Oscar Mayer’d again

Lights, camera, inaction!

Well, I see there’s still space on my shelf for that Oscar. Also, for the Emmy, Reuben, Pulitzer, Peabody, MacArthur Fellowship, Nobel, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

I’ve seen just one of the Academy’s picks — “Black Panther,” which like “Wonder Woman” drew raves but to me seemed like just another superhero movie. As a comics fiend I appreciated that genre for a while, but I’m finally over it. You can paint it black or pink, but it’s still basically what Herself calls “punch porn.” Another franchise, like Mickey D’s, with about as much nutritional value.

Now, TV, that’s the thing. There’s some great stuff happening on the small screen, which these days seems bigger than the one down at the multiplex. A favorite around here is “High Maintenance.” On the surface, it’s about a bicycling weed dealer and his clientele, but there’s plenty of depth to the thing. It’s like peeking into random windows as you stroll down an unfamiliar street.

Still, there are some movies worth watching. And one of them has its roots in a TV show. We checked out the 2018 documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” this weekend and it was surprisingly revelatory and touching.

I wasn’t a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” kid. “Captain Kangaroo” was my guy. I knew Mister Rogers primarily through the various sendups on “Saturday Night Live,” National Lampoon’s “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick,” etc.

But Fred Rogers comes off looking like much more than a punchline — he seems like a thoughtful gent whose own childhood was not all that rosy and who came to believe that children’s TV had a higher calling than selling toys.

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8 Responses to “Oscar Mayer’d again”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Punch porn! That’s brilliant. My thanks to Herself.

  2. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    The PBS Newshour streamed after the Italian national news followed by bits of Colbert, Meyers, etc. is about it for TV these days for us…unless they put SNL on YouTube where Alec Baldwin almost makes me happy Don the Con is the prez!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We generally watch something in the evenings. The trend toward brevity in streaming is welcome — we can catch an episode or even two of “High Maintenance” or “Crashing” without pushing the bedtime envelope too far (Herself gets up at ridiculous-thirty).

      She catches up on Colbert via iPad in the morning as she preps for work. I catch up on my Z’s. Until the Turk jumps on me, anyway.

    • Part O'Brien Says:

      If you are going to spend some time in front of the lobotomy box, you might as well pick out the absurd and ridiculous shit to get a laugh or two. If it’s PBS, then it’s usually Masterpiece or Finding Your Roots. Victoria is our latest addiction. Youtube is either How Ridiculous or Hot Ones. Have some fun and watch people eating really hot shit, or watch 3 Aussie mates dropping anvils on office printers or watermelons on trampolines from a 45 meter tall tower. And Patrick, if you really want to lose your mind for a while, watch Norman’s Rare Guitars videos.

  3. Libby Says:

    I haven’t seen the movie submissions but I saw “Can You Ever Forgive Me”. That had a best actress nom and a vest supporting actor nom. Great performances. I give the movie an unqualified recommendation.
    “The Americans” are Soviet spies in 1980s Virginia. It aired on FXX and wrapped up in 2018. It was a critical success but consistently overlooked for nominations and awards. It’s worth a look.
    I enjoy British series that air on PBS: “Doc Martin”, “Father Brown”, “Death in Paradise”, “Endeavour”, “Grantchester”. All-time favorite series: “The Rockford Files”, “(Inspector)Morse” and “Lewis”. Recommend all above.

  4. Libby Says:

    I haven’t seen the movie submissions but I saw “Can You Ever Forgive Me”. That had a best actress nom and a vest supporting actor nom. Great performances. I give the movie an unqualified recommendation.
    “The Americans” are Soviet spies in 1980s Virginia. It aired on FXX and wrapped up in 2018. It was a critical success but consistently overlooked for nominations and awards. It’s worth a look.
    I enjoy British series that air on PBS: “Doc Martin”, “Father Brown”, “Death in Paradise”, “Endeavour”, “Grantchester”. All-time favorite series: “The Rockford Files”, “(Inspector)Morse” and “Lewis”. Recommend all above.

  5. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    One thing that’s very different in Europe is dinner time. In the USA they want you to eat by 6 PM so you can be plopped in front of the boob toob by “Prime Time” and then sit there for hours learning how much happier you’d be if you just bought the right car, phone, house or friends.
    In Italy the national news comes on at 7 PM with the yokel coverage right after, so it’s 8 PM by the time we do any sort of eating…which (thankfully) doesn’t leave that much time for mindless entertainment ..unless you’re an insomniac. The commercials are stuck only at the end of the shows so they’re much easier to ignore. They take up far less time as well. Now and then we’ll stream NBS Nightly News and the whole show’s done in barely 15 minutes since they leave the commercials out!

  6. Dale Says:

    We rock our public library’s DVD collection for entertainment these days. Just lately we’ve watched “Good-bye Lenin” and “The Lives of Others”, German films with subtitles for us monolinguals; as well as “Saving Grace” and “”Keeping Mum” from the Brits (we can generally understand their language).

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