geezer cinema: my spy (peter segal, 2020)
music friday: fillmore west 1968

tv catchup, part 4

Outlander. Outlander has pulled off a fairly rare feat: its fifth season was on a part with its first. To my eye, there is a consistency between the various season, such that I can't say off the top of my head which is the best. Outlander continues much as it always has ... its best features (sex, acting, cinematography, music) are still fine, its worst qualities (too frequent use of rape as a plot device, not knowing what to do with black characters once the show gets to America) still problematic. It's not a perfect show, but if nothing else, it shows that Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) remains one of our finest showrunners.

Watchmen. Not only was Watchmen a fascinating revision of the original comic with a sterling cast, it also managed to both illuminate that original and add to it in important ways. Regina King is tops, as usual, but Watchmen is filled with actors giving impressive performances. Even Henry Louis Gates Jr. turns up, playing himself. Watchmen is timely ... its made-up world is like our own in worrisome ways (including the fact that in the world of the show, Robert Redford is president). It's also oddly prescient, in a rather backwards way: while the universe of the show is an alternate one, it hinges on the actual events in Tulsa known as the Black Wall Street Massacre, which has been in the news of late. Apparently this is a mini-series rather than a continuing story, and if one season is all we get, it's enough. But I'd watch a second season, for sure.

Bonus: Perry Mason. Only three episodes have aired, and I can't say I'm impressed, although I haven't given up yet. Good cast, good recreation of 1932 Los Angeles, but thus far, the only reason I can figure that the lead character is named Perry Mason is so we can get excited about his origin story. But it works just as well without being attached to Mason. Tatiana Maslany is great ... no surprise there.