Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Media Year in Review

Well, I finally pulled the plug on cable this summer while the kids were at camp. It's a sign of how little anyone watches 'live' TV that the kids didn't notice until they'd been back almost a week. But that didn't mean I stopped watching TV, just that now I'm more aggressively pursuing the "catch up to it later" strategy. (I did buy the final season of Breaking Bad on Amazon Prime).

So, TV Series:

* I took Peter (and others) up on Supernatural. It took me something like 5-6 months to watch the first season, but then it started picking up. The second season took half as long, and now I'm watching a season a month or so. Yet another decent X-Files type monster of the week, but with good mythology (finally) and some serious humor (Ben Edlund, aka creator of the Tick, probably helps).

* I've been watching the original Star Trek, most of which I hadn't seen. It's ok, if suffering from all the flaws 60s TV.

* I've started catching up on "classic" series I've missed. Right now I'm in the third season of Sopranos, and 2nd season of the Shield. I'll probably add the Wire once I've finished with those.

* In the not so classic series, I burned through all the Tru Blood on DVD. It's stupid, it's amusing. And for once HBO has a series where only good looking people are allowed to be naked.

* I just finished the first season of Episodes, which I'd never heard about (except from family). It's worth checking out.

* TV I actually pay for (or plan to) -- Breaking Bad, Dr. Who, Sherlock, Archer, Justified.

Movies I liked:

* The World's End and The End of the World were both funny and disposable. Worth checking out of you like the respective casts. Ditto Ted.

* The Spanish Prisoner. I like Mamet's stuff.

* Shaw Brothers -- Battle Wizard and Return of the Five Deadly Venoms. It's Saturday afternoon bad chop-sockey theater all the time! Battle Wizard is particularly over the top (pointing your finger at someone and going bang-bang to shoot them with chi-lasers. And karate vs gorilla).

* Holy Motors was amazing and insane.

* In modern HK movies -- Mad Detective was interesting. Maybe not quite good, but interesting. Unlike Monk, their insane detectives aren't cute insane. Tai Chi Hero was the followup I hoped it would be. The Man with the Iron Fists didnt' work.

* Argo was good. Most of the other Oscar movies I saw were meh. I couldn't stand Silver Linings Playbook. Or The Master. Or Flight. (I turned all of them off without finishing).

* Robot and Frank is worth checking out, and not just because it has some people I went to grad school with/near (the roboticists in the movie opening/close are real).


* Only God Forgives -- A lesser Drive.

* The Amazing Spider Man, The Hobbit, Man of Steel -- We are living in the golden age of geek media. You no longer get points just for showing up.

* Oh, yes, Agents of Shield -- This applies to you too. So bad.

Anyway, open thread on Media recommendations.
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