Just a thought… Entertainment and learning are not opposites; entertainment may be the most effective mode of learning. [Herbert Marcuse]
Oh, the irony: I’m in a time zone where shows like the Emmy Awards begin at 5 o’clock in the afternoon and are done by 8, and I have no alarm set for 3:30 am to get up and talk about them! Ah well. Hope you enjoyed last night’s show, if you even remembered to watch. With so many non-network offerings out there, it’s not surprising that TV awards shows are seeing their ratings slide. It’s likely a direct correlation with viewership of regular network shows.
I am happy to say that reading about its multiple nominations made me seek out The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime and it’s one of the best shows I’ve watched in ages. Set in the late 1950s, a housewife finds herself distraught, drunk and hilariously doing stand-up in a club that her husband used to frequent.
Her life as a comedian, kept secret from her super uptight parents (Dad is played by the always great Tony Shalhoub) and as a separated mom of two, is a tightrope walked by actress Rachel Brosnahan with courage and spirit. Note: there are plenty of F-words in the show (Lenny Bruce even shows up a few times) and if that induces pearl clutching, this show may not be for you. But oy, what a great find! I was only sorry that Season 2 has yet to be released! Love Mrs. Maisel! (And I’m happy to see that Emmy voters do, too.)
Now to something I can’t yet bring myself to watch, but that was must-see for us during its first season: The Handmaid’s Tale. Set during a dystopian time when fertile women are kept strictly as chattel and expected to produce children for the couples who basically “own” them, I felt a heaviness while the policies of the government south of our own border were settling in.
And since that first season, it’s only gotten worse: children and parents being separated, women continuing to risk losing rights and control over their own bodies and a self-professed serial sex offender at the helm of the country, making decisions about appointing other possible offenders to the highest posts in the land. I really don’t know if I can settle in and take on another season of this show, given how things continue to devolve around us. How much is life supposed to imitate art, and vice versa?
And so an entire season just sits there, awaiting a time when I’m in a good enough or bad enough mood to watch it. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s where I am.
There’s a documentary that came out last month that I’m steeling myself to watch as well: Active Measures outlines Russian efforts to manipulate world events. Of course, we’re talking about Putin and Trump here, and the fact that it goes back decades makes this doc even scarier.
But for a lighter look at where we are now – if that’s possible – this Friday marks the release of the TIFF hit, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 in many cities. You’ve undoubtedly seen or heard Moore on the talk show circuit leading up to this week’s release, discussing why this November could possibly mark the last election in the United States. Sounds like hyperbole, I know, but wait until you see the way he connects the dots. Not all superheroes wear capes (or look hot in tights, for that matter).
We’re hoping to see it with friends next Monday, but I can’t determine for sure if ‘everywhere’ includes Vancouver Island. In the meantime, check out The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, if only for the episode featuring the wonderful Jane Lynch.
Tomorrow, I’m off to Regina (where the forecast is for rain and 9C). I’ll fill you in…thanks for coming by and have a great day!