Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mingus Eyes: Best Moving Visual Stuff of 2015

Stuff I watched (under a half hour)
Honey Cocaine “Honeydick
What Si Mane Price said.

Charli XCX “Famous
Probably the most literal thing from either Tim or Eric (up there with Decker? Or On Cinema?)

Dr. Yen Lo (Ka) - “Day O
Prog-rap? Noir rap?

Stuff I watched (under an hour)
Master of None
Really, it’s the Parents and Race episodes that stand out. Overall, the show hits a lot of great casting points. Slate already covered this, but it does a standout job of showing people of different races, sexual orientations, genders -- IDENTITIES -- interacting with each other like human beings. It’s all a bit perfect, so it works as a sitcom, but it’ll do. Happy that Ansari got this show made. The Parents episode is my favorite. The structure of showing both Dev and Kevin’s father’s respective trips and how they are both similar and stand-alone is remarkable. And done in record time in a half-hour sitcom!

With Bob & David
Perfect because I really didn’t ever expect more Bob and Dave? Also great, b/c it’s such a short run and fulfills just enough. Lots of room for great support players.

Inside Amy Schumer
“Friday Night Lights,” “Last Fuckable Day,” the entire “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” ep, Amy’s increasingly orange legs on the “Cliffely Lately” show

Last Week Tonight

Better Call Saul
I had no interest in watching this show, let alone in its existence. I liked Breaking Bad, but simply never felt engrossed in the show. The storytelling was always compelling and entertaining, but the back-and-forth between gravitas and absurdity never clicked. Also, I fundamentally don’t think it brought any more nuance or interpretation of the drug trade which does in fact impact the country. Which probably explains why I actually like Saul, possibly more than BB. Gilligan is an excellent storyteller and Jimmy McGill’s story is a classic tragedy. It is an excellent use of a classic storytelling motif set in a modern, distinctly American context. Plus, Odenkirk, Odenkirk, Odenkirk. When Mike, a character that I thoroughly enjoyed, has one of the weakest storylines, you know you have something very compelling.

Daredevil & Jessica Jones
Daredevil has major ethics problems. The whole post-9/11 tension feels dated. It has shit views on race. But good action. Though that Oldboy knock-off still puzzles me. Who was that aimed at? Kids too young to have seen Oldboy, but need a version sans hammer?

Jessica Jones has shit action. But the themes are more relevant. And there’s interracial boning. But what is up with casting David Tennant to just do the rapist version of the Doctor?

The Americans
I think this is a sign that I’m settling into middle age. This is a pretty ridiculous show, but I’m happy to throw down for Felicity. And that’s probably the root of my problem.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
In spite of its shit title, the music is on point and (generally) well-written, the premise of a JAP chasing after a Filipino-American dude is (sadly) revolutionary (for our times), and the cast is filled with a variety of normal looks, body types, etc. but big on comedy chops.

The Last Man on Earth
“Oh, farts…”
“Hi, Phil’s penis.”

Kroll Show, Broad City, Key and Peele
They're all good.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Why isn’t this show called the Unbreakable Kimmy GIF?

Show Me a Hero
This may be the only thing the Crash guy has done that I can tolerate. Maybe that’s the strength of David Simon’s scripts? The pairing (and the mini-series format) is welcome, b/c it condenses a number of Simon’s ideas. Great, condensed and entertaining storytelling of a subject that would normally turn off mainstream viewers (ok, not sure how well this series performed).

Stuff I watched (over an hour)Inside Out
I have some problems with the film’s model of the function of emotion and memory (Nerd Writer goes into much more detail about this), but I can appreciate its overall message of embracing all types of emotions.

The Punk Singer
My entry point to Bikini Kill and Kathleen Hanna is admittedly Beastie Boys and Grand Royal. Oddly, this film sort of completes that circle by fleshing out Kathleen and Adam’s relationship. And, yes, I recognize that is hardly the point of this film.

Broadcast News
I really like the film’s grasp of the mechanics of telejournalism. It’s a shame this is really a bread-and-butter romance drama. Still worth it for some stellar performances from Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks.

What We Do in the Shadows
Everything I wished Only Lovers Left Alive was. The Real World vibe of bickering roommates is pretty inspired.

The homie Tridential going, “Cha-ppeeee!!” Oh boy. Can’t recall the last time I saw HAM this porky.

So simple and charming. I still really love Shirley Maclaine. Jack Black’s swishyness is a bit broad, but he’s understated overall. And that’s a good thing.

White Lightning
I should rewatch this now. Something about Bert’s smarm and Donald Trump’s asshole schtick. Hardly cut from the same cloth. But Trump makes me that much more nostalgic for Bert Reynolds’s era of asshole. Oh, and the cars are pretty neat, too.

The One I Love
aka, Take my wife, please (h/t wifey).

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