What I Watched, What You Watched #54

I cannot get over how great a year 2017 has been for pop culture. I mean, I saw three films in theaters this week that would be my Top Three of any other year, and yet at the moment, only one is in the Top Three, another is in my Top Ten, and another just missed the cut. Reviews are coming later this week, but I will say that if you get the chance, go see I, Tonya, Call Me By Your Name, and Hostiles, preferably on the big screen.

Outside of the theaters, I didn’t watch many movies at home. I spent most of my time catching up on the best television of the year (more on that in a minute). I did, however, watch two movies from 2017. The first was CHIPs, and my God was it bad. It wasn’t quite the worst thing of the year, but…it was just so boring. It wasn’t quite offensive enough to inspire anger, it wasn’t bad enough to raise intrigue, and it wasn’t good enough to inspire joy. It just kind of dragged on as some sort of endless torture. Yeah, skip that one. Meanwhile, I saw the critical darling Beatriz at Dinner not long after, and was equally disappointed. You have the killer setup of an activist immigrant woman doing battle with a billionaire hunter, starring Salma Hayek and John Lithgow, and you somehow drop that ball? What a shame.

However, my television days were much more enjoyable. I’m finally caught up on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and man, is it wonderful. Definitely one of the greatest shows of all time. I also saw another episode of GLOW, which continues to make me laugh. While I don’t plan on including the show itself on the list (I sort of fell off after season 3), I did watch the Girls episode “American B*tch,” which is rightfully funny, depressing, and infuriating. I watched a few more episodes of Master of None, to see how the entire season fared, and I found it funny, sweet, and perfectly crafted (the first episode “The Thief” is the perfect ode to The Bicycle Thief, in case you haven’t seen it). The show has tough competition for my end of year list, however, thanks to The Handmaid’s Tale. I won’t say everything on this dark dystopian thriller works, because it’s working with some really avant-garde direction, but when it works, it looks gorgeous, the dialogue hits home, and the performances of Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel, and especially Ann Dowd are extraordinary. My God, the Dowd vs. Dern showdown at the Globes is going to be brutal. Oh, and on a non-television note, I’ve been reading more of The Handmaid’s Tale, the book, and while there are certain stylistic choices that rub me the wrong way, I’m really loving Atwood’s writing. And finally, I watched Black Mirror’s “USS Callister,” and emotionally, I’m torn between righteous fury and wanting Jesse Plemons to play William Shatner for the rest of his life (on a side note, Plemons, Cristin Milioti, and Jimmi Simpson need to be in everything, ever).

How about you? Did you watch any good TV this week? See anything good at the movies? What about reading? I’ve heard there are one or two interesting books that came out this week that people are talking about. Let me know in the comments, and get ready for the Golden Globes tonight!

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