Media Diary (July 2022)

Some stuff Iโ€™ve experienced lately (and not necessarily only new releases):

Nope (Movie): Loved it, and I think I’ve finally wrapped my head around the shoe in the sitcom flashback scene

Black Bird (TV): Really good, and both leads are fantastic

Elvis (Movie): Reviews were pretty polarized, but I thoroughly enjoyed it…

Elvis Presley: The Searcher (Movie): …which of course sent me down an Elvis rabbit hole

The Bear (TV): Thank you, chefs

Candy (TV): Loved the whole vibe, looking forward to the other one now

Westworld (TV): This new season is so much better than last season

Crimes of The Future (Movie): Fascinating and creepy

Mind Over Murder (TV): A really interesting story, though I still can’t get over the fact that they pronounce it “BeATrice”

The Rehearsal (TV): Tremendous

Thor: Love and Thunder (Movie): Enjoyed it, but (like my wife) I’m kinda up for a bit of a Marvel break

The Anarchists (TV): Clown show

What We Do In The Shadows (TV): As always, a delight

Downton Abbey: A New Era (Movie): Good to see the gang back together, but nothing mindblowing

Only Murders In The Building (TV): It continues to be goofy and enjoyable

Mormon No More (TV): An interesting look at families adjusting to big life changes

Yes, And…

I recently came across this text meme making the rounds on IG stories:

As the world fights to figure everything out, I’ll be holding doors for strangers, letting people cut in front of me in traffic, saying good morning, keeping babies entertained in grocery lines, stopping to talk to someone who is lonely, tipping generously, waving at police, sharing food, giving children a thumbs-up, being patient with sales clerks, smiling at passersby, and buying a stranger a cup of coffee. WHY? Because I will not stand to live in a world where love is invisible. Join me in showing kindness, understanding, and judging less. Be kind to a stranger, give grace to friends who are having a bad day, be forgiving with yourself.

Cringe aside, these are all fine, kind things to do, though they absolutely ring a bit hollow when coming from a strong place of white suburban privilege (as was the case with my source).

What’s the main issue then? Well, it’s that in the year of our Lord 2022, proudly proclaiming that you’re performing a set of table stakes niceties while “the world fights to figure everything out” just doesn’t cut it as an acceptable course of action for a compassionate human being.

As the improv comedy community would say, “Yes, and…”

Of course you should be practicing acts of kindness, and be…

  • Paying attention to voices that are increasingly being silenced and marginalized, then doing your part to amplify them, consequences be damned.

  • Relentlessly calling out organizations that elevate legalism over love.

  • Coming to grips with the fact that the beloved past you long for with rose-colored glasses wasn’t all that great for so many others (or for the planet itself), and that it’s never, ever coming back.

In other words, things are real bad right now, there’s no sugarcoating it. Trust me though, you don’t want to live in a world where others “figure everything out” while you sit on the sidelines. Be loud. Be mad. Be informed. Be clear-eyed, but also be kind.

FOX Reality of My Youth

Back in another life, I worked on the websites for various primetime FOX offerings. While I got to work on some still-beloved classics like The X-Files, Firefly and Greg The Bunny, I also spent a good deal of time on some absolutely mind-melting reality shows and specials.

Since I think we could all use a bit of a distraction right now, here’s a roundup of a few of the “best” selections, may they never fade from our collective memories:

Joe Millionaire

He walked through the office once, and it was quite the event. My favorite part is that everyone wildly speculated about how they’d trick people again for the second season, and the answer was “yeah, we’ll just do it in Europe.”

Man vs. Beast

To this day, I still bring up the hot dog-eating bear to new co-workers. It’s honestly pretty central to my core identity at this point.

Mr. Personality

A true pioneer in the “make them wear masks before agreeing to bang” genre. Hosted by Monica Lewinsky, who I unfortunately did not get to meet when I visited the sweet mansion in Malibu. Sadly, I also think that this (surely invaluable) Cheat Sheet is lost to time:

My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance

Let’s be real for a sec, our belt buckle-centric landing page was groundbreaking stuff:

Celebrity Boxing

Interviewing Joey Buttafuoco and Vanilla Ice on the same day remains a “highlight” of my career.

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