Not Just Books: December 2021

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!

Serena’s Picks

TV Show: “Miss Scarlet and the Duke”

I’ve had my eyes on this one for a while, but I was waiting for an open chunk of time when I could binge watch the entire six episode season. And that time finally came last week when the boys went to their Grandparents’ and I had a free day at home! So binge away I did! And I can’t really say I was surprised by it, I knew I was going to love it going in! Historical mystery featuring a woman investigator and her gruff and grumpy companion with whom she shares a bantering, quasi-flirty relationship? All of those are my things! So yes, I really liked this and now am eagerly awaiting season 2.

Movie: “Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Again, on said free day from the boys, my husband and I took advantage of our time and went to see this movie on opening night. It was a great theatrical experience all around! There are a lot of spoilers for this movie, so I was glad we got in early so we were able to experience it with fresh eyes. It was also fun being part of an audience who was doing the same: gasping at the same moments, applauding on and off throughout, and generally just having a great time! I really, really liked this movie. Probably my favorite of the three new Spider-Mans and definitely in my top picks of all of the Marvel movies. If you’re a superhero fan, this is definitely one to see!

Podcast: “Binge Mode: Marvel”

Given how much I enjoyed Binge Mode’s podcasts for “Game of Thrones” and most especially “Harry Potter,” it was only a matter of time before I got to this! But having watched a few other Marvel movies recently and knowing that the new “Spider-Man” was coming out this month, I thought now was the time to dive in! As usually, this podcast is great. They dive into all of the origins and easter eggs fo the movies that only the most avid comic readers would have recognized. They also do great work tying together the themes and larger moving story that connects all of these movies. A really fun cast!

Kate’s Picks

TV Show: “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars”

So I actually didn’t sit down and watch “All Stars” Season 5, for a couple of reasons. The first was that I was still bitter about how my girl Manila Luzon was screwed out of her rightful crown in Season 4. The second was that I LOVE the winning queen with all my heart, but it was pretty clear the moment she walked into the workroom that she was going to win Season 5. After not watching 5, I was less motivated to start 6. But on my birthday I decided to finally start Season 6, and my gosh! I was completely blown away by the sheer talent that almost every returning contestant brought to the competition! There were so many worthy queens who were bringing it every week that I genuinely had no clue who was going to be added to the Hall of Fame by the end of the season! I also finally got to see the new elimination format, and I really liked it this time around (especially since it cuts down on the possibility that a weaker queen could eliminate a stronger one after one off week). This season was really enjoyable, and I was happy with the winner (and would have been happy with ANY of the Top 3 winning)!

TV Show: “Succession”

For awhile I’ve been seeing the social media hype for HBO’s dark comedy “Succession”, about a morally bankrupt billionaire family that has a hold on media but is constantly at odds with each other, and decided to give it a whirl this past month while baking Christmas cookies. And man oh man, did the hype live up to itself for me, as I am officially addicted to this show! As mentioned, it follows the powerful Roy family, a media dynasty that is very clearly a take on the Murdoch family, as their patriarch Logan starts to shift his focus on how the power would suss out after he passes away, much to his children’s chagrin. Especially the chagrin of heir apparent Kendall. When that succession line comes into question, Logan’s other children start to think about their OWN positions. It’s dark and bleak but super funny, and while there isn’t really anyone to root for, I’m supremely entertained by a lot of the characters (in particular Greg, the hapless and clueless great nephew of Logan who just kind of ends up caught in the web by happenstance).

Film: “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”

This is absolutely not a new film to me, but it had been a LONG time since I had last watched it. Like, potentially almost fifteen years or more, which is really shocking to me given how much “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” meant to me when I was in middle school! It’s a movie about Romy (Mira Sorvina) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow), who are best friends living together in kind of monotonous existences in L.A. When they run into old classmate Heather (Janeane Garofolo), they hear about their upcoming ten year high school reunion, and decide that they want to go… But have to make up lies to be more impressive to their classmates. Sorvino and Kudrow have great chemistry, it’s a SUPER 90s flashback of a movie, and while middle school Kate was a Romy type I can safely say that as a thirtysomething I FULLY relate to sardonic and bitter Heather. Also, my husband had never seen it, which was what prompted the viewing in the first place.

What have you enjoyed this month?

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