I am a far cry from MCU’s (the Marvel Cinematic Universe) intended audience, being the wrong age and gender. Having grown up with DC’s Superman and Batman (from television) I knew very little about Marvel’s heroes. So when Marvel got into the movie business, I was a total newbie. And you know what? That’s okay. We neophytes serve a purpose, too, bringing a fresh perspective to the stories. When you know nothing about the history of Iron Man or Captain America, you get stories that are entertaining in their own right.
So, I’m not here to see a life-long interest brought to life. I’m just here for some good drama, good acting, and a good story.
This is why, after the third episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I was lukewarm about the series. I didn’t understand what the “Flag Smashers” were fighting for. Or against? A little research tells me they are anti-nationalists. Yet their agenda for this series centers more on the fall-out from the “reverse-blip,” Iron Man’s finger-snap towards the end of Endgame that brought back half the world’s population after a 5-year absence. Gosh, wanting to get rid of half the world’s population seems pretty radical. And their motto “One world, one people” doesn’t really fit that scenario.
I confess, I watch a lot of shopping television. All sorts of channels, HSN, QVC, ValueVisionShopNBC ShopHQ, even JTV (Jewelry Television). And I buy a lot of stuff—because this one thing is going to make my life better, easier, more productive, whatever. (Well, maybe not the JTV stuff, but it’s so pretty and sparkly!) Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t.
In these trying times, having something delivered to your door is better than going out to shop in a store. Plus, in my case, I don’t have to lug whatever it is up 3½ flights of stairs—IF the delivery person isn’t lazy and leaves the package by the mailboxes. The downside is you’re tempted to buy something you hadn’t planned on buying.
A few years ago I bought a Fire TV Cube but never hooked it up. Yes, it was one of those unplanned purchases from HSN. But, in my defense, I have a dumb tv, and the Cube would make it smarter. Plus, it was 1/3 the price of what it now sells for on Amazon.
Given my new-found interest in the Marvel universe, I decided it was time to look into Disney+. I’d paid money to rent several movies, and even bought Avengers: Endgame because it’s not available for rent. When I discovered Disney+ was available through Amazon devices, I thought “I have one of those!”
So, I hooked up the Fire TV Cube, having first unhooked the DVD player (which I haven’t used in ages) because my 2008* dumb TV has only 2 HDMI ports. I’ve now been watching Disney+ nearly non-stop.
The first thing I watched was the live action version of Lady and the Tramp. It wasn’t too bad. The original, animated Lady and the Tramp is among my top 15 favorite movies, and it was the one movie I’d wanted to see ever since Disney+ launched. (The animated version is also available to stream, although I do have it on DVD. Oh wait, I disconnected my player.)
The second thing I watched? The Mandalorian. Although I saw the original Star Wars the theater—three times!—and read the book, and bought the soundtrack, I haven’t been a rabid fan of any of the sequels, or prequels. The first movie (NOT Episode 1) was advertised as Star Wars, NOT Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope. Nor did it contain the two scenes of special effects that George Lucas added when The Empire Strikes Back came out. (Sadly, that version isn’t available any more and I much prefer it to what the movie is now.)
Nonetheless, having watched the Disney Gallery, which focused on The Mandalorian behind-the-scenes stuff, I now have not only the Marvel universe to explore, but also the Star Wars universe, So, yay! More time to waste save money by not watching the shopping channels.
Incidentally, The Mandalorian is terrific. I especially love the artwork featured in the end credits and the music. I may have to buy that soundtrack as well. My only complaint is that I wish Werner Herzog had been nominated for the Emmy (Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series) instead of (or at least in addition to) Giancarlo Esposito. Not that I don’t enjoy me some Giancarlo Esposito, I just thought Herzog gave the better, more ominous performance.
*As for the TV, I know it’s a 2008 model because I bought it specifically to watch the much-anticipated season 4 premiere of Supernatural, “Lazarus Rising.” Hmm. It’s been 12 years, a myriad of improvements, and drastic price reductions since then. I think it’s time for a new television. I wonder what the shopping channels have to offer…
In cleaning up my blog tags, came across the tag “Agents of SHIELD.” Interestingly, I recently binge-watched the entire series from the beginning. This time I added viewing the pertinent Marvel movie at the appropriate time to see if it would add any insight. It did, but mostly in reference to mentions of “Barton and Romanoff,” “Pym particles,” and “the Sokovia Accord.” Not necessarily essential, but interesting.
The movies I watched included Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War (my favorite). Somewhere along the way I also watched Thor: The Dark World, Ant-Man, and fast-forwarded through much of Thor: Ragnarok (because it was awful).
I finished the movies with the Avengers duo of Infinity War and Endgame, (Boy, were they depressing.)
Finally! Have you forgotten all about Outlander? What’s it been? A month and a half since Outlander’s season 3 ended? Longer? Blame some of it on my goddamn 2-week cable outage! Well, at least part of it. Onward!
My Seven Favorite Outlander Season 3 Episodes
It should come as no surprise to you (if you’ve read each episode post) that I have a favorite Outlander character. Of course, those are going to be my top four. I have a second favorite character. Those two episodes follow. And we’ll round out the list with the appearance of a familial-adjacent character.
[All in the form of a “Sunday Seven,” but on Friday instead of Sunday. Apparently, my mind only works in increments of seven now.]
Two Weeks in Hell Heck
Two weeks ago—TWO WEEKS! FOURTEEN DAYS!—on January 19, I was working on my Outlander season 3 favorite episodes post. I began having difficulty saving the in-progress post as I had no internet connection. Not a big problem, I thought. My router is getting old and it sometimes “burps” offline for a few minutes. I had the backup plan to write the post offline, then copy and paste when the time was right.
And so season 3 of Outlander goes out with a bang—if you’re me. Or a whimper, if you’re nearly everyone else. I actually understand the criticisms and agree with some of them. The episode was disjointed; there wasn’t a clear narrative; the writers tried to check beloved book scenes off their list; the token sex scene wasn’t that great. (But then, ever since the reunion episode, Claire and Jamie sex has either bothered me or bored me.) Yet, at the end, I felt satisfied. Even a bit energized to possibly read the next book in the series, The Drums of Autumn. Thankfully, that urge has passed.
Much like the episode, this week’s seven thoughts are disjointed, and in most cases, have nothing at all to do with the story. And here they are:
Quite a dichotomy, yes? Fortunately, the squicks are among the first two scenes, leaving us with a remainder of nothing but great. (Incidentally, both squicks are taken from Voyager, while much of the great was new.) It’s also obvious that the dozen or so storylines introduced this season are trying to get wrapped up. Let’s discuss.
Yet another “I don’t really care” episode for me. Which means, I’m not particularly motivated to write about it. When then means the post will likely be really late. But let’s get to it.
Uncharted, Episode 311
1. Run Stumble through the jungle
The first 15 minutes or so was Claire stumbling through the jungle, encountering all sorts of problems; no food, no water, sun, snakes, fire, ants, fire ants. I hate these kinds of survival storylines. Probably because we know the star of the show isn’t going to die, so it’s just tedium to get through. Regardless of how terrific the actor is. And Caitriona Balfe is truly terrific.
(I remember an episode of Magnum, P.I. where Thomas was lost and disoriented in the ocean. It turned out to be a great episode, mostly because through flashbacks we learned so much about his background. But it took a long time before I could watch the episode in its entirety.)
“Heaven and Earth” had its problems, but the good far outweighed the bad. Added bonus: I bawled my eyes out. Granted, while bawling isn’t necessarily an enjoyable experience, it shows how the episode pulled me in and made me feel part of the story.
It took me two false starts (and many false starts on the blog post) before I could settle in and watch “The Doldrums” in its entirety. It was jarring; it didn’t feel like Outlander.
People watch Outlander for many reasons. It pulled me in with its epic love story. It kept me interested in fabulous secondary characters and the talented actors who portrayed them. But the essence of the show, the Scottish Highlands, is now gone. I didn’t realize how much I’d come to love it until it was taken away.
So why are these opinions lonely? Because many of them are most likely unpopular.