Watching - February 2022

The Good Place (Season 1, 2016)
B told us to watch this - specifically not to look up anything to do with it, just watch it. I'm pleased we didn't get any spoilers or even an idea of what it was about, as this seems to be a show that thrives on plot twists. Accordingly, I won't spoil it for you either, except to say that it's a series well worth watching  - very imaginative and amusing, and not too heavy on time commitment either.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)
I've known and enjoyed Rush's 1981 album Moving Pictures since my teens, I believe, but only occasionally ventured into other parts of their back catalogue - to my shame. It's a bit like only listening to A Night At The Opera or Led Zep 4 - only knowing a band's most well-known album. I thought I'd see if this documentary inspired me to listen beyond this. It's a really interesting film, always engaging, and it's nice to see three people that were only interested in making good music, not in any of the excess or stupidity associated with rock. It also highlights how varied their music has been over the forty-odd years of their existence. I think their 70s output is probably less to my taste, but I'll be looking into the other 80s and 90s albums.
The Good Place (Season 2, 2017)
The big surprise at the end of season 1 seems to have inspired the writers, as this season is more full of twists than a Chubby Checker convention. As a result, although it's entertaining, it's a bit breathless and disjointed us. It's very compelling though, and the cliff-hangers at the end of each episode really keep you skipping to the next (not that Netflix gives you much time to decide otherwise). We started season 3 straight away and we're all watching it together. Which is nice.
Red Notice (2021)
If they've missed any action/buddy/heist movie clich├ęs in making this, I didn't notice. All somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as befits the presence of Ryan Reynolds (who is why I watched this in the first place), with some knowing nods to the ridiculousness of it all, some cute lines ("What are we looking for?" - "A box labelled 'Macguffin'?") and a plot twist at the end that I didn't see coming - although in fairness, I never see them coming. Anyway, not 100% sure why I persevered with it but it passed a Sunday afternoon well enough.
The Good Place (Season 3, 2018)
I rarely, if every, binge watch anything, because it's a massive time sink and I always end up feeling that I could have done something more productive with my time. As David Hepworth says: "[...] they're clever enough to keep me watching but not substantial enough to make me glad I did". However, I've made an exception for The Good Place, as we've all watched it together, the episodes and seasons are actually quite short - and it's entertaining. I have been drawing the line at more than three episodes in one go though.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 1, 2013)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a series that had completely escaped me until my kids starting going on about it last year, describing it as "like Scrubs set in a police department" - which is a good recommendation in my book. Inevitably, they've already ground their way through all eight series or whatever, whereas I've been watching it only occasionally, so it's taken me a few months to finish the first season. I'm glad to keep coming back to it though. It's obviously not in the least bit serious or realistic, but it's very well-written and funny, and the characters are entertaining (although I could mostly do without Gina). 
Ode To Joy (2019)
Once I got past Martin Freeman doing an American accent, this was very sweet; a bit more complex than a standard romcom, but not a lot really. Nevertheless, it was nice to see reasonably believable characters, not least Freeman, who has always does an everyman role to perfection. It's nice to see a happy ending for someone with an unusual medical condition, even if, when you start to think about it, it seems more and more unlikely that it would actually work the way it does in the film (see also 50 First Dates). Still, a nice enough film. 

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