Here we are again. The lockdown is pretty much over. Social distancing isn’t really a thing unless someone’s at a protest (or something more destructive, and in that case, all the shame on them). Worship services are finally starting to come back. Sorta. There’s almost no point in going to meeting if there’s no singing or group prayer. Might as well stay home and listen to a podcast.
But I digress.
Anyway, we’re still bingeing because even if the lockdown is ending, we can’t really go anywhere. I hope that’s not the case before August, though, because I’d like a little more normalcy before school opens back up. If it opens back up. A trip to the beach would be nice. I miss the sand and salt air.
Moving on, and leaving the cabin fever far, far behind, here’s some of what’s been on my screen this month:
Gates of Graceland
I love little hidden secrets in historic sites, and Graceland has them in spades. In the “Hidden Graceland” series, we’re taken to secret rooms, we get to open drawers, and otherwise look beyond what can be seen on the tour. The mansion has been left largely intact since Elvis’s death, which is mainly due to his family retaining control of the property, not to mention the fact that Elvis is still godlike to a lot of people. I was never much of an Elvis fan, although I like some of his songs, but he’s growing on me. Graceland is now firmly on my to-do list.
As I said in my last Sunshine Award post, Treehouse Masters is one of my new finds. Streamed on Hulu, it follows the exploits of Nelson Treehouse, a construction firm which builds treehouses all over the United States. These structures are amazing and gorgeous, containing lots of features one wouldn’t think of finding in a treehouse, like flat-screen TVs and kitchenettes. They’re also designed in such a way that they adjust as the tree grows. It’s really ingenious stuff. Funny thing, when I was a little kid I used to fantasize about having a treehouse just like the ones Nelson builds, so it’s cool to see that what I dreamed about actually exists.
We have been plowing through these lately, and so far we’re up to Season Six. While I like The Simpsons, I recommend them with reservations because I think the show ran its course ten years ago, and the writing is just pretty blah now. I think the downward slide started when Family Guy writers started coming over to the Simpsons camp and vice versa. Plus, the show isn’t for everyone, obviously. Me, I like the earliest seasons best. Pretty much anything up to Season Ten is fun. It’s nice to escape into a candy-colored world where even in the worst situations there’s a bit of hope peeking around the corner.
Battle Star Wars
One of the newest offerings from mockbuster mavens, Asylum, Battle Star Wars is a Star Wars-Battlestar Galactica ripoff that’s too boring to fall into so-bad-it’s-good territory. Honestly, the movie is so awful I can’t remember a single character’s name–it’s always “the Chewbacca guy” or “the Luke Skywalker guy” or “the Britney Spears groupie.” The Palpatine guy strides around in a red satin robe like an angry Hugh Hefner and his toadie, a Sabretooth clone, has Force powers that he doesn’t use until almost the end of the movie. If you watch this one, provided you can get through it, you’ll either long for it to be over or invent various “Spot the…” challenges.
Peter Jackson’s Twin Tolkien Trilogies
Like my alliteration here? Yeah, my son and I have been working our way through Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth saga. We’ve been doing it very slowly because we’ve been rereading the books at the same time, but it’s completely worth it. I think these movies are beautifully crafted and have held up well over the years. No, they didn’t work in every single character from the books, but the main thrust of the story was translated to the screen very effectively.
Chris Stuckmann is one of my go-to film critics. A self-taught amateur filmmaker, he really knows his stuff. Stuckmann reviews a lot of horror movies, but he also works in franchises and older films, such as the Harry Potter series and classics. My favorites are his “Hilariocity” reviews, which are about movies that are hilariously atrocious. The ratio of hilarious to atrocious depends on the movie, but either way, they’re not films that are generally considered good. Little caveat: Stuckman does drop some F-bombs now and then, depending on how much he hates a particular movie, so if anyone is sensitive to that kind of thing, this may be a channel to avoid. However, his reviews are always thoughtful and entertaining.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
I’ve just started watching Deep Space Nine and I’ve heard mixed reviews of it–a lot of people describe it as just OK. At this point I’m still curious, though, because it’ll be interesting to see how characters from The Next Generation were worked into it. I like that the pilot bridged the old and new shows with Patrick Stewart guest-starring and Colm Meaney saying goodbye to the Enterprise. It was bittersweet, but it promises something new and different (for me, anyway) in the Star Trek universe.
How about you, my lovely friends? What have you been bingeing on? Or up to in general? Feel free to leave a comment!
All right, another review is coming up on Tuesday. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Thanks for reading, and stay safe. Until next time…