While we do love us some books, believe it not, we do have a life outside of reading. So to highlight our other pop culture interests, on the last Monday of each month, we each will highlight three other “happenings” from the last month. Big events on favorite TV shows, new movies we’ve watched, old movies we’ve “discovered,” etc. Pretty much whatever we found of particular interest outside of the book world during the last month. Share your own favorite things in the comments!
“Supernatural” is one of my favorite shows and at this point, it is one of those strange things that I’ve watched longer than I’ve known good friends/husbands, have lived anywhere ever, etc etc. I mean, 13 years is a lot. So it’s no surprise that this is the second time I’ve highlighted it here, and it probably won’t be the last. This season’s start came after one of the largest “mass killings” of characters the show has seen for a while. We lost Crowley, Mamma Winchester, and Castiel all in one fell swoop. It’s not an exaggeration to say the boys are at the lowest they’ve ever been. And that’s saying a lot for a series that has sent both of these guys to hell itself on more than one occasion. But of course they can’t just be left to grieve! Oh, no, nothing can be easy. And this season’s challenge comes in the form of Jack, the son of a human mother and Lucifer himself. Dean’s instinct is, of course, to shoot first, ask questions later. While Same wants to, of course, talk to Jack about his feelings. They’re going to be the worst “parents” ever, and I can’t wait to watch it all!
I love disaster movies. And I love action movies that walk the fine line between swagger and cheesiness. So it’s no surprise that I very much enjoyed the original “Pacific Rim,” questionable main character acting or not! I’m a simple-minded girl when it comes to my action movies, and robots punching monsters is fine by me. So I was very excited when I heard there was going to be a sequel, even more excited when I heard that John Boyega was going to star as the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost, and now, at excitement extreme after watching this trailer. Particularly, I love that they went all in on what was my main take away from the first film: physical weapons like swords and such are WAY more badass, and, importantly, effective, than those silly guns. I can’t wait to see what craziness this movie has in store!
Mini Series: “Death Comes to Pemberley”
I have a rotation of Jane Austen mini series and movies that I routinely cycle through when needing to decompress. The obvious ones like the BBC version of “Pride and Prejudice” are all there, as well as the more controversial ones like the late 2000s version of “Emma” which some claim strayed too far from the book (I don’t care, Johnny Lee Miller is Mr. Knightley! Say no more!). But “Death Comes to Pemberley” has managed to wiggle its way on to this list as well, starting from the severely disadvantaged position of not being, well, based on a Jane Austen novel! However, it does everything right in every other way. The acting is superb, the mystery is well-drawn, and it does what would have seemed impossible and created a believable sequel to “Pride and Prejudice.” In particular, Darcy’s struggles to really “walk to the walk” that Elizabeth has modeled for him are well-explored. Sure, she has introduced him to a new way of thinking and behaving, but when unexpected and threatening events occur, it’s not surprise that he falls back onto old habits. This is the perfect mix of romance, mystery, and historical fiction and well worth a watch for any Jane Austen fan.
I’ve had multiple people tell me that I should listen to the “Lore” Podcast. It’s both history and folklore, scary and interesting, as Aaron Mahnke researches and tells tales from history about unexplained and/or creepy things. I don’t know what took me so long to finally start listening, but now that I have I’m hooked. And for those of you who may like watching more than listening, it is now a show on Amazon Prime as well! From the history of H.H. Holmes to Robert the Doll to faerie folk tales from around the world, “Lore” approaches scary and unsettling things from a very calm and research driven perspective. The show is a bit more expanded than the podcast episodes, and gives us dramatizations of some of the most beloved podcast episodes… which ends up being very, very upsetting sometimes.
Those of you who are familiar with the “Wolf Creek” movie series know that they’re definitely not for the squeamish. They’re pretty much just Psycho Killer Mick Taylor (based on actual Australian serial killer Ivan Millat) tearing through unsuspecting tourists in the bloodiest ways possible. But then the TV show came out, and spun that idea on it’s head. Mick Taylor is still killing people, but after he kills the entire family of college student Eve, she decides that she is going to hunt him down and take her revenge. It’s a fun reversal, as now we watch as Eve and Mick stalk each other throughout the outback. John Jarratt is back as Mick, and Lucy Fry plays Eve with the perfect mix of determination, grief, and blood thirst. On top of it all, the cinematography is breathtaking, making Australia look both beautiful and daunting.
I highlighted the trailer when it first dropped a couple months ago, and now the show is finally here and it was worth the wait. As someone who has always liked crime procedurals, I was expecting it to be kind of along the same lines, but instead “Mindhunter” is more philosophical in its approach, having its characters suss things out about the minds of serial killers through conversation. Jonathan Groff is a shining star as Agent Holden Ford, a young agent who wants to try to understand the minds of serial killers in hopes of being able to predict their behavior. At times he seems naive, at other times he seems incredibly insightful, and at all times he is dedicated and intrepid. The scenes between Ford and serial killer Ed Kemper are disturbing and fascinating and are alone worth the watch.