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This Week: The Most Trek Message Ever

And the winner is...
Now that Strange New Worlds has ended for the season, I'm in the middle of a few things: still watching Big Sky but finding season two might be too much like season one; finally watching the later seasons of Call the Midwife, and feeling like the plotlines might be getting too repetitive.

Finished The Boys but wasn't all that thrilled with the third season, but that might just be me because The Boys constantly makes me go "Yecch," so much that I always have trouble getting through it. I'm also rewatching Bosch and oddly, enjoying it more the second time.

What's everyone watching this week?

Victoria Grossack: Besides watching the third season of The Umbrella Academy to do reviews, I have been watching Manifest. And, last weekend, husband and I did something we never do: we found a sports channel in order to watch one day of the Tour de France. Why? Because it was going very close to our house and we wanted to know when to hike up the mountain in order to watch.

Mikey Heinrich: Last night I finished watching Star Trek: Prodigy, which means I only have a rewatch of Strange New Worlds and I'm finally done with my complete Star Trek watch. It's been a ride.

I didn't really like Prodigy at all, to be honest. A couple of the main characters were cute, but the main character was such a profoundly irritating self-obsessed dipshit that I spent most of the series rooting for his painful death. Murph the slug is awesome, however. I'll just accept that it's meant for kids, whereas I'm uncomfortably close to 50, so I can accept that this one just isn't intended for me and not get too bothered about it.

Billie: Mikey, congratulations on finishing your Star Trek project! Which series was your favorite?

Victoria, when I was living in Boulder, Colorado, the Bolder Boulder, a 10K race, went right by my apartment. No Tour de France, but still.

CoramDeo: I'm watching the DS9 season seven episodes I'll be reviewing as we cover the next season. My time to watch stuff is intermittent and mostly spent on movies other than stuff I'm reviewing, but I couldn't resist Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep series on HBO Max. I sit squarely at the center of the venn diagram of target audience members for that show; it's like film nerd candy.

ChrisB: It’s been so hot that I have been going to the movies instead of staying home with a TV. Super cooled rooms, comfy lounge chairs, and movie popcorn are getting me through this hot, hot weather.

Mr. Malcolm’s List was fun, but if one is a fan of our beloved Miss Austen, one knows what is coming. I wanted to love it; I liked it a lot.

Top Gun was Top Gun all over again. It was fun and the fight scenes were fun to sit through, but it was a movie I had already seen. A long time ago.

Elvis was a Baz movie. I really, really enjoyed it but it needed some editing. Some scenes went on for far too long. But, the music was wonderful and I left the theatre glad I had sat through it.

Panda: I just started watching Physical with Rose Byrne. As someone familiar with eating disorders it’s bordering on triggering, but the show is so honest in its depiction that I’m ready to just go with it. Rose is, of course, fantastic in it as well.

Mikey: Billie, I want to say Strange New Worlds, but that might be recency bias. The honest answer is probably Deep Space Nine. It's become very clear to me that I'm going to write a longer piece about the whole experience. Possibly with a sexy, click-baity title like "Confessions of a Star Trek Virgin." That should get me on Buzzfeed, right? :)

I'm giving myself a little treat (after watching about 800 hours of television) by finishing up the Strange New Worlds victory lap by watching "The Cage" before I start the season and re-watching 'The relevant episode that I will not spoil' before watching the finale. I think I probably failed to appreciate a lot of loving detail about the finale by only having seen that one once, about 800 hours ago. All in all, I'm glad I did it. But if I'd really appreciated how much Star Trek there is before I started, I would never have started.

I guess that's an endorsement of uninformed optimism. That kind of feels like the most Trek message ever.

Billie: Mikey, that title is perfect. I can't wait to read it.

Mikey: Also, as a side note while watching Strange New Worlds again, I again wonder - why are we not all talking about Anson Mount's shoulders like, all the time?

Billie: It seems that half of the internet is talking about Anson's hair.

ChrisB: If anyone is looking for a Jane Austen fix, I recommend Persuasion that was just released on Netflix. It is our beloved Miss Jane brought sorta/kinda into today’s world which sometimes really works and sometimes really doesn’t. The casting is perfect and the Regency settings are sublime so I was forgiving of a lot of what didn’t work. Go into it expecting to be entertained, but not to be told the story as written.

Shari: I've had company all week, so I haven't gotten to see anything new. However, I did introduce her to the joys of Strange New Worlds. We're halfway through. There might be an ongoing Gilmore Girls rewatch too...

Billie: Gilmore Girls is so rewatchable. I've done it three times. It makes up a bit for not watching while it was airing. I'm wondering how many times I'm going to watch Strange New Worlds before the second season arrives.

Over to you guys. What are you streaming this week?


  1. Covid really knocked the wind out of me and I haven't really been watching much lately. We finally have Paramount+ here so started watching Strange New Worlds and really love how it keeps showcasing a different character with each episode. Not so keen on the love triangle they seem to be setting up between Spock, T'Pring and Chapel.

    Finally started season two of the anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaibaand and just finished the 'Mugen Train' arc and need a hug. Also tried the 2011 version of Hunter x Hunter, but gave up on it after nine episodes because it was just so slow and tedious. It has pretty much put me off watching any anime that is more than fifty or sixty episodes. I don't know how anyone makes it through the shows that have like five hundred or even a thousand episodes.

    Oh, and I read Something is Killing the Children, a great series. Everyone should check it out.

  2. Now that I've had time to breathe (my baby brother just got married!) I can comment somewhat intelligently. Or at least pose semi-intelligent questions. I started watching Manifest months ago. I remember enjoying it but not being wowed. Is it worth me going back?

    Secondly, there is a state marathon that goes past my house every year (although there's been a COVID hiatus). I normally get locked into my apartment complex for a day. Sometimes, it's not all it's cracked up to be.

  3. Not watching much. Looking to fill the immense hole that Thursday nights have become. Thank you very much, Anson.

    I'm watching "The Old Man" (FX), which I highly recommend if you're into spy vs spy that's more about the characters involved than the spy stuff. It stars Jeff Bridges as the old dude, who has disappeared from his CIA career and doesn't want to be found/caught. John Lithgow is Bridge's ex-mentor/Lt. Gerard, who wants to catch Bridges or kill him. They have an old connection to something that happened during the Soviet's turn at failing to conquer Afganistan that sets things in motion. Alia Shawkat plays Lithgow's assistant who I can't talk about because Spoiler Cat. Amy Brenneman plays an innocent bystander who gets caught up in all of it and may just steal the show. And if you like awesome dogs this show has two of them. It's got a Season Two OK. Again highly recommended.

    Also watching "The Ipcress File" (AMC), which is more spy vs spy, set in Berlin and London during the 60's Cold War. Or I'm trying to. It has thick British accents and no subtitles, so I'm missing a lot of dialogue. No rec yet but I'll keep trying.

    Gonna start watching "The Cuphead Show", an homage to the classic Looney Tunes/Hanna Barbara era of cartooning. I love that style as much for the music that takes you right off the cliff with Wile E. Coyote as I do the animation. I hope it's fun.

    1. Forgot about "Westworld" which I'm also watching. This is a complex show, and I wanted to give a big shout out to Logan Cox for his excellent reviews. They really help.

  4. For some reason, I decided to watch every season of Survivor a couple of months. There are 42 seasons. I'm currently about 1/3 way through season 19. It's fascinating to see the game change through the seasons and evolve and grow more and more complex. And it's just lovely background noise to have one while I'm working or otherwise doing stuff around the house. I don't need to think hard in order to follow anything.

    Am I out of my mind for even starting this adventure? Probably. My only consolation is that each season is only 15 episodes, and one of them is a reunion show at the end of the season that I always slip, and sometimes they have recap episodes that I also skip. But I'm having so much fun.

    My favorite season so far is Season 16, Micronesia. which is the general consensus for anyone who watches Survivor. However, my favorite winner comes from Season 13, Cook Islands. So far. I'm keeping a running ranking for my seasons and my winners.

    Because again, I'm probably out of my mind.

    1. I remember watching one of the seasons, I think it was sub-titled Heroes vs Villains or new vs veteran contestants... which might have been two different seasons and I'm conflating them. It was fun, but I never got super into it long term.

    2. Those are two different seasons (although Heroes vs Villains is comprised of returning players.) That's Season 20. The other one you're thinking of is Season 16, Fans vs Favorites, now usually called Micronesia because they did a second season with that theme a few years later.

      All of the seasons are on Paramount Plus, which is the only reason why I'm doing this.

  5. ChrisB, my parents watched the Elvis movie and absolutely loved it in a way that made me so curious about who the target audience is. :-)

    Also ChrisB: I haven't watched the new Netflix Persuasion, but I have enjoyed reading all of the horribly mean reviews about it.

    This one was the most interesting; it explores the idea of "I'm a wreck but I'm coping" feminism: https://lithub.com/from-fleabag-to-persuasion-the-rise-of-the-mussy-haired-self-hating-sarcasm-machine/

    Fangirl, I hope you survive your big TV goal!

    1. Josie -- the Elvis movie is well and truly a Baz film. If you are a fan of what he does, you will like it. Unlike Top Gun, this is not a film you need to see on the big screen (which, frankly, is unusual for Baz). Wait until you can stream it.

      I understand why so many people are upset at Persuasion, but I think it's gone a bit too far. I have stopped reading reviews because (a) they were all saying the same thing and (b) every one I read mentioned Fleabag which I have never seen. Maybe that's why I enjoyed the Austen so much.

    2. Oh no, not the pun! (Also I almost finished Season 19 last night. Only got the finale left. So that'll be fun.)

      Super interesting link that you posted too! It's always fascinating to me how depictions of women ("real women" or "strong women" especially) change over time and the watershed shows that prompt or codify those changes. Obviously Fleabag is one of them.

    3. ChrisB, that's what surprised me! The reviews I'd read (well, skimmed) made the movie sound very Baz. But in our conversation, it emerged that my parents had no idea who Baz was, or what other movies he'd made. They were dimly aware of Moulin Rouge. And, unsurprisingly, they did not develop a teenage crush on Leo after watching Romeo+Juliet.

      My parents' review boiled down to: "It was so different from other movies! You should watch it even if you don't like Elvis's music. Also, it was 25 minutes too long!" (I like Elvis as much as the next person.)

      I've never seen Fleabag, either, and I think that's why the review I linked to resonated with me so much. It helped me pin down why I've been averse to even trying Fleabag and other shows in the same genre. Here's the thesis quote:

      "Fleabag smirks and scoffs at the pain she endures as a woman in the contemporary world engaging in heterosexual romance. In doing so, Fleabag practices what I’ve elsewhere called 'dissociation feminism,' a coping mechanism that allows her to push away her pain—not because she’s transcending it, but because doing so renders her more palatable to her audience."

      And here's a link to the article "dissociation feminism" that the author (Emmeline Clein) is talking about there: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emmelineclein/dissociation-feminism-women-fleabag-twitter

      In general, I don't love stories of women in emotional pain. It's why I was averse to Russian Doll for so long. But I think Clein's definition of "dissociation feminism" also describes some of my own coping strategies--I'm willing to snarkily joke that I'm a complete disaster, people laugh, we move on, etc.

      In her comedy special Nanette, Hannah Gadsby talks about this in a different way: that she learned to be funny because comedy defuses tension, and for most of her life she *was* the tension in the room.

      I think that's how this Fleabag-trend works: it wants to show female pain at the same volume as male pain (think of all the trauma on Peaky Blinders, for instance) but in a very different, less serious key. The result, though, is that female pain winds up being a joke or a punchline.

  6. I'm nearing the end of my Agents of Shield watch and I'm getting sad that there isn't much left and nervous to find out where each story ends. I added a Buffy re-watch to my show rotation along with Sense8 because those got together really well.

    I'm halfway through S2 of both Stranger Things and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and I had honestly forgotten about some of the plots in those two seasons. Like seriously, the Steve and Dustin bromance and the entire arc in the Catskills with Suzie and the plunger.

    I haven't started any new games, but I might just need to get Stray. It's a platformer where you are playing a tabby cat in a future dystopia sci-fi world where there are only robots instead of people.

    The Boys was gross this season, but I think it might have been their strongest season. I want to try Irma Vep and maybe Physical since I love Rose Byrne. I haven't re-subbed to HBO in a hot minute, I wonder how much has built up in those few months. Might just have to find out.

    Sad to hear Persuasion isn't good, but oh well. Westworld is one of those shows I keep meaning to get back to, but for some reason I can't make myself watch it. I stopped in S1 at some point, or maybe early S2 I honestly can't remember. Perhaps when I resub for HBO I'll give it another try.


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