No clue what we were doing. We have been watching “For All Mankind” at that point, along with The Morning Show, ST:TNG, The Mandalorian, and Castle Rock Season 2. It was actually Sunday when we made chicken coq au vin in the Instapot that night, which was fun and fairly successful!
Larry got sick on Friday so we’ve spent the weekend chilling at home. You know what’s great to do when you don’t leave the house? Watch movies! Especially those that you have been meaning to see but didn’t!
On Saturday, after getting errands done, we finally watched I, Tonya. That movie was incredible – Tonya Harding’s story is insane, and even though they’re clear that this movie is based off of highly unreliable narrators, you still feel a smidgen of pity for her. Her mother looks to have been a monster, she fell in love with an abusive idiot, and she didn’t know how to “play the game” with the Figure Skating authorities so that she could be judged on more than just her athletic talent. Margot Robbie is amazing as Harding while Allison Janney absolutely disappears into the role of Lavona Harding, Tonya’s mother. The first half of the movie is mostly dedicated to Tonya’s life up until the point of “the Incident”, which is of course when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked. The rest of the movie is about the attack and the aftermath, and man, what a shitshow. I mean, the movie is still entertaining, but it’s hard to believe the shit that went down.
Today, we then watched another of last year’s Oscar films, The Shape of Water. Yeah, the fish fucking movie. I think I was bracing for this movie to be not my cup of tea, and it turns out I was correct in that assessment. So, the story the movie tells is about a mute janitor woman in the 50s or 60s who works at some kind of secret government lab and she strikes up a relationship with one of the creatures being worked on there. Comedy ensues! Ha, not really – this has some elements of comedy but mostly it’s a weird love story where one half is a fish monster. The production design and the performances are all very good – I won’t knock the movie for not having style, as it’s got that in spades due to it being a Guillermo del Tero movie. But the actual story didn’t really work for me. I’m kind of in shock that the damn thing won Best Picture this year. It really is a movie about a woman who fucks a fish. That’s no lie. So cheers to the Academy for having an open mind, but I think it was an award for del Toro and a very beautiful-looking movie. Eh, what do I know?
Okay, it wasn’t all movies. This past week, Larry & I have been watching Cobra Kai, the Youtube Red series that picks up the Karate Kid story of Daniel and Johnny as they’re now middle-aged. Here’s a great trailer for it which basically spells it out:
The premise is fantastic – Daniel has grown up to be a successful family man while Johnny ends up a burn out. But then he sees a need to teach a local kid, Miguel, how to defend himself, which leads to the re-opening of Cobra Kai. Daniel isn’t having any of that…and suddenly we get a complex world where perhaps Johnny isn’t the defacto bad guy? We watched all of it last week, finishing up on Friday night. It’s FANTASTIC. The show was lovingly made by people who definitely knew their stuff from the movies, and both Ralph Macchio and William Zabka do great coming back to these roles. Highly recommended, and here’s hoping a Season 2 is in the works, as while Season 1 certainly wraps up a lot, I could see this continuing.
I bring up Cobra Kai because it definitely triggered all the nostalgia and neither Larry nor I had seen the original The Karate Kid movie from 1984 in years, maybe decades. Of course it’s up in our head as we are children of the 80s, but yeah, it’s been a while. Cobra Kai references the original movie a LOT via flashbacks and so it was like, you know what, let’s watch it. And surprisingly? The movie is still really good and holds the hell up. Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi is still the fucking best, and Elisabeth Shue is wonderful as Ali. Ralph Macchio had so much charisma in his role too, but it isn’t just the performances – the story and the way it’s told is really well done. All the memories and references are still epic: “get him a body bag!” and “sweep the leg” and “wax on, wax off” – it’s awesome. A great rewatch.
Maybe delayed, but I’m still posting, dammit! This latest leg on Amazing Race was fairly brutal, as the introduction of a new challenge type, Head to Head, guaranteed a dramatic finish. And boy oh boy, did we get some drama. I’ve not really had a reason to complain about the previous 29 seasons and how if you got to the Pit Stop last, after having had conquered a Roadblock, Detour, and other challenges, you’d have to confront the fact that your poor performance is leading to your likely elimination. The Head to Head challenge acted as a gate before the Pit Stop – which is a glorious save for a team that is trailing the group. Is it entirely fair? I’m not so sure I think it is, but that chance to stay in the game is somewhat sporting. Anyway, I don’t hate the new challenge, and I look forward to if it continues to show up and how often. Is this like a U-Turn where it is an occasional thing, or will it be on every leg? So many questions!
Amazing Race 30 – Leg 2: Reykjavik, Iceland to Antwerp, Belgium
We left Iceland and again there was no competition about getting a better flight. Making it so easy for these teams nowadays! In my day, you had to spread misinformation and plead with ticketing agents to not issue tickets to others, dammit! Anyway, everyone gets to Antwerp via Amsterdam, and taking an early lead are Cedric & Shaun, massively casting off their Leg 1 standings, and getting to the Roadblock first:
Oof. I don’t know how well I would have done on that challenge. The nervousness from climbing those heights on a rickety rope ladder as well as the physical fatigue is pretty harsh. It does seem everyone managed it fairly well though, so maybe the support rope acted as a belay and helped pull you up too.
Once a team finished the Roadblock, they got their Detour clue with the choice being Diamonds or Fonts:
I was kind of surprised that this was a challenge. Not only are the teams handling actual diamonds worth tens of thousands of dollars, they also have to do MATH. A calculator was blessedly provided as otherwise, I’ve no doubt some of the teams would still be there. And based on the performance of some who chose this, even the calculator wasn’t that much help, as they had to pay attention to clarity and with all the fingerprints they left on the stones, it was throwing them off.
This Detour option also required paying attention to detail, but the detail was to make sure you understood one major detail in that the type was reversed and upside down. And if you were clever like some and used the shadows from the window, you could rip right through this. Alas, some of the teams got massively hung up on this. The Twin Firefighters were the key examples of this – they started on Fonts and could NOT figure it out, eventually switching to the Diamonds challenge. That switch led them to be the last team in the standings…but fret not, Head to Head is here!
In this first instance of Head to Head, the first two teams to arrive would compete against each other in an obstacle course that required you to dress up as Belgian Fries and schlep a dolly of frozen fries around it. Whoever wins that match wins the Leg! The loser has to then race the next team to arrive, and so on. The last race will be between whoever has just lost a match and that last team to arrive. And if that last team can manage to win the match, voila, they stay in!
Cody & Jessica managed to arrive second after Cedric & Shaun, but Cody destroyed and got Team Big Brother their first (of many?) wins. So as the teams kept rolling in, the major story of Head to Head was the awful feeling everyone had while watching Henry & Evan roll in around fourth…but then get utterly destroyed in the competition for like 7 straight competitions. It was brutal to watch. They were exhausted. They got lucky, if you can call it that, by finally getting to race against a not so great team, the Goat Yoga ladies. Exhausted and with plenty of experience under their belt by now, Henry felt got a win. But it was very very close. In the end, the Goat Yoga ladies didn’t have enough legs to figure it out as the Firefighters showed up last and due to pure strength, were able to power their way past Goat Yoga.
I’m of the mind that I understand this is a competition show, and if a new tweak is added, then you have to play and win. The Firefighters won their way to stay, but their abysmal performance this leg definitely earned them an elimination. Their elimination is likely coming soon as it doesn’t seem they’re a strong team yet. And Goat Yoga was falling apart from Leg 1, so their elimination here isn’t a travesty by any means. I guess I’m saying, a last place team always has a chance now…and I’m not sure I like that.
The Current Standings:
I may have stopped recapping these for a while as life gets in the way as does motivation, but I never stopped watching the show. And with a Cody & Jessica from Big Brother on this season, it was certainly going to get viewing rotation!
Amazing Race 30 – Leg 1: New York, NY to Reykjavik, Iceland
So this season’s gimmick for casting is that every team is super competitive in whatever arena it is they do. So there’s competitive eaters, Big Brother contestants, Indy 500 winners, etc. I am not nearly motivated enough to care about all of the teams yet, but there are some standouts…including the cute Indy 500 winner and then these hotties:
I’m assuming they’re gay from their outfits, speaking voices, and hotness, and apparently they’re hip classical musicians too. Please let them stay in this race for awhile, and let’s have a Turkish mud bath challenge please?
Anyway, we start this season at Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village area of NYC, get introduced to the teams, and then they’re off to get their clues in the fountain and then over to JFK to fly to Reykjavik, Iceland. No drama in getting tickets on a quicker flight, but we all know that shit’s coming in a later episode. The early frontrunners are the Yale Debate Team (Henry & Evan) and surprisingly Big Brother (Cody & Jessica).
I say surprisingly as Cody & Jessica didn’t really make it that far in this past season of Big Brother, and managed to actively turn the entire house against them. It was pretty astounding. Jessica’s game was definitely hurt by Cody’s stubbornness and terrible gameplay instincts, as she had a serious chance, at one point, to do well in BB. But she, along with many of us with eyes, got swept up by Cody’s looks and body and managed to utterly ignore the damage to her game he was causing. But they’re still together so I guess maybe she’s not too unhappy with the results. But based on their ending leg stumble which completely hinged on Cody’s stubbornness on where they were supposed to go, I’m predicting yet again that Cody hasn’t learned anything and will cause them to lose the $1MM grand prize at the end. Guess we’ll see.
Once in Iceland, each team had to drive to this big ass waterfall that a steel-line had been strung across – with one of the team having to climb out and get an Icelandic flag and the other having to pull them back in. I honestly think this challenge would be one I’d be able to do as most of the time, you have no chance to look down and see how high up you were. Who knows, I could be full of shit. Larry & I watch this and try to figure out who would do each Detour/Roadblock and there are some clearly suited for one or the other. He immediately said he’d not be doing this particular one.
This detour is where things go all sorts of jumbled as the damnable Attention To Detail snared up nearly EVERY team…except surprisingly Cody. To this twist of fate, I’ll only say that I think he got lucky, as while most figured out that while riding around in the little dune buggy and looking for letters, the small number associated with the letter indicated its position, it was the fact that there were two types of Os present that caused chaos. If you luckily put your O with an accent in the right place, yay you! And I KNOW that’s what Cody lucked into. The poor basketball players though got super screwed by this challenge as he just did NOT see that there were differences in the Os. Here’s where the typical Amazing Race errors are seared into teams’ brains, as if it’s not “Read the Fucking Clue” then it’s “Pay Attention to the Details” that will always get you. Also, “Learn to Drive a Fucking Stick Shift” and “Figure out how to read a FUCKING MAP.” I digress. This Detour definitely allowed some people to make up some time while others like the Cute Indy 500 guy lost a few places.
There was another challenge where you had to find out some Icelandic beverages from clues that some super-weightlifters gave them, but it proved not to be all that big a deal except for some footage of some really shitty parking attempts.
What we did get though was a pretty epic Leg Finish. Miss Iceland and Phil were there and greeted the Pro Lady Skiers (Kristi & Jen) as the winners of Leg 1 as stupid-ass Cody lost he & Jessica the lead getting lost wandering around Reykjavik. I was so impressed that Cody & Jessica were about to win this leg and then OF COURSE he gets them lost. Ridiculous. But anyway, that’s not really the best part of this leg’s end, as in the end, it literally ended up a photo finish as the final two teams were having a foot race to the mat and I don’t think either realized they were in that position.
It really was like they stumbled into there and honestly, if the girl with the backpack in the picture above had dropped that damn bag LIKE SHE SHOULD HAVE AS SHE’S RACING FOR A MILLION DOLLARS, she probably could have outrun Yoga Goat Girls and beat the blonde woman to the mat. But hey, if I had just studied European Flags some more or not bet like a dumbass in my one chance at Jeopardy, I could have possibly had at least ONE WIN on my belt. So we all have our regrets.
In the end, I’m loving this season already and can’t wait for there to be a ‘who looks best in a speedo’ Detour that the Gay Orchestrators win in a landslide.
I’m naive enough (still) to think that I can crank out a post every day as a potential resolution. We all know that is some bullshit, but hey, I’m gonna try. BTW, the main reason I think I get behind is I have these major ambitions to post giant picture sets and that is a lot of work, at least I make it so. Anyway, here are some things I stumbled upon in the Internet (h/t to Joe Reid’s list here: https://decider.com/2017/12/19/joe-reid-best-of-2017/) that made me laugh and I need to preserve.
First up is this comedy duo that has thus far made 3 videos of famous “power couples” and holy shit I’m dying at how funny these are. I also kinda love how much she (Sudi Green) reminds me of Maya Rudolph and how hot and gay he (Matt Rogers) is. The first video in the playlist below is Caesar & Cleopatra, but is followed by the Evil Queen / Magic Mirror and then by Britney / Justin. So good.
One show that came out on Netflix last year (2017 was last year, craaaaazy) was a reboot of One Day at a Time and it’s fantastic and hilarious, this time centered on a Cuban-American family in Echo Park. The updated theme song by Gloria Estefan is catchy as all get out, but in advance of Season 2 (coming out later this month), they did an homage to the original theme song and credits:
If you have Netflix, do yourself a favor and watch the first season of One Day at a Time. You’ll thank me later.
Other shows to keep in mind if you’ve got an open schedule that we’ve been ripping through and loving and I’ll likely revisit in later posts:
- I Love You America (Hulu): From Sarah Silverman who gets real and funny about all sorts of issues we are experiencing in our country.
- Mindhunter (Netflix): This show is intense and awesome and set in the late 1970s and way better than I expected. Set amidst the FBI trying to wrap its head around how to understand and capture serial killers. Some great performances.
- Future Man (Hulu): A show that pushes so many of our pop-culture sci-fi buttons and has super charming leads in Josh Hutcherson, Eliza Coupe, and strangely/weirdly hot Derek Wilson. Funny, action-y, and just fun.
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon): Holy shit this show is fantastic. Set in the 1950s, it focuses on an UWS Jewish woman whose husband leaves her and she ends up finding out she’s really good at stand up comedy. Kinda modeled on Joan Rivers, it’s just an overall fantastic cast and show from the woman who created the Gilmore Girls.
In the next bit of random, here’s a clip from the recent critical hit movie, Call Me By Your Name. Larry & I saw this last week and it’s marvelous and very much a gay fantasy, but damn if it isn’t captivating nonetheless. The clip below is just a gander of the hunky Armie Hammer dancing – enjoy:
I think another post will be needed to get into the many recent movies we’ve been seeing….and yes, I’ve seen The Last Jedi three times so far and I like it even more each time. PORGS FOREVER.