Who doesn’t like a favorites list to round out their month?
Frankly, this is a little (a lot) self-indulgent, but don’t lie – your favorite YouTube and blog series are hauls, round-ups, and monthly favorites, aren’t they?
If you’re not hip to these things (you might be an old person…) maybe you can look at this like Time’s Person-of-the-Year (as if any of you still read Time), except of the month, and including whatever bit of David Cronenberg body horror I’m currently obsessed with. Favorites like that.
So here it is –
The What-To-Watch List:
If you are not watching this show, you are dead to me. If you are not watching this show, you are not only missing out on a cultural phenomenon – real, honest-to-goodness feminism from Marvel and mainstream television – but also tremendous writing, acting, and storytelling, period. I will save my ramblings about Kristen Ritter’s range, David Tennant’s return to the Doctor-Who (but EVIL!) personality-type, and the richly layered relationships between women, both friends and lovers, for a longer, dedicated post. But this Netflix show has dominated my December evenings, and it isn’t even the least bit a guilty pleasure. It’s genuinely great and totally deserving of spot number one in the favorites.
Dark Star: The World of H.R. Giger
If you like Alien, this is a must watch (Giger is the artist and production designer). If you have no idea whether you even care about Alien, but you care about art, this is a safe bet. I have a real craving for these documentaries where filmmakers get to comb through the homes of artists – Giger doesn’t disappoint because he is most certainly a hoarder, but a hoarder of beautiful things of his own creation. Very weird; in German and English with subtitles that occasionally pop-up in weird places (watch it, you’ll understand).
- Master of None – Funny, poignant, honest.
- Chef’s Table – Food porn, but with Chef-worship.
- Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson is lovely, this is twee as can be, I’m into it.
On Amazon Prime:
Hannibal, Season 1
We recently acquired an Amazon Prime Video subscription (thanks, Parents!), and even with a zillion new things to watch, I immediately jumped at the chance to re-watch this series from the beginning. My boyfriend has not been witness to my obsession, so it is his first time through (and I get a serious amount of satisfaction watching him enjoy it – weird?). I must say, I am a chronic re-watcher – if I like something, it’s going to be viewed again (and again) – but this is truly one of those shows requiring a second time around. Knowing the ending (season 3 just finished up on NBC), Season one, Episode one feels so much more alive, purposeful, and full of meaning. On the first watch, the show was mysterious, shocking, full of twists. The second time, it is telling, carefully planned, beautifully thought out. Nice to know that screenwriters in television are capable of piecing together a puzzle this intricate (especially for those of us seriously disappointed by the lack of planning apparent in Lost). Highly recommend this Bryan Fuller masterpiece, be it your first time, or your triumphant return.
On Good Ol’ DVD:
I couldn’t shut up about Cronenberg back in October, and I’m not going to do it now. This Criterion Collection edition of The Brood released this past October. It’s an early Cronenberg, releasing in 1979, but it’s already deep in the crazy, mutant, grossly human body horror. Oliver Reed plays one sick psychiatrist, and Samantha Eggar a very special Mother. For all the Freud fans out there, this one’s for you. Find it for 20% off NOW on their site (also Moonrise Kingdom and the entire Criterion library) through December 11th.
*I haven’t gotten around to the theater yet this month – saving up all my movie-going for the Christmas releases. What are you looking forward to seeing in the next couple weeks? What were your December favorites? Leave all suggestions, recommendations, personal vendettas in the comments, please!