BLOG: The “Coronavirus” Entertainment List

Published on: March 23, 2020

Filled Under: All Things Hollywood, Blog, Entertainment, Worth Reading and Watching

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We are all climbing up the walls trying to learn constructively, pass the time, or find distraction.

To that end, I have written down some things that I have devoured that you might like as well . . . hopefully putting them on a page makes it easy to pass along!

This list will be constantly edited and I’ll try to organize it as we go along . . .

PS- I don’t have HBO (yet), so a bunch of those aren’t on the list.  Feel free to submit ideas and comments.

ENDORSE! (And in no particular order)

  • Broadchurch (Season 1 is some of the best TV ever) (NFLX)
  • Tiger King (Documentary) – I’m one episode in and this show is off the rails already . . . riveting. (NFLX)
  • Ozark – Terrific- the whole cast is terrific (NFLX) (SEASON 3 Out now!)
  • A Life of Speed: The Juan Manuel Fangio Story – If you liked Ford v Ferrari (or Formula 1) this is a cool doc on one of the greatest drivers of all time. Best appreciated by gearheads, but the interviews with past champs are great.
  • King – dark and creepy like an adult G.O.T. (NFLX)
  • Criminal- 3 episodes, criminal interrogations, great acting (NFLX)
  • Babylon Berlin- German ’30s noir . . . Really great start so far (NFLX)
  • Morning Show- Compares well with Bombshell (Prime)
  • Tommy – Edie Falco Rules (CBS/Prime)
  • Formula 1 (Drive for Success)- love this – if you like great auto racing in osh European settings this is it- worth trying for civilians too!
  • Mandalorian – Star Wars goes Western (awesome) (Dis+)
  • Transparent – ML liked it (Prime)
  • ZZ Top Documentary – Great Fun with one of my favorite bands (NFLX)
  • Oasis Documentary – These guys are a UK treasure (NFLX)
  • Crown (All seasons are terrific) (NFLX)
  • Rake (Loved it . . . . Cleaver!) (NFLX)
  • Call My Agent (NFLX) (French- hysterical (and sophisticated) show about talent agents in Paris . . . Camille Cottin, Thibault de Montalembert are terrific: https://www.netflix.com/title/80133335
  • Animal Kingdom – (Riveting for the first couple of seasons) (Prime)
  • Mindhunter (The serial killer interviews are the star) (NFLX)
  • Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – A joy- ML loved it . . . (Prime)
  • Fleabag – Brilliant- Phoebe rocks! (Prime)
  • Perfume (For fans of Dark- excellent take on Suskind novel- German) (NFLX)
  • Wild Wild Country – Sheela! (NFLX)
  • Billions- Hedge Fund porn- I like large swaths of it- the show is best when it focuses on one particular trade.
  • House of Cards – loved it early and it ran out of gas for me (NFLX)
  • Bosch – Titus and LA . . . excellent together . . . (Prime)
  • Americans- Good early period piece gets repetitive (Prime)
  • Game of Thrones – fun while it lasted (HBO)
  • Night Manager- Great settings and compact story with Loki (AMC- Prime)
  • Narcos – First 3 seasons are great, 4th is ok (NFLX)
  • Very English Scandal – Terrific acting (Prime)
  • Hannibal- Mads might be every bit as good as Hopkins (NBC)
  • The Spy (cool unfamiliar setting – Sacha is terrific) (Prime)
  • Breaking Bad- (AMC)
  • Mad Men- (AMC)
  • Bodyguard- British action with a twist! (Prime)
  • Giri / Haji- Japan/ London yakuza chase- (NFLX)
  • Collateral- London political murder caper
  • Downton Abbey – so good
  • Durrells of Corfu- Early century English fish out water – charming
  • Secret City- OZ political thriller- unexpectedly terrific.
  • Tidelands- weird OZ supernatural tale- (fun Oz setting)
  • Wanted- Two Aussie women on the run (fun to see OZ)

NOT SO MUCH . . .

  • Politician – The opposite of charming . . . left me cold after 5 episodes
  • River – Bleak- could get into even with Stellan
  • Pine Gap- didn’t catch after a couple of episodes
  • Luther- couldn’t get into it despite Elba
  • Chef’s table- ok but chefs are weird
  • After Life- can’t remember anything about it . . .

COMEDY SPECIALS

  • Tom Papa- really upbeat, great if you’re down
  • Ilza Schlesinger – hysterical- all of her specials are terrific
  • Sebastian Manscalco – Jerry Seinfeld on speed
  • Dave Chappelle – Hysterical . . . and if you haven’t revisit his show which is brilliant.
  • John Mulaney – former SNL writer – really funny . . . love his bits.

RECENT OSCAR MOVIES

  • Irishman- watch it in at least two sittings. Goodfellas, but drawn out and less amped up music. But it is Pesci’s best.
  • Bombshell- Charlize Theron is unbelievable as Megyn Kelly
  • Joker- A dark and twisted descent into madness. Excellent, but you had best be in the mood.
  • Parasite- Outstanding and weird. Highly original and strange ending. Loved it.
  • Ford v. Ferrari- This is what movies “used” to be. A terrific buddy picture and it might be one of the best car racing movies (“Rush” with Helmsworth and Bruhl is also excellent.). Damon is good as Carroll Shelby
  • 1917- WWI vignette that is visually stunning and packs an emotional punch. (I still think Gallipoli is a little better, but it is one of the best movies ever made)
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood- I think I need to see it again- I loved many things about it and it has all the Tarantino trappings that you come to rely upon. Pitt won the Oscar, but Leo was the star. Margot Robbie can do no wrong and the twist ending was an interesting choice. But I came out thinking this was less than the sum of its parts.
  • Pain and Glory- Banderas. Really interesting Spanish movie about a drugged out director. Really good Antonio . .. .
  • Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker . . . ok, but stick with the original trilogy and Rogue One. Especially this . . .

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Stay Alive (publ. by Markosia UK)- From Jim Harberson and “Mackie Wildwood”. NSFW gory throwback to EC Comics and 70s/80s horror that satirizes celebrity and influencer culture. Stephen Baskerville’s art is amazing. (A little hometown bias here- *wink*)

  • Wanted by Mark MIllar (Top Cow) – Bad ass story that is part Avengers, part League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, part Fight Club. SO much better than the movie.
  • Infinity Gauntlet- Jim Starlin (Marvel) – the collection that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe- still holds up well . . . .
  • Death of Captain Marvel- (Marvel) – another Jim Starlin story- one of the great slow burn endgames for a superhero ever.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths (DC) . . . Convoluted, but so many emotional punches.
  • Batman (DC)- so many good ones, but among the usual suspects and favorites: Batman: Year One, Killing Joke (the ultimate Joker story), Dark Knight Returns, Batman: RIP (awesome), Cult, Knightfall (Bane breaks his back), Arkham Asylum,
  • The New Gods (DC) Fourth World Saga – Jack Kirby’s creations (like Darkseid) provide the last cache of IP for the DC world- this is one of the best later stories . . . and you’ll be ahead of the game when the DC movie universe gets its act together.

BOOKS (and there are a bunch more . . .)

  • Blockchain Basics, by Daniel Drescher
  • Three-Fifths, by John Vercher (really good and it’s his first!)
  • The Cast, by Amy Blumenfeld
  • Campusland, by Scott Johnston
  • Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain
  • Our Way: The Life Story of Spike Yoh, by Bill Yoh
  • Understanding Power, by Noam Chomsky
  • The New Right, by Michael Malice
  • Ready, Player One, by Ernest Cline
  • The Dilbert Principle, Scott Adams
  • The Four: The Hidden DNA of . . . , by Scott Galloway
  • The Messy Marketplace: Selling Your Business . . . , by Brent Beshore
  • Punching from the Shadows (Amateur Boxing), by Glen Sharp
  • Where the Bullets Fly, by Terrence McCauley
  • The Man Who Solved the Market (Jim Simons), by Greg Zuckerman
  • The New Rules of Divorce, by Jacquelin Newman
  • We Have Been Harmonized (China), by Kai Strittmatter, Ruth Martin
  • Laws of Wealth, Daniel Crosby
  • The Geometry of Wealth, Brian Portnoy
  • Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou
  • None of My Business, by PJ O’Rourke
  • Change Up: How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better, by Buck Martinez
  • The 401 /403 Investment Manual: What Plan Participants and Plan Sponsors…, by James Watkins
  • The Pell Heist, Norb Vonnegut
  • Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization, Steve Solomon

More Home-Cooking below . . . with Wealth, Actually . . . especially in these market environments . . .

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