Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SNOW DAY:  Because of East Coast snows, my normal publication schedule has been disrupted. Also, that it's the start of my busy season. Also, as some of you know, because my dad's had a hell of a health care month and is now recovering from major surgery.  (Really: he's recovering. Surgery went well, and things are proceeding according to schedule. But F--- Cancer.) Also, because I think it'd be kinda cool if the 1Ls in How To Get Away With Murder did not, in fact, get away with murder, and we got a new cast for season two.

So how about we talk about new stuff we're enjoying?  For me, the Colbert Report's finale was a blessing insofar as it gave two weeks for Chris Hardwick's @midnight to air at 11:30pm, when it quickly became a nightly requirement, and is now locked in for my DVR nightly. It is never not-funny, and its humor is right up my wheelhouse -- bad puns, quick reactions to stupid stuff on the Internet, etc.  Do watch.


  1. Joseph Finn9:15 AM

    Adam, I'm thinking that with the time you've been watching @midnight you have not yet encountered Ron Funches (I think). He's a freaking delight on it.

    Me, I'm finally working my way through Parks & Recreation. I'm on season 3 now and finally, FINALLY, April and Andy have kissed and it's just the greatest damn thing.

  2. Adam B.9:32 AM

    I'll tell you who was surprisingly good: Emo Phillips.

  3. Joseph Finn9:38 AM

    Christina was completely unfamiliar with Emo and his cadence/voice was driving her nuts.

  4. Enjoying lately on tv:
    The return of John Oliver (great episode on the tobacco industry's lawsuits against small countries this past Sunday)
    "Black Mirror" on Netflix
    Season 3 of The Americans

    In the movies: Oscar-nominated short films. If these are playing near you, see them! I thought the live action films this year weren't as good as last year, but were still great, and the animated shorts were really interesting. Haven't seen the docs yet.

  5. "Feast," the Disney contender for animated short, was before Big Hero 6 when I saw it, and was absolutely delightful. (And I'm not particularly a dog person.)

  6. Nigel from Cameroon11:05 AM

    I enjoyed the heck our of The Descent by Tim Johnston

  7. "Feast" was adorable (and will probably win). But my favorite was "The Dam Keeper" - really interesting animation style coupled with a sweet story.

  8. Music: Charly Bliss is a band I stumbled across last summer and some of my favorite music of last year. They have a couple of enjoyable EPs on Bandcamp and you should definitely check out YouTube for their covers of "Gigantic" and "Heart of Glass." And take a listen to Phox, a band out of Baraboo, WS. (favorite song of last year was Tacocat's "Crimson Wave.")

    favorite new tv show was "Selfie." Now I'm down to Agent Carter, season 2 of "The Americans," and the last 4 episodes of "Parks & Rec." Also enjoying the start of the Nightly Show.

    I wouldn't rank it higher than any of the films nominated for the Best Animation Oscar, "but Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart" does some interesting things before it falls apart towards its rushed conclusion.

    Currently rereading "The Right Stuff." It's been so long it's almost like reading it for the first time. Good stuff.

    If you're in the Atlanta area and like beer, check out Reformation Brewery in Woodstock. Available at assorted growler shops. Tasty.

  9. My favorite Emo Philips trivia is that he was once married to Judy Tenuta.

  10. Joseph Finn12:40 PM

    Now that's a wedding I'd like to see.

  11. Becca2:50 PM

    Empire, people! I'm enjoying Empire. I was worried it was going to be too soapy for me, but so far, it's fab. A really stellar cast, fun twists, and engaging storylines. I look forward to it every week!

  12. Maret Orliss2:50 PM

    I've really been enjoying Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce on Bravo. It's lighter and fluffier fare, for sure, but it's also smart and witty. As an Angeleno, I like the L.A. parts of it, even though they're stereotypical in some ways, but what I really appreciate is having a show with smart women who are in their late 30's/early 40's navigating the dating world, which is not found that often on TV.

  13. MidwestAndrew3:21 PM

    My wife and I were both unfamiliar with Emo Phillips, and neither of us could stand his voice/cadence. I also second the Ron Funches and would add Kurt Braunohler.

  14. Slowlylu4:10 PM

    We are coasting week to week on Person of Interest until my beloved The Good Wife comes back.
    It is not that hard when Justified and The Americans is around but seriously what is it with the dearth of good television on Sunday and Monday night?

  15. Tosy and Cosh4:24 PM

    Haven't seen last night's, but Better Call Saul is really working for me so far.

  16. christy in nyc5:26 PM

    Caught up with Jane the Virgin over the weekend. Very much enjoying. It inspired a hilarious lunch conversation with my male coworkers about the gynecological realities of the premise.

    Recent reads I've enjoyed have been The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (been meaning to read her ever since I caught a piece of Tipping the Velvet on TV as a young adult and realized "hey! I can watch sexy stuff if I want! I'm an adult!" Good times), Here by Richard McGuire (I'd read/heard a lot about it but the reality of it is something else), and of course, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, which might as well have been written specifically for me.

    I occasionally enjoy @midnight because they often have YouTube stars on there. And I watch a loooooot of YouTube. Kind of an embarrassing amount.

  17. InertiaGirl5:27 PM

    OMG! Best @midnight panel ever: Paul F. Thompkins, John Hodgman, and Greg Proops. Chris Hardwick started the show by saying that he felt like he was at a Hogwarts Disciplinary Committee meeting. It only got better from there. Seek out the unedited version on the internet. Greatness.

    Also, I second the Ron Funches love. Greatness.

  18. Alex_Gordon5:32 PM

    Emo was really, really great. I used to be a big fan, but really hadn't thought about him in years. I'd love to hear him on Wait, Wait.

  19. Alex_Gordon5:39 PM

    Let's see...
    Didn't love any individual book, but as a trilogy I really enjoyed Lev Grossman's Magicians books. Also Station 11 is the best book I've read in the past six months or so. Plague, dystopia, comic books, celebrity, Shakespeare, beautiful writing...what more do you need.

    We're always in catch-up mode here with TV (finishing season 6 Mad Men, great, as always, Season 3 Scandal, Season 3 Homeland, Season 2 Game of Thrones). New stuff I've enjoyed includes 12 Monkeys on Syfy (I'm a sucker for time travel), Agent Carter (surprised by this, as I love comic book movies, but can't get into SHIELD), The Jinx on HBO (first one was amazing), and Better Call Saul.

    And in case anyone hasn't seen it...go watch Boyhood right now. I mean it. So great. Hope it wins Sunday.

  20. Joseph Finn5:42 PM

    I'm all for any episode where PFT gets to show off his sartorial awesomeness.

  21. Just finished, and very much enjoyed, Andy Weir's "The Martian," which is sort of "Cast Away" on Mars with a very bleak sense of humor. Very intrigued by the movie, which is a big Christmas release with Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, and a bunch of other names.

  22. Andrew6:24 PM

    I also loved The Martian. I still haven't written about it since I finished it about a year ago, but it was by far my favorite book of the year. I'm optimistic that the movie is going to be good. I just started reading David Carr's memoir, The Night of the Gun. For some reason, I'm also rereading A Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons. By the 5th Ironborn and 6th Brienne chapters, AFCF is a slog. The TV version should be a lot tighter.

    Boyhood is such an ambitious and brilliant movie that is also such a small and human story.

    I can't believe that next week is the finale of Parks & Rec. I love the universe of the show. As far as other TV I'm mostly up-to-date on and enjoying: The Americans, Justified (also can't believe it's in its final season), Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Archer. OK, basically everything on FX. Also Shameless and Last Week Tonight, Bob's Burgers, Brooklyn 99, and Better Call Saul. It's a busy, busy time for TV right now.

    I'm not really sure what to do with it (other than attempting to write a Twitter bot), but since the Americans doesn't feature Mail Robot nearly enough, I created @FBIMailRobot on Twitter https://twitter.com/FBImailrobot

  23. Alex_Gordon10:23 PM

    Forgot about Andy Daly's Review, which I caught up on with a free month of Amazon Prime (after Transparent). Watch it all in order.

    And as for music, the single "Nobody's Empire" by Belle and Sebastian is amazing.

  24. Marsha11:27 PM

    Saw the animated ones this weekend - tried to see Whiplash but it was sold out. Feast will win, but my favorite was A Single Life.

  25. Roger9:14 AM

    I really hope some tv execs are watching closely for future late-night talent. Personally, I would try to sign Nikki Glaser in about two seconds.

  26. Joseph Finn9:27 AM

    She has a wicked glint to her eye, doesn't she? Also, she's one of those panelists where it's nice to finally see what these guests on Doug Loves Movies and Comedy Bang Bang and other podcasts I listen to look like.

  27. Eric J.12:19 PM

    But not necessarily hear.

  28. Tosy and Cosh3:31 PM

    I liked the book a lot, but the tone of the book and the tone of what I think of a "Ridley Scott movie" do not seem to mesh.

  29. True--a big part of what makes the book interesting is the dark humor, which isn't Scott's forte.