More Things To Watch, Including A Murder Doc and A Cartoon
On Tuesday I began the Herculean (and hyperbolic) task of cleaning out my long list of potential TV shows and movies to include in my Wear, Watch, Want column. Today, I'll be wrapping up my Fall clear-out with four more choice picks that I couldn't quite work into a Saturday post, but are every bit as worthy of your attention. Let's begin!
I recently re-watched all of Battlestar Galactica, something I hadn't done in it's entirety since the show's initial airing. It was phenomenal. I already knew I loved BSG, but I watched that final season with a rabid hunger that didn't allow me to really savor how amazing the show really was. I was just anxiously mainlining each episode and then going through withdrawal for a week until I could get a fix again. I couldn't have even told you in much detail what happened in the finale, just given you broad strokes of the main plot points. Now, six years later and not having to worry about who lived, who died, and where in the universe they ended up, I could relax and truly enjoy BSG for what it is: Probably one of my favorite TV shows of all time.
Residue is a complicated one to write about because it's meant to be viewed on Netflix as a three-part TV pilot. Normally Netflix picks things up directly to series (sometimes with multiple series orders at once), but Residue is a bit different. Initially it was released as a movie, then re-cut as a three-part TV series, then sold to Netflix, and the creator views that first "season" as the pilot to a much bigger story that could be told in a second season, or rather, a first "real" season. See? Complicated. But to get more of a story, Netflix users have to find out about Residue, watch it, and rate it highly. It doesn't help that the only trailer I could find for the show has horribly loud music that makes it almost impossible to hear anything else. (See above, unfortunately.) What the trailer would tell you, if you could hear it, is that Residue is about an explosion that destroys a huge section of London and kills thousands of people, but not all is as it has been presented to the public. In fact, there is a huge government conspiracy at work, but just how huge, and the precise details of what is being covered up has yet to be revealed (Watch! Rate highly!).
I'm about to say a few things that make me sound 1) very dorky, and 2) very old. Ready? I love documentaries. In fact, they might be my favorite genre of film. I got Netflix over 10 years ago because my local independent video store, which was great at stocking obscure, non-Blockbuster fare, just didn't have the vast array of docs I was looking for. There are certain documentaries that I bring up in conversation a lot, because I think everyone should see them at least once. One such doc that I think is tragically lesser known, that I seem to mention all the time is The Staircase. After realizing that I had brought up The Staircase in two separate conversations in a week, I actually wrote a Wear, Watch, Want post that featured the film. Then I realized that the subject matter was a little dark for a jokey speech bubble feature image and scrapped the idea. The Staircase follows a novelist, Michael Peterson, throughout his trial for the murder of his wife, who he discovered at the bottom of a staircase in their home. It is then discovered that when Peterson lived in Germany with his first wife, their neighbor died in almost exactly the same way, adding even more suspicion to the case. It's an incredibly convoluted case, made even more complicated by the fact that Peterson liked to engage in sexual email flings with men, something he insists his wife knew about and was fine with, but an idea no one in his conservative North Carolina community can imagine, least of all his incredibly homophobic prosecutor. The Staircase is a fantastic observation of the criminal justice system, how class influences justice, and will make you keep wondering just what you think happened that night. The Staircase was presented as an 8 part documentary, with a 2 part addendum made after new information came to light (cryptic, only because I don't want to spoil the ending). So while the best deal for this doc is to buy it for $13, you get about 8-9 hours of a truly fascinating documentary, and I'm telling you, it's really, really worth it.
Lilo & Stitch
I wasn't feeling too well one night a few months back. I had what chronic pain sufferers such as myself call painsomnia, which is when your pain is so bad you can't sleep. So I'm tired, and cranky, and in pain, and I'm browsing through Netflix looking for something to watch. I settle on Lilo & Stitch, a movie that I think I've only seen once, whenever it was out in the theaters a hundred years ago. I didn't know what I was getting into, you guys. I sobbed so hard. Do you ever cry so hard that when you're done you have to get up and wash your face because your tears have hardened and everything below your eyes in immovable? That happened after I watched Lilo & Stitch. I thought maybe it was just a matter of timing, but I watched the above clip and while I didn't sob, I did get significantly teary eyed.