What I’m Watching: July/Early August

As usual, I’m late in starting what I want to be a new, regular feature of the blog. I already let you know what I’m reading and listening to. Stealing from Jason Kottke, I want to start sharing the other media that I consume each month.

This was meant to be shared at the beginning of August, but I wanted to finish one thing on the list before I posted.


American Experience: Chasing the Moon, The Farthest Home, Death Dive to Saturn. L and I have been on a space exploration kick all summer and these shows were the latest in our research on the topic. The Chasing the Moon shows were really good and they reinforced the sheer incredibility of the effort to reach the moon. Even 50 years later it is absolutely stunning that it worked. For all the amazing things that we have done with technology since then, we would have trouble putting a man on the moon tomorrow if we had to. I was more into the other two docs, the first about the Voyager missions and the second about the Cassini mission, than L was. In fact she generally either fell asleep or left the room during them. But I enjoyed them, especially the Voyager show, as I remember learning a lot about those missions in school in the late ‘70s. Again, it’s amazing what we were able to do with relatively primitive technology. More amazing that the two Voyager craft are still operational. A, A-, B-.


Narcos, Season 2. This is a show that has been on my list for awhile. I watched season one in May and then put off getting into season two for awhile, finally finishing it over the weekend. Overall, I thought it was really good. It had some flaws, and it also had some elements that are beginning to feel required in shows like this, i.e. high-brow cable/streaming dramas. But what pulled the show through were a series of fine acting jobs, none better than Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar. Moura was mesmerizing and turned a man who was a brutal killer into a sympathetic character. The final episode recalled the last episode of season one of Stranger Things in how it wonderfully tied up all the loose ends of the first two seasons while taking just a moment at the end to throw out some leads into the next season. A-.


Megamind. Out of nowhere L decided to watch this like three days in a row, saying it was her favorite movie ever. Which surprised me as she had never expressed that opinion before. It’s good, I laughed quite a bit the one time I sat down and watched with her. But I don’t know that it’s the best of the animated movies we’ve watched over the years. Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and David Cross do great vocal work. B+.


Holey Moly. Another show L and I watched together.1 It hit two sweet spots: Steph Curry for L and golf, well miniature golf, for me. It’s dumb, heavily edited to squeeze into 44 minutes, and filled with “contestants” who seem too wacky to not be actors. Plus hosts Joe Tessitore and Rob Riggle generally annoy me on their own. Together they are barely tolerable. But L likes it. C- for me, A- for L.


The Ugly Truth. L did not watch this with me. I think she passed through the room while it was on and we had to chase her out as it hit on some adult content. Rather, this was a movie S picked randomly one evening and I half-watched while reading. I found it lazily written, cruel at times, far too crass at others. But, come on, watching Katherine Heigl made it worth keeping an eye on. Apparently the ladies like Gerard Butler in the same way. D+ on content, A+ on eye candy.


Spider-Man: Far From Home and Spider-Man: Homecoming. I’ve mostly avoided the Marvel superhero movies over the years. C is really into them, though, and L likes Spider-Man, so the three of us went to see the latest, Spider-Man: Far From Home last week. It was really good! Then L and I grabbed Homecoming at the library and watched it over the weekend. Again, pretty good! Now is this because all the movies are good, or just because Spider-Man is the one superhero I ever liked as a kid? All I’ll say is that if L wants to watch some of the other Marvel universe films, I may be ready to join her. Also, I laughed at Michael Keaton playing Vulture. L asked why I was laughing and I explained that he was Bat-Man when I was in college and it amused me that he turned into a Marvel villain. A/A.


  1. Sensing a trend? M and C watch their own shows on their devices in their rooms. 

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