One month of 2021, down! I've officially been doing my Media Diary for one year as well, and how funny is it to compare my January 2020 entry to this one. This time last year, I was off to the theater with my handy AMC pass, trying to catch any straggler best picture contenders before the Oscars. Now in 2021, I'm drafting this on the eve of Golden Globe nominations and don't even know what movies are in the running, let alone which ones I need to watch. And to be honest, I haven't really felt like watching the typical Oscar fare at home; serious movies about important people and Big Ideas don't really appeal to me at the end of a long day working from home; I'd much rather catch the latest To All The Boys I've Loved Before movie at the moment.
How are you feeling about watching "important" movies right now vs. comfort movies?
Anyway, here's what I watched this month:
Death To 2020 (2020, dir. Al Campbell)
That's right, I started off this year by toasting to the fact that hey, at least 2020 is over. This satirical documentary from the Black Mirror team does a neat job recapping the year—so much garbage happened even before COVID hit that this served as a nice reminder—but there's not a lot of meaning behind the dark humor. It's all snark with no substance.
The High Note (2020, Nisha Ganatra)
Every time I see Dakota Johnson I'm tempted to get bangs, and this movie did not help...this is a fun movie that I missed last year in the madness of the pandemic (it dropped in May on PVOD, I think) but it's a fun take on the mentor/mentee genre and Tracee Ellis Ross is so fun as the diva boss to Johnson's assistant with dreams of making it big as a music producer.
Industry (season 1)
Want to feel like you're on the NYSE floor after the recent madness with GameStop? Industry might be for you! If you like the money talk of Billions and the adolescent horniness of Skins, you'll dig Industry. There's enough financial jargon going around to make you feel like it's legit and well-researched, but you can also understand the stakes regardless of if you know what it means to short the market. At the end of the day, this show is a character study about how high-pressure systems like a fast-paced bank can have huge, usually negative effects on the young bright minds who hope to rise up the ranks, no matter who they have to cut down to achieve their goals.
Cobra Kai (season 3)
I enjoy this show despite its diminishing returns; let's be real, there are only so many times you can use karate to solve all your problems. I love how Cobra Kai lets the characters all shift from good to bad, sometimes having them sit squarely in the middle, graying what once seemed so black and white in the original Karate Kids movies. There are some great nostalgic moments in this season, but I don't think I'd mind seeing this story wrap up with the fourth season.
Poldark (season 1 - 2)
Hot off of my Bridgerton high, I was in search of a new period romance to sink my teeth into. Poldark was recommended to me by fellow Bridgerton lovers on TikTok, and it is a breathtakingly beautiful show (it's set amongst the bright blue waters and rugged cliffs of Cornwall) in the late 18th century. I'd liken the series more to Downton Abbey than Bridgerton, especially if you are in search of steamy scenes (there's a few here and there, but no "Wildest Dreams" montage, if you know what I mean) but it's a nice show to watch while doing busy work. Something happened towards the end of the second season that encouraged me to pause my viewing, but there are 3 more seasons and the pandemic doesn't look like it's ending anytime soon, so I'll probably find my way back to the rest of the series at some point.
WandaVision (began season 1)
I know that I'm probably placing way too high of expectations on this show—it is the first Marvel property in over a year, after all—but I'm still undecided on how I feel about this series. 4 episodes in, we finally know a bit about what's going on with this sitcom reality Wanda has (possibly?) created for herself, but personally I would have preferred a bigger tease at the end of episode 2. We know the Marvel stuff is going to seep into this Dick Van Dyke Show-esque world eventually, so why not give us some bigger hints earlier on? And honestly, outside of the magic show routine, I haven't felt that the sitcom scenarios on their own are very entertaining. We'll see how this story shakes out though before I give final judgement.
Search Party (season 4)
I've never had so much fun watching truly awful people. As with each previous season, the 4th season turns the story on its head, taking on the psycho thriller genre of such movies like The Silence of the Lambs and Psycho while also subverting the premise of it's own first season. Season four also took the central characters to new extremes of self-delusion, all of them trying to find absurd ways of escaping themselves because they don't like who they've become (or who they always have been). But there's that age-old wisdom again; wherever you go, there you are...
Watching Week-to-Week: The Expanse