Media Diet on Thursday (#56)
The Newsletter That Is In Its Final Season
Springtime is TV time, and as an avid, but (sorta) unpaid media critic, I am being bombarded by new releases and continuations. Except this year I’m actually drowning in (actual) work. I’ve watched two movies in the past two weeks that were mostly unremarkable, and then I fell asleep during Cocaine Bear - which was NOT a great movie, not even in a funny way, don’t watch it, I was wrong -, so expect fewer output in the next weeks. I’m currently setting up my main hustle, but I’ll be back on cruise control and hedonistic content consumption in fair time.
What To Watch This Week
Blue Jean (2023)
★★★★☆ - directed by Georgia Oakley - in theaters - watch trailer
Jean, baby dyke PE teacher, struggles to maintain a delicate balance between her budding romance with the vivacious Viv and her career during Thatcher's era, with the infamous Section 28 law looming over her. The film captures the duality of Jean's life as she transitions between the straight and gay worlds, shedding light on the struggles of embracing her true identity in a time of societal repression.
McEwen's portrayal of Jean is mesmerizing, with her subtle expressions and nuanced gestures bringing the character's conflict to life. The gritty cinematography, spot-on soundtrack, and attention to detail in costuming all contribute to its powerful storytelling. In her impressive debut, writer-director Georgia Oakley crafts a compelling and authentic snapshot of a specific moment in British history. Also, hot! Everyone’s hot! SEX SCENES IN FILMS! Oh Glory!
There Are Now 5 (!) Good Movies About Lesbians That Were Directed By Lesbians
For People Who Like:
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, Lesbian Bars, Dykes Who Look Like Twinks
★★★★★ - Season 1-3 - created by Jesse Armstrong - watch trailer
One of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given myself is putting off watching Succession until the announcement of its final season. That show is like a slow-motion train wreck, but the train is made of solid gold and the passengers are all drinking champagne and the train is actually a chopper and everyone is incompetent but rich as fuck (but is anyone actually rich please discuss) and if I were a character on the show, I’d be a composite of Tom and Greg, because they make for a fantastic villain origin story. Watch me!
Season 4 is coming in April, so this is your call to catch up.
Hans Christian Anderfuck
For People Who Like:
Veep, Four Lions, Continental Breakfast, Tall Men
🎧 One Thing At A Time by Morgan Wallen
I’m knee deep in American country music. I think middle age is mostly heartbreak and country music is a manifestation of that, so I’m really just growing into myself here. Anyway - Morgan Wallen released a 36 (!) track album and every. song. sounds 👏🏼 the same 👏🏼, which is beautiful. Unfortunately, as I’m typing this I’m finding out that Wallen was americancelledbecause he said a racist thing on video, but could Country be not racist? It’s really good to dive into what the Straight People are doing every now and then, just to feel appreciative of The Gays. Anyway, with poetic gems like “You’re my sunrise, you keep coming up”, it’s really hard not to have a mediocre time / crack up laughing. (B)
🍿Saint Omer (2022), Alice Diop
I really wanted to like the slow-cooked French courtroom drama Saint Omer. And while I can fully appreciate it for the strong performances and pictures, I can’t pretend I got it. Or maybe I’m just bothered by the formality of it all. Or it’s because my immigrant mom is dead and I didn’t go to therapy and sigh that’s where we are. (C)
🎧 Wings by Jonas Brothers
If Country wasn’t embarrassing enough… but anything goes when you’re training for a half marathon. And yes, that’s Hailey Lu dancing in a hotel (I really miss The White Lotus). (B)
👎🏼 Movies That Flopped
Good lord, I’m not really sure where to even place The Whale (2022). I didn’t hate it as much as other people did - I felt thoroughly entertained, which is horrible considering the subject matter - but I guess that’s the problem: it’s so manipulative and tactless that you’re almost compelled to keep watching. I don’t think Darren Aronofsky didn’t hit where he wanted to hit, I think he went for it with an agenda, but not every outrageous and crass directing choice ends up being Requiem For A Dream. Hong Chao deserves better. (D) And fuck Cocaine Bear (F), which really could have been great.
🎧 Becoming Nobody by Under Tears
Under Tears (my neighbor and mate and fellow movie lover, heya!) just released my new favorite morning EP, “Becoming Nobody”, which has such an immensely chill, ethereal and communal vibe to it. The kind of music that takes you on a holiday with friends. I can well see myself cooking in a kitchen, surrounded by warm voices, or driving along a coastline on the way to the beach. An aptly melancholic hit of Fernweh. Probably a place where the good olive oil comes from. (A)
📰 “Whatever happened to middle age"?”
Dalia Hawley, 41, lives in Wakefield and is what marketers would term a “geriatric millennial”. She lives with her partner and their three chickens and runs a skincare business part-time. “I might be classed as middle-aged to some people, but I don’t feel it. Part of me does sometimes feel as if I should own a house or have a full-time job, but then I think I couldn’t imagine anything worse. I’ve never earned enough to get a mortgage. When I was in my 20s, I thought 40 was really old. But now I’m there, I feel younger and fitter than I’ve ever been.”
Their three chickens 💔
📉 Silicon Valley Bank Goes Down:
While I haven’t had ample time to consume my episodes, I did thoroughly enjoy the media coverage of SVB going bust. Not that I’m a big fan of banking crises, it’s just that the drama is so much better and juicier than any show on TV. My favorite piece of media was this rando Congressman posting on Tiktok - truly straight out of an inspired writer’s room. For those interested, Bloomberg’s Odd Lots had a solid podcast on what went down.
I did watch Creed III, which was a good time but ultimately a disappointing movie. I’ve signed up to re-watch the Rocky series, which I hope is as corny and emotional as I need a sports drama to be.
Ted Lasso, Season 3: The beloved, mustachioed American football coach continues to win hearts while navigating the challenges of British soccer – streaming on AppleTV+.
Daisy Jones & The Six: A captivating adaptation of the bestselling novel, chronicling the rise and fall of a legendary '70s rock band – streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Class of '07: A group of high school friends reconnect at their 15-year reunion, only to find that secrets, drama, and old rivalries never truly fade away – streaming on Netflix.
Swarm: The gripping story of Dre, a young woman consumed by her obsession with a fictional pop star reminiscent of Beyoncé, as she navigates the dark and unexpected corners of her life and fandom – streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Jesse Armstrong, writer and creator of Succession, made one of my all time favorite satire about an incompetent group of terrorists. If you want to trace his work back, start with the aforementioned Four Lions (starring a young Riz Ahmed!) and move on to the Thick Of It, a political satire that was used as inspiration for Veep (probably my all time favorite comedy starring Julia Luis-Dreyfus). I promise: The Jesse Armstrong rabbit hole is worth digging.
americancelled (əˈmerɪkənˌkænd): adjective, noun
(adj.) Describing a phenomenon in American cancel culture where an individual, despite facing public backlash or criticism, does not experience significant economic consequences, and often makes a comeback or experiences a redemption arc in their career or public life.
(n.) An instance or case of the americancelled phenomenon.
Examples of americancelled:
Louis C.K.: The comedian faced allegations of sexual misconduct in 2017, leading to the cancellation of several projects. However, he eventually made a return to stand-up comedy and even released a new comedy special in 2020, resuming his career with minimal economic impact.
Mel Gibson: The actor-director experienced a massive backlash in 2006 following an anti-Semitic rant during a DUI arrest. Despite this, he has since made a comeback, directing and starring in various successful films, including the critically acclaimed "Hacksaw Ridge" (2016).
Thank FUCK we’re between movie seasons. The Oscar’s are done and dusted, and while I have some notes about the erasure of TÁR, I’m overall happy it’s over.