What I Watched, What You Watched #55

It’s been a long week, you guys. While I planned on posting a ton of reviews for the films I’ve seen in this past week, a computer crash resulting in the loss of my 10,000 word Best of Television list forced me to focus my attention on recreating that (it is now up and can be found right here). Reviews will be coming this week of The Greatest Showman, Phantom Thread, and The Post. However, I will whet your whistles with a few teasers: like most critics, I am embarrassed to say I liked The Greatest Showman; Phantom Thread is an odd film by Paul Thomas Anderson in that it didn’t feel like a PTA film, but I absolutely adored it; and The Post never feels like anything more than “Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks save America,” but let’s be honest: isn’t that what we all want and showed up for?

I also went to the theaters to see the Jane Goodall documentary Jane. I will be doing a write-up on the documentaries I saw this year fairly soon, but I will say this: not only is it an interesting documentary, but anything that involves chimpanzees is an automatic passing grade. On the other end of the spectrum, The House. I love every single actor in this movie, so I don’t want to say anything too negative about it here. You can hear more about it in my upcoming worst of the year article. I also watched the classic Duck and Cover short from the 50s, which…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, and I started The Unbearable Lightness of Being, because if Daniel Day-Lewis is going to end his career with a sexy thriller (even if Phantom Thread is incredibly chaste), then I might as well see him begin his career with a sexy thriller. I’m only half an hour in (because it is three hours long, good God), but I will say I am quite enjoying it, and Juliette Binoche is a Queen.

On television, there’s really nothing different so far. I’m mostly done with my TV viewing from 2017, meaning I can begin to relax and watch for fun again. I’m about halfway through The Vietnam War, which is starting to get good because this is the point in history when things start happening. I also watched all of the great family shows on ABC, with black-ish, Modern Family, and The Middle standing out as special. If you’re wondering why I didn’t list The Goldbergs, it’s because I want to give it a special mention, because its portrayal of a family going out to dinner is so painfully realistic and hilarious it is already a contender (albeit a weak one) for next year’s Best TV Episodes list. And of course, I ended my week with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Saturday Night Live. Sam Rockwell was an energetic host on the latter, even if the material didn’t live up to his talents (also: give him better writers so Bill Murray can play Steve Bannon for all eternity). And Crazy Ex-Girlfriend delivered a fine episode that delivered up a damn near perfect 100th song (that’s truly insane in two and a half seasons). All in all, I’d say that television kept me entertained throughout, and it was a good way to distress after a stressful week.

What about you? Watch anything good this week? See any great movies? I haven’t had a chance to see Proud Mary or Paddington 2 yet, but I’ve heard good things. Did you see them? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll see you next week as we get one week closer to the Oscar race!

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