Over the last month it has been a bit of a struggle for me to produce much of the content that I have set out to create for this blog. I have consumed a lot of great shows, movies, music, and podcasts that have inspired a wealth of half-written posts. There were some post ideas that were ultimately derailed by writer’s block or a lack of focus. It has been hard to watch a season of The Crown or Lady Bird and not be able to complete some of my ideas.
Unfortunately, I have been distracted by a career transition that has sapped a lot of my extracurricular energy. Next week I begin a new job that appears to be a step in the right direction. I am excited by the opportunities presented by this new position and I am confident that I will be able to resume blogging with my initial intent in mind. I enjoy engaging with other Netflix binge watchers and podcast listeners and I love being able to exchange thoughts on what we are absorbing.
Here are some of the shows, movies, and podcasts that I have enjoyed over the last month that I have not gotten around to addressing. I may revisit these for later posts, but I would hate to leave these undiscussed:
Lady Bird – I loved this movie. Greta Gerwig is insanely talented and it is hard to believe that this is her directorial debut. The evenly paced story of a high school senior and the people around her gave me a lot to think about. It did not exactly align itself with my own Catholic high school experience, but there were moments and characters that caused me to reflect on that time. This was the first movie that I can recall to look back nostalgically at the same time period that I attended high school (2000-04). To say that it made me feel a little old in the same week that I heard the Red Hot Chili Peppers on a classic rock station is an understatement.
American History Tellers – This brand new podcast is amazing. Produced by Lindsay Graham (not the senator), the podcast is nearing the end of a fantastic series on the Cold War. Each episode touches on themes such as the Space Race, the Atomic Age, the rise of the military industrial complex, and sociopolitical shifts of the era. Graham takes an immersive approach to his podcast and frequently tries to place his audience in the shoes of theoretical characters to make history come alive. Italian Catholics in New York who were unknowingly coerced into a CIA propaganda campaign, a NASA job recruiter, and a parent enrolling in the Head Start program are all figures who help to make the listener reach a greater understanding about the Cold War.
You can listen to the podcast here: art19.com
The Crown – My primary motive for watching The Crown is watching the royal family exist within the trappings of their privileged position. The detail that the series uses is typically exquisite, yet I can’t help but feel that they blew the JFK episode of season two. The depiction of the Kennedys as bumbling idiots was almost as uncomfortable as Michael C. Hall’s portrayal of the president. Despite the Camelot mythology of the time period, the First Couple was flawed. I have no issue with The Crown choosing to reveal that aspect of the Kennedy family. What should be scrutinized is how poorly a job the series did in producing a moment that should have been an otherwise easy episode and created a glaring negative of season two.
American Vandal – This is the purest true crime mockumentary that you can have. A short Netflix series about an investigation into absurd high school vandalism, the show was filmed with a lot of popular techniques used in true crime documentaries to make it seem like you are watching a bona fide investigation. As trivial as the crime may be, the funny mockumentary is so well done that I found myself watching just to find out who doodled on the faculty cars.
Sunflower Bean – An early favorite for best indie band of 2018, Sunflower Bean’s sophomore album Twentytwo In Blue comes out on March 23. The first single from the record, “I Was A Fool,” has an unmistakable Fleetwood Mac “Dreams” vibe. The song caught my attention and I was prompted to listen to their debut record Human Ceremony. I loved the indie pop sound of songs like “Easier Said” and “Come On” enough to mark Twentytwo In Blue as my first must-listen record of 2018. Sunflower Bean also has a charming cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.” Here is the throwback video for “I Was A Fool”
As I wrote this post I found my head clearing a bit. It was hard to get past an overload of half-ideas without completing them in some manner, even if it was not in their originally intended form. Feel free to comment on some of the stuff I mentioned, but don’t hesitate to include things that you’ve watched or listened to over the last month.