Summertime television being what it is (which is mostly variations on The Bachelor), and having watched all the reruns of Food Jammers and No Reservations, I swapped out the digital channels on the cable box for a summer of The Movie Network. This affords us access not only to various and sundry movies, but also access to various HBO and Showtime series. No commercials (except for the annoying interstitials for The Movie Network itself). And some not-too-bad television for hot summer nights.
On the series side, I have decided that I am pro-John from Cincinnati (which seems to be a series that you either love or hate), neutral on Durham County (so far there’s too much “bashing in heads with large rocks” for my taste, but we’re only one episode in), and completely over the moon for the television version of This American Life (all other things being equal, I would marry Ira Glass in a heartbeat).
On the movie side, last night I stayed up late to watch Shut Up & Sing, a movie about the Dixie Chicks travails over recent years. It was a well-produced documentary that turned me into a Dixie Chicks fan. It also made me afraid to enter vast swaths of the USA.
A few nights back we watched This Film Is Not Yet Rated, a documentary about the MPAA and the film rating system in the USA. I left with a similar distaste in my mouth about America’s thin-skinned xenophobia. The film is also well-produced, with an interesting through-line centred around a private detective hired to out the identities of the secret panel of “concerned parents” that does all the rating. The heart of the movie, however, is an extended discussion of the implications of Maria Bello’s pubic hair.
I recommend both films.