Hello loyal TMI listener… If you have taken this extra step after listening to our latest
episode, then you truly deserve kudos! We hope to make this excursion you have
embarked on worth your while.
We would like to share some of the programming that we have been obsessed with whilst stuck at home, and maybe you’ll be inspired enough to seek it out as well.
1) What We Do In The Shadows (FX/Hulu) – highly recommended. A truly inspired and
funny ‘reality’ sitcom that follows the lives of 4 ages old vampires as they share a house
and traverse the modern world. Shot in the hand held documentary style of The Office, it is fish out of water gallows humor in the blackest, naughtiest vein. Just as good as the Taika Waititi / Jemaine Clement movie of the same name that preceded it.
2) Steven Universe (Cartoon Network) – I cannot say enough about this remarkable
animated series following the adventures of a boy named Steven and his gang of ‘Crystal Gems’, three alien female super heroes who fight various threats each week. The 6 seasons (and one movie!) start off very episodic, but it slowly unravels into an epic story arc, tracing the gem origins of Steven and the gem alien ‘Homeworld’. Like the Harry Potter series, it starts off on a very child-friendly level, then matures along with the main character. All genders, orientations and races are represented without comment, and are just allowed to ‘be’. There is much rewarding subtext to be had here, plus it works as pure entertainment as well. All seasons available on the Cartoon Network App.
3) The Insatiable Ones (Amazon Prime UK) – OK, had to do some digging to find this
one, but for Anglophile fans of 90’s music, this new documentary on the band Suede
(AKA The London Suede in the US) is a must! It boasts great music, untold band
history, and controversy, as it doesn’t shy away from revealing singer Brett Anderson’s
past addictions with some truly painful footage. Turn the volume up!
4) The Outsider – (HBO) This miniseries, based on a Stephen King novel, is like
watching CSI or Law and Order if those shows were produced for the all horror network
Shudder. The great Ben Mendelsohn stars as a small town detective trying to work
through a nasty murder investigation in which all the evidence is stacked against the
beloved local little league coach (expertly played by the equally beloved Jason Bateman) or is it? This whodunnit is a real head scratcher, and of course since its based on King,
things get very weird and scary pretty quickly.
5) Locke and Key (Netflix) – based on the comic by Joe Hill, the story focuses on the
Locke family who move into the family home of their deceased father. What the Locke kids discover is that the house is full of special keys that grant them access to a myriad of different abilities and dimensions – but a malevolent being awakened by the family is also after the keys, and will stop at nothing to obtain them. Locke and Key is recommended popcorn viewing, and offers a nice shot in the arm of adrenaline and fun when things can get more than a bit morose in the real world.
1) Kung Fu Hustle (Netflix) – Stephen Chow’s riotously fun mashup of kung-fu movies, classic films and Looney Tunes cartoons never fails to put me in a good mood. It’s a comedy, it’s an action movie, it’s got a sweet romantic heart. Check it out if you’ve never seen it.
2) Yojimbo (The Criterion Channel) – How could I not put this one on my list? It’s my favorite Kurosawa film and it stars my favorite actor (Toshiro Mifune, if you haven’t heard me say this a million times). Mifune plays a ronin who happens upon the most corrupt town in the world and decides to clean it up. Sergio Leone LITERALLY STOLE the plot (and even some of the shots!) for A Fistful of Dollars so if you’ve seen that you owe it to yourself to watch the far superior original.
3) Fruits Basket (Crunchyroll) – One of my favorite manga EVER is now in its second anime incarnation. Season 1 is complete and available on Crunchyroll, and season 2 is currently broadcasting. This is a wonderful fantasy-comedy-romance-drama-slice of life – it literally has everything. When an orphan girl discovers that certain members of the Sohma family are cursed to turn into zodiac animals she decides to try to find a way to help them break that curse. I’ve read this entire manga more than 20 times and I cry every. Single. Time.
4) The Handmaiden (Amazon Prime) – Nothing is what it seems in this sexy, suspenseful thriller from Park Chan-wook (loosely based on the novel Fingersmith). A Korean pickpocket is hired by a man (pretending to be a Japanese lord) to act as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress. The fake lord wants to relieve the heiress of her money, but this simple plan becomes increasingly complex.
5) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Netflix) – This gripping Cold War espionage thriller is the perfect puzzle to take you away from the real world, and boasts an outstanding cast including Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy.