My Latest Verbs (January) Edition)
This MLV (yeah I just acronym-ed that) is a little later than normal. I chalk it up to work being absolutely insane lately, what with absorbing a ton of digital projects, gearing up for Summer, and preparing for a little someone named Beyoncé. Then, I was at odds with myself, wondering if I should just stop writing a monthly blog about what I’ve been doing with my (ever-lessening) free time. But, as I see it, it’ll be neat to have a little archive of my life and when I discovered certain things, so I’m just going to keep putting these together, even if nobody reads them! So anyway, invisible reader, without further ado, here is what I was up to in January.
Black Mirror: White Christmas
I love Christmas specials! This isn’t you average one, however. If you’ve not yet been exposed to the incredible Black Mirror series, you owe it to yourself and your Netflix history to watch it. Essentially, each episode is its own mini-movie of sorts, typically focusing on a particular aspect of modern tech culture. Due to their anthological nature, they make intermittent viewing possible and even encouraged (because after a few of these, you’ll feel like you need to step away and re-evaluate your tech dependencies).
White Christmas continues the series’ trademark unsettling tone and world-building and does an amazing job at tying three distinct acts together into one cohesive, chilling story. Plus, Jon Hamm is the main character and if you are still suffering from Mad Men withdrawal, it’s a good hit of the good stuff.
Fargo (Season 2)
This show was easily the most raved about piece of media amongst all of the people I follow on Twitter. It was good then, that I realized that Fargo was set up as an anthology series the night of the premiere of the first episode, so I could set it on my DVR schedule. I knew that Fargo was bound to become a binge, so I did the smart adult thing and waited for a record-breaking snowstorm to snow me in so I had nothing to do but watch all of Fargo in a row.
Each and every shot of this show is masterfully filmed and cut —and the music choices are beyond brilliant and fitting. The way the story is told, often with overlapping and interweaving characters and locations and events is also incredibly well-done and a sight to behold in itself. It is evident that the showrunners and writers were given as much time as they needed to create this, as opposed to having to churn a new season out on a yearly basis. As painful as that sounds, it clearly makes a difference in the quailty of the final product. Also fantastic is each and every actor, from minor to main. Kirsten Dunst stunned me in her performance — I’d seriously think she was a born and bred Minnesotan with how impresive she wears the distinctive accent. (Sidebar: I’m in love with Minnesotan accents now and I want one, okay then? Okay then.) Overall, catch this when it comes on Netflix in a few months. And in the meantime, do what I’m going to do: watch Season 1 since it’s already on there.
Full disclosure: I love Chelsea Handler. I have loved her since I was a freshman in high school — since before she had a late night talk-show (which I watched religiously), before she started writing her books, and before she had a total bomb of a TV show on one of the major networks. I know she is very divisive and that many people vehemently dislike her brand of humor. Despite all of that though, and even if you already know your opinion of her, her recent series on Netflix is a must-watch. Keeping with the theme of anthologies, her show is actually a series of mini-documentaries revolving around one of four different topics: Racism, Marriage, Silicon Valley, and Drugs. Each takes an in-depth look at their respective category from pretty much every angle imaginable. In the one about racism, for instance, she interviews a modern-day minuteman who proudly guards his portion of a fence dividing the U.S. and Mexico — it’s just as infuriating, saddening, and just a little bit hilarious from how ridiculous it is, as you’d imagine (around 0:23 for a quick tid-bit of it). It’s all truly fascinating and thought-provoking — plus Chelsea is just as hilarious as ever. I binged all four episodes right after learning it even existed — this one is bound to be one of the Netflix hidden gems.
Guilty pleasure alert: I love following the presidential election. Not even a specific person or party — I’ve watched almost all of the debates and town halls on both the Republican and Democrat side. There’s just something about all of the coverage that gets me giddy with excitement. Perhaps its my natural inclination to being open to change, or my equally inherent need to build up hype and excitement for everything. Or maybe it’s because the American Presidential political process is like a real-world soap opera. (That’s probably why shows like House of Cards manage to be so popular). Obviously, the race is far from over, so I’ll be watching for much longer, but I encourage anyone who hasn’t already, to start at least checking in on the race and learning a bit about all of the major candidates. It’s impossible to have a voice if you refuse to listen.
Wet — “Don’t You”
This is the first time I can say that I’ve learned of a band’s existence through a late-night talk-show. Jimmy Fallon, to be exact. I heard Wet’s ‘Weak’ live performance and was immediately struck by the melancholy synth-pop vibe. The album carries that sound throughout, which makes every song sound the same, losing it some points in my book. But overall, this genre is exactly what the doctor ordered for the bitterly cold months of snow and grey skies.
I’m going to be frank: I don’t really know what this app ‘does’ or what its ‘purpose’ is. That’s because I have no friends currently on it or they had it but deleted it and aren’t getting my posts or messages. At any rate, I kind of feel like this is the next big sleeper-hit of the app world. I mean, the creator of Vine’s second app will probably have some staying power, if you ask me. It’s already got a ton of buzz and people are heralding it as a new form of social media. From what I can tell, it’s a lot like a cross between Twitter and Slack, which are two of my favorite things. I’ve got a hilariously self-depreciating set of posts on my Peach page already, so you should totally take the plunge and friend me: yoitsricardo (duh).
And that’s it! It was a pretty light month overall, as a result of the increased work load and sleepy-time as a result of the increased work load. What have you been up to lately? Leave it in the comments below or talk to me directly on Twitter.