What We’re Watching | Hulu

Each Wednesday either my wife or I share what we are watching (either together or separately) in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week, it’s the streaming service Hulu.

A couple of years ago, my sister got us a gift of Hulu for a year, but we decided that it wasn’t worth it for only two or three shows, at the time, the original CSI for me and Brooklyn Nine-Nine for both of us so we canceled it so she wasn’t paying for it and also because we didn’t want to continue it. However, earlier this year, when I learned from Kim of the blog Sophisticated Dorkiness that Hulu had “gotten” the complete ER, I was very tempted. I used to have several episodes of the series, especially the early years, recorded on VHS, and always wanted to rewatch the series, especially those first few seasons with Anthony Edwards and George Clooney.

Fast forward to last week: I was thinking about getting MHz Choice through Amazon Channels because we had watched an episode of Inspector Montalbano based on the brilliant Italian book series by Andrea Camilleri that we had borrowed via Hoopla from the Free Library of Philadelphia. I thought about getting the channel, but wanted to see what else they had. Unfortunately, I didn’t recognize any of the other titles and one of the shows we wanted to finish watching (the third season), Borgen, isn’t available for streaming. So I decided that wasn’t worth it and then I remembered Hulu. Maybe it was time to give them a second look…

…and I’m glad I did. This time around, the streaming service had more shows than just CSI and Brooklyn Nine-Nine that we wanted to watch. For example, we had been watching Bob’s Burgers on Netflix, but then it was abruptly taken off. We’ve been wanting to get back to the show and now we can. A few other shows we are looking forward to: Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, The Shield (which we never did see the end of), The Bridge (both the original and the American remake), Spiral, Raising Hope (which I have seen multiple times, but want to see again…and again…and…), CSI: Miami (which I want to finish), My Name Is Earl (another one I have seen multiple times, but want to see again..and again…and…), Wayward Pines (since I recently just read the first book of the series), and Good Behavior (also written by Blake Crouch, who wrote Wayward Pines).

Yes, they also are movies, but not as many as Netflix or Amazon Prime that we are interested in seeing, but there is this one that we want to see again:

Do you use Hulu? If so, what do you recommend watching? If not, what have you been watching lately that you would recommend, either TV or movies?

What We’re Watching Wednesday | Documentaries

Each Wednesday I share what my wife Kim and I are watching in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week, though, it’s Kim who is sharing…only what she is watching by herself: documentaries.

I am that person. The one who tries to get you to watch a documentary.
When we first got cable, I discovered my love for watching the obscure stories, little independent documentaries about unfamiliar subjects. I have always liked to learn about people whose life experience was vastly different from my own.

And I love a well told story, slowly unfolded. They affect me. I try to spread my enthusiasm and I can tell straightaway if I have chosen my audience correctly. If you are not one whose eyes glaze over as someone bangs on about social issues, history, or the best restaurant in Berlin, read on.

All three of these series are available on Netflix.

Chef’s Table

You may think you are utterly disinterested in cooking, or assume this series bears some resemblance to the cooking competition shows that fill the offerings on Netflix and elsewhere. If you will indulge me, watch one episode. Watch Season 3, Episode 1. And tell me if you aren’t hooked. Then go back to the beginning.

Each episode of Chef’s Table stands alone and tells the story of one chef, what inspires them, how they got started, what they serve in their restaurants. Whether cooking is your thing or not, their stories are fascinating. Part biography, part travel show, a feast for the eyes and the soul. The chefs themselves are at times holy, other times profane, deeply connected to the food they serve, deeply connected to the places they live, and their life experiences are the flavors they bring to the plate. I have learned so much that inspires my own cooking and that confirms my suspicion that if I worked in a professional kitchen I would hide in the bathroom and cry a lot.

Wild Wild Country

We have seen and enjoyed a couple of Mark and Jay Duplass’ films, most notably Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) and The Skeleton Twins (2014) but their documentaries are another thing entirely and I hope they produce more.

Wild Wild Country concerns the establishment of Rajneeshpuram, a commune of followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh established in Wasco County, Oregon in the early 80s. In the first episode, one of the interviewees notes that if you wrote a book with all of the elements of this story in it, it would be dismissed as “too ridiculous.” Indeed, the rise and fall of this community and all the things that happened are a strange, fascinating tale. I found myself looking up articles and interviews seeking answers to the questions I was left with.

Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist

Many of us remember the footage on the news of pizza delivery man Brian Wells, handcuffed and seated on the ground in front of a state police cruiser with a bomb around his neck that would later take his life, having robbed the PNC Bank on Peach Street in Erie. The Pizza Bomber, they called him. I must admit once it rotated out of the news cycle I forgot about it. I live in Pennsylvania but at the time we were about as far from Erie as we could be while still being in the same state. I was not aware that the investigation, and the mystery, took years to solve. In some ways, this short documentary reminded me of the first (and still, most affecting and compelling) podcast I ever listened to, S-Town.

Have you seen any of these? What did you think? If not, do you like documentaries? Any ones you can recommend?

What We’re Watching Wednesday | Trailers

Each Wednesday I share what my wife Kim and I are watching in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week, it’s not really either…yet as we’re watching trailers for upcoming movies.

These are a few trailers for upcoming movies that look like they could be good.

The first one is the one we really want to see: Spike Lee and Jordan Peele. We’re there. However, we also love Adam Driver, best known for his Riley as Kylo Ren in the new Star Wars movies, but whom we loved in Logan Lucky in a very un-Kylo Ren-like performance.

The second is one that I think looks good, but we’ll see. The third is Melissa Mccarthy in a rare dramatic performance. We have seen her do drama in St. Vincent and she was excellent. This new one looks promising.

What are you watching this week? Any trailers for upcoming movies you’re excited to see?

What We’re Watching Wednesday | Shows set in Scotland

Each Wednesday I share what my wife Kim and I are watching in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week, it’s shows set in Scotland.

I think it was last year that the BBC show Shetland premiered on Netflix. Kim and I slowly have been making our way through the series, and we’re now on Series 3, where the action definitely has picked up with guest stars Ciarán Hinds and James Cosmo, both of whom were in Game of Thrones. It’s not that the first two series were bad, but it feels like this one has stepped up the series’ game.

The next show, David and Olivia? Naked in Scotland, is on Amazon Prime. We saw a trailer for this and thought we definitely needed to watch this, so we did. We weren’t disappointed in the show itself, but unfortunately it’s only three episodes long. We almost wonder if the two creators, who also star in the show, aren’t hoping to sell the show to a larger network at some point. We sure hope someone picks it up, because it was, and is, really good. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a trailer for this show, but if you have Amazon Prime, definitely give it a try.

So how about you? Watching any good TV this past week? Movies you’d recommend?

What We’re Watching Wednesday | Subtitles

Each Wednesday I share what my wife Kim and I are watching in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week, it’s subtitles.

My wife and I don’t mind subtitles. In fact, to be honest, we prefer subtitles over badly-dubbed English. We like to hear the language in which the show or movie was done and to watch the lips match the words that are coming out of the characters’ mouths. For me, I think it began with watching early Jackie Chan movies. Lately, it’s extended to many shows on Netflix including a couple I’ve mentioned here on the blog such as Narcos and Money Heist.

This past week, we discovered together an Argentine comedy on Netflix that has been on TBS Latinoamérica called Psiconautas about a Spanish con man who flees to Argentine to start another con as a psychotherapist to a group of people at a cafe. We are only a few episodes in, but so far it is hilarious. The trailer below does not have subtitles, but you still get the idea:

On my own, I also discovered a Japanese anime show called Aggretsuko, also on Netflix about a red panda who works in an office, but has a secret life at night as a death metal karaoke singer. I’ll admit that I’m not really into anime, but the show came up as a highlight recently and I started watching it. As with Psiconautas, I’m only a few episodes in, but I’m enjoying it. In parts, it is a commentary on office life and being a young woman in a male-dominated workplace. However, I won’t lie: I love the death metal karaoke sections.

So how about you? Watching any good TV this past week? Movies you’d recommend? What do you think of subtitles? Like or dislike?

 

What We’re Watching Wednesday | Zombies

Last week, I started a new feature here on the blog called “What We’re Watching Wednesday,” (graphic to come later), where I’ll be sharing what my wife Kim and I are watching in terms of movies and TV each week. This week, it’s zombies.

Kim and I aren’t really into zombie TV or movies, but for some reason, I thought I’d give Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix a try anyway when it first came out last year. The trailers actually looked good…and I was surprised to find that I did like it. After only a few episodes, I stopped watching to wait for Kim to catch up. The show, starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, is now in its second season. Yes, it starts with a bit of gross visuals: vomit and blood (hit fast forward or do the fake lookaway), but after the first few episodes, it hits its stride with the interplay between Barrymore and Olyphant’s characters at the forefront, with Barrymore playing a newly-discovered undead person and Olyphant, her ever-supporting husband. And by then you’re hooked, or at least we were.

Last night in anticipation of this theme, I watched the South Korean zombie movie Train to Busan, also available on Netflix. Kim had no interest in this so I decided to watch it while she is away for a few days this week, visiting her sister and mother in Delaware. Unlike other zombie movies that we both have liked, such as Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, which were comedies, this one isn’t a humorous romp. This one is more akin to 28 Days Later, although not quite as bleak and with some surprisingly poignant moments within it (not shown in the trailer below). At the center is a father accompanying his daughter to his ex-wife’s, which is set up with a backstory at the start of the movie that makes one wonder at first if the movie ever will pick up. But believe me, it does…and once it does, it never lets up until the very end.

So what you have been watching lately? Movies and/or TV? Anything worth sharing? Share away in the comments.

What We’re Watching Wednesday | Only The Brave & Money Heist

Today, I’m starting a new feature here on the blog called “What We’re Watching Wednesday,” (graphic to come later and after thinking about it might change to “What We’re Watching This Week,” since it’s not just on Wednesdays that we’re watching), where I’ll be sharing what Kim and I are watching in terms of movies and TV each week.

This past weekend, I watched on my own Only The Brave, not knowing what the movie was about and purposefully not looking online to see the true story on which it was based. However, I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to end well, and it didn’t, but it was really a good movie. I don’t know if the performances were great, but the story was great about a group of forest firefighters in Arizona. Once I knew what was going to happen, I started crying and didn’t stop until after the credits rolled. If you’re going to watch this movie, get from a Redbox or a similar outlet, so you can watch the special features on the true story.

And for our TV pick this week is one I’ve mentioned before and one I’ll probably mention again called Money Heist on Netflix. It’s a Spanish series and we just finished watching Season 1 this past week and started watching Season 2, which we didn’t even realize there was going to be until a few weeks ago. The story focuses on a group of supposed bank robbers who end up kidnapping a group of people in Spain’s head bank. However, it ends up being more complicated than that with the series focusing on the robbers/kidnappers, the hostage negotiators, and the hostages themselves and how all three interact with each other. Yes, it has subtitles, but it is more than worth the effort. My wife got me watching a few Spanish language shows, starting with Narcos, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. I don’t think you will be either with this one:

So what you have been watching lately? Movies and/or TV? Anything worth sharing? Share away in the comments.