2018 media diet review

Shamelessly plagiarising Jason Kottke, here’s an ephemeral post with some of the stuff I’ve read, watched or listened to in 2018, with a focus on the most recent ones (fresher in memory)

Series

  • The Good Place – 8/10 – at first unconvinced by its easy sitcom style, I warmed up to it due to the original idea and screenplay and the unexpected plot twists
  • Handmaids Tale – 8.5/10 – a bleak but powerful series, and occasionally a message of hope in front of vicissitudes
  • Rick & Morty 7.5/10 – I enjoy it but, like Family Guy, South Park or Simpsons before it, it seems to get a bit repetitive. Yet enjoyable.
  • The Flash 5/10 – maybe I got bored by the repetitive plot, bad screenplay and bad acting, but I found the last series less entertaining than the previous ones
  • Altered Carbon 7.5/10 – I watched it with my wife and because she’s not really into SF we didn’t get past episode 4 (the same reason I didn’t get past episode 2 of Westworld); still, I found the plot and production really well done and I’m looking forward to catching up with the rest one of these days
  • Walking Dead 8/10 – the series that filled our past 2 years and we eventually stopped at the end of the war with Negan (that’s 8 full series). I feel that we’ve spent way too long on it already, and I like it when things have a well defined end. But maybe one day we’ll catch up with the rest once more.

Movies

  • Deadpool 2 – I gave it a 8.5/10, as opposed to its predecessor 9.5/10 ; in other words I enjoyed it a lot, although obviously being a sequel means it can’t match the originality of Deadpool 1
  • Coco – 10/10 – I watched it twice and ended up with tears both times. A film for grownups who’ve already lost family and who know they might lose some more, yet it’s not a sad movie but an optimistic and deep one. If you haven’t seen it already, you should – but make sure to pay your full attention, this Pixar masterpiece deserves it.
  • The Big Sick – 8/10 – sweet and honest romantic comedy, both I and my wife enjoyed it
  • Ferdinand 7.5/10 – my 5ys old daughter’s laughter made me enjoy it more than I probably should have
  • Peter Rabbit – 6.5/10
  • Black Panther – 7.5/10 – the huge hype on the blogosphere made me expect something mind-blowing; instead I found it to be a decent action movie
  • Avengers Infinity War – 8/10 – enjoyable but with its plot forced on way too many aspects to be fun
  • Ant Man & The Wasp – 8.5/10 – ‘nough said, I liked it a lot more than Avengers; fun, nice plot line, many jokes
  • The Grinch 9/10 – as I said on Twitter (getting my most retweeted tweet of the year), this was the film that made Eva(my daughter) no longer fear the Grinch and laugh for almost its entire duration; and we, the adults, laughed as well.

Books

  • 21 Lessons for the 21 century – 10/10 – the must-read of the year, just like Sapiens was the must-read of last one; Bill Gates wrote a better review about it than I ever could
  • 12 Rules for Life – 9/10 – work in progress, Jordan Peterson is very hard to digest both in tone and in rhetoric, but there are a lot of gems here making this book worth reading, slowly.
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – 8.5/10 – several good key ideas(some of them common to 12 Rules for Life) but in an enjoyable easy read format
  • Zen and the Art of Archery 8.5/10 – the book that started the “zen and..” title meme (being followed by Pirsig’s Motorcycle Maintenance which was actually the trigger); a slim yet highly profound accounting of a philosophy professor’s attempt to understand zen by becoming a master of a Japanese art
  • How we got to Now 8.2/10 – work in progress; easy read nonfiction, filled with interesting tidbits of general knowledge, connected in unexpected ways making for great conversation pieces and food for thought, such as the casual connection of the Ottoman empire’s conquests to the Hubble telescope, or between Chicago’s geology and infant deaths in the 20th century.

… to be continued

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.