It's crazy we're already a quarter of the way through the year. I always thought it was a cliche to say time flies as you get older, but that might be the most accurate statement of my entire life. Every day feels like it's three hours long and by the time I'm fully awake and ready for the day, the sun starts to set. Another weird thing about this year so far is that there hasn't been a breakout great movie yet. There's definitely been a few good ones, a few solid ones and a whole lot of forgettable dreck, but the real brilliance from the pop culture spheres has been coming from the streaming services and podcasts. Here's a few I'm absolutely in love with.
In Pod We Trust:
I've been trying to make my brain less of a wasteland filled with movie quotes and useless factoids, and something more resembling a grown-up human mind that knows how a microwave works. So, I'm trying to science myself into understanding with the hilarious/knowledgeable podcast, "The Infinite Monkey Cage," which takes complex scientific and futurist ideas and makes them palatable to someone with my lack of brain smarts. Plus, hosts Brian Cox and Robin Ince are British, so they already sound brilliant, even when they're talking about cosmology or space tourism. Check this one out, it's good for you.
- Photo courtesy of AppleTV+
- Come for the high concept and stay for the brilliant script and performances in "Severance."
"Call Me Curious" is the other podcast I'm using to try and expand my weirdly tiny little mind into something closer to a well-rounded one. Main host Nikki Boyer dives into a trending topic that people have heard of but don't really know the details about and basically breaks down whether they are good or bad for you (and the world in general). As someone who has been doing intermittent fasting for the last couple of years, the episode dedicated to that really blew my mind. It's only been on for a few weeks, so I don't have much experience with the show so far, but each topic so far has been a banger.
I'm genuinely in awe by how many great shows I've seen so far this. From the stellar first season of the ultimate dad show, "Reacher," to "Yellowjackets" and "Peacemaker" both sticking the landing perfectly, this year is genuinely poised to bring in another golden age of television. On Apple TV+, the pitch black sci-fi comedy "Severance" from Ben Stiller is a mind-bending parable for the modern age that's learning some interesting new lessons post-Covid about the work/life balance. The performances from John Turturro, Adam Scott, Patricia Arquette and Britt Lower are sublime and the design/cinematography are at times genuinely breathtaking.
Also off to a very strong start is the long-awaited new season of Donald Glover's "Atlanta," which manages to keep the surreal vibe of season two, while adding a thick dollop of comedy and drama to wade through. So far, these first two episodes have made the return of the show very worth the wait.
Also, holy heck, the Oscars were quite something. Only in 2022 would we get the first openly queer award winner, the first deaf winner for Best Supporting Actor and Will Smith smacking the hell out of Chris Rock and then a half hour later winning Best Actor! We had Riz Ahmed win an award for his new rap video, "Dune" winning six whole Oscars and don't forget Anthony Hopkins and Liza Minelli looking like they barely had any idea where they were. For good or bad, it was an uncomfortable, awkward and sometimes truly powerful night filled with some of the weirdest moments I've seen from a live television program.