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See, Watch, Hear: February 2015

A monthly round-up post of what I’ve seen on stage, watched on film or TV and listened-to podcast-wise.

SEE

Just like in January, I only saw two things on stage: WOT? NO FISH!! at the Malthouse – which is an exquisite little show about a Jewish family’s history in the east end of London, stretching from the 1920s through the 1980s and right up until now. Danny Braverman is an engaging performer, who brings his great uncles’ sketches to life in a charming and sometives very moving way.

I also saw Flesh Eating Tiger at the Owl & Pussycat. This is the first show at the Owl & Pussycat, under co-Artistic Directorship of Gabrielle Savrone & Thomas Ian Doyle. Previous artistic director Jason Kavanagh has returned to direct this new work by American playwright, Amy Tofte. Really great performances by Zak Zavod and Marissa Bennett. A solid start to a new year at the Owl & Cat.

Wot? No Fish!!


WATCH

Film

The Academy Awards were on this past week and I’d probably seen the least number of nominees before the ceremony than I ever had before. I’d only seen three of the Best Picture nominees – and I’m glad that Birdman won. Though I would have liked to have seen Boyhood take a prize or two.

I saw Julianne Moore’s Academy Award-winning performance in Still Alice just the day before she won. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Moore give a bad performance and not here, either. I just didn’t think much of the film, overall. Odd that she would be finally honoured for a film that is not a patch on the films she’s previously been nominated for.

Julianne Moore in Still Alice


Television

Parks & Recreation is over and it went out in an emotional one-hour finale. It used a clever structure to really pay off seven years of a sitcom that, at the height of its powers, was one of the best on television.

Agent Carter had quite a strong first season and wrapped up in solid fashion. I really hope it gets another season, because I’d hate to never see Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter again.

I caught up on Galavant, which was a bunch of silly fun. Better Call Saul started really strongly. Looking continues to impress. And The Americans & Justified have returned, and are still exciting in their own ways. Oh, and I hadn’t noticed Episodes was back – so I’m catching up on that.

And I must say that the fifth season of The Wonder Years on DVD is very odd – mostly because early 90s TV really doesn’t care much for continuity, plus it had sidelined most of its regular characters to focus on Kevin and a bunch of new kids. Weird.

Parks & Recreation - the final season


HEAR

This American Life is never dull – and their two-part episode “Cops See It Differently” is a fascinating insight into how police see recent news stories very differently than most of the general public. It’s engrossing and depressing.

Invisibilia’s “The Power of Categories” was a highlight from that series.

Scriptnotes’ interview with African American screenwriter Malcolm Spellman (who writes for the series, Empire) is incredible: he talks about the evolution of his career and they discuss writing black scripts and black series and how the landscape is changing. Highly recommended.

And I’ve started Pleasuretown, a serial drama podcast. I’ll have more to say when I’m done with the first season, I’m sure.

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