Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Up Since 4 Edition

I woke up at 4 am this morning and couldn’t fall back to sleep. My cat Pumpkin was pretty psyched my these turn of events, but I am most certainly not a fan. So while most of my co-workers are coming in late because of the snow, I was actually early. In theory this should make me productive, but in reality I just want to take a nap.

So while I drink copious amounts of coffee, get yourself caught up on the pop culture that you might have missed with this week’s roundup.

Television

Movies

Trailers

  • Tully:

 

  • Beirut:

 

  • Here and Now:

 

  • Altered Carbon:

 

  • Britannia:

 

  • Dirty Money:

 

  • Ghost Stories:

 

  • Breaking In:

 

  • You Were Never Really Here:

 

  • Love, Simon:

 

  • Silicon Valley, season 5:

 

  • Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot:

 

  • The Looming Tower:

 

  • Everything Sucks!:

 

  • The Terror:

 

  • Summer of 84:

 

  • Baskets, season 3:

 

  • A teaser trailer for HBO’s Fahrenheit 451:

 

  • Show Dogs:

 

  • Absentia:

 

  • Season two of The Handmaid’s Tale:

 

  • Braven:

 

  • The Road to Westminster Dog Show:

 

  • The Vanishing of Sidney Hall:

 

  • Teen Titans Go To The Movies:

Music

Stand-Up

Books

Awards Season

Odds and Ends

Mashups and Supercuts

  • An alternative beginning to IT:

  • Zach Morris is Trash:

 

  • A Harry Potter fan-fiction film about Voldermort is racking up the views:

 

  • Jason references to the Jackson Jaguars on The Good Place  (spoilers if you aren’t current):

 

  • This person allegedly plays “The Cantina Song” on a Rubik’s Cube as they solve it (I think this is a stretch):

 

  • I don’t know what is up with this trend of rappers do the weather, but I’m here for it:

 

  • Jimmy Fallon parodies James Taylor:

 

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Some Thoughts on Netflix’s Dark

We are living in an era of peak TV, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s nice to have options and lots of new content, but it can also feel a little overwhelming. I can barely keep up with all the new shows that debut on cable, let alone all the streaming platforms. I have a very long list of shows that I’ll hear mentioned on a podcast or see a lot of chatter about on Twitter, but it’s very easy for series to simply fall through the cracks. It is very rare nowadays that a series will become a cultural touchstone that everyone is watching; sometimes a series like Stranger Things of Game of Thrones will break through and dominate pop culture, but often times people wind up watching shows in relative isolation, waiting for other people to discover a show that they enjoy.

I’ve never been a very patient person, so I’m just going to try to recruit people to start watching Dark on Netflix. I’m a little obsessed with it – I finished the first season in about two days and I want to talk about it.

Now, part of the problem with Dark is that is a show that you can’t really talk about it unless you’ve seen it, as half the fun of it are the plot points and reveals. I watched Dark having no idea what it was about and I think the less you know going in, the better. A podcast I listen to mentioned it and I trust their judgement, so I took a flyer on it. I’m a trusting soul. But I realize that isn’t enough for most people, so the most bare bones description I can provide is that Dark takes place in a small German town where children have started to disappear amid mysterious circumstances. Adding to the drama – this has happened before. The series focuses on four families in the town and their complex relationships – and secrets- that span generations. I’ve seen the series described as both Stranger Things meets The Killing and Stranger Things meets Twin Peaks, but if I was going to go that route I’d probably call it It meets Lost.

Are you intrigued yet?

Now I have to be honest and say that watching Dark is a bit of a challenge. First off, the show is in German, the first collaboration between Netflix and the country. The default option presented to Americans in watching it is a dubbed version, but I’d strongly recommend switching over to subtitles. I know subtitles turn some people off, but the dubbing is distracting and takes away from the ambiance of the series. The dubbed voices do not even remotely correlate with their characters nor do they sync up very well with the actors. Trust me on this – subtitles are the way to go.

The second hurdle is that this is a complex narrative with a lot of characters to keep track of. And not only do you need to remember who someone is, but you have to keep track of their relationship to all the other characters, which is a lot harder than it sounds and only gets more complex as the series continues. The series also shows these characters in flashbacks to when they were younger, just to add to the level of difficulty.

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Actual footage of me after the first episode of Dark

 

Watching the first few episodes reminded me a lot of the early going in Game of Thrones when I had a hard time keeping everyone straight and threatened to keep a white board in my living room to diagram all the families in play.  For Dark, I’ll admit that I kept the series’ Wikipedia page open so that I could refer to it when necessary. Much like Game of Thrones, it all finally clicked, but it was definitely a challenge in the beginning.

I know, I know – I’m not doing a great job of selling this.

However, I will say that any additional work that you have to put in absolutely pays dividends. I’m too busy to be wasting my time on shows that I don’t enjoy.  I finished the first episode a little disoriented, but desperate to know what happened next. I was 100% drawn in, even if I wasn’t exactly sure who all these people were and what they meant to each other. Part of what makes the show exciting is that it is constantly going in new and unexpected directions. When you think it might zig, it zags. Unlike Lost, this doesn’t feel like mysteries just for the sake of mysteries; the reveals all make sense and while I did figure out some of the surprises before they were confirmed, I still enjoyed the ride of getting there. Series with sci-fi elements aren’t always in my wheelhouse, but Dark always kept me interested. I actually could have finished the show faster than I did – which was already pretty fast, thanks to my binge watching – but I put off watching the final episodes so I could enjoy the series a little longer. I’m legitimately bummed out that I have no new episodes waiting for me when I get home and I’m already anxiously awaiting season two.

Dark is atmospheric, intriguing, and addictive. If you like mystery-box shows, it is well worth checking out. And then come find me so we can talk about it.

Season one of Dark is currently streaming on Netflix.

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – It’s All About Perspective Edition

As I’m sure you’ve heard over the past few weeks from anyone who lives in the Northeast, it’s been pretty freaking cold here. Like, potentially hell has frozen over cold. I almost exclusively wear dresses to at work and I’ve had to cave to the temperatures by wearing pants more in the past week than I have in perhaps the last five years combined. It’s been brutal. But the funny thing about it being so cold for so long is that everyone’s perspective has totally changed. I walked outside yesterday morning and it felt glorious; I didn’t even bother with a hat or gloves and all seemed right with the world.

It was only 30 degrees.

This Friday there is supposed to be a high of 50 and I guarantee you that it’s going to feel like a tropical vacation. Who cares if it rains all day – it’s not snowing and the air won’t hurt my face. That now qualifies as a win.

So while I contemplate whether it’s time to break out my sundresses again (it’s not), get yourself caught up on all the pop culture that you may have missed with this week’s roundup.

Television

Movies

Trailers

  • Black Panther:

 

  • Patrick Melrose:

 

  • Our Cartoon President:

 

  • Game Over, Man!:

 

  • Blockers:

 

  • Red Sparrow:

 

  • Trust:

 

  • Truth or Dare:

 

  • Atlanta, season 2:

 

  • Winchester:

 

  • Nostalgia:

 

  • The Strangers: Prey at Night:

 

  • One Day at a Time, season 2:

 

The Night Sitter:

 

  • Mosaic:

 

  • Kickboxer: Retaliation:

 

Music

 

Theater

Stand-Up

Books

Award Season

Odds and Ends

Mashups and Supercuts

  • “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in a major key:

 

  • Sally Hawkins and James Corden parody The Shape of Water:

 

  • Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep play each other’s famous roles:

 

  • Arnold Schwarznegger saying the same line in different movies:

 

  • SpongeBob and company do a little Dr. Dre: