May 2015 Pop Culture Consumption
While I didn’t review everything I read and watched last month, I consumed a lot of pop culture. Much of it was unexceptional, but there were a couple of gems. I’ll write more about some of these in the coming weeks, but below are my lists and quick notes on the best in each category.
- Stay by Victor Gischler
- Day Four by Sarah Lotz
- The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango
- Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton
- How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz
- Invasion of Privacy by Christopher Reich
- Manhattan Mayhem: New Crime Stories from Mystery Writers of America edited by Mary Higgins Clark
- What Doesn’t Kill Her by Carla Norton
- The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
My favorites were Black Lies and Fire. Lies broke me out of a bad reading slump, and Fire shows that Lutz’s writing gets deeper and more complex with each book.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron with Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, et al.
- The Age of Adaline with Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford
- Pitch Perfect 2 with Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld
- Welcome to Me with Kristin Wiig, Linda Cardellini, Wes Bentley
- Survivor with Pierce Brosnan, Milla Jovovich, Dylan McDermott
By far the best of this bunch was Adaline. Lively is luminous as a woman born in 1906 who has a freak accident in her 20s that arrests her aging process. Though this would seemingly be a dream come true for many Hollywood actresses, Lively imbues Adaline with melancholia and loneliness as she constantly has to leave loved ones behind. Adaline moves through more than a century in the course of this movie, but the actress’s mannerisms, speech, and classic beauty make her believable as someone who’s timeless.
- The Waiting with James Caan. I play a small part.
TV shows binge-watched:
- Happy Valley with Sarah Lancashire, James Norton
- Inside Amy Schumer with Amy Schumer
- Grace and Frankie with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin
I do recommend Happy Valley, a BBC show about a tough female cop tracking a gang of drug dealers/kidnappers, but the top spot here goes to Amy Schumer’s show.
The razor-sharp comic just won a Peabody and you can see why by watching her show, in which she tackles topics such as rape in the military and the media’s objectification of women but makes you laugh while she’s making her point. I don’t use this adjective often but will apply it here—Schumer’s comedy is brilliant.
Have you seen/read any of these? What did you think?