Today’s A Month of Faves prompt is the year in books, but there are still two whole days left in the year and I may finish another book before then, so I’m catching up on the prompt from Dec. 23:
#AMonthofFaves On the Screen or in Your Ear. What did you watch this year that you absolutely loved? Did you see any movies inspired by books you’ve read – what did you think? Or, what are some of your favorite podcasts, audiobooks or songs / albums that you listened to and have on repeat.GirlXOXO
Just like last year, I’m going to break this up into two posts, one for movies and one for TV. Also just like last year, I’m going to lament the fact that figuring out what new TV I watched this year was hard. However, unlike last year, that one is probably my own fault as I had more than one person recommend a TV tracking app to me that I never used, so, you know. I really had no excuse. Plus, I deleted my Twitter account since the takeover, and it is past the point of recovery so your guess is as good as mine about what I watched prior to June. Anyway, let’s get into it.
I watched five new shows this year (that I can remember), plus finished watching all of Top Chef, including all of the episodes I hadn’t seen before.
1. Ms. Marvel (Disney+) – I was so pressed to get Disney+ specifically to watch this show, and it did not disappoint. My only complaint is that all of the lighter people on the show were good and the darker people were not. I also looked up the main villain, and it looks like they darkened that person’s skin considerably for the show to which I can only respond to with a deep ancestral sigh.
2. Celebrity Jeopardy! (ABC/Hulu) – I like this show, and I like the celebs they’ve had so far but I hate, hate, hate that people on Twitter were complaining about how easy the questions are and calling the celebs dumb. I think the questions are the right amount of difficult–they’re basic trivia recall questions but not “person who does trivia all the time” difficult. Plus it’s for charity so it’s supposed to be fun! I also realized after the last episode that Celebrity Jeopardy is also introducing some people to Jeopardy who have never seen it, so the easier questions make the show more accessible to them. Anyway, here’s Ray Romano saying it better than I did.
In conclusion, I hate intellectual snobbery.
3. The Bear (FX/Hulu) – Okay, so people on the internet kept talking about this, and a friend of mine had even posted about it on Facebook. But the thing is that they kept saying how stressful it was. So, yeah, I have this thing about stressful TV in that I don’t watch a lot of it, and I need to be in the right mood or mindset (aka usually not during the semester). Anyway, when I was at the hairdresser getting my hair dyed, her Netflix wasn’t working and this was the only show on Hulu that came to mind except for the new season of Ramy (and I wasn’t prepared to watch that yet), so I decided to give it a go.
This show is phenomenal. The storyline is good, the acting is good (excellent), it was super engaging, and I finished the entire series while I was getting my hair done. I was invested. And I loved the memes. And I also rewatched the show while my friend was in town, so.
Anyway, here’s a good (spoiler-filled) review of the show that basically matches my experience of watching it: ‘The Bear’ Is the Most Stressful Thing on TV Right Now. It’s Also Great.
I will also add that one of the things that makes me the happiest about the show is how pure Sydney’s hatred of Ritchie is. It is so subtly and well-played and delicious. I hope someone nominates the actress for an award because, seriously, it is chef’s kiss (no pun intended, but it works).
4. Ghosts CBS – I watched this because a friend of mine (the same friend who talked about The Bear) insisted that it was cute, no really. I love the UK version of the show (aka the blueprint) and had tried watching this one almost immediately after finishing that one which was a mistake. The UK version is a solid A++++ for me whereas this one is about a B. The biggest and most jarring change is how little subtlety there is to the US one.
That said, the show is cute and a pleasant way to spend 20 minutes. The premise is the same: woman inherits house, has near death experience and can then see the ghosts from different eras who live on the property. One thing that the US version does do better is expand the world of the story beyond the house, so that’s fun. I will also say that the episode with the land acknowledgement explained it in a way that made sense to me as a necessary thing even though I got the general gist of it before (and that’s speaking as an academic where I encounter them all the time).
I rewatched the pilot with my daughter and my friend’s kids and they laughed out loud several times, so it also could just be that I’m too old/jaded/cynical to appreciate the funny.
5. Hawkeye (Disney+) – Buoyed by my enjoyment of Ms. Marvel, I decided to give Hawkeye a try even though he is probably the Avenger I care about the least. However! Someone I trust said she enjoyed the show, so I decided to give it a go, and I am glad I did because it’s set at CHRISTMAS. Perfect timing for me, thank you very much. It’s also about a female college student being a total badass, so yeah I was into it. Next up is reading the Kate Bishop comics because I need more of her story, stat.
Also: ROGERS: THE MUSICAL! It brings me so much joy. I can’t. I need it to be real, honestly.
I also watched the new seasons of Bridgerton and Never Have I Ever as well as the last season of Derry Girls. All I’ll say about the finale of Derry Girls is that I felt like the big conflict came out of nowhere as it was something that could have previously been mentioned with a throwaway line or something in the first season, especially with James’s arrival, or even the beginning of the last season. It felt so tacked on and like “oh we should talk about this” instead of it already being a part of the makeup of the characters and their relationships. Also, they should have saved the big move for the end of the episode instead of the beginning. I get it but also…it’s a TV show. Let’s just make it work for now, eh?