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Media Diet for February 2019

Books

Genocidal Organ — Project Itoh

A truly grim thriller about the cost of “fighting terrorism,” and the ability of language to tear apart a country. This feels eerily prescient. I can’t say I enjoyed reading this book, but it’s a nihilistic political commentary that at least adds some color to what politicians might be after when they start wars and conflicts. This book is graphic, violent, and in its way, poignant.

Amberlough — Lara Elena Donnelly **

In some ways this reminded me of the show Babylon Berlin—it feels like an alternate reality 20s Germany, replete with spies, dancers, pasties, and patsies. I think it’s building up to a longer series, and so much of the plot slowly churned towards an ellipsis of an ending. I liked it, but I’m not rushing to read the next one. None of the characters necessarily captured my interest, but it was nice that the protagonists were largely gay. This book answers the question, what if folks wrote new stories with their own characters instead of fanfic.

Reclaiming Your Life from IBS — Melissa Hunt

My doctor recommended this, and it’s largely CBT 101 + some good notes on food and stress. I don’t know if it’ll be super useful, but we’ll see! I don’t even know if this is a problem I face, but the doctor said “probably”, so lol.

Movies

Anna and the Apocalypse

A high-school musical with zombies. I really don’t like musicals, to be honest. I’d heard good things about this one though, and wanted to give it a chance. The cast is doing a pretty good job throughout, though the relatively one-dimensional characters of the “hot jock” and the “asshole headmaster” are schlocky. This movie mostly made me want to watch Sean of the Dead again, which used rock music to better effect.

Polar

Mads Mikkelsen got his Takeshi Kitano take-no-prisoners action role. This movie was adapted from a comic, and it feels just like a comic, down to the choppy dialogue, fast-paced action, and dead-simple plot. It’s kinda fun, if you can get over the copious amounts of cartoonish murder.

Piercing

Weird. I read this book probably 10 years ago, and enjoyed it. The movie is a lighter adaptation, as it’s trickier to capture internal dialogue on film. Mia Wasikowska is outstanding as usual. I also enjoyed the general 70s aesthetic, and the cool selection of lingerie. This film only clocks in at about an hour and twenty minutes, but manages to build and release tension a few times.

Spy

I don’t know why I slept on this film. I guess I like Paul Fieg movies? This is delightful fare from Melissa Mcarthy, and a solid supporting cast.

Notable TV

True Detective Season 3

There were plenty of twists, and turns, and emotional volleys in this show. Mahershala Ali and Carmen Ejogo were electric, and despite it not being about anything magic (a girl can dream of ghosts and monsters), it was still gorgeous, sad, and true.

Russian Doll

A Groundhog Day about depression, drugs, sex, and probably psychodynamics. It’s good.

Travellers

I’m sad this got cancelled for season 4, but it’s probably still worth watching for the 3 seasons we got. Time Travelers take over the bodies of folks in present day to prevent an apocalyptic event. Fun sci-fi.

Sex Education

Gillian Anderson & youthful hilarity. Lots of new actors and actresses in this one that I hope we’ll see again soon.

Magicians Season 4

This went from being a very good version of a solid book series, to so much more. Excellent acting. This show balances serious with silly incredibly well.

brook is a noted sapphist who lives in a forest with her cat snorri. she loves travel, food, and satan.