Good Things: October

October 31, 2017

Another heartbreaking month in America, but here we go with some positive things….

Odin the goat-herding dog (above) – This story of survival is just so life-affirming and heroic and lovely.

“Big Mouth” – If you have a thing for silly cartoons (and I do), this hilarious Netflix show about puberty might tickle you.  The subject matter is obviously familiar and yet nothing like I’ve ever seen on TV before, super refreshing and smart.  It has such a fun cinematic way of making hormones true characters within the plot, and motivating (realistic) irrational behavior in others.  It’s got a fantastic voice cast that amplifies the comedy with performance–but it’s also chock-full of jokes.  Put this on if you need something you don’t have to think about too hard and need a lift.  (And it’s coming back!)

“Mindhunter” – On the other end of the darkness spectrum is this David Fincher-produced Netflix show about an idealistic FBI behavioral science instructor who begins studying–and talking to–serial killers in order to try to “get ahead of crazy.”  If you have any interest in true crime (Murderinos, I’m looking at you), give it a shot, and give it a couple episodes.  It’s heady, it’s talky, and it moves at a pace that’s closer to Zodiac than Se7en.  The first episode does a lot of heavy lifting in the exposition department.  But it gets really interesting, using real-life serial killer interviews and exploring the cultural and political challenges that come with working in a bureaucratic institution like the FBI.  Watch for the great chemistry that develops between partners.

Dirty John podcast – I don’t want to give too much away about this LA Times true crime reporting, because the storytelling allows it to unfold in such a compelling way.  I will say it has a resolution that doesn’t disappoint.

“I Love You, America” – Sarah Silverman’s new show on Hulu is a little hard to wrap your head around at first.  It’s hard to contextualize, because it’s unlike anything else out there.  There’s man-on-the-street stuff, but without snark.  There’s equal-opportunity political skewering, but Silverman doesn’t really seem all that interested in skewering.  There’s studio audience stuff that ranges from goofy and absurdist to downright uncomfortable.  But I think this is an important show, and one that is genuinely trying to forge connections on a human level, find common ground, and encourage conversations over arguments.

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