"What's that do for the greater good?"

19th Century Adaptations, Karl Havoc, Dr. Linus, and more!

Welcome to the first ever Media Report! I really did not know what to call this thing; I just wanted a place to dump my thoughts about the massive quantities of media I’m consuming at all times. Since this is the first email, it’s a bit long, and I’m sorry about that. I skipped a lot of stuff. But I did include some nice pictures in order to break up the rambling—I hope you like them. I can’t imagine you would hate them.


MOVIES

It’s not the most surprising news, but so far this year I’ve set a personal record for movies watched. It’s not a lot, because after all, I’m no Mr. Movies. Still, as a lifelong books-and-television fan, it’s been nice to pivot to shorter narrative media.

Last week I got my second vaccine dose and spent all of Thursday sweating and crying (as you do). Stuck on the couch, I unintentionally wound up hosting a one-person 19th Century Book Adaptation party: Pride & Prejudice (2005), Jane Eyre (2011), and The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019). The day was equal parts awful and fun. Pride & Prejudice was quite nice – even considering that a perfect adaptation already exists – and David Copperfield was surprisingly whimsical: a great post-vaccine watch. My only critique on Jane Eyre is that Rochester is not supposed to be as hot as Michael Fassbender. No one in the 19th century was that hot. Give me a break.

During the pandemic, Peter and I started watching movie trilogies, stretching them out week-by-week to pass the time. Our most recent endeavour was the Indiana Jones trilogy (we are ignoring the fourth), which we wrapped up last week. Wow, that middle one is hot garbage, huh? Short Round deserves better! But the first and third are great, and I really enjoyed listening to the episode of The Rewatchables podcast about Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now I am considering a continuation of this vibe with the Zemeckis knock-offs: Romancing the Stone (1984) and Jewel of the Nile (1985). I bet those movies aged really badly!

If you want to track my movie watching even more closely, but with zero commentary, you can follow me on Letterboxd. I solemnly swear to never write a review. I will, however, “like” the movies that I think are good. This feels more than adequate.


TELEVISION

Have You Heard the Good News? That’s right, there is a brand new season of I Think You Should Leave. It’s been one week since it came out and I have already watched the whole thing three times. ITYSL is the best kind of comedy: the kind that gets better with every viewing. I don’t want to give anything away, so I will just link to this interview/profile on Tim Robinson. It’s well worth a read.

In other – more dramatic, but no less silly – TV news: we are almost finished the Lost rewatch we started with our pandemic bubble friends in 2020. It’s my third watch, Peter’s 108th, and Camille and Louis-Charles’ first! It’s been a long road to the island, off the island, back to the island, off the island again, and then also having never been on the island in the first place? Is this a spoiler? I’m almost certain that anyone reading this who hasn’t seen Lost would just think it’s nonsense—which it is, but only in the best possible way. On Saturday night we got together, drank caesars, ate banh-mi from Indochine, and watched a few episodes including s06e07 Dr. Linus.

There are so many great Ben lines throughout the series, but this one is in my top three. You’ll have to say it out loud for the full effect! Much genuine love to Michael Emerson. He liked my tweet ranking all the Ben Linuses even though my number one pick wasn’t even played by him.

Apart from that, Peter and I have been trying to get into a new show after escaping from the Black Lodge—it’s hard to let go of a series like Twin Peaks, as many of you will know. Difficult People was excellent company, but we ran through it very quickly. My main takeaway was: finally, Andrea Martin! We’ve been trying out Search Party and – in the spirit of Lost – the also-kind-of-a-J.J.-Abrams-show, Fringe. Both of these shows are interesting, but neither has quite hooked me, yet. I shall persevere.

This is a whole other niche joke that made me laugh a lot. Patches for new Samantha, 2022 or whenever. (Credit: Alex Michael / @thiskidneylife on twitter)

On my own down time, I’ve been watching the mid-2000s reality TV show Run’s House, which is of course about Reverend Run and his family. It’s a bit whatever at times but, sickening wealth aside, the Simmons family seems pretty cool. I’ve had the main refrain of Run’s House (the song) stuck in my head since Michael Purcell started singing it every day at recess in 7th grade, and watching the show hasn’t helped that one bit. I am, however, glad to see that in 2021 all of the Simmonses seem happy.

L to R, clockwise: Angela, Vanessa, Rev Run himself, Justine, Jojo, Russy, and Diggy. Oh yes we do love us some 2005 formal fashions! Knotted pearls!

BOOKS

Like most people, I’m sure, my attention span for reading in particular has been garbage during the pandemic. I used to read 25+ novels/year – which isn’t even that many – and now I’m at, I don’t know, maybe five. It’s sad! I’ve been trying to read Lord of the Rings, to middling success, but I took a little break to start Watership Down for the first time. I am really enjoying it. I just finished Part One this morning (poor Strawberry!) I’m shocked I did not read this book as a kid, but I would have been disappointed by the lack of other-gendered rabbits. You’re telling me Hazel and Blackberry are not girls? And why not? How is this group planning to start a new society? It’s a total buck’s club, and I won’t stand for it. Apart from that, it’s great.


I think I will put a little endnote on each of these newsletters so I can talk about music a bit.

There’s too much to say about music! I love it so much! I could talk about it forever! That would be annoying! So, instead of that, I will just include a link to an album I’ve been enjoying lately: Despondent Transponder by Fleeting Joys (spotify). They’re like California’s response to My Bloody Valentine. Take from that what you will!

That’s all for now. It’s time to watch another movie, probably.

xo E