Pop Culture Round-Up 07/05–13/05


The Leftovers

Wow! This episode was super dark, even by this show’s standards.

I never felt that Nora was really in love with Kevin. I think their relationship was always doomed — Two broken people trying to fix each other while they’re constantly falling apart themselves? That would never work. Nora was always so cold to Kevin and losing Lily really sent her over the edge.
But for some reason I didn’t expect that Kevin would put an end on their relationship. I was like “wait did he really just break up with her?”

Looking back though, the writers did a good job building the tension between them, you could tell when they kissed each other goodbye before Nora left for the bus that there was zero emotion.

There is something bigger going on that we are not aware yet.
The hotel attendant said there was an explosion and because of that no one could get cabs and Kevin Sr also said all flights were cancelled due to the explosion.

But wait. What explosion!? Well, we will probably know more about that next week.

The biggest reveal of the night was that Kevin Jr might have been crazy all along. This episode retroactively undercuts much of the spiritual explanation of season two. And suddenly I questioned everything Kevin Jr experienced last season.

This season just went off to the deep end. And I fucking love it.
I really like not knowing exactly what’s going on. Right now, I’m just enjoying the ride.

Quick notes:

The use of “Take On Me” was incredible.

I got the creeps when “Evie” was looking at Kevin through the window.

I love how Nora always have an aluminum foil on hand to cover over the smoke detector so she can circumvent the hotel no-smoking rules.

Better Call Saul

I was bummed out when I read this week’s show description and realized the episode would focus on Jimmy and chuck case. The two brothers rivalry is the most annoying thing of BCS for me.

But damn, I was wrong! What a fucking brilliant episode! The courtroom scenes have the potential to be some of the best of the series.

Chuck’s testimony on the stand was gripping television. The sheer hypocrisy and irony was enraging. The scene beforehand where they show him practicing, putting all his effort into sounding perfect, just so he could try to bury his brother really helped sell the scene later on. He is such a dick, it was so great to see him reveal his real self to everyone.

Chuck should have listened to Howard and called the whole thing off. Howard is smart enough to know a con was coming, but Chuck’s too stubborn to admit it.

The best part of the episode was seeing Huell again

 — Me when I saw Huell on the screen

Huell is Back!

But seriously, I love the way the Breaking Bad characters are incorporated in their own unique yet totally appropriate way in this show. So cool!

Last year, I gave up on this show for it being too slow and boring (season 2, was so incredibly dull.) But I’m glad I decided to give it a second chance.
There is so much good TV on right now, but I’m still always looking forward to BCS every week.


The Americans

Not much happened this week. But it was still a pretty good episode.

That wedding scene was such a nice moment and following it with the notes from Pastor Tim was brutal.

Oleg seems quite concerned with the KGB constantly poking him, he knows he’s guilty and he’s wondering how much they actually know. My guess is not much, but it’s enough to unsettle him.

The darkroom scene at the end was the highlight of the season for me.
Pastor Tim’s death sentence was written by his own hand.

Your time will come, Pastor Tim


That opening was absolutely amazing!
Will the whole season follow the Peter and the Wolf theme? I really hope so.

Ewan McGregor is such a great actor.
I loved how you could notice that he was not his brother even though they look exactly the same. Because you know, they’re played by the same person.

It goes like this:
I heard you like Ewan McGregor. So I made Ewan McGregor disguise himself as Ewan McGregor.

Oh boy, Ray really is stupid if he just got fired for a relationship with a parolee who is conning him.

And talking about not being smart.

I thought Sy was going to be this really clever and manipulative type, but he’s just another idiot. He’s a wannabe badass. A bully. And he pisses himself every time bigger fish come by. What a pussy!
The parts with Gloria and sensors are great. In this episode they basically confirmed that something real is happening to her, it isn’t just coincidence or bad luck with technology.

This episode also reveals so much about Vargas. We have learned he is bulimic, paranoid and has some megalomania problems. He, as a character, is so unlike anything I’ve seen portrayed in a show or movie. So fascinating and entertaining. He May be a sociopath but he’s definitely not insane. It looks like he knows exactly what he’s doing down to the last detail. But the burning question is: Does he actually has all this wealth? He definitely seems to control millions, whether they are his or not.

Anyway, I can’t wait to find out what his endgame is. It can’t be just money.
I’m sure there will be more to learn about him but we’re seeing that he is essentially the anticipated chaos/predator character.

Nikki is going to raise hell. You could tell Vargas is worried about her. 
He questioning if she was going to be a problem and Emmit answering that she is also a loser like his brother Ray felt like a major setup for future problems to me.

But I still can’t see what’s Nikki’s trying to accomplish. Since the first episode I’ve been in doubt about her motives. Does she really care for Ray, or is he just a means for her? She is a smart cookie. And probably
one of the only catchers that will walk out alive in the end of the season

The Watch Podcast

Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald from The Watch Podcast spoke with Veep Showrunner David Mandel and it was so fun!

David Mandel

For a guy who wrote for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and now is the head writer and Showrunner of one of the best comedies on TV, David Mandel is a very down to earth guy.

He explained how hard is to make political comedy in the Trump era. And 
how this season is basically about Selina Mayers paying for the sins she committed on her failed presidential run last season.

He also mentioned that he finally reached a point in his life that he truly doesn’t care about what people think about his work anymore and how this new attitude was very helpful when he took over the Showrunner duties of veep.

Overall was great to hear from someone that have been making great TV for more than twenty years and still have the itch for keep creating funny and entertaining content. But what else could we expect from someone who was mentored by people like Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David ?


Master Of None

On Friday, Netflix dropped the whole second season of Master Of None. I watched it all in one sitting and it was a terrible decision, because now I want more.

I Like Master Of None so much. I think this is the show that best captures the life of young adults in the 2010's.

I loved the cinematography this season and the soundtrack was also phenomenal. I really appreciated the overall thought and care that went into every shot on the show. It felt like I was watching a season-long version of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

I totally thought season two would be about Dev and Rachel and the story of their eventual return to one another but I was pleasantly surprised with the premise of exploring a new relationship with Francesca.


Oh, Francesca. Every time she is on screen…❤ ❤ ❤
It’s not even how attractive she is. It’s how comfortable she makes you feel. She’s funny, silly, smart and forward enough to keep you entertained and engaged.

I love how the first episode was a great little nod to Italian films. The “New York, I Love You” was pretty great, too. But the last two episodes is when the show reach its peak. They’re both masterpieces!

And by the way, I don’t think Rachel’s cameo in the last episode was a coincidence. It’s probably a set up for a love triangle in season 3.

That was such a fun watch. Perfect way to end a long week. Well done, Aziz.


The Fly

I will never forget watching this movie for the first time. It horrified me as a child (I was 10). But I absolutely loved every second of it, and still do.

I’m a huge Cronenberg fan and The Fly is truly one of the best movies of the 1980's. This is one of those movies where there really are no heroes or villains, just tragic characters. Very flawed and very human. That is actually a common theme in Cronenberg movies, having the lead be not all that great of a person.

The performances are great from both, Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum.
Goldblum were amazing in this movie. His performance really carries the film. He really captures what a socially awkward scientist would be like and how he may get in over his head to finally impress a woman with his work.

The drama between the characters plays out like a romantic tragedy that creates more empathy and investment in the story. You really feel the pity she feels watching her lover disintegrate. Cronenberg said he based the film on watching a loved one die of cancer and you can really see that in the film.

I also love how it transitions from a scifi movie to a horror movie. The superb practical effects and the makeup looks very cool and realistic, even by today’s standards. That scene where he eats his own puke still haunts me. What a great movie!