Wow, November was a busy month for media consumption, particularly TV, and a horrible month for music. I have a ton of time off in December so this trend is likely to continue into the holidays. But let’s talk about November media bites…
The Irishman – Wow. This movie was great. Ali and I were lucky to see it in the theaters, which I think this movie definitely deserves. It’s unfortunate that Netflix canceled the national theatrical release for this movie. De Niro, Pacino, and the entire cast were great in this, especially Joe Pesci, who I definitely see getting an Oscar nomination for this. It’s a long movie, so if you are going to watch this at home on Netflix I highly suggest trying to resist the urge to look at your phones or computers, it requires your attention.
Knives Out – I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie for a long time, and we were lucky enough to get into a sneak preview screening before its wide opening and it was as good as we thought it would be. It opens wide on Thanksgiving so I don’t want to say anything to avoid spoiling the movie. The only thing I will say is that you should see this.
Downton Abbey – After binging on all six seasons of the show we had to wait a good two weeks for the movie to actually hit home video so we could watch it. And honestly? It was just okay. I don’t really see the need for it to be made. Maybe if I watched the show when it originally aired and have a few years in between and a look in at where the characters where I would have liked it more? As it stands nothing really happened in the movie and it seems like they could have done so much more with the storyline of the royal family visiting Downton.
Downtown Abbey (S4-6) / Amazon – We powered through this show pretty quickly, thanks to the BBC/UK way of doing televisions shows/series that I wish more US networks would adopt (some streaming services are doing this now). Overall we enjoyed the season, even though the writing could at times be very pedestrian and overly melodramatic (which I know is kind of the point).
The Mandalorian / Disney+ – Holy crap, this show. I don’t want to say much since it’s still ongoing and I could possibly spoil things, but this show is worth checking out. The ending of the first episode will instantly hook you if you’re not already hooked.
Gargoyles (S1-2) / Disney+ – This was the show I was most excited to watch when signing up for Disney+. I was a huge fan of Gargoyles when it originally aired even though I was probably too old for it back then (yeah I was in high school and definitely too old for it but I don’t care). The show definitely holds up for me – for what it is – a kid’s show that borrows stories, characters, themes, and mythologies from Shakespeare, King Arthur, Nordic mythology, and more. The animation hasn’t aged well, but I’ve seen much worse. Unlike other shows where I tried to relive and enjoy the nostalgia, this rewatch definitely hit the mark for me.
Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles (S1) / Disney+ – Terrible. The storyline continuation was a good idea but was poorly executed. The animation was so bad, even by 90’s Saturday morning cartoon standards. Judging by the IMDb cast list it also looks like they also cheaped out on casting and how many episodes actors appeared in, including the main cast. Many fans of the original series ignore this show, and now I can see why.
The Morning Show / AppleTV+ – I think this is the big flagship Apple TV+ show, and it’s… okay. The first episode was really rough. The writing was all over the place but over the next few episodes they seemed to reel it in a bit and figure out how to write for the characters and actors. It’s still iffy on the show, but it’s not terrible. There is a lot of Apple product placement in this show though. I don’t know if it’s more noticeable because it’s an Apple show and I’m seeing it more or what.
Modern Love / Amazon Prime – This is a type of show I wish was created more. Each episode is a different story, different couple, different theme. The show is very much like Paris. Je T’Aime and New York, I Love You, but is based on real stories from a column in the New York Times that explored relationships.
There are eight episodes, some are really good, some are okay, a few were blah, but overall a good show and I look forward to season two. The standout episodes to me were the Dev Patel/Catherine Keener, Anne Hathaway/Gary Carr, and Tina Fey/John Slattery episodes.
The Watchmen / HBO – This may be my favorite show of the year which is really strange because I didn’t care for the comic or the movie. The show, however, is slightly different. It takes place 30 some odd years after the events of the comic and features some characters from the original series, but it is a totally new story. It’s really engaging in every facet. The storytelling, cinematography, acting, score, editing, everything is top-notch.
Jack Ryan (S2) / Amazon Prime – We were really into the first season but just couldn’t find our way into the second season. We had to force ourselves to finish the season around episode 6 or so.
- Walking on a String by Matt Berninger and Phoebe Bridgers (Apple Music / Spotify)
- Ice Cream Party by Modest Mouse (Apple Music / Spotify)
- Ever Fallen in Love by Thursday (Apple Music / Spotify)
Like I did for 2018, I’ve been keeping both an Apple Music playlist and Spotify playlist updated that includes all of my favorite new songs from 2019.
Here is the 2018 playlist: Apple Music / Spotify.
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend: Eric Idle – I love Eric Idle. I love all the Pythons, but I think Eric was always my favorite. I saw him live a long time ago with my father and we had such a great time as he and others recreated classic Monty Python bits. This discussion was a lot of fun, I just wish it was longer.
P.O.D. Kast – This is a monthly podcast that looks back at classic nu-metal albums and discusses them. Yes, classic. Most of them are 20 years old or so, so…classic. The first three episodes looked at Limp Bizkit’s Significant Other, Korn’s self-titled debut, and Deftones’ Around the Fur. All albums I loved in high school and had to give a follow-up listen to after each episode. Limp Bizkit’s was fun but doesn’t hold up for me anymore. It’s not something I will put on out of the blue. The same probably goes for Korn as well. Deftones, however, is still one of my favorite bands, and their older albums are usually in regular rotation. I probably won’t stick around of all of the episodes of this podcast, but will definitely listen to the albums I know and love.