Lindsey's Media Diary: February 2020


Welcome to the second installment of my 2020 media diary! I'm trying to keep better track of the content I consume, because I consume a lot of it, and want to share my thoughts and observations with all you readers of White Rice! Missed the January edition? Click here to see what I was watching and reading last month, then keep scrolling to see what I was digging in February!


*P.S. I have started a Letterboxd account to keep better track of movies I watch, if you want to give me a follow there!*

Miss Americana (2020)

I have a huge amount of respect for Taylor Swift as a brand-builder, a singer-songwriter, and all-around person. I know she's a divisive person, but it's damn near impossible to grow that famous without getting a few haters.

Anyway, I thought this documentary did a great job showcasing Taylor's incredible rise to superstardom and how isolating and lonely that can be for a young woman.

Us (2019)

I had the chance to catch up on a few movies I missed on the flight to and from New Orleans! I'm not a huge scary movie person, but I do appreciate the art, and I loved Get Out when it came out, so I was excited to watch Jordan Peele's follow-up!

While I didn't find Us as satisfying of a movie as I was hoping, I was blown away by Lupita Nyong'o's dual acting. I know she won an Oscar, but I feel like people still don't appreciate how talented Lupita is.

Toy Story 4 (2019)

Cute, but nowhere near as devastatingly wonderful as Toy Story 3, which should have been the satisfying conclusion to the Buzz and Woody saga but, you know, capitalism.

Birds of Prey (2020)

So much fun! I'm not the type of person to cheer for excessive movie violence, but every knee that Harley Quinn broke brought about a certain catharsis. I'm not mad about it.

To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020)

A good example of why romantic comedies rarely have follow-ups. The contrived issues to create drama in the sweet relationship between Lara Jean and Peter were artificial and silly, from the introduction to a lovely but non-threatening potential new love interest to the continuing mean girl drama that was the worst part of the first movie (at least that got resolved). Also, in trying to make John Ambrose a thing, they got rid of a lot of the characteristics that made Peter so dreamy in the first movie.

Downhill (2020)

Force Majeure was a game-changing movie for me, so I went into Downhill cautiously optimistic and ready to just enjoy 2 hours of JLD and Will Ferrell on the big screen. The biggest change from the original was the the focus on the wife and her emotional journey as opposed to the husband’s crisis of masculinity. This allowed Julia Louis Dreyfus to do some truly phenomenal dramatic acting in a way we rarely get to see, and boy is she good.

One of the smartest things about Ruben Östlund’s original film was that everything was in the subtext, the volumes spoken in the quiet, whereas Downhill made a lot of the subtext quite overt. I’m not sure Ferrell was the right actor for the husband role, but he does a decent job playing the dopey asshole that you can’t help but pity even as you are endlessly frustrated by his behavior.

Also, can every movie include a scene where Zach Woods intrudes and provides awkward commentary?

Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019)

Not as bad as some reviews made it out to be, but nothing memorable or gamechanging either. A truly middle-of-the-road film, saved mostly by Cate Blanchett bemoaning the blandness of Seattle Patagonia-adorned suburbanites.

TV Shows

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (Began season 1)

Filling the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend-shaped void in my heart.

Brooklyn 99 (season 7 started airing)

One of my longtime go-tos is back for season 7, and I still enjoy my weekly dose of the Nine-Nine!

High Fidelity (season 1)

Full disclosure: I've never seen High Fidelity the movie, but tell me there's a music-centric rom-com series starring Zoë Kravitz, featuring the nice guy-dreamy Jake Lacy as a love interest and a super cool soundtrack and I'm in.

I really did love this show, though! Zoë Kravitz is perfect for the cool girl role because she is the epitome of cool girl, but she's also wonderful at dismantling her character's put-on aloofness and revealing the anxieties beneath her façade of blasé attitude. 


Normal People by Sally Rooney (halfway through)

Everyone's been raving about this book, and there's a Hulu adaptation coming out soon, so I wanted to get in on the conversation. I'm about halfway through, but so far so good!