Sunday, 1 February 2015

See, Watch, Hear: January 2015


This year, I’m going to do a monthly round-up post called “See, Watch, Hear” covering the highlights in what I’ve seen on stage, watched on film or TV and listened to podcast-wise.


SEE

I’ve only seen two things on stage so far this year: I, Malvolio which I found disappointing, because I never engaged with it at all. Charming performance, but lacklustre show. 

Whereas Jumpers for Goalposts was a strong play, with a likeable cast in a sharp production at Red Stitch. I heard great things about the show last year and I’m glad I got to see the return season during Midsumma.

Red Stitch’s 2015 season looks really strong, too – so I’m going to try to get along to more of their shows this year. They really do produce some of the most exciting text-focused works in Melbourne.

Jumpers for Goalposts at Red Stitch

WATCH

Television

Parks & Recreation has returned for its seventh and final season and I’m looking forward to seeing how it wraps up. I think the overall quality of the six episodes so far has been quite variable but “Ron & Leslie” was so strong, it almost made up for it single-handedly.

Archer is back and might not be at its height, but it’s still hilarious – if a little predictable. Revenge is in full-blown soap territory now, but I am still enjoying the hell out of it. Looking isn’t quite as strong in its second season, but happy to watch where this season goes. Agent Carter is kicking arse, even if it won’t change the world.

The Daily Show is strong, but The Nightly Show is very shaky – I hope it picks up soon, but right now I can’t imagine watching it for much longer.

I finished a rewatch of Mad Men in preparation for its final season in May. And rewatched the second season of Hannibal before its third-season return later in the year. And I’m into the fifth season of The Wonder Years on DVD, which I mostly haven’t seen since it aired in 1991.

Archer season six

Film

Birdman is an incredible experience, which I enjoyed on multiple levels – just as a film, but also as a technical achievement, as well as making me really feel like I was in that place. It was a New York I felt like I knew.

Selma is an incredible film that takes the story of the Selma marches with Martin Luther King and really shows us how far Civil Rights have come in the half century since those events too place – as well as how much still has to change.

Into the Woods was better the second time I saw it.

Oh yeah, I finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy, which was a hell of a lot of fun.

Birdman, starring Michael Keaton

HEAR

This American Life is the high-water mark for podcasts, so it’s a wonder anything else can live up to it. After Serial last year, I got back into This American Life as a regular listener – as well as diving into their archives. May I recommend “180 Degrees”, “It Never Ends”, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS”.

After the “Batman” episode of This American Life, I started listening to Invisibilia – and I have mixed feelings. Each episode often has one strong story and one weak story. But I like the concept. Recommend: Histoy of Thought’s “Locked in Man” and Fearless’ “World without fear”.

I also listen to Scriptnotes, a weekly podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters. And I tried out a couple of episodes of Bald Move's Mad Men podcast after my rewatch.

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