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!
Count my husband and I in the group of people whose money Netflix lost by only releasing this movie in theaters for one weekend! I’m not sure what went on behind this poorly thought out decision, but I hope all the dollars they left on the table remind them that yes, some people still do want to actually go out to the theater! I mean, at this point, any excuse to escape my children sounds good. But the opportunity to watch a smart, hilarious, murder mystery as well? Definitely! Ah well. We still watched on Netflix the Friday it was released and enjoyed the heck out of it. Fans of the first movie are sure to love this one, as will those who are first timers to “Knives Out.”
Netflix Show: “The Recruit”
From a sure bet to a very questionable new release. Questionable because I really couldn’t tell what I was getting into after watching the trailer. Is this an action show? A comedy? Are we supposed to like this kind of ridiculous dude bro who seems to be a walking, talking 20-something stereotype? Well, yes to all of the above. And you have to give all the credit to Noah Centineo for this one. As I said, this is a character who you really should dislike. But Centineo’s charm and douchey charisma (is that a thing??) carry the entire thing. You find yourself rooting for this bumbling guy who seems to stumble from one disaster to another. I did struggle towards the end when one of the main female characters made some decisions that truly catapulted her into “too stupid to live” territory, but, again, my investment in Centineo’s character ultimately won me over.
TV Show: “Veronica Mars”
Yes, yes, I’m admitting to be very late to this show. Not only did I not watch it when it was originally on, but I really wasn’t even aware it was a thing until fairly recently when I went down a Kristen Bell rabbit hole and discovered it in her back catalog. I’ll also admit that I watched the first half of the first season over several months, still not understanding what all the fuss was about. And then Logan and Veronica kissed, and my little shipping heart was all in. Yes, I’m also unfortunately spoiled for the end, but that just means I can very tidily turn of my viewing experience before any…unpleasantness ruins my “happily ever after.”
TV Show: “Trixie Motel”
One of my dearest friends, David, has been living outside Minnesota, spending his time on archaeological digs or out west working on his dissertation. But whenever he is in town we try to get together to relive our glory days of ordering in Chinese food and watching queer content (as this was how our friendship was solidified during our time working together at the Science Museum of Minnesota). For his winter visit we sat down and started “Trixie Motel”, a renovation show that is the project of hilarious drag queen/musician/comedian Trixie Mattel. I’ve been a Trixie fan since she was on “Drag Race” on Season 7, but seeing how she has expanded her brand over the years has been really fun. Now she and her partner have bought a motel in Palm Springs, and they are renovating it to make it campy and kitschy as well as fully functional and enjoyable. This show shows how the renovations went, and is humorous as well as really neat to see in terms of transformation. I’m not a big home renovation show person, but this one was VERY entertaining.
TV Show: “Bluey”
So this is a little bit the influence of my daughter at work, as right now she is VERY into “Bluey”, an Australian cartoon about a blue heeler puppy and her family. But if I am being totally honest, I, too, really really love “Bluey”! The show is little eight minute shorts following Bluey, her sister Bingo, and her parents Bandit and Chilli as they go through general family and childhood things. A lot of it is centered around imaginative play and family time, and it’s incredibly cute. But my husband and I also feel that it does a GREAT job of capturing some of the more silly but also very endearing aspects of childhood, and parenthood, and how sometimes we are all just doing our best out there. It’s been described as ‘a show for parents that kids just happen to like’ in a joking manner, but it hits the nail on the head in a lot of ways. And as someone with a very spirited toddler, it’s fun to cuddle up with her and be like ‘oh that is absolutely something she would do’ whenever Bluey or Bingo are being their sweet, sometimes frustrating, but hilarious and wonderful selves.
It was once again field trip time for the Terror Tuesday crew, and we had been much anticipating “M3gan”, the new killer doll horror film with an AI twist. The trailer alone was so unhinged that I sent it to the group chat the day it dropped with an ‘OMG????!!!!’ message. And “M3gan” lived up to the WTF-ness of the trailer and more. When Cady is orphaned in a terrible car accident, she is sent to live with her Aunt Gemma, who is a robotics and AI developer for a toy company. Gemma, hoping to help Cady but to also work on her newest creation, introduces her niece to M3gan, a robot doll that uses AI to learn, connect to, and provide care, teaching, and comfort to its owner. But as M3gan learns more, and Cady becomes more and more attached, things start to take a sinister turn. It’s part AI run amok, part creepy doll, and M3gan is a SUPER FUN AND VICIOUS villain. Our group had a serious hoot at the theater, as it has moments of genuine suspense, but also a lot of dark humor to round it all out.