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!
I’ve been pretty diligent with my Marvel Netflix show watching. That said, there have been some definite misses of late and I had started getting lazy. Truth time: I didn’t even finish the second season of Luke Cage. And honestly, given that it was cancelled shortly after, I count this as a lucky miss. But I’ve always loved “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones.” Both had stellar first seasons and second seasons that dragged a bit but were still good quality. So this is the first (and maybe last with all of the cancellations?!) of the Marvel Netflix shows to get a third season. And man, if this one is evidence of anything, it’s that some series can get even stronger as they go! This was not only the best season for this show in particular but vies for a tie with my ultimate favorite in “Jessica Jones” season 1. It’s also one of the few shows that fully takes advantage of its 13 episode format and doesn’t ever succumb to filler plot lines. I love the intense look into Matt’s Catholic faith that comes to the forefront in this season, as well as the payoff in such a well-defined villain as Kingpin has become. It ties things up quite nicely, but I can’t help but wish for a fourth season if this is the quality we can expect!
It’s time once again for me to remind readers that yes, I still watch this long-running reality TV show and yes, I love it enough to post it publicly on this blog. Look, it’s not that I love reality TV in general, but I have weaknesses towards certain things and other than cooking contest shows (my other main reality TV fare), “Survivor” hits on them all. Drama, but not stupid, relationship drama. Outdoorsy survival situations. And physical competitions. There’s no denying that it’s pretty impressive that a show that started in what, 2000, is still on today. And it speaks to the lasting appeal of the concept. I mean, who doesn’t have fun watching others willing place themselves into situations where it’s pretty much ongoing suffering and betrayal? Beyond that, it’s always thrilling to see the players who truly excel, and this season has a great cast of characters, many of whom I’d be happy to see win. Of course, this means they will all lose, since it’s been a while since my ultimate favorite has won. But I can hope anew each season!
Yes, that looks like a regular, old tabby cat in the picture. But guess what?! It’s not! It’s a Scottish Wildcat, the only wild “big cat” in the UK. I had never heard of these cats before, but when I saw this documentary floating around Netflix, of course I jumped on it. I mean, cats…need I say more? The hour-long documentary discusses the fragile state of the Scottish Wildcat, noting that there are perhaps only less than 100 living wild in Scotland today. Conservation efforts, challenges, and the unique makeup that marks the Scottish Wildcat as a distinct species are all covered. Plus, it’s just gorgeous and there are a lot of shots of adorable cats. I can attest to the fact that the show is only improved when watched with one’s own feline companion sleeping on one’s lap.
As a true crime aficionado and true crime obsessive, I’m always on the look out for true crime podcasts that can keep me sated until the next episode of “Last Podcast on the Left” or “My Favorite Murder” is released. One that I have recently started listening to is “Casefile”, a podcast from Australia. Like “Last Pod” and “MFM”, “Casefile covers a litany of true crimes from all over the world, but unlike the previous two it is far more ‘just the facts’ without the humorous commentary. The host is an anonymous Australian man who tells the stories with a serious tone, and the cases range from murder to The Dark Web Silk Road to theft to fraud. For those of you who want accuracy, the research is impeccable. If you like true crime but aren’t comfortable with the shows that combine as such with black humor, “Casefile” might be a good fit for you! I’ve found it very informative and fascinating.
I’m not horribly late to this show, as I did watch Season 1 on and off earlier this year, but it wasn’t until I got my husband into it that I really dove headfirst into “The Good Place”. This incredibly hilarious and also supremely heart felt show not only explores day to day ethics and philosophy, but it showcases a stellar cast whose chemistry is off the charts. Everyone is cast perfectly, and the plot lines are whimsical as well as dark. And even though there is something of a surprise ending to Season 1, Season 2 is able to roll with some interesting changes and upheavals. We’ve been enjoying unwinding with this show this month, as it really does know how to make the viewer feel pretty good as well as think deeply about philosophical hypotheticals.
I never played “Red Dead Redemption” back when it came out, but like many popular games it had been in my husband’s library. I had heard a lot of buzz about “Red Dead Redemption 2”, and was already interested in it because of what I’d heard. Then I decided to give it a whirl, and boy am I glad that I did. I’m not big into Westerns, but this game definitely has a lot of themes within it that I do enjoy: loyalty, morality, justice, and just plain out being an outlaw. I’m not very good at it (shooting games are really tough for me mechanics wise), but there are enough side missions and open world sandbox aspects that I can just pet my horse, fish, and wander around to my heart’s content, helping people along the way. And yeah, screwing others over is pretty fun too.