Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Cool Stuff I'm Loving

As the temperatures finally cool down, I'm thinking back on the equally cool things I've watched and listened to in the last month or so. If you're up for some great entertainment, check these out:

Cool Stuff To Watch

Rocketman. I'll never tire of Elton John's music, and this biopic knocks his story out of the park. It's more musical theater than anything else, and that style allows for a brilliant, fantastical telling of John's life and music. Love him so much I bought it to watch the bonus material.

My Brilliant Friend. Based on the Elena Ferrante novel of the same name, this series premiered on HBO last year. I somehow didn't get to it until recently and found it riveting. In Italian with English subtitles, this requires attentive viewing when you're not also tooling around online (not that any of us ever watch TV that way!). Season 2, subtitled "The Story of a New Name," airs in 2020.

Country Music. This documentary series by Ken Burns aired on PBS in September, and I caught it on the station's Roku app. I'm not much of a country music fan, but I do love music and storytellers and hearing the story behind the song. Plus, my husband grew up listening to country music, so this was a real treat for him. If you didn't catch most of the episodes are already gone from the free PBS app (they only stay up three weeks after airing). BUT Kanopy to the rescue! All episodes are available to steam free to anyone whose local library offers Kanopy (login using your library card). Or, if you subscribe to PBS Passport, you'll find it there.

Gameface. You can watch seasons 1 and 2 of this British sitcom on Hulu. The lead character, Marcella, is a struggling actress who makes a hilarious mess out of all aspects of her life. She causes most of her own problems, but you'll root for her anyway.

Cool Stuff to Listen to

Girls and Boys. Carey Mulligan reprises her role in this one-woman stage play as an audio performance for Audible. I read little about this before listening, and somehow assumed it was a light-hearted look at relationships. While there is humor early in the tale, it's a story that turns dark and involves violence (anyone reading the full description on Audible will know this). Mulligan's performance is wonderful, and I imagine it's riveting, and even more harrowing, to see the play. Fair warning: you probably do NOT want to listen when you're already in a fragile or sad mood or if you find depictions of violence triggering. The last 15 minutes or so are a discussion with the playwright, also worth a listen.

Highwomen by The Highwomen. I have yet to hear this song without bursting into tears. It's only by chance I heard it at all; riding with my husband we tuned to his country station on Sirius, something I never listen to when driving alone. And there it was, and the waterworks came down. It's heartbreaking and beautiful and hopeful. Check out the live performance at the Newport Folk Fest:

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