Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Favourite Theatre of 2018

It’s that time of year again, when I look back over everything I saw on stage and put together a list of my favourite shows. I saw over 100 shows this year, mostly in Melbourne and a small number on one visit to Sydney.

I will link to reviews if I wrote one.
TOP TEN (alphabetical order)
The Almighty Sometimes – Griffin Theatre, Sydney
Kendall Feaver’s extraordinary debut play is about Anna, dealing with mood disorders and medication and the complicated relationship she has with the treatments and her mother. Superb cast and beautifully directed by Lee Lewis
Blackie Blackie Brown – Malthouse Theatre
Nakkiah Lui’s work is always amazing but this production, directed by Declan Green, was another step up for her – the satire sharper and bleaker and more hilarious than ever before.
Blasted – Malthouse Theatre
Sarah Kane’s debut play from 1990s London is a tricky beast tackling difficult subjects but Anne-Louise Sarks nailed it with a superb production.
The Bleeding Tree – Arts Centre Melbourne

A Thing Isn’t Beautiful Because It Lasts: Avengers in the AGE OF ULTRON

The latest film in the Marvel Universe series feels like nothing so much as a season finale. And since Joss Whedon was once the master of creating season finales that were both emotionally satisfying and thematically resonant, it’s good to have him in charge for the second Avengers movie, Age of Ultron.
I’d like to compare it to the epic scope of Buffy’s “The Gift” but it feels more like Angel, if anything. Things change, the world moves on – and the best you can do is keep fighting. And embrace change.
Tony Stark has always been flawed, but by the third film in his own trilogy, he seemed to have found an emotional peace. But with that peace comes the idea that he can use his technology – his faith in machines being his tragic flaw – to create a replacement for the Avengers. He births an army of robots to calm the populace and fight alien foes.
Robert Downey Jnr’s Stark is such a towering figure in the Marvel Universe films – and to make him partly the villain of this new film is a s…

You are far away: Agent Cooper and his troubling return to Twin Peaks

“What year is this?” Dale Cooper asks in the final scene of Twin Peaks: The Return, the last of many unanswered questions left as the 18-part feature film concluded a week ago.
It’s far from the first time we’ve seen someone who looks like Dale Cooper lost for answers over recent months. But it might be the first time we have definitive proof that he’s in over his head.
Mr C, Dale Cooper’s doppelganger, who was first seen in the original series’ finale back in 1991, returned to the town of Twin Peaks with a goal in mind. Mr C was flexible, though. He had to be; he’d set so many things in motion over twenty-five years, if he’d remained fixated, he would never have come as far as he did.
Dougie, Dale Cooper’s tulpa – created by and from Mr C, wandered aimlessly through life, but slowly made every life he touched better. Plans change and Dougie changed with them. Slowly but surely, Dougie pieced together Cooper’s past life and became richer for it.
Agent Cooper, the third part of this T…