What are you watching and enjoying?


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So the Punisher season 2 finale is a piece of work. It's almost essentially 50-odd minutes fight scenes and killing. It's what one expects of Punisher. That said, it feels a lot more like an edgy Person of Interest spinoff (which I thought in season one, but season two quickly and shortly introduces a white supremacist character played by a main actor from POI). I'm not a super macho nut job, but Punisher DOES NOT CRY. Punisher DOES NOT BANG SINGLE MOMS. Punisher is NOT HAUNTED BY BAD DREAMS. This show gets so much of the character wrong, but it does because it's nigh-impossible to do a 13 episode season of a character who is built solely for movies. That all said: Billy Russo is one of the MCU's best villains. To refrain from spoilers, I just wish he looked different in season two. Oh yeah, I feel like it isn't a spoiler to say that the final image and dedication of the finale made me laugh out loud. It's the most crazy-ass looking Punisher moment of the entire series. Just Punisher gunning dudes down and giving a war cry (I also don't think Punisher gives a war cry). Cut to black screen: "In Loving Memory of Stan Lee." Fucking hilarious.

 

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I only watched season 1, but it seemed evident to me that they fell into a narrative trap with the Punisher in adapting him for a show. Because he cannot be an admirable protagonist in an ongoing narrative such as television. In movies and comic books, you can warp and construe the focus in ways where he doesn't come off as frightening as the very idea of him objectively is. The modern Punisher dresses up like a school shooter for God's sake. So at the end of season 1 where he's going to therapy and seeking help, it's a noble thing for him to do...but it's not the Punisher. He's a serial killer for bad guys, end of story.

They didn't help themselves with that NRA porno intro either.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, I've since watched the first three seasons of SLASHER on Netflix (season 4 debuting now on Shudder but for some reason I can't access the videos).

I've rewatched all of SEINFELD. It doesn't entirely hold up, but it is basically a snapshot of the 90s. That all said: Dreyfus, Alexander and Richards are three of the greatest comedic actors of all-time. They're amazing on that show.

I watched season two of Making a Murderer. I don't know exactly what to think, but I do know that if I'm ever imprisoned for a crime I didn't commit, I'd want Zellner helping me. Let's not fool anybody, if I go to jail it's because I definitely did the crime.

I also watched all of Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. which was delightfully stupid. One of my favourite Marvel shows. Maybe the best of all the Disney ones.

What If? is something I'm watching as it releases and I have enjoyed each episode to a degree, but I haven't seen anything that really captures the spirit of WI? yet.

I think that catches me up on everything.

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The scene with Punisher and the single mom is wasted screen time. She never comes back, and he barely cares enough to check on her. She is there purely to be part of the "women in refrigerators" trope.

But I can totally see the Punisher crying and being haunted by nightmares. Anyone would be, if his/her family died like that. I think it adds to the depth and complexity of the character.

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  • 2 months later...

Mr. Mercedes is long done.

Midnight Mass on Netflix was excellent. Like Salem's Lot with more religious overtones.

Curb Your Enthusiasm : never watched this before other than a few episodes. I'm almost done season 6 now and it's become one of my all-time favourite shows.

Lucifer is done and is pretty ho-hum overall.

First couple episodes of Hawkeye are pretty great. So far, it's got my vote for the best of the Live Action series.

I think that catches me up on TV stuff.

Edit: oh yeah...Only Murders in the Building which I'm still stewing over. Not sure how I feel about it, TBH

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Get Back was so good. I've heard complaints that it kind of fizzles at the end, but that's what happened. They fizzled. I was delighted to finally see the whole rooftop performance. Combined with the ineffectual police trying to shut it down, it's a great piece of cinema, and really gives the film/show a climax it deserves.

Having started season 9 yesterday, I believe I will be fully caught up on Curb Your Enthusiasm by the end of the year. The last episode of this season hits December 26th. Before this past few months, I'd only ever seen a few random episodes. This is the funniest show that's ever been on television, IMO.

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Watching "Happy" on Netflix. It is insanely entertaining to see Christopher Merloni, the straight-laced cop from Law and Order SVU, playing a drug-addled, drunkard ex-cop who beats the shit out of people for money. Patton Oswalt is just delightful as the voice of Happy, too.

Such a fucking weird show, but it all works so well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Caught up on Curb. Definitely my all-time favourite TV comedy.

Now that I'm caught up, I've started watching Barry. The first episode anyway. It was great.

Stacy and I watched the first couple episodes of Dark Side of the 90s last night. Very much the same style and format as Dark Side of the Ring (it's a Vice show). First episode was about trash TV (Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones) and the second was on the Viper Room.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

STATION ELEVEN is the first finished TV series of 2022. What a great story. It tells the post-apocalypse in a fractured timeline variably from the moment the pandemic is hitting to twenty years after the fact. LOTS of great performances in this show. Mackenzie Davis carries it really well (she was the soldier form the future in Terminator Dark Fate), Himesh Patel and Matilda Lawler I could absolutely watch a show of just those two. Good stuff.

On to Peacemaker tonight I think.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wolf Like Me is a really solid little first season. Great acting. Only six episodes though. Which sucks in this day and age because we're at a place where even really solid well-received shows aren't getting picked up for second seasons due to the pandemic. Hopefully this one gets another.

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All caught up on Peacemaker. It's really fun.

And after last night's impromptu invitation to be on a friend's podcast, I now have the desire to rewatch the entire run of The Venture Bros. before the finale comes out (probably next year). I might wait til the summer, or I might start after Folk Horror February is done. Or after the next mass watch thing I need to do.

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Finished Season 4 of Cobra Kai and I really dislike Daniel now. Especially related to his actions in the tournament. Spoiler:

Spoiler

Daniel spends the entire season determined that Miyagi-do is the only way and then berates his daughter for going on the offensive. We have to win "the right way." Except that the fighters he berated broke no rules and were not fighting dirty. Then, when he is in danger of losing, he abandons his teachings and his "principles" and embraces Cobra Kai's aggression.

Daniel is a hypocrite who abandons his "principles" when it is convenient, while holding on to his self-righteous moral superiority.

I really liked Kreese's arc though.

Spoiler

It becomes clear he cares about Johnny, almost like an adopted son. This is why Silver sees Johnny as Kreese's weakness.

Tori has always been sympathetic, and this season made Sam look like the villain in their relationship. Sam is bitter and vengeful, while Tori...

Spoiler

legitimately appears to be concerned that she hurt Sam with an unintentional elbow. Tori's relationship with Amanda is very sweet, and Sam is clearly jealous. She passes judgment on Tori ex cathedra with not a hint of sympathy.

Season 4 was a significant improvement over Season 3. Looking forward to Season 5.

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Archive 81 was a solid watch. Some really good cosmic horror mixed in with some themes I enjoy. Good stuff.

Followed that up by watching episode one of Murderville on Netflix (Will Arnett is a detective who welcomes a guest star on each episode to help him solve a murder, only the guest is the only person without a script. Episode one was Conan O'Brien. It was fun and funny. These guys are friends and Conan is fantastic at going with premises. But Stacy and I agree that this is more like a "one episode a night" kind of thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Horrible Histories (the UK version) - One of my new favorite shows. Knew of it through Ian, BBC's History Extra podcast, and You're Dead to Me, another BBC history podcast hosted by the show's main historical advisor and watched the few episodes available on Amazon Prime. Loved them and eventually discovered that the first six seasons (the last of which is actually the first season of the show's revived 2015 incarnation) were on Hulu, only to discover that they're due to leave on March 2nd 😭

It aired/aires on the CBBC (Children's BBC) but by all accounts has had a following of older viewers from the start and many references that would ten-year-olds would miss (mainly pop culture-related rather than sexual). Favorite segments include their historicized versions of The Apprentice and Bake-Off, Bob Hale's history reports, historical figures using modern social media, and Stupid Deaths.

The best part, however, are the song parodies/homages, especially the following:

Give them a watch/listen when you get the chance.

There is some gross-out humor in places, but if you can get pass that, check out the show proper.

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