I already told you the best of the year, but now here’s the fun part: the worst. My definition of WORST is things that are misguided and so unaware, that they are more baffling than not enjoyable.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
The format idea is very innovative, and I enjoyed the fact that I could watch a movie several different ways. But, being Black Mirror, there is often an allegory or character flaw that places them within their own psychic prison, not BECAUSE of technology, but despite it. Bandersnatch, if one stretched their mind, could be about surveillance the idea of free will, but it just turned out to be a warning story about being a character in a Netflix show, which no one is ever in danger of being...or could be? Mostly it was a cool experiment with a story that felt empty.
You Were Never Really Here
I enjoy the director Lynn Ramsay and the actor Joaquin Phoenix. But too many empty film shortcuts were taken. The main character Joe, retrieves young women who have been trafficked as an (illegal) career, and from the movie posits, he suffers from PTSD from childhood abuse. He is quiet and there is little dialogue in the film, which is fine, but men’s silence is something we are supposed to take as deep, meaningful pain even though we are not made to care about this man. Then there’s Nora, the thirteen or fourteen-year-old girl he rescues (also barely emotive, either from shock or bad writing) who he feels a connection to. She ends up saving herself from a captor as well as saving Joe from suicidal feelings, and why should the happiness of Joe depend on this child who has been traumatized? Imagine the scene in Drive* where Ryan Gosling enters the strip club with the hammer extended into a full film. Looks great, but aggressively meaningless.
This guy is too much. TOOOO MUCH. Sure, I don’t blame him for taking the part in
Aquaman, but he’s gotta stop throwing his dick out everywhere he goes. Also, he was barefoot on SNL. And I can’t even deal with him appropriating this culture for a fucking red carpet. [Yes, he is Hawaiian and this is perhaps part of his culture, but using it as a red carpet stunt is appropriating.]
Please take him off Great British Baking show. Him being mean is not fun. The Paul Hollywood handshake is bullshit. Also, how he sticks his thumb in bread to see if it is raw is repulsive.
Yes, there are about 50 new movies from Hallmark and Netflix, and they are never GOOD, but their purposeful BADNESS is a postmodern phenomenon that I really can’t stand. Guess what, you can have a feel good movie for a ow budget with an okay script. Have you seen the Christmas Wedding Planner? It’s like a group of 4 year olds wrote it.
Rachel Dolezai is interesting, if you mean interesting in why the fuck she did what she did, but this documentary tries to get the audience to sympathize with her. It’s one thing for the message to be UNDERSTAND her, but this is ridiculous.
Ross Douhat and Bari Weiss
Two writers for the New York Times who are so misguided and terrible that I think it may be performance art. I’m not going to even bother to link to their work.
Fifty Shades Freed
Yea, no one thought this would be good, but it is barely even a movie. Also, the two leads hate each other and hate the movie they are in, which makes it a whole new layer of bad.
Ugh. Please put this out of its misery. Having to name something as satire should say something about the quality.
She’s known from Bachelor Nation as the one who cries all the time, he is known for...sort of looking like Tom Cruise. Their whole engagement has been lived out through social media, and I don’t know what would be worse: if they were playing at being engaged to get the publicity or if they weren’t. The ultimate mockery of the institution of marriage.
Murder podcast fandom
I like My Favorite Murder in general but honestly the fandom around it is making me dislike it. Also the aw shucks of the hosts gets irritating. Accept the fame and recognition. Stop acting like it surprises you. Also, we’ve crossed the line between true crime and entertainment and things seem blurred. How long until someone murders someone just for the podcast fame?
don’t look him up or follow him on twitter, just know he is awful.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2
This was set up as a hard task: without the guidance of the book, the writers need to interpret Atwood’s source material if it expanded. But they failed. The tone of season 2 is Eli Roth meets pop-feminism. I am not against graphic depictions of violence, but it felt like a constant barrage of torturing these women. It feels like a man wrote this season [checks imdb]...yep.
Introvert and extrovert traits exist. They are way of understanding, but some people have taken it to a place where it is an identity, and thus use it as an excuse to be free from criticism. You spend the whole day with people and you need to recharge by yourself? Welcome to being an adult. It’s not a badge of honor. Hating small talk is not a personality.
“The internet is angry…”
I think I’m going to use the paid feature of this newsletter.
Wait! Don’t despair! This newsletter is and always will be free. I will provide extra content for paid subscribers, still to be determined. I’d like to use my expertise for this, so I can do anything from curating reading lists, recommendations, cultural analysis, advice about grad school or about anything else. I’ll look to subscribers to see what is wanted. It’ll evolve. Subscribers will receive at a minimum something once a week from me.
Hey looky, here’s the first month free!
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All content reflects my individual views and is not associated with any university, department, faculty, or students. Names and situations mentioned have been changed.