Due to a hectic work schedule, a few previously planned outings, and so on, I didn’t have a chance to watch too much this week. I hope to rectify this later this week, but in the meantime, let’s take a quick look at the movies, shows, and plays I did manage to see!
At home, I continued my Marvel marathon with two films I had not seen, Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3. I will give credit to Iron Man 2 for some interesting ideas and for a conclusion dedicated to actually saving people (not to mention Sam Rockwell’s spirited performance), but otherwise it is pretty, pretty, pretty bad. Meanwhile, Iron Man 3 is pretty goofy as hell, but damn does Shane Black know how to write. It’s snarky, ironic, and the Air Force One sequence is easily one of the best Marvel action sequences to date. And finally, I concluded my week by showing my brother Mandy, which is still a masterpiece of bizarre, surreal horror, thanks to great performances and great direction.
Of course, the bulk of my pop culture viewing this week was actually done on television. With March Madness kicking off and giving me a chance to lose money once again, I’ve been fixated on the television whenever U of M, Gonzaga, or Duke plays (the Duke game in particular was truly stunning to watch). Meanwhile, in order to catch up with Season Three of the show, I’ve started to revisit True Detective, a show I’m finding was a lot goofier than I remembered, but nevertheless featured stellar performances from Woody Harrelson and especially Matthew McConaughey. On live television, Black Monday continues to limp forward to its conclusion while Miracle Workers continues to get better and better (Steve Buscemi is truly phenomenal on the show). You’re the Worst is continuing to put out lovely and funny episodes, but I’m beginning to worry they may botch the dismount, How I Met Your Mother style. The show I’m not worried about sticking the landing is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which continues to put out great episode after great episode as we reach the final two of the season. And finally, we have the weirdest moment ever put on television: “Big Fun,” Riverdale’s tribute to Heathers. I don’t know why Riverdale, aka the show that asked the question that no one asked, “What if Archie was in Twin Peaks?”, decided to do a tribute episode to one of the best musicals ever written, or why they thought they could get away with it on network TV, but it exists, and it is as insane as it sounds. There are random swooshes, a cult, weirdly censored lyrics, AutoTune, and a general sense of tone deafness that makes the later seasons of Glee look like a masterpiece. I love it about as much as it infuriates me (both are a lot).
Oh, and before moving forward with this “What I Watched” piece, I should confirm that Wednesday night, I finally saw the hit musical Hamilton. Now, let me tell you a little something about both myself and Hamilton. There are a lot of shows where you can listen to the album and emerge going “I have a feel for this show.” Les Mis can be like that. Phantom is like that. Rent is like that. Hamilton is not like that. There is truly nothing like seeing Hamilton live. It is a magical, transcendent experience that feels both like history come to life and history being made. It may be one of the greatest theatrical moments of my life. Should you get the chance (which I understand is not the easiest thing in the world), you should absolutely take advantage of the opportunity. And for cheaper entertainment, Unspooled recently released an episode of their podcast centered on West Side Story, which proved to be both riveting in terms of its back and forth between Amy Nicholson and Paul Scheer as well as exciting thanks to Scheer’s previous lack of knowledge about the film and his newfound love. It’s well worth the listen – easily one of the best podcast episodes of the year.
This concludes this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched! Thank you for reading, and I promise there will be much more to talk about in next week’s write-up. In the meantime, let me know in the comments what you think of the films I watched this week, as well as what films and shows you’ve been watching. I’ll see you all next time!