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My Recent Media Diet, Fall 2023 Edition

I know I always say this, but I didn’t mean for so much time to elapse since the last installment of the media diet. But I have a slightly different reason for the delay this time: I have been really busy with work and family stuff, so much so that I haven’t been reading or watching as much as I usually do. So I needed to wait a couple of months to collect enough stuff.

Anyway. Here’s my recent media diet, a roundup of what I’ve been reading, watching, listening to, and experiencing over the past few months. ✌️

The Creator. Original, engaging sci-fi with good action, heart, and something to say. Madeleine Yuna Voyles is the best child actor I’ve seen in years. (A)

Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America by Heather Cox Richardson. I’m still making my way through this one but I’m going to review it now because Virginia Heffernan was absolutely correct in saying that the first part of the book is “the most lucid just-so story for Trump’s rise I’ve ever heard”. Richardson ties so many things together so succinctly that by the end of it, Trump feels not like an abberation but more like the result of a plan that conservatives have been striving towards for decades. (A+)

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Watched this twice: once in the theater and once at home. I didn’t like this quite as much as Fallout (or Top Gun: Maverick tbh), but this is a top-notch action movie. The tiny car chase on the streets of Rome is 💯. (A-)

The ocean. Still undefeated. (A+)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2. *sigh* Like many of you, I am extremely disappointed with the weird & harmful anti-trans crusade the author of the Harry Potter book series has embarked on over the last few years and it’s prompted me to attempt a reevaluation of my relationship to these movies and books. But I’ve had some difficulty doing so because the Potter wizarding world is so wrapped up in spending quality time with my kids (particularly after their mom and I separated) that it’s hard to have anything but extremely fond feelings for it all. Over a period of five or so years, we read the whole series together at bedtime and I can’t even put into words how meaningful that time together was. We’re listening to the series on audiobook in the car right now…it’s one of the few things my two teens and I really enjoy doing with one another.

Anyway, all that is to say that when some recent changes in our schedule together — good, developmentally appropriate changes for them but changes nonetheless — caused some parental melancholy, I watched these three films on back-to-back-to-back nights just to feel close to my kids in some way. It was just the thing. (A)

American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Perhaps not the beach read I needed, but the one I deserved. I liked this maybe a bit better than the movie, but still not nearly as much as Richard Rhodes’ The Making of the Atomic Bomb (and its sequel, Dark Sun). (A-)

Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland. This was excellent. Listening to actual people who lived and worked in Northern Ireland during the Troubles — victims, murderers, police officers, bystanders, family members of those who were killed — was completely enthralling and brought the 30-year conflict to life in a way that Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing couldn’t, as good as it was. I’ve been thinking about this series a lot over the past few weeks as the latest tragedy unfolds in Gaza. (A+)

The Repair. Another excellent podcast series from Scene on Radio, this one on climate crisis. I’ve read quite a bit about the climate over the past decade or two, so I thought I knew what to expect going in, but this takes a pretty unique angle. For one thing, they don’t start with the Industrial Revolution…their lead-in to the topic is the Book of Genesis. And it keeps going in unexpected directions from there. I think even a seasoned observer of the crisis will find something interesting here. (A)

The Belan Deck by Matt Bucher. Maybe a better choice of beach read than American Prometheus…I finished this slim, creative tome in one sitting on my final day at the ocean. Here’s a better review than this one. (B+)

The Postal Service & Death Cab for Cutie: Give Up & Transatlanticism 20th Anniversary Tour. Saw this in New Haven in a former outdoor tennis arena. So wonderfully nostalgic. I’m a bigger fan of Give Up but the track of the evening for me was Transatlanticism by Death Cab…it sent honest-to-god chills down my spine. (A)

The mashed potato pizza from Bar. I’d tried this once before and found it kinda meh. But not this time around…I couldn’t stop eating it. (A)

the exterior of the Hotel Marcel, a brutalist building desgined by Marcel Breuer

Hotel Marcel. If you’ve ever driven on I-95 through New Haven, you’ve probably noticed the brutalist building unceremoniously situated in the Ikea parking lot. Designed by Marcel Breuer, the former Armstrong Rubber Company Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021 and converted to the Hotel Marcel a year later. Pretty cool to be able to stay in such a well-designed building. (B+)

The Super Mario Bros. Movie. This was perfectly fine. But it had that tightly controlled and over-engineered feeling that many franchise movies have these days. (B)

Arrival. Still an absolute banger and one of my all-time faves. And I notice a little something new every time I watch it. (A+)

The Flash. Better than I expected! And I bought the Quick Bite emote in Fortnite. Can we staaaahpp with the multiverse tho? (B+)

Legally Blonde. First time. Enjoyed it! (B+)

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Second time. It’s not the best Indy but I think in the long term, it will be rewatchable. (B+)

Tycho’s Burning Man Sunrise Set for 2023. Not quite up to past years, but it’s still in the while-working rotation. (B)

Ahsoka (season one). Hmm. This was slow, enjoyable, boring, engaging — sometimes all at once. Space whales tho? (B)

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. This is Wes Anderson, unplugged: simple sets, lots of acting, spare-but-precise cinematography, and a meta narrative. (A-)

Downhill mountain biking. Ollie and I went to a local ski area that offers lift service to mountain bike trails a few weeks ago and did several rides on a intermediate flow trail and it was the most fun I had all summer. I even got some air. (A+)

Boundaries, Burnout and the ‘Goopification’ of Self-Care. For the Ezra Klein Show, guest host Tressie McMillan Cottom (one of America’s leading public intellectuals) interviewed Pooja Lakshmin about what she calls Real Self-Care. Not yoga and juice cleanses but more like setting boundaries and practicing self-compassion. An excellent listen. (A-)

Wool by Hugh Howey. After really enjoying the Apple TV+ series, I was looking forward to dipping into the first book of the trilogy. But I preferred the show…and was also surprised when the book, well before the end, continued on past the events of the show. I stopped reading at that point and will revisit after the show’s second season. (B)

Killers of the Flower Moon. I wanted to like this more than I did. Great acting (particularly by De Niro, Gladstone, and Plemons) and it looked amazing but it lacked oomph. Plus I didn’t have a clear sense of what Scorsese was trying to say… (B+)

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises. I watched these with my son (a budding Nolan fan) and I know this is sacrilege, but my favorite of the series is The Dark Knight Rises. Heath Ledger’s performance though… 🤡🔥. (A-)

I also have a bunch of stuff in progress, including The Vaster Wilds (good so far, need to make more time for it), the new season of The Great British Bake Off (my fave got eliminated in the first episode 😢), and Loki (skeptical this can match the style & weirdness of the first season). I stalled out on season three of The Great but I’m going to go back to it. I’m two episodes into Reservation Dogs (after many recommended it) and I love it already. And I haven’t even started Emily Wilson’s translation of The Iliad!

How about you? What have you been into lately? Anything you would particularly recommend? Let us know in the comments! (Just don’t argue with my grades…we all already know they don’t make any damn sense!)

Discussion  66 comments


I agree on the Scorcese. I loved how the book gave you the sense of tragedy, made it nearly a systemic, awful system. In the movie, you don't get that. Maybe because the DeNiro character is too perfect a vilain. The blame is on a bad guy, rather than on a global racism mechanism...

Peter Binkowski

I recently re-watched the dark knight trilogy as well - the dark knight is still might favorite, but the other two have gotten much closer to it on re-watches. i'm going through the batman (second watch) and joker (first time) to see the caparisons.

Marc Hedlund

I super duper loved the Wool trilogy as it came out; it kept on surprising me to the end. I hope it picks up for you later on (though I hear the more recent post-ending short stories are worth skipping).

Jeremy Wallace

Climate novels, anyone? I read The Deluge and found it underwhelming. Enjoyed Ministry for the Future but something a bit more human would be appreciated....

Richard Fry

"The Windup Girl" by Paolo Bacigalupi. 100%. One of my fave books of the past few years. Follows folks in a near-future, post-Climate Catastrophe Thailand. There's a lot of really interesting pieces that fit together into a compelling whole. And, since a link is showing your work...

Jeremy Wallace

Thanks! Someone else recommended his Water Knife, so apparently I have some homework. Appreciated.

MacRae Linton

I loved Killers of the Flower Moon. It's smaller in scope than the book but of course it has to be because movies are short (; I think the movie was "about" DiCaprio and Gladstone and what a horrible portrait it painted! Their marriage had real meaning to DiCaprio and yet we watched him poison her every single day and watch her suffer and suffer. That sick contradiction absolutely spoke to a larger systematic racism that enabled the broad swath of horrors we know of and was very affecting. I'm still thinking about it.

The biggest missing piece to me was the coda to the book where he talks about how even after rounding up those involved in this story the evidence was that there were many many more deaths than he could account for in his research.

Warren Stevens

Just finished “deadloch” on Amazon Prime. Fantastic.


It was amazing!

Mike F.

Probably the favourite series my wife and I have watched in the past year (and maybe two....or three?). We haven't laughed harder at anything in that time, for sure. And then on top of that, it's a really good whodunit, with a nice social / gender dynamics commentary chaser.
Once you buy into the tone and attitude of the series, it's just stellar top-to-bottom.

Jason KottkeMOD

I was all set to put this on my list of shows to watch and then I noticed that the series was created by the hilarious duo of Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney. So now I'm definitely watching it.

Taylor S

I started reading The Expanse after my uncle said he preferred the books over the show, and I needed exactly 9 books to hit my reading goal for the year. Currently on book three and I'm really enjoying the series! The core cast of characters are fun and I enjoy the per-book characters as well for the variety they bring to the storytelling mix. Easily becoming one of my favourite sci-fi series.

Tim CarmodyMOD

My take on Harry Potter is that 1) I'm done giving Rowling more of my money 2) BUT the thing she played a role in creating is much bigger than and cannot be contained by her own contribution. Fans made Harry Potter, the actors and directors and screenwriters made Harry Potter.

It's also such a fucking travesty because Harry Potter works so well as a gay/trans parable. You grow up in a house surrounded by parent figures and peers who don't understand you, who actually abuse you. Then one day, you discover that you're not the one who's wrong — you've actually been estranged from an entire community of people like you (but otherwise completely different from each other!) who've spent their entire lives fighting for their freedom and everyone else's.

That's an LGBTQ kid's story. And nothing that awful woman says can take that away from us.

Jason KottkeMOD

He literally lived in a closet!

Tim CarmodyMOD

She doesn't get what was good, and what matters about what she made! Like a TERF George Lucas over here

Russell Briggs

I'm as conflicted as everyone, but I've owned the books since I bought each of them the day they came out. So, like Jason, I've been lying in bed with my (now) almost-9 year old and reading them to him. I'm not sure if we started, maybe a year ago, a bit too young, but he was shaken by Cedric's death, to the point where I had to foreshadow that some of his favourite adult characters were also not going to make it. Possibly because of that, possibly because of how awful Dolores Umbridge is, we are now adrift and stuck halfway through Order of the Phoenix with no desire on his part to keep going. I figure I'll wait and see if, maybe with a bit more age, he'll want to keep going or if we permanently put them aside for sunnier pastures (Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a household fave) and leave them for him to decide when he's older. Has anyone else run into this? Many of us read them over a decade-plus and were grown up by the time the books got darker and binging them now really highlights their acceleration toward mature themes. Maybe it's just me. I'm also looking for the right space in which to introduce the idea of JKR's intolerance and how the books can teach us better lessons that what she articulates now, but that's for a later conversation, I guess.

Colter Mccorkindale

I tell myself that it's OK to disregard Rowling's participation in Harry's creation because she created literally nothing. What she did was aggregate British culture into one story: Dickens, Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Arthurian Legend, Lord of the Rings, John Lennon, etc.

Ben Worsley

For anyone who has an open mind about Rowling and what actually was and is said, I would highly encourage them to listen to podcast "The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling." Also, the interview with the podcast's creator, Meagan Phelps-Roper, on Sam Harris's podcast #314, provides a good take of the issues of media and transgender rights and the broader issues of group-think.

As a side note, as a general pediatrician and as a father of a child that has grappled with such issues, I can say there is a LOT more going on in the world of transgender kids than either side of the political spectrum cares to acknowledge.

Also and, of course, anyone who appreciates art will need to grapple between appreciation of the art and the sometimes less than admirable creator of said art - Picasso, Michael Jackson, etc etc etc

Jacob Rogers

I recently finished Emily Wilson's The Iliad, which I read on the strength of her amazing Odyssey translation. But ugh, is it a hot take to call The Iliad a flop? The translation's as incredible as expected, but god, the story's such a slog. Like, it's the same thing for 700 pages!

But on a brighter note, I'm in the middle of Middlemarch and loving it. And I think I added it to the to-read list after it made an appearance on this list:

Henrik Karlstrøm

I think it's best to think of the Iliad not as an epic adventure in the vein of the Odyssey, but as a psychological portrait of the main characters. Which, granted, can be a bit exhausting given the length...

However, I recently read the Argonautika, and there you can really see a clear drop-off in quality from the Homeric epics. It just seems so much more like a loose collection of entertaining anecdotes than a coherent piece of literature.

Meg Hourihan

I started strong with The Iliad and was slogging through it when I ran slam bang into October 7th and everything that's followed. I've tried several times but the graphic depictions of violence from the past on top of the daily graphic violence of our present have overwhelmed my psyche (because yes my brain does picture things). And every time I pick it up now I just put it down a few minutes later in tears, thinking, "WTF is wrong with humanity that this is still our story after 4,000 years?" Currently an F in my grading system.

Mark W

I'm re-reading Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. I feel like every time he writes a new book I really like it first time round, then absolutely love it second time, then decide it's the best thing he's ever written. This one's on the same trajectory, and it's especially affecting when you know where it's going. I'd recommend his books to anyone - it amazes me how he explores such profound ideas with such clear and simple prose.


What We Do in the Shadows, season 5. Starts a little slow, but there are a few episodes that are LOL funny and we all need some funny these days.

Giles Smith

I’m really loving reading The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers, at the minute. I think it’d be up your street, if you haven’t already read it. Wool is next on my reading list, after being delighted by Silo’s first season. Apple TV really on a tear recently, between that and Severance.

On the flip side, I found watching MI: Dead Reckoning to be an endurance test, and very nearly left the cinema before it finished. Given how closely I tend to hew to your reviews, and the general critical response I’ve seen, the only logical conclusion I’ve been able to reach is that I’m the problem.

Dan O.

I just finished Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs. It has such a great concept behind the magic. If you’re into the whole fantasy thing highly recommend giving it a try.

Jared Crookston

Recently finished the second seasons of Foundation and Our Flag Means Death. Currently watching Loki, and the Lower Decks. It's also time I think for my annual rewatch of James Acaster's Repertoire series.

Podcasts I've been listening to recently include Southlake by NBCNews about the far right takeover of school boards in Texas and the effects on LGBTQ students and teachers, Six Trophies with Jason Concepcion and Shea Serrano, a weekly podcast with the latest stories in the NBA, and Off Menu, with Ed Gamble and James Acaster, which is about their dream restaurant where their guest tells them about their dream meal.

Jon Ryder

A rewatch of James Acaster - now that's a very good idea. I think I'll do the same

Jared Crookston

Ugh, the first podcast was actually supposed to be Grapevine and not Southlake. Southlake was earlier about CRT and racism in a nearby neighborhood.

Brian Boucheron

They had a big weird art show in that Pirelli tire building before they tore half of it down for parking. Altering the building caused quite the big fuss at the time, of course, but who can say no to an Ikea parking lot?

I don't remember much about the art on display... I should've taken some pictures of it. Instead I used my fancy Nikon Coolpix to take a few pictures of the weird industrial detritus left in the building. I then abused said photos with an aggressive fake-Lomo Photoshop filter and uploaded them to flickr. Here's the entrance to the tire strength laboratory and here's the potty keys lockbox and control panel.


fancy meeting you here. i immediately thought about those explorations as soon as i saw the pirelli tire building photo in this post. fun times.

Mat Leonard

The most notable media for me right now is a new anime series called Frieren: Beyond Journey's End. It's a fantasy story about a party of heroes after they defeat the Demon King. Specifically a 1000+ year-old elf and her experience as she lives on while her friends pass from old age. The show is contemplative, exploring loss and the importance of connecting with others. It has some great action scenes too and the whole thing is beautifully animated.

Tim CarmodyMOD

I've been watching (rewatching in most cases) a bunch of American gangster movies. We decided to go in chronological order, so we started with Gangs of New York, then Miller's Crossing. Planning on Harlem Nights next.

We also watched Shrek which my wife hadn't seen before, despite being a Smash Mouth fan. That movie doesn't look amazing by today's standards, and it's not fall-down funny when you're 44 versus 10, but the story holds up! Shockingly body-positive for a knight-and-princess movie that came out before 9/11.

Henrik Karlstrøm

Many of Yasujirō Ozu's movies are free to watch on YouTube, and they're a real treat if you can stomach oldtimey, slow-moving b/w movies with subtitles. Just superb photography (those interior shots!) and great acting, and around ninety minutes long like good movies should be. Why not try Late Spring?

Books: I've recently read Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid which I really liked even though the main character is not really likeable, Minor Detail by Adania Shibli which was interesting but felt somewhat disjointed (and subject of some troubling cancellation actions), and Super-Infinite by Katherine Rundell about John Donne, which gives a glimpse of a life and a reality which is not really that long ago (the long, long present, maybe?) but somehow feels infintely remote.

Greg Hill

Happy to hear you have started Reservation Dogs. The kids are such fantastic actors (esp. Paulina Alexis as Willie Jack), completely lacking self-awareness, and the story seeps into your soul as you grasp how it is about so much more than you ever perceived at the outset. It's like Bojack Horseman in that way and, like Bojack, recognition and appreciation will continue to grow as people discover it.

Eric M

The second to last episode of the final season is my favorite episode of TV this year. Love those shit asses.

Mike F.

I almost hate to agree there (penultimate episode being some serious HoF stuff) because it's the one episode where "white guy movie star" shows up (and absolutely kills it - Emmy nom for sure).
BUT, the episode was written by Devery Jacobs (Elora, who actually was the central character of the episode) and directed by show-runner Sterlin Harjo so I do whole-heartedly agree that might be the best standalone episode I've watched this year.
If you come away from S03E09 without at least a lump in your throat....I'm thinkin' you might not be hooked up right. 😉

Hugh C. McBride

Just finished Reservation Dogs last week. I thought the first two seasons were excellent - but, to me, this third & final season was simply transcendent. And as much as I'd love to spend 100 more episodes in Okern, I can't complain at all about getting 28 magnificently crafted episodes that ended so beautifully.

I kinda liked the show, is what I'm trying to say. :-) Hope you do, too.

Eric M

I really enjoyed the new animated series "My Adventures with Superman" The animation is gorgeous, the voice acting is top tier, and it has some really unique ways of telling his story that's been told countless times at this point.


I'm glad you mentioned Once Upon a Time In Ireland. I've read some books on the Troubles but this was by far the most thorough and personal work I've seen on it. It's definitely got some parallels to Israel/Palestine, on a different scale, but maybe like The Troubles, people will just grow tired of all the killing. I highly recommend it as well. Stream it on PBS while you can.

Phil Wells

I just finished "Fates and Furies" by Lauren Groff because it was the only book available by her at the library. When the thing that happens at 50% happened I was like "Oh no, aw man, there goes this book," but then the back half was just as good and I was happy with the whole thing. I want more books about the characters in this book!

Phil Wells

I also am getting into Magic: The Gathering at whaat is probably a ripe old age for such a thing. I've built a landfall deck that I guess it turns out should have been a self-mill deck. Really it's an excuse to go to the nearby game store on Magic nights and meet fellow nerds. Defying the loneliness epidemic through collectible card games! They also have a bunch of Warhammer painting stations and battle arena type tables set up for that level of gaming but I'm not ready to make that leap yet.

Josh Fischel

I finally paid my membership fee so I could come say something negative, which feels like the wrong motivation. I hated Wes Anderson's adaptation of Henry Sugar. It is my favorite Roald Dahl story, partly because it's a deep-cut (not everyone's heard of it), and partly because it's a story within a story within a story. I've read it to campers I've counseled and students I've taught for years. When I heard that it was going to be, like, 33 minutes long, I had the same feeling as when I watched the penultimate episode of Lost: he can't possibly accomplish everything he has to in that short amount of time! As an exercise in watching the construction and clockwork of a Wes Anderson movie, it's lovely, but the speed-reading of the book with this completely flat affect misses the heart, which is Sugar's transformation as a result of gaining his superpower. It's sort of an anti-Avengers in that sense: his origin story is less telling than what he becomes. This is all to say that y'all should read the book—really, a very long short story—maybe even to your kids (although Dahl is hardly less problematic than the transphobe who wrote Harry Potter...).

Paul Josey

In other words, "the book was better." Good to know - welcome to the best membership around!

Kelsey P.

Ah! Thanks for the heads up about the new season of Scene On Radio. After I write this I’m going to investigate why my Apple Podcasts app didn’t keep track of this update.

As for something I’m loving and wanting everyone to check out, Couples Therapy and the particular way Orna Guralnik demystifies and destigmatizes psychoanalytic ways of listening to and understanding human relationships. I even mentioned it in the Welcome to the Neighborhood post! If you want to discover how love and problems with love are universal, no matter your sexuality, your identifications, or your family background, this show is for you.

Brigid J

I'm rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the show) after a long while and for the first time since the disappointing revelations about Joss Whedon. I'm halfway through season 2 and enjoying it just as much as I did when it first came out. It really dates itself with its tech references - so much discussion of "surfing the net" and "hacking"! - but the characters and dialogue are still so much fun to watch. Similar to some of the HP/JKR discussion, I think Buffy is a lot bigger than JW. I'm also listening to the new Slayers series on Audible which was co-written by Amber Benson who played Tara on the series and brings back a lot of the series regulars. It lacks a bit of the punch (stake?) of the show but is really well done especially given the format. The Buffy alums clearly enjoyed revisiting the characters. Knowing that recording this series was a cathartic experience for many of them also adds to the enjoyment.

Phil Gyford

I recently watched Kleo on Netflix, which I knew nothing about, and I really enjoyed it. Kleo is an assassin in East Germany around the time of the Wall coming down. It's slightly silly, quite comic-book-y in style, and nicely balances a sense of goofy humour with some quite dark moments.

Megan Miles

My two recent favorites:
Drops of God on Apple#
Taskmaster which can be watched now on You Tube

Bob Walicki

Drops of God was great.

Paul Josey

As a lover of a good coming of age relationship drama, the final and 5th season of Sex Education on Netflix has left a welcome, lingering thump. Like reliving your first love with the wrong person (but the right person for that chapter) and the ups and downs that go with it while being surrounded with the myriad personalities from schooldays. (A)

Tyler Zeruk

Two comments:

1. Love that you were in my home state! New Haven pizza is the best pizza and there is no argument to be made that can change that fact :)

2. Recently had a family member send the “Witch Trials of JK Rowling” podcast over as a “good listen” and I cannot tell you how disappointing that was (both the podcast and the fact that my family member found it a good listen.)

MacRae Linton

Contrapoint's counterpoint to Witch Trials was great! I'd be curious what your family member would think of it

n.b. I didn't listen to Witch Trials though, just Contrapoints

Aileen Gallagher

I'm rewatching LOST right now and am delighted that the first season is as wild I remember. I recall broad strokes of the plot but not a lot of detail, and it's so much fun to have the characters and island reveal themselves episode by episode. Not sure if I'll do the whole series again, but I'm enjoying remembering that time and cultural obsession. There were watch parties! In NYC, there was a novelty band called "Previously on Lost" that played at The Bell House. Someone on Reddit has collected all the great EW/Doc Jensen recaps, so I'm also immersed in my favorite Internet time period. 10/10

Rob Stephenson

Wow, checking out Previously on Lost now - talk about capturing the zeitgeist! I've been rewatching Lost with my 13-year-old daughter, who is loving it. It's kind of strange knowing in advance that there is no satisfying conclusion but maybe that will temper the disappointment.


The pilot is still soooo good. I still watch it just to get that taste of what it was like back then.

I used to watch with a bunch of friends...complete silence during the show. And once the commercials started, oh the conversation started to fly!

If I had to do a rewatch, I would only go so far as Whatever Happened, Happened. Or maybe The Constant. There's a point where all of the most elegant and fun fan theories were all still possible, and I'd like to take it up to that point. And no further.

Jeff Lorenzini

Starstruck. A lot like Fleabag, it's great.

Bob Walicki

As mentioned above, Drops of God was great (ATV+), also enjoying Sherwood (British, via Hoopla, the library app). Finally got around to reading Piranesi by Susanna Clarke and really enjoyed it as well. Very fast read.

Stephen Voss

I've been watching Top Boy on Netflix and I think it's one of the best shows I've seen this year. It centers around drug dealers in London housing projects, and has so much heart, incredible use of ambient music (check out Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears by A Winged Victory for the Sullen) and these deep, heartbreaking stories that touch on immigration, greedy developers and kids raising kids. Highly recommended and the British-isms are such a delight.

Jason Packham

I keep seeing this recommended. I'm bumping this up my list.

Luke Davis

Music wise, I've been on a massive Robert Palmer wave lately and enjoying it.

Shawn Inman

Stopped in to say this is one of my favorite parts of the site. Thanks as always for sharing!


For the first time, I have seen John Wick. And then the second. And then the third.

And maybe I'm catching it at an odd point in my life or at a knife's point in society, it OK for there to be a movie series where the only thing that happens is that people get shot in the head? Is this the fantasy that people have when they walk into a public place with a gun?

When dozens of people go to Keanu's house to get him, do they ride together? In, like, a bus? Or are the sidewalks just choked with cars. Abandoned vehicles that belonged to potential assassins.

Also weird to imagine a universe where there are people just ambiently partying. All times of day and night. They get dressed up and go to some place to dance around. It seems like that's just, so many cocktail waitresses and barbacks. A global population of assasins would require an ecosystem of sooo many service workers.

James Sullivan
Scott Lynch

Eras Tour IMAX with my elder daughter was one of the all-time great movie-going experiences. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett (also very daughter-y) was my favorite book of the summer for sure. And I was surprised by engaged and even moved I was by Beckham on Netflix, maybe because I didn't really follow any of it at the time??? Because I was too distracted with raising daughters?? Finally: the Romy record is great, and has nothing to do with daughters.

Jason Packham

I need to go with my daughters to Eras. I also loved Tom Lake and just watched Beckham with my wife. I hadn't really followed him (or Victoria) at the time and had a similar experience as you. Really liked it.


I just watched the Milli Vanilli documentary and it’s brilliant. Can’t recommend enough.


Have you seen Red Rocket? Simon Rex, who knew? He got the Independent Spirit Award but the way he gets off his bicycle at the Donut Hole during the flowers scene alone should have netted him at least a Golden Globe as well.

Saw Raging Bull for the first time. Nothing to add to the discourse I should have seen at least twenty years ago, but I will say I can't believe Cathy Moriarty was a teenager when it was shot.

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