I’ve had a hard time really getting into TV shows of late (other than Twin Peaks and Better Call Saul), and so was pretty excited to see GLOW finally show up on Netflix. The premise sounded great — the making of a women’s wrestling show in the 80s — and the trailer I’d seen looked awesome. I’ve just watched the first episode, but really enjoyed it, and I think this is going to be right up my alley. I haven’t been in love with anything from Netflix since the second season of Master of None (having a hard time getting into the new seasons of Kimmy and House of Cards), so it’s good to get this.
Strangely, I’m having a hard time finding the drive to watch this new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I loved the first two seasons to death, and was super excited to get a new season last month. But I’ve watched the first 2-3 episodes, and they’re just not hitting for me. I don’t think it’s awful, but I’m not laughing like I used to, and I just feel a bit bored watching them — the musical sequence with Titus was a chore to watch for me, yet I’ve loved all the ones he’s done in the past. I’m not sure if it’s just that I haven’t been in the right mood to watch it, and I do plan on watching more, but I’m quite surprised by my lack of enthusiasm for season 3 so far.
I watched the first episode of Into the Badlands back when it originally aired, and thought it was pretty good, but at the time I didn’t end up watching the rest of that first season (it takes a lot to get me to watch stuff on a weekly basis these days). After being incredibly disappointed by the Iron First Netflix series, and then seeing that a second season of Into the Badlands was beginning to air, I was reminded to go and check out the series again, and have done just that (and re-watched that first episode again as well). Man, what a great fucking series. This is the type of fight sequences we should have gotten in Iron Fist. The setting is cool, there are a lot of great characters (I especially like The Widow), and as I said, the battles are all top notch. Very much looking forward to watching the second season as well.
It’s been less than 24 hours since the airing of the first 2 episodes of the new Twin Peaks series (followed by parts 3 and 4 which are available on streaming services), and I’ve already watched all 4 episodes twice. What to say. Yes, I like it, but it’s definitely very far from what I was expecting — and I kinda love it for that. Frost and Lynch have not gone soft, and instead have amped up the weirdness and supernatural elements, to a degree we never saw in the original series. It’s definitely darker than the original show, more on par with the film (which I’ve said I don’t quite like), but it’s still adding more whimsy than we saw in the film — and I think that despite all the darkness, it works best because of the serialized form we’re offered (instead of in one concentrated 2-hour chunk). It’s a slow start, but Lynch has said that for him this is to be taken as 1 movie, separated in 18 parts, not episodes. I think it was good that they gave us 4 episodes right away, because it lets you take in more of what this series is going to offer — more than what you get from just the first 2 episodes. And I thought that the second viewing was even more interesting, but that’s maybe because I had so much pent up anticipation and excitement leading up to the premiere, that I was probably in shock while watching most of it, and so the re-watching let me take in everything better, with expectations already in check. What they are doing here is definitely ballsy — I can’t imagine what it must be like trying to watch this if you’ve never watched Twin Peaks before (never mind countless times like me), because this is the deepest dive yet we’ve seen into all of the supernatural mythology that has surrounded the series. In fact, it’s now the main focus (at least in these first 4 episodes). The best is that there’s just so much mystery going on that my wife and I have already had multiple discussions trying to dissect everything (we’ve both watched it twice together). I think they’ve managed to push the envelope just like they did back in 1990 with the original two seasons, instead of just playing nice and doing a retread of what those seasons were like, and that’s something I can definitely get behind.
Twin Peaks is my all-time favorite TV series. I first watched it when it originally aired, and since then I revisit it on a regular basis. Because we were about to get a new season of episodes (kicking off tonight), I decided to re-watch the series yet again from last month (I think it’s maybe my 6th viewing), which I finished last week. I also re-watched the Fire Walk With Me movie, which I don’t really like — because of the overly dark tone (and lack of Mark Frost) it just doesn’t feel very Twin Peaks-y (but that said, I’ve still re-watched a bunch of times). I had heard that the new season would pick up a lot of stuff from the movie, and it was indeed interesting to re-watch it with that in mind, since it did introduce things that we hadn’t seen in the TV series. So yeah, I’m now completely ready for tonight’s season premiere — including today’s purchase of cherry pie and donuts.
I didn’t get a chance to post my regular Sunday morning cartoon round-up last week, so I’m combining two Sundays in one. The big news is of course that Samurai Jack‘s new episode run is now over, and what an ending that was. I’m so thankful to Genndy Tartakovsky for producing this amazing extra season of the show, and giving the series a proper ending. I loved seeing Jack and Ashi’s relationship truly blossom in the final two episodes (despite the dark turn it takes) and I really wasn’t expecting to see something so final. I’m of course sad that I will no longer be getting new episodes of Samurai Jack on a weekly basis, but at least I got this lovely 10-week resurgence.
I’m still watching the second season of Mickey Mouse shorts, with last week’s shorts taking the form of “Eau de Minnie” and “O Futebol Classico” (which was by far the stronger of the two), and this week watching “Down the Hatch” (I loved the bit where they play hard rock with Donald’s vocal chords) and “Goofy’s Grandma.” For last week’s Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies short, I watched the still incredible “Duck Dodgers in the 24th and a Half Century” — still one of my favorite Looney Tunes settings. Today I watched “Speedy Gonzales,” which acts as the intro to the character.
For the last thing, both last week and today, I decided to start a re-watch of the old The Scooby-Doo Show — I’ve watched tons of Scooby-Doo series in my life, but that’s the one that I remember the most (the episodes originally aired in 1976-78, but I probably watched it in the 80s as reruns). I’ve watched the first 2 episodes, and it’s pretty fun, although the stories are incredibly dumb — they barely try to make the mystery interesting. And I’d completely forgotten that this series had a laugh track, which comes off as weird. But it’s been fun, especially since it’s been so long since I’ve watched anything from Hanna-Barbera.
The second season of Master of None is just perfect (and the first season was pretty damn great too). It debuted on Netflix yesterday, and I watched the whole thing — episodes 1-2 at lunch time, and then 3-10 non-stop in the evening. I just loved it so damn much. Each episode feels like this perfect little movie (sort of like the second season of Louie did), and the episodes directed by Ansari were especially great (loved the opener in black & white). And that episode 6, just fantastic. The strength of the series is that it doesn’t usually go where you would assume it would go with something, and each story is just so captivating (for the most part, I’d say the weakest bit is the whole Chef Jeff bit). I’m just sad that I’ve now watched it all, and have another year to wait for another season (if there is one). Oh, and the ending was just perfect.
I thought this week’s Samurai Jack was a bit on the weak side, but I did enjoy the coming together of Jack and Aki — yes, it was bound to happen, but it was still satisfying to see them embrace at the end. Tangled was Tangled (I like the series for the animation more than the story), and then I kicked off the second season of Mickey Mouse shorts with “Cable Car Chaos” and “Fire Escape.” For this week’s Looney Tunes short (or Merry Melodies, rather), I watched “Duck Amuck” (pictured), which is definitely one of the all-time classics — it’s just so deliciously meta, and feels quite avant-garde. I capped things off with some Ren & Stimpy, in the form of “Robin Hoek,” with a little Powdered Toast Man mixed in.
Sure, I don’t really watch TV shows in real time anymore, but with all the buzz surrounding it, I was curious to check out the first episode of American Gods. I’ve never read the Neil Gaiman book its based on, so don’t know much about the story other than the descriptions I’ve read, which is that modern gods roam the Earth. How’s the TV show? Well, it’s still too early to tell where the story is going, but there were some pretty neat moments — that sex scene was pretty eye opening. The production values seem to be through the roof, so it’s certainly nice to look at. I’m definitely interested in watching more.
When Double Fine Productions did its previous Amnesia Fortnight in 2014, and documented it through a web series, it was one of my favorite “TV” shows of that year. They’re at it again, and although the game jam itself ended a few days ago, all the episodes of the documentary series aren’t out yet (they’ve covered the first 5 days so far), but I’m yet again really enjoyed following all the teams as they try and produce a great game prototype in less than two weeks. You’ll find all the episodes here.