What I’m Watching – 4th Quarter
There are so many good choices right now, am I right? It’s hard to keep up with all of it. With Christmas vacation nearing, binge season is upon us! Especially if you’re trapped at the in-laws house, snowed in or not, this is the perfect time to launch into a new show or go see a movie. I won’t give any spoiler alerts, just enough to peak your interests.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – I saw this movie on Sunday, and let’s just say, if you love movies about redemption that leave you hanging, this movie is for you. It’s a dark comedy about a mom’s frustration when the law can’t solve her daughter’s murder, ten months ago. She (Frances “Fargo” McDormand) sells her ex- husband’s farm equipment (he’s a cheating, bully, ex-cop, lousy dad) and rents three somewhat isolated billboards in a row to send a message to the local sheriff (Woody Harrelson-loved him) who is dying from pancreatic cancer and must calm the community who are upset by these billboards. Toss in a racist cop who barely made it through the academy (Sam Rockwell-excellent asshole) and you’ve got the gasoline to ignite the fire. Final thoughts – don’t go see this if you are even remotely sad during the holidays. This movie would be perfect on a rainy day in January at home. So far Three Billboards has received six Golden Globe nominations – if you care about that sort of thing. Fun fact: the women in attendance of this year’s ceremony will be wearing black in silent protest over this year’s stories of (Harvey Weinstein) sexual assault. Wow. Wearing black. Way to take a risk.
The Handmaid’s Tale – I finally got around to watching this and can’t say enough how much I’m looking forward to Season 2 dropping in April 2018. However, I have to confess, I almost gave up on this one. The writers specifically hold back pertinent information, and this becomes frustrating. The premise is something has happened world-wide and most women can no longer conceive – except for a few. In America, a religious group has taken over, and they gather up these fertile women like cattle, and hand them off to prominent couples who have the most boring three-some even. I mean, no way would I participate, even if they took out my eye. The setting is current, but it’s like living during the pilgrim era, women are nothing, and everyone is assigned a color to wear based on your status. If you are a handmaid you’re assigned red and a funny hat that kind of looks like what Sally Fields wore in The Flying Nun. The “Aunt’s” have the most power of the women, but you must be the biggest bitch on wheels to qualify. Good news for those who can cook, you aren’t beaten as much. I highly recommend this Emmy-award winning Hulu drama. Fun fact: the woman who plays the lead is reportedly a Scientologist. She probably had lots of interesting tidbit to contribute to the this Margaret Attwood adaptation.
Manhunt: Unabomber – I watched this by accident. My daughter told me to watch Mindhunter, but when I came across Manhunt, I thought that was the one she recommended. Who could forget that sketch of the white guy in a hoodie with pilot sunglasses? I remember this somewhat, but I don’t recall being worried that anyone I knew would open one of these package-bombs. One of the most fascinating pieces of information about that infamous sketch was it was the second sketch, drawn a few years after the first sketch. The first one wasn’t put out there. The second sketch has a striking resemblance to the sketch artist who drew it. It was seriously uncanny I don’t understand why no one noticed this sooner. Also interesting is around the sixth episode I started to feel empathy for the guy. Let me put it this way, it’s not a good idea to send your 16 year old to Harvard. Wait until they’re 18. Anyway, it’s an interesting perspective from FBI profiler who figured out the identity of the Unabomber (his own brother turned him in), but lost everything that mattered. Fun fact: Actual footage of anchors such as Matt Lauer (with hair) and Charlie Rose are scattered throughout these episodes.
Mindhunter – Got it right this time. So this drama is based on the trio (two FBI males and a Boston female college professor (a lesbian, but shhh)) who reshaped the behavioral science unit of sick fucks “sequence killers” by interviewing convicted murderers in prison who mutilated their victims with a sexual component. Oh joy. This will freak you out because they can be normal when they want to be. In the beginning, the FBI school of thought was that you were either born bad or not. The end. As the study grows they learn that usually the mother is to blame and their father was absent. Oh joy again. That’s 1/4 of the population. My daughter said this would freak me out and she was right. But if you are interested in the human condition and why we do the things we do, this show is for you. Fun fact: At the beginning of each episode we are given a snippet of a future “serial” killer (once they get the new term right) who works in the Midwest as an ADT sales and installation guy. Do you know who this is?
Scrooged – Love, love, love all things Bill Murray. If there’s a movie to see to remind us there’s still time to change our terrible ways or accomplish our dreams, this is it. Bill’s a ruthless television executive who receives a visit from a dead friend telling him three ghosts: Christmas past, present and future, will be visiting. (Hopefully Christmas future tells him the real definition of consensual sex and how to avoid it). Anyway, Bill learns his lesson and has a very Merry Christmas. I was hoping to recommend the live version of A Christmas Story based on the monster hit and Broadway musical, but supposedly that a total bomb (pun intended), so I decided not to watch it. Fun fact: A Christmas Story also has a wounded eye theme. Weird how things come full circle.
Merry Christmas and God Bless us, everyone!