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Entry date: 6-2-2022 - Life in Isolation - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I cannot remember the last time I did not really leave the house, or for that matter, my room for five days. Aside from sleeping, which I am beginning to think I did not do quite enough of, I watched a lot of television.

TV and I have a love/hate relationship. On one hand, I really like how much there is to choose from right now, but on the other hand, I do not have time usually. I am happy to not have time, too. I like being creative and doing other things, for sure. I also do not have any stupid, ultra-disappointing basketball to watch. Go Celtics, by the way.

I started off my isolation with Obi Wan Kenobi. The first two episodes were available on Disney+ and I enjoyed the heck out of it. Ewan McGregor is always good. Trainspotting, Brassed Off, Shallow Grave... I could keep going, but these are movies I can watch any time. Kinda like Mandalorian, it is interesting to me that the best stuff that has happened in the world of Star Wars for a long time has been the TV shows. I am really interested to see where this show goes. So far, so good, though.

Next, I needed to lighten the mood a bit, so I watched the last three episodes of Home Economics. This is a show on ABC, I believe, with Topher Grace and, I am embarrassed to say, a bunch of other people who I do not know the names of off the top of my head. Rhondi and I both like it and, luckily, she saved the last three episodes for me on the DVR. It is one of the few network TV shows I still watch. Usually anything I like gets canceled within a season or two.

Home Economics is a funny show. The writing is clever and even though it is a fairly typical sitcom in that things always work out; the writers find interesting ways to resolve things. There was an episode near the end of the season where one of the characters gets super high on edibles and it was handled in a very entertaining way. I recommend it.

Then I finished another network TV show I like called The Rookie. I usually do not go for cop shows. I cannot remember liking one since Hill Street Blues other than Brooklyn 99, but that was a comedy. The Rookie is a Nathan Fillion jam and he is pretty good in it. It is basically a superhero show without superheroes, which is probably why I like it.

All the problems are resolved in the hour, typically, unless it is a two-parter (or, for my fellow Butthole Surfers fans, a “Too Parter”), just like an episode of The Flash or Green Arrow (two shows I used to watch). It is mindless, unplug and relax fun. I like it, too, because it is about a middle-aged guy starting over in a career and that resonates with me.

From there I moved on to finishing Pennyworth, which is now on HBOMax. It is the most fun! It is the backstory of Bruce Wayne’s beloved butler, Alfred. It is really fucking cool. I love the way the show looks (as in it has great cinematography and sets) and the cast is great. I do not want to give anything away, so I will not, but if you like shows that are clever, have a reasonable amount of action, and have a lot of fun being part of a tangential, yet alternative universe, you will love it. Pennyworth is really fun to look at and has awesome twists.

I was so bummed when I realized there were no more episodes of Pennyworth, but then I realized I had never finished Peacemaker, which is also HBOMax. If you have not seen it and have avoided it because you hate superhero shows, I do not blame you, but at very least, watch the opening sequence. It is maybe the best in the history of episodic TV.

John Cena, who I am not the biggest fan of, shows a real range as the lead character in the show and his surrounding cast is also great. It has a unique feel in the superhero world that is hard to put into words without giving too much away. Not quite as dark and awesome as Jessica Jones or Daredevil, but good. Great music, too, especially if you like hair metal.

From there, I finally watched the Snyder cut of Justice League. I was on a superhero run and had no real reason to leave HBOMax, I guess. I had not sat down and watched it yet, so why not take advantage of being stuck in the room. I have to say, I liked the theatrical version more than most. It was flawed, sure, but I do not go into my superhero movies or TV shows with the same expectations as I do when I sit down to watch a Coen Brothers film or anything with Frances McDormand, for example. I go into them expecting to have some fun watching people in capes do amazing shit.

The Snyder cut was excellent, though. The added context made it so much better and a heck of a lot of fun. Plus, since I saw the other version, I did not have to pay super close attention the whole four hours and could play a few games of RISK on the tablet and do a few Sudokus. Once again, another highly recommended thing to view.

Before I get to the last thing, I did also watch some of The Freshman with Marlon Brando, Matthew Broderick, and Penelope Ann Miller. I love this movie so much. I watched Days Of Heaven with Richard Gere, Sam Shepherd, Linda Manz, and Brooke Adams. I had never seen it before and cannot say that I loved it, but I was feeling pretty awful at that time, and it kept my interest. Plus, I am kind of fascinated by Linda Manz. What an interesting anti-career she had. Her character, Pee Wee, in The Wanderers confused the hell out of me as a kid.

Going into some overtime here, but I have to say that if you are a Stranger Things fan and have not watched the first seven episodes of season four yet, you are missing out. In my opinion, this is the best season yet and full of legitimately scary and unnerving stuff. I do not have that emotional callus that fans of horror stuff might have so the scares get to me a bit and I like it. I am a cheap date when it comes to scary stuff.

The kids are getting older and are super awkward and it is really wonderful. Terrific job by the creators of the show to embrace that aspect of teenage life and not pretend it does not exist. I have read some criticism of how bullying is presented in the show, but I think they have done a really good job of showing how bullying actually impacts people. They also did not pretend that people in the eighties were great at handling it. I like that, too.

They added a couple of new characters that are quite fun, too, so I do think fans of the show will be stoked on it. The episodes are nice and long, perfect for shut ins like me. I cannot wait for the final two episodes. They come out on July 4. There will definitely be fireworks.

See you tomorrow.

Totally unrelated but also not really.

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1 Comment

Steve Roberts
Steve Roberts
Jun 02, 2022

Since you have HBO Max, I highly recommend checking out Chuck. It's my favorite tv show of all time, and that's saying a lot. It's so well crafted, that I catch obscure easter eggs every time I rewatch it. I have to admit I've watched the entire series over 60 times, and I still noticed something new the last time through. If you don't want to go down that rabbit hole, watching it once is still rewarding.

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