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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

What I've Been Watching (December 2020)

What another great month of viewing.

Current ratings system:

  1. I wish this was never made

  2. Don't let anyone see this

  3. I'm not suggesting this to anybody

  4. Only if nothing else is on

  5. You can wait to see this

  6. Watchable, but not memorable

  7. Suggested

  8. Highly Recommended

  9. Must See

  10. Rush Home and Put this on Now

Feedback is appreciated. Thank you.

New Watches:

Amistad (1997) - HBO Max

- One of the Spielberg watches that I wanted to cross off my expanded Directors' list. This was certainly an interesting film. A very bold choice to go almost a full quarter of the film before you had anyone speaking English or even giving us subtitles, but it did certainly add to the authenticity. The biggest problem this movie suffers from is that it really is searching for something to say about a fairly significant event. In many ways, this played out similarly to a more recent Spielberg movie, Bridge of Spies, with its courtroom speeches by the end. Despite his nomination for Best Supporting Actor, I didn't really think all that much of Anthony Hopkins here, and his speech at the end of the movie seemed too Sorkin-esque without the Sorkin. Ultimately, it was entertaining, but not much more than that for a historical drama. The movies on either side of this one (Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan) are much better movies that showed Spielberg's interests, sentimentalities, and greatness.

Rating: 6

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Seasons 1-2) - HBO Max

- For the most part, this is a rewatch for me. However, there are several episodes in here that I don't remember seeing, and have thus given me something new to appreciate from a syndicated show I loved growing up. While the jokes and a few other key elements haven't aged well, many of the jokes still do, and the emotional side that I always related too hasn't aged at all. There's a sweet sentimentality to this that always brings me back in, and I'm going to be glad to continue plowing through this one into 2021 until I can catch up to the reunion special as well.

Rating: 7

Industry (Season 1) - HBO Max

- This was a show I was interested in when I first saw it flash across HBO Max, and I thought, oh that would be a good one to eventually get to. However, after listening and seeing many of the critics I like rant and rave about this show, I decided I needed to binge it. Wow did that go quickly. There were several headfakes including the ending to the pilot, but mostly this had some of the strongest character development of the year on TV. I don't think this was a perfect season by any means, but, given where we left things with that rather bold move by Harper to end the season, I can only imagine the payoffs of what is expected to come in Season 2.

Rating: 8

My Weekly Shows:

Black-ish (Eps. 7.1-8)

- This is still one of the best written shows on TV week-in and week-out. They tackled COVID, the protests and George Floyd, and several other issues with nuance, humor, and clarity. I feel like I learn something every season with this show, and none of these first few episodes seem to stray from that. My hope is that this can continue to stay fresh, especially in its current events commentary for awhile yet.

Rating: 8

The Mandalorian (Eps. 2.6-8) Disney+

- I know that everyone freaked out when the finale came out, and that tears were shown on the internet for a day just as much as any one Trump tweet. Yet, I actually thought the ending to Season 1 was a better season finale. Don't get me wrong, I'm still excited to see where things are going with a galaxy far, far away, but this also did coincide with the huge news of like a thousand new Star Wars TV shows and movies coming. I'm very apprehensive that they're going to try to over-capitalize on the success they just had especially given how badly botched (IMO) the sequel trilogy was. (ERRR Rise of Skywalker!!!). As far as the two episodes leading up to the finale, man we were really treated to some quality filmmaking and storytelling. You gotta know that several of these characters are going to return in some way (looking at you Bill Burr and Katee Sakhoff), but I am still excited to see what Season 3 brings as I imagine we'll get our first look at Mandalore.

Rating: 9

Superstore (Eps. 6.3-4) NBC

- This simply is becoming unwatchable. Thankfully, it was announced that this will be the last season for the show so they can kick off the final few episodes by wrapping up the character storylines with maybe something interesting although I can't say there's any great character I'm still interested with yet here.

Rating: 3

A Million Little Things (Eps. 3.2-4) ABC

- After the cliffhanger to Season 2 and the rather emotional first episode back, we got a big headfake with the Reverend that seemed to be a big climactic moment coming that was unfortunately rather blunted in the end. There are still a lot of curious storylines developing at the moment for many of the characters, and I'm rather stratified with where everyone seems to be going. The biggest plot line is still the rather complicated relationship between Maggie and Gary, and that phone call on the last episode should be interesting to see how things play out yet.

Rating: 7

**Greatest Movie of All-Time Podcast Watches:

Pillow Talk (1959) - Peacock

My Fair Lady (1964) - Private Collection

Apollo 13 (1995) - Showtime

Mister Roberts (1955) - HBO Max

Iron Man (2008) - Disney+

Home Alone (1990) - Disney+

Casablanca (1943) - HBO Max

- Listen to the podcast on Spotify, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, and RadioPublic.

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