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Monday, August 24th, 2020

Time Event
What the Bear is Watching - August Edition
Another milestone as to how The Bear is spending his time during the pandemic when not outside. The weather has been pretty shitty temperaturewise, so I have not been wanting to venture outside except late in the evenings when it's more bearable (pun intended).

Last month I mentioned shows like "Picard" which we finished up and thoroughly enjoyed. I also had discovered "Money Heist," a Spanish show that was a flop at home but became an international sensation when Netflix bought it. I finished all 4 seasons and enjoyed it. It's not perfect, but it's entertaining. A little too much deux ex machina, silly romance, and miracle healing, but it kept me around for all 4 seasons (so far). So what else have I discovered?

"Hollywood" - Netflix - It's an alternative history to 1940's Hollywood where there is more racial equality, female empowerment, and tolerance to gays. It kept me interested for the entire season, but the blending of reality and fiction could have been done a little better. Rock Hudson is openly gay? "Gentleman's Agreement" loses the Oscar to a movie about a young black girl finding success with her white lover?!? It would have been nice if we had been THAT progressive, but it came across as trying too hard to incorporate a 2020 narrative into 1947. I also have a little more respect for Jim Parsons who plays a wonderfully sleazy producer always looking for cock.

"Perry Mason" - HBO - A new version of TV's classic lawyer set in 1930's LA. Nice and gritty that gives a good feel for the time and place. Watch out for Matthew Rhys who played Mason. He also just starred next to Tom Hanks in "Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."

"City of Angels" - Showtime - Another movie about "classic" LA?!? Also set in the 1930's. I had heard about this show since it stars Nathan Lane in a serious role as a tough detective. The main focus is on the Hispanic community and how they faced racism by the police in the pre-WWII era. The only downside so far has been the introduction or weird Mexican occultism. So demons of the dead pop up from time to time. It also takes place just before the war, so throw in some Nazis as well. At least it made me look up the Zoot Suit Riots that hit the city a few years later caused by tensions between the police and the Latino community.

"Star Trek: Discovery" - CBS All Access - We had heard good thing about this latest Star Trek franchise and we were not disappointed. We haven't finished S1 yet, but we're liking what we're seeing. Unlike "Picard" which seems a little too tied to canon, this show has a good original plot that fits into the timeline about the same time (maybe a little before) as Kirk and the gang. Good plot and character development so far.

"Umbrella Academy" - Netflix - Season 2 is out, and I have been enjoying it. I forgot how I originally described it last year but it was probably something like "X-Men Lite" (OK, I checked. I said the trailer looked like an "X=Men" ripoff). But it stands on its own. Good plot and continued character development keep me coming back for more. I think it's up there with "Stranger Things" in terms of good quality TV being produced for/by Netflix.

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