What I Watched This Week

Better Call Saul, Season 2: I just finished the second season of Better Call Saul. Let me tell you, binge-watching this series is a necessity. I don’t know how I would have survived if I had to wait an entire week for each episode. I know binge-watching has become a thing you do these days, because Netflix has made it possible to enable the worst of your lazy intentions, but there are certain shows where watching each episode back-to-back really does enhance the experience, and this is one of those shows. Each moment goes by at the slowest pace imaginable, inching along until, all of a sudden, you’re at the end of the episode. If I had watched this week after week, the momentum would have been lost between those minuscule moments.

Anyhow, that ending was a killer. Chuck is such a bastard. I mean, Saul is too, and their whole lives have just been a constant back-and-forth one-upping each other on the awfulness scale. But the difference is, Saul (yeah I’m calling him Saul, what of it) has that core conscience that Chuck just lacks, and Chuck not only knows this, but uses Saul’s goodness against him. Damn, that ending fucked me. It’s a brilliant show, and I’m desperately hoping that it doesn’t get cancelled before we see the definitive transformation of Jimmy into Saul.

The End of the Tour: This movie suffered from its own self-importance, at the expense of an otherwise thoughtful meditation on writers and the neurosis that comes along with solitude. I thought that the story of David Foster Wallace was very moving. Knowing that he had committed suicide, the scenes where he spoke so viscerally about his depression were made all the more compelling. And I really enjoyed the juxtaposition between the two writers, of how Lipsky obviously idolized Wallace and wanted to be where he was, and how Wallace felt all the more alone because of that.

But that’s the thing — the best part about this movie were the words exchanged between Lipsky and Wallace. All of the movie trappings cheapened the experience. The dancing scene in the church at the end was absolutely cringe-worthy. And there were other scenes where you knew the filmmakers were trying too hard to be Important. Like when they were walking in the snow, with the sunlight glaring on Wallace’s face. What this movie makes me want to do is read the raw material: read the Rolling Stone interview, read Lipsky’s book, and of course, read more of Wallace’s writing. The movie fails to deliver itself as a movie, and instead makes you wish you were seeing the words printed on paper instead of delivered unconvincingly by the hangdog droopiness of Jason Segel.

Outlander, Ep. 2.05: Ugh, stop fucking everything up, Claire! Is she this unlikeable in the books? She thinks she has it all figured out, doesn’t she? Her logic is beyond stupid regarding how changing the future actually works. How is she so fucking sure that waiting a year will ensure the birth of Frank’s ancestor? How does she know that the marriage of Jack and Mary isn’t some clerical error written in the history books? How is the birth of Frank worth ruining the lives of Mary, Alex, and Jamie? WELL CLAIRE?

Save the Last Dance: Hehe shut up. This movie holds up surprisingly well over the years, and despite its overly simplistic portrayal of race relations in Chicago, I thought the sentiment was still sweet. I also bawled like a baby when Sara was talking about how she was afraid to dance after her mom died. And how did I not realize that the woman who played Nikki is also Kendra the freaking vampire slayer?

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