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This Week: Wes Anderson Movies Are like Desserts

Here's what the Agents of Doux are watching this week.

Billie Doux: Outlander is back, and they started off with a massive amount of set-up. Why do I love this show so much? And I just realized I can say the same two things about Star Trek: Picard.

I just started watching Somebody Feed Phil, a food show on Netflix, and the first episode I saw ("Rio de Janiero") reeled me in. The host, producer/writer Phil Rosenthal, goes places and eats things, and he is unfailingly charming, informative, and a complete pleasure to watch. There are four brief seasons waiting for me like a buffet and I'm looking forward to every episode.

Samantha Quinn: This week has been a bit light for me. I got another episode into my marathon rewatch of ER (I'm up to season 11, only four more to go). I tried Next Level Chef and the premise is kind of neat, but the gimmick kind of wore off quickly as the show became just another standard cooking competition à la Master Chef. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returned and the first episode has one of the funniest scenes of the entire series. Imagine having a family argument from different cars on a Ferris wheel combined with the show's signature humor and wit and the cast's wonderful timing.

I tried to play Elden Ring even though I hate Souls games, and got about 90 minutes into it before remembering why I hate Souls games. Does it really need to be so unforgivably hard? It isn't fun beating your head against a wall again and again. In the same vein I'm somewhat addicted to a mobile app called Beatstar which is like Guitar Hero played with your thumbs; if you want to increase your carpal tunnel issues, it is a great choice. I could also talk about my difficulty finishing Horizon: Zero Dawn, which I should've completed when it came out in 2017. If I had then I wouldn't have to play through an entire game before getting to the sequel, which just released.

I still haven't watched the second episode of Boba Fett and I'm not entirely sure I want to continue (the first episode did not thrill me). I'm also still trying to wrap my brain around the announcement of a Negan and Maggie spin-off of The Walking Dead. Maybe someone can explain this to me? I stopped watching in season six. On a totally different note, Outlander's premiere was fabulous but I'm now very worried about Claire and Fergus. Picard is picking up too, and I'm looking forward to see where this season goes.

Mikey Heinrich: Hi. I'm Mikey Heinrich, and I have a shameful confession to make. I... I abandoned season five of Voyager and binged almost the entire first season of Discovery.

I know, I know. I still have two and a half seasons of Voyager and then Enterprise, and what about the purity of the experiment and how can I even track my progress on the broadcast order Excel spreadsheet that I've been using to auto calculate the percentage of how many episodes I have watched of Star Trek as a whole, and how many are left*? The cells aren't set up to calculate non-linearly, Mikey! You knew that!
*Sadly, this is a thing that actually exists. I regret nothing. Not even the pivot table to adjust for differing episode lengths.

It's just... everybody was getting so into season four of Discovery, and Paramount Plus kept showing ads for it and it looked so shiny... so sexy... so serialized... I'm only human. So I thought, 'Hey, I can just check out the pilot. I'm an adult. I can try just a little and then stop. I have this totally under control. Then the next thing I knew, Rainn Wilson was back as Harry Mudd and IT WASN'T EVEN HIS FIRST APPEARANCE.

But I'm going to get through this. I tried finding the Serenity to accept things, but then I accidentally started watching Firefly. But after a lot of soul searching, I have found myself back with "Bride of Chaotica!" and am now taking this one episode at a time.

Seriously though, that first season of Discovery was really great.

I feel a lot better getting that off my chest.

Panda: I spent the last week bingeing Yellowjackets. I can’t remember the last time a new show had me in such a chokehold. When I wasn’t watching it, I was thinking about it, and when I wasn’t thinking about it I was raving about it to everyone I know. I could hear people getting bored with me, but I couldn't stop. It just kept coming up like word vomit. If you don’t get that reference we can’t be friends. Well, we can, but you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about half the time.

Billie Doux: Panda, I guess I'd better get around to Yellowjackets.

Mikey, you absolutely need to watch the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. It is multitudes better than season one and features Pike, Spock and Number One, who've been spun off into Strange New Worlds. Did you watch "The Cage?" Actually, if you saw the two-part original series "The Menagerie," you're covered since it contains all of "The Cage."

Mikey Heinrich: I did indeed start the entire process with "The Cage." The completist in me would have it no other way :) How quickly can I get through Enterprise...

Billie Doux: Mikey, you might be able to get away with putting Voyager and Enterprise on hold, since Voyager took place in another quadrant and Enterprise in a different time period. (I'm aware that some might disagree with that opinion.)

CoramDeo: I mean if you’re gonna go all the way through to Prodigy you’ll want the context of Voyager. Enterprise you can skip from a canon perspective.

Samantha Quinn: You'll want to finish Voyager before watching Picard. But otherwise Enterprise is relatively unimportant continuity wise, save for a couple of jokes on Discovery.

Billie Doux: Good point. I forgot about the Janeway stuff in Prodigy. I've only seen the pilot.

CoramDeo: True, Picard depends a lot on Voyager.

Sunbunny: I’d only seen a few episodes of TNG before watching season one of Picard and I managed okay. Of course, I pestered Mark with questions after every episode. (Sorry, Mark.)

An Honest Fangirl: Survivor comes back tonight for its 42nd season. I’m excited for it! From what I’ve seen of the cast interviews, it looks like it could be a fun group. Survivor as a phenomenon is just so fascinating to me, especially watching the strategies change and react to each other over the years. One of these days, I really just need to do a deep dive into any research or studies that have been done on the psychological/sociological side of the game and how people interact with and within it.

Otherwise, not a ton of TV. I need to see The Batman at some point. And the latest Spider-man movie. It’s been so long since I’ve been to a theater! Last time was probably in January 2020 to see Underwater. (A really fun, Lovecraftian horror movie about a deep sea drilling crew trapped on the bottom of the ocean starring Kristen Stewart. Highly recommend if that’s your thing. Scratches the Alien itch pretty well.)

Samantha, interesting to read your thoughts on Elden Ring! My best friend has been playing it a ton and he’s absolutely loving it. He’s also a huge Soulsborne fan, though. Apparently, the rush and feeling of accomplishment you get when you finally break through that brick wall is worth all the pain and frustration? I don’t know. I don’t get it either. I’ve mostly being playing Wildermyth these last few weeks. I absolutely love it. It has some of the best use of RNG to drive interesting and coherent storytelling that I’ve ever seen. It’s also probably the best implementation of a Dungeons and Dragons/tabletop game feel and atmosphere and experience that I’ve seen in a video game, even if it isn’t tied to that universe at all. Even if you’re not a gamer or don’t consider yourself to be one, I would recommend it.

Mark Greig: Haven't really got around to watching much this week, mostly just catching up with comics.

I read a few Moon Knight runs to get prepared for the TV show because I knew almost nothing about this character despite being a massive Marvel fan. I struggled with the first series from the 1980s, but loved the 2016 run by Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood as well as the current run by Jed MacKay and Alessandro Cappuccio. If you are thinking of checking out Moon Knight for the first time I recommend starting with both along with the 2014 run, which is great in places, but still something of a mixed bag due to going through three different creative teams.

I'm currently reading Kelly Thompson's Hawkeye and Black Widow series (both amazing), and Tom King and Mitch Gerads' trippy Mister Miracle, which is one of the best takes on Kirby's New Gods that I have read in a long time.

Mikey Heinrich: I want there to be a Mister Miracle TV series starring Matt Bomer SO BADLY. I'd even be enthusiastic about him joining the Legends of Tomorrow. Assuming they get renewed, of course.

Mark Greig: I'd love for WB/DC to do anything with the New Gods (so long as it isn't directed by someone put off by bright primary colours), but I imagine whatever happens it will probably be on HBO Max. With the CW up for sale I suspect the Arrowverse might soon be coming to an end.

Billie Doux: The teaser trailer for Strange New Worlds FINALLY dropped.


Samantha Quinn: Just before that trailer a teaser for Obi-Wan Kenobi went up... this is like Star Trek and Star Wars got in the ring again, as millions of geeks crying out to their fandoms were suddenly silenced.


An Honest Fangirl: I’m very, very excited for the Kenobi series. Live action Inquisitors??? Yes, please.

Mark Greig: I watched The French Dispatch last night and it has to be the most Wes Anderson movie Wes Anderson has ever made. It was exceptionally well crafted and featured a phenomenal cast, but Anderson's best movies often have a strong central performance which everything revolves around, like Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums or Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel. The episodic structure of this film prevented that completely. The individual episodes were also hit and miss. I enjoyed the first, but the second was a slog and the third would've been the same if not for the power of Jeffrey Wright's performance.

Victoria Grossack: I flew overseas this week, so I rewatched the first five episodes of House on an airplane.

Joseph Santini: I finished the first season of Sister Boniface. I loved how utterly absurd the series can be, how perfectly meta (even the town is named Great Slaughter), and how Lorna Watson manages to be at the center of everything without literally dominating the show. I haven't watched Father Brown – it's going to be next on my list, I expect – so my thoughts are limited to this series; what I noticed most is that the dry and explicit humor becomes a shell for what becomes a subliminal critique of society; feminism, war, and more are three serious and foundational notes in a symphony which the humor only elevates. My favorite episode is probably "Queen of the Kitchen."

Next I'm going to finally get moving with Prodigy. I watched the pilot episode twice; the first time, I pooh poohed the series and didn't plan to watch it again, but when a friend asked – when I was less tired, ha – I found a lot to like in the rewatch. Could Prodigy be the Clone Wars of Star Trek?

Josie Kafka: Mark, your post made me laugh. Last night I tried to watch The French Dispatch, and realized after about 30 seconds that I just am not a Wes Anderson person no matter how hard I try.

I finished The Tourist, the six-episode limited series on HBO about an amnesiac Jamie Dornan wandering around the Australian Outback. I strongly recommend it.

Mark Greig: Wes Anderson movies are like desserts. They're nice to look at, often delicious to eat, but never really fulfilling or to everyone's taste.

Shari: During the pandemic, while most people binged the entire catalog of Netflix, I read. The upshot is that I'm woefully behind on many shows that I loved or at least deeply liked. This week I finally finished season one of Batwoman. The grittiness gives Arrow a run for its money which as you all know by now appeals to me. The other thing that appeals to me is that it is probably the one show that has no trouble passing the Bechdel test. It is the only show I can think of where the female leads greatly outnumber the men. I'm really curious to see how a show that was so centered around Kate Kane's family drama and dysfunction works when that character unexpectedly left the show. The rest of my time was spent catching up on Star Trek: Discovery. The Gilded Age, and The Endgame. All of which I'm still enjoying. The latter much to my surprise.

Victoria Grossack: Supergirl also has many, many female leads and only a few male leads.

Billie Doux: I was just about to post the same thing, Victoria.

Shari: Another show I need to catch up on.

Mikey Heinrich: Holy cow, I just discovered that they dropped season two of Upload on Amazon Prime! I really loved the first season, did anybody else watch it?

Billie Doux: I did, and I found it cute and imaginative. But I was disappointed (no spoilers) with how it ended and I'm not sure I'm going to watch the second season. Mikey, let me know if it's worth it.


That's it for us this week. What are you guys watching this week? Any opinions to share?

3 comments:

  1. I swear I'm not watching shows that aren't covered here on purpose Dx But outside of officially reintroducing BrBa back into my roster I've been pretty much continuing my streak of getting into shows that don't fit in here.

    This week it was the newest season of In Treatment, which is actually a revival, replacing Gabriel Byrne's David with Uzo Aduba's Brooke as the main character/therapist. It came oot aboot a year ago but I initially decided 'nah' just because I think the premise was only sustainable thanks to how good/nonverbally responsive Byrne was as a listener. Also, I'm sorry, but the fact that the replacement is black made me think the specific character studies was going to have more social commentary than I want. Which was sadly kind of realized, not just from a black patient of Brooke's but Brooke herself towards a huwhite male patient. Ehhh...

    But the season was good! It was really really good, and I realized I was lying to myself when I thought the premise alone didn't interest me. I only reneged on my 'nah' because I missed fictional therapy, in and of itself, even without David with his bottomless eyes. I realized I missed watching sessions and getting to know patients.

    Eladio and Colin were the only patients I was interested in though. Laila was cute but her domineering grandmother was the only properly compelling aspect of that story. I didn't find Brooke's "wrap-up" sessions with her friend at the end of each week that interesting, but then I always found that to be the weakest part of the original series too. However there is an episode near the end where **SPOILERS** Brooke is being her own patient and it was excellent, considering I thought at first it would be as pointless and time-wasting as any coma fantasy dream sequence. But I was moved by it.

    I don't think I'll be revisiting it... maybe Colin's stuff, because self-aware but helpless narcissists are so interesting to me and John Benjamin Hickey is really fucking good. Missed seeing him on TV since Manhattan. But the revival season failed to adequately scratch the itch, and I ended up watching the 2 seasons of Couples' Therapy which were also recent and compared regularly to the In Treatment revival which finally gave me my fill. I don't think I'll revisit it either though. It was solidly, realistically acted but it has that trait from modern shows I don't like where it all feels like snapshots, I don't know how to explain it. And half the couples' argument were infuriating or were resolved without me really understanding what loosened the earth for them.

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  2. I was hoping to watch Outlander, but the new season hasn't turned up on Canadian Netflix yet. In the meantime, I've started into Money Heist at the moment. I was watching Arrow but I didn't really enjoy the direction the show was heading in season 3.

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  3. I binged the first nine episodes of "86" yesterday. It's an anime about people in battlesuits shooting at other people in battlesuits, garnished with a bit of mild fanservice. There's also a whole deeper level dealing with what happens to the character of a society that lies to itself. The flag of the protagonists' nation looks an awful lot like the flag of Manchukuo, the Japanese puppet state that ruled over Manchuria from 1934 to 1945, so it may be an allegory about the sins of Imperial Japan. Come for the battlesuits and stay for the subtext, I suppose.

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