What We’re Watching, Vol. 6
At The Attic on Eighth, we are obviously a multimedia bunch, with our regular reading discussions and film lists. In fact, some of our very first interactions as friends were excitedly messaging scene for scene reactions to some of our favorite shows across oceans and time zones. In this monthly series we paraphrase group chats surrounding our most recent views. Nothing keeps us together like binge-watching together, even if we’re not in the same room.
October! As the adage goes, it feels like we have waited all year for this moment. Leaves are finally turning and temperatures thankfully falling. Busy schedules lead to much needed respite and so we embrace our cocoons, wrapping around a cozy drink or seasonal cocktail, and dive into autumn programming. It is our peak season of course, and we are short of nothing to fill our time, be it returning seasons of steady favorites, thematic watches to truly get in the spirit, or diving head first into some beloved Halloween content.
Here’s what we’re watching this month:
As if some sort of mental block lifted when it came to watching shows thanks to the gem that was Four Weddings and A Funeral, this past month has been filled with lots of engaging and exciting shows that I’ve been looking forward to watching. Over the second half of September, my husband and I binged the three seasons of Dear White People, completely immersing ourselves in the events of Winchester. The show quickly became a favorite – you can read about it briefly in our new Campus Films & Shows piece – and I look forward to its future seasons. Then, after we booked a trip to Scotland and I declared that I missed watching period dramas, we decided to finally give Outlander a chance. I’d steered clear of it in the past despite Lauren’s hearty recommendations of it because I’m not very good at dealing with violence on screen, but I’m very happy to have given it a chance. It has the perfect mix of history, romance, and non-cheesy magic. Its scenery alone is reason to watch at this time of year. Next up: The Politician.
Annie Jo Baker
Anyone who knows me, knows that my favorite TV show—my one-and-only, my desert island selection, my brain represented as television—is The Good Place. It’s back for its fourth and final season and I’m actually delighted to see the story wrapped up so I can watch it all over and over again as one cohesive unit. In addition to following the afterlife escapades of Eleanor Shellstrop and Co., I’m also catching up on Barry. I watched the first season last year and thought it was brilliant—a dark comedy without any put-upon edginess for once! With a non-glorified antihero—a soft-spoken hitman who wants to be an actor! (When asked why he wrote Barry’s love interest to be “so annoying,” writer and lead actor Bill Hader reminded the audience that, “Barry kills people.”) Despite being a comedy, it presents itself as if as a prestige drama, but with a tongue firmly lodged in a cheek. It’s not dark-and-edgy, but it’s not zany either. There really isn’t anything like it on TV that I know of, and even though I missed the second season while it aired, I hope that the Internet’s newfound love for Bill Hader will bring it new viewers.
Like Olivia, I spent a good amount of time last month reveling in my love for Four Weddings and a Funeral. A truly iconic finale!! I know I had my issues with it last month, but everything was wrapped up satisfyingly enough, and what I really enjoyed about it made up for the rest. I have loved some truly gorgeous shows in recent years and Four Weddings now sits comfortably in their company. Unlike Olivia, though, the end had me so hungover I don’t think I watched anything else for weeks, until the UN General Assembly convened. It’s an odd segue, I’ll give, but along with reading on the political ongoings, general mayhem, and powerful speeches from Greta Thunberg and her fellow young activists, a tradition of mine around the assembly includes re-watching Don’t Trust The B**** in Apt. 23. If you happened to miss this short lived sitcom when it aired in 2012, I highly recommend it, if only for Season 1 Episode 3, “Parent Trap,” wherein the main character, Chloe — a fabulously stylish New York heroine played by Krysten Ritter — reveals the main source of her income comes from acting as a nightlife guide for visiting UN dignitaries. It’s such a completely farfetched adventure of a series that this doesn’t even register in the scope of what else the show gets up to in its short run, or even the resulting chaos it brings to the rest of that very episode. For that, and its additional cast of hilariously endearing characters and early 2010s nostalgia, I’ll always find any excuse to play an episode (or twenty) to escape the stress of the very un-farfetched world we live in now. Next up I’ll be diving into some witchy content to inspire me while I figure out my autumn wardrobe; probably re-watching Good Omens, finally catching up on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and not as witchy but just as stylishly inspirational, Season 2 of Killing Eve.
Zoë G. Burnett
Last night, I watched Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970). Tonight, I’m going to see Joker. Soon, I will return to the theaters for Zombieland: Doubletap. On October 12th, The Blair Witch Project (1999) is screening at a nearby film festival. My parents didn’t allow me to go during its first theatrical run, so I bought my ticket immediately so they wouldn’t have a second chance. I’m an adult! It’s all anti-heroes an put-upon edginess for me this month, with a re-watch of Eraserhead (1977) and a first viewing of Häxan (1922) next on my Criterion Channel list. At the end of the month, I’ll be grappling with other horror movie nerds to attend Halloween (2018) at a repeat screening since I didn’t catch it last year. Maybe I’ll finally catch up on Stranger Things, I don’t know. It’s all I can do to not watch Sleepy Hollow (1999) again for the hundredth time. The Veil is thinning and I am alive. [sneezes Pumpkin Spice into my handkerchief]