Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weekly Buffet: Winter Winds

[Visual representation of productiveness]

Weather was a mixed-bag this week in the PNW, which, just like many other folks, has a direct correlation on my sense of a "go get 'em" attitude. There were unseasonably warm days while the rest of the country dealt with "Winter Storm K-Pax" (yes, that ice in Atlanta is all Kevin Spacey's fault) , but there was plenty of wet, blustery, and dark wintery skies around here thrown in for good measure. Doesn't it all just make you want to curl up on the couch?

The weather was all over the place, and so was I,  torn in a million different directions, feeling like nothing in particular was getting accomplished. Now it's Sunday again and I'm looking toward the next week hoping it takes a chill pill and everything can be sorted out.

That is similar to pop culture consumption. It seems like when time is devoted to one medium - music, movies, TV, books, or art -  or you try to sample a little of it all, no matter what, you seem to fall behind on everything.

Last month was all about catching up on movies, so in the last couple weeks spare time has been devoted to perusing new TV series and podcasts. Here is what has been occupying some of my cozy, inside time lately:

True Detective

I don't know if y'all know, but we are in the age of the "McConaissance" - a brilliant term I wish I had thought of, but can't claim since I actually heard it first uttered a month ago by a reporter during an interview with said actor. I didn't write it, but boy do I support it.

To make it a real renaissance it only seems appropriate that Matthew McConaughey would round out all culture possibilities and also tackle the small screen.

Hannibal and The Killing tried/are trying to jazz up the tired cop show with some edge, but True Detective is everything that those shows could be with better writing and general direction.

I never got into any of the Law & Order's or CSI's, but all it took was locking eyes with a teaser trailer for this new HBO gem several months ago to know it would be creepy and equally enthralling.

True Detective follows two detectives (McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) as they work through tracing down a sadistic murderer. On paper it sounds like a show that has been done before, but it feels more like an extended artful movie than a TV show.

Since there are only eight episodes, and this season will stand alone like a mini-series, the story is able to be flushed out with great detail, but it's evident that every second of the show is mapped out with purpose. As viewers we don't have to worry about how the writers could possibly keep the show going. When a show is predetermined to have a constricted amount of time, it allows for masterful, tight storytelling.  

There is always talk that the stuff found on TV is surpassing the quality of movies - True Detective is another shining example.

(If you like McConaughey in this and want to see him in something else that is eerie, take a look back at 2001's Frailty.)

Sochi Style

Since my photographic memory often brings up images from past media consumption, whenever I see a couple ice skating together my first thought is always of Amy Poehler and Will Arnett donning those special sequined ensembles . Then I get sad that they are divorced, my mind spirals off, and in the end I completing ignore the wonderful feat of skating prowess happening in front of my eyes.

Well, there is no such thing as being distracted by anything while watching the King and Queen of the Sochi Olympics (even though one of them does have a comedy doppelganger). After catching one glimpse of the power ice skating duo from Team Russia, Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, you will be in awe.

They now have two gold medals to match their shimmering outfits (seen above in their second performance). Last weekend they won gold in the team event and sealed the deal as the best in the world at the pairs event on Wednesday. If you haven't seen these two, race to find a clip, stat.

That's A Movie!?

Is it a passion of yours to sit through cinemas answer to a garbage dump simply to laugh and then scream, "...but whyyyyy?" If you exclaimed "YES!", there is no better podcast to suit your personality then, "How Did This Get Made."

I'm addicted to listening to this at work, but often have to explain that I'm not a mad woman who cackles to herself. I indeed have headphones on and am laughing at hilarious comedians talk about so bad they're good movies. I should stop, because those strange looks are getting old, but I just can't help myself!

Hearing people talk about the insane product placement in Mac and Me, or the serious lack of actual story in Speed 2: Cruise Control (top notch title) makes my day way too enjoyable. I will be that crazy gal who laughs gosh darn-it without a care in the world!

This weekend as the high winds moved in once again, I switched pop culture gears and have been trying to catch up on current Oscar nominees and past winners. Some other TV, reading, and what-not may fall by the wayside in the process, but those three things listed above will definitely not. They have already worked their way into my regular schedule.

I just realized that I have no idea who has released new music lately. Fail. Blerg. Well, that shall be my new mission one of these days.

Until next time.

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