I figured since I spend a lot of time (read as: an obsessive and entirely unhealthy amount of time) watching TV and reading, maybe I would have a valid viewpoint on these things that I’m gluttonously shoveling into my brain. So, without calling these viewpoints reviews, here are my thoughts.
Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, on Amazon.
I’m guessing this is Amazon’s answer to Black Mirror (Netflix). To be fair I’ve only watched the first two episodes (and side note, they are listed out of order on IMDB, which is super annoying if you’re obsessive about looking up rando actors) and the writing ended up a little clunky. I’ve only read a few books by Dick, but the writers responsible for these episodes seemed afraid to veer too far from the short story source material, and a TV show needs to be more dynamic in order to leap off the page.
Will I finish the series? Yes I will, because I’m a sci-fi junky, and even middle-of-the-road sci-fi scratches an itch that will be there until season 3 of The Expanse comes back later this year. And I’ll try to update when I finish.
Ranking: Did not initially instigate a breeze stiff enough to remove the clothing from my tarsals, but also not a waste of time for someone who likes wasting their time on shows like this.
The Power, by Naomi Alderman
I’m almost done with this book, and I really can’t recommend it enough. I don’t think the author specifies the time period, but basically modern times, and for some idiopathic reason, a power awakens in young women. Stemming from a forgotten bit of anatomy called their “skein” near their collarbone, young women suddenly discover and quickly learn to use these skeins to generate electrical impulses that have varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the user.
A new religion is born, a new country is created, and the balance of power in the world is tipped off its axis. With well-crafted characters and thoughtful analysis of the relationships between violence, gender, wealth and influence, I’m going to soon finish this book, look up the author, and then read everything she’s ever written.
Ranking: Naomi Alderman, the power you’re supplying. It is electrifying. This book is the one that I want (which is good because I bought it) Ooh ooh ooh!
The Good Place, on NBC
I’ve said it before, every show would be better with Ted Danson in it (see Fargo season 2).
The Good Place keeps delightfully careening forward, creating all new rails each time their train runs off them, which is so effing often it’s dizzying. Without giving anything away, the most recent episode ended by completely redefining the situation of this comedy. Again. I don’t remember why, but for some reason I was standing in front of the TV at the end of the episode, and, with palm planted on forehead, told my wife that this show has managed to pack in a LOT of plot for only being in season two. Most comedies would take a full five seasons to get to this point. And they squeeze in a healthy dose of genuine pathos to boot. I’m not afraid to admit I’ve gotten more than misty on many moments.
Hands down my favorite show right now.
Ranking: Sometimes you want to go… to The Good Place! So forking good!