Sunday, March 19, 2017

Puzzle from January

I did this very challenging 750-piece puzzle in January. VERY challenging and satisfying.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Amy Schumer, The Leather Special

I didn't think Amy Schumer's The Leather Special was that funny, and at times it was annoying. I totally love her and was excited to watch, but was disappointed. Her perspective is great and this special did not lessen my appreciation of her. Looking forward to the next project.

The Eighties

The multi-episode CNN documentary series The Eighties kind of depressed me. It made me feel so old. The eighties was my coming of age decade, and it was weird to see it presented sort of as a historical relic. The episodes focused on television, Reagan's presidency, AIDS, nuclear disarmament, technology, music, and wall street excesses and deregulation. It was fascinating and I wanted more details on every single segment. Looking back it seemed like a more innocent and homier time, but I guess that is "the ruinous work of nostalgia".

Being There

I was nervous to watch the beloved Being There which I hadn't seen in decades. I was afraid it wouldn't hold up. It does have a slightly dated feel, but it is lovely and engaging and funny and absolutely does hold up. Peter Sellers as Chance the gardener, or Chauncy Gardener, is painfully endearing. His clueless egolessness... And the running gag about they way others project expectations on his simplicity doesn't get draining. I was kind of uncomfortable with the romantic/sexual relationship in the movie, but tried to just accept it.

Jen Kirkman Just Keep Livin'

I thought Jen Kirkman's special, Just Keep Livin' was mostly annoying. Nothing really made me laugh and her personality grated on me. She seems like someone at a party who thinks they are far more entertaining than they actually are and everyone has to smile and give them the attention they need.

Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes

Mike Birbiglia's new Netflix special, Thank God for Jokes, is enjoyable. I really loved his earlier special. This one didn't seem quite as tight, but I like his perspective and there is something affable and pleasant about him that I enjoy. Looking forward to more from him.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

A couple of weeks ago I watched all episodes of The People vs OJ Simpson, and the entire time I was wishing I had just read the book instead. I like Toobin's style and his detail, and the TV version seemed miscast to me. I seriously thought John Travolta was playing for laughs and had to ask my brother if it was supposed to be funny. Cuba Gooding Jr. did not convey the style of arrogance that I remember OJ projecting at the time, and in his strongest emotional moments he seemed merely petulant. David Schwimmer spent the entire series with the same idiotic expression on his face.

Race and racial tension are a crucial part of the story, and the TV show did a good job of centralizing it. But I don't think it contextualized it as well as it could have. Scenes of people arguing on the streets, and newscasters expressing fears about riots helped convey the way this case tapped into so many nerves, but it still seemed TV-movie-ish, and fell flat for me.