New year, new media. There’s a lot to be excited about in 2019. So many memes not yet created by bored 10th graders taking a break from Fortnite. So many Indie films that your parents will never watch because they look “too weird.” And probably a lot of hit singles that may or may not involve heavy breathing.
And who better to synthesize that than…me?
Just kidding. But also not really. Each week (or two?) I’ll be giving you a bite-sized look at the media I’ve been taking in over the past week (or weeks.) It’s called Media Minute, and I dare you to read it in a minute (just kidding. Don’t do that. It’s probably bad for your eyes.)
I’ll try to be diverse in my media consumption (it’s my burden. My people need me) but I might focus on one thing over another depending on the week. So just sit tight. Also, I’d love your feedback about this segment! Please comment/share/send me an angry LinkedIn message/etc.
MEDIA MINUTE #1 – JANUARY 4, 2019
What I’ve Watched This Week:
Ocean’s 8 – Like the female Ghostbusters, but instead of Danny Ocean we get Debbie Ocean, who plots a jewel heist during her years in prison after a botched con. Sandra Bullock plays a cool customer as Ms Ocean (her cheekbones could cut through the screen) along with a six-figure ensemble cast (Cate Blanchett? Anne Hathaway? Helena Bonham Carter? Awkwafina? RIHANNA?) The film hits lots of heisty high points – it smacks of the sausage-party Oceans films without being a ripoff.
Mary Poppins Returns – Did I cry three times? Yes. Did I tap my toes? Yes. Did I love every minute? Absolutely. This visual treat also has a beating golden heart (solid gold, based on its Disney-sized budget) that never got overly sappy or sentimental. With subtle (and not-so-subtle; looking at you, Dick) nods to the original film and books, the film (starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda) captures the magic theatregoers must have experienced 50 years ago – even in 2018, when we feel like we’ve seen everything.
What I’m Reading:
World Without End by Ken Follett – We’re gonna be here awhile folks. This book is upwards of 1,000 pages and I’m a laborious reader. But if you’d like to take a very big bite into late medieval history, this is a satisfying (if sometimes overdone) meal. While Follett might have needed a better editor (I get it, Ken, people in the middle ages were so bored they just had sex all the time) the heart of the story (which is sometimes so long it feels plotless) is intriguing and dynamic. Follett pulls off a great ensemble piece as he focuses on various young characters in different social ranks – a wealthy merchant’s daughter, a builder’s apprentice, a young knight, and scoundrels aplenty.
What I’m Listening To:
Lore with Aaron Mahnke – On my lunchbreak at work I go on a walk and listen to one (or two) of Mahnke’s spooky stories about folklore, mythology, and everything in between. There’s a reason I listen to these in broad daylight with people around me. Mahnke’s voice is equal parts soothing and terrifying and he weaves a hearty ghost story with the best of them. It’s a wonderful little podcast that you should get into if you like a good story.
Ra Ra Riot – I have Spotify to thank for this find. I used to be incredibly annoyed by shuffled playlists that suddenly turned into “playlist radio” with music I didn’t ask for thankyouverymuch but I wouldn’t have discovered the Toto-flavored “Valerie” or clap-tastic “Everytime I’m Ready to Hug.” Warning – may cause dancing. In your car. While you’re driving.
What I Want to Watch/Listen to/Consume
Bandersnatch – It might not be as popular as a certain Netflix original that came out last month (it starts with Bird and ends with Box; just a hint) but Black Mirror has been a show that has intrigued me since I watched Bryce Dallas Howard struggle with popularity and lack thereof. Why not watch a “choose-your-own-adventure” rabbit-hole of a film? And who knows? Maybe I’ll post my thoughts here.