It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that I watch the Netflix dystopian anthology series Black Mirror regularly, although not frequently, because, seriously, who can stand to binge that much plausible dystopia*? Not me, man. Not me. *shudder*
Anyway, recently I was watching one of the more acclaimed episodes of Black Mirror, “Nosedive”, which is about a woman named Lacie, played by Bryce Dallas Howard (yes, Richie Cunningham’s daughter), who is obsessed with improving her social media ranking. Because, you know, if you don’t have a good enough ranking, you might not be able to get into the apartment complex you want. Or into an exclusive restaurant. Or into the office building where you work. Or … well, you get the idea.
As 2017 came to a close, so too did our getting caught up on all of the available seasons of “Game of Thrones”. It only took us about five months to get through them, because that’s how we binge around here: At a deliberate pace. Sort of like how long it takes the Night King to move south from Hardhome while everyone else flits around the continent on Air Westeros, or however they do it.
Since my wife got hooked by the show, she’s been staying awake for pretty much the entire episode each time — at least until season 7, when the episode lengths started to approach the running times of short movies, which is pushing it on how long she can stay awake even when watching something she likes. But she never stopped with the pithy observations about what’s transpiring on-screen, and I never stopped scurrying off to write them down for later use******, helpfully arranging them by season, so that those who may not be caught up will know when to stop. Because …
Because “Game of Thrones” is only available on disc from Netflix, the arrival of new episodes is subject to the vagaries of timing and the postal service, which means that there are occasions when no “GoT” is available. I’ve tried to fill those gaps with streaming series, without much success so far.
So recently, having waited over six years for the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series to come out, with no end to the waiting in sight, and being tired of missing out on all the delicious things that have been happening in the HBO adaptation “Game of Thrones” since it went past the end of A Dance with Dragons―Tyrion meets Dany! Starks return to Winterfell! Jon meets Dany! Dragons meet Lannisters!―I decided it was finally time to bite the bullet and wade through the discs from Netflix.
So October seems to have been my month for getting caught up on movies I should have seen long ago, but didn’t. A few weeks ago, it was 1997’s “Contact“; and on Halloween, I finally got around to seeing the cult SF/horror film “Event Horizon“, also from 1997.
As some readers may recall, about a year ago we discovered “Breaking Bad” on Netflix, in which seemingly mild-mannered chemistry teacher Walter White transforms himself into feared crystal meth lord “Heisenberg”, and my wife promptly became addicted to it. (The show, not crystal meth.) After we ran out of “Breaking Bad” episodes, my wife charged me with finding another show that was just (or at least, almost) as good. That search did not go well … until “Happy Valley” came along: