wait, she said "CAHD-DRAY"?

  9. Eric says:

    Seen Norsemen?

    It’s funny, gross, and violent in a combination I’ve never seen before. Also filmed in two languages...?

    • Chris says:

      Office Space with Vikings. It's the best.
      The actors indeed recorded all scenes in Norwegian as well as English.

  10. Joe Crawford says:

    I forget what season I gave up on Agents of Shield but based on this recommend and reading the wikipedia summations of the first few S7 episodes going to try this out. Thanks for that! I can stop re-watching the Lady Sif episode and watch something new.

    Legends of Tomorrow felt promising based on seeing it have muppets but try as I might to find an entry point to make it worthwhile, completely agree it is just not worthwhile. Very disappointing given the toys they get to play with.

  11. Eric TF Bat says:

    I too am loving Agents of SHIELD. My personal theory: all this time travel stuff is just so they can end up in the same timeline as the rest of the MCU, though why you'd want to is anyone's guess.

    My fondness for the DC shows is 80% down to nostalgia for the DC comics of my youth, 10% because of Harrison Wells's smirk, and 10% for the opportunity to imagine all the Twitterverse manbabies crying over the sheer number of LGBTQ characters and relationships everywhere.