All Things TV: 2021 Watch(ing)

I have a confession—I don’t go to movies anymore and I don’t watch as much new television as I used to, especially in this pandemic and most especially when I’m trying to write. Reading has been more my go-to leisure activity to thwart the so-called pandemic malaise.

This is everything I did watch this past year barring the things I’ve watched repeatedly on my Love/Hate list that I sometimes put on in the background while working.

DNF is Did Not Finish which doesn’t necessarily mean I thought it was bad or unwatchable.

These reviews will be brief. Longer reviews will have a review and link next to them when available. If the link is dead then that means I haven’t gotten around to writing the review yet—if ever. The list is from current to oldest date, which means I spent New Years Eve with Hawkeye.

Updated: I edited this list. A reminder—I go back and occasionally edit any of these posts since I don’t have a copy editor and I’m notoriously bad at catching my own errors. Also, and here’s a shocker most people won’t admit to, apparently—I change my mind, opinions, learn some new facts or information, and reevaluate my writing, and am not afraid to say so, including being totally wrong. That includes being an ass, but then I can be an ass *shrugs*.

  • Hawkeye—I enjoyed the lightness mixed with humor and how evocative Barton was; Jeremy Renner did a great job immersing himself within emotions and memories and identities rendering a broader and humane character given then of what we’ve previously glimpsed of him in the movies. The women were fantastic; every single one of them performed brilliantly; the storylines provided a generous arc that established a solid footing to a more balanced narrative in the future; looking forward to the continuation of all their stories; I cannot wait to see more of them, and D’Onofrio is always fabulous.
  • Only Murders in the Building (DNF)—It takes a rare 30-minute comedy to keep me gratified and content to watch more. I’ll try again when in a different mood. This is my ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ excuse.
  • The Wheel of Time—This started slow but built into a riveting story, and again, the women were fabulous. I cannot wait for the next season.
  • Don’t Look Up—Bloody fucking brilliant.
  • Encanto—Loved it! I am Bruno! The soundtrack is catchy.
  • The Matrix Resurrections—A favorite! Anything Lana, Lilly and David collaborate on will always, always be a favorite.
  • The Witcher—I’ve watched this show so many times I’m wondering if Netflix will cut me off at some point. A proper review will be written eventually.
  • Love Hard—I liked portions of this movie. I love Nina Dobrev but there was a bit too much Jesus for me, and no, not everyone celebrates Christmas. 🙄
  • A Castle for Christmas—I liked the premise. The acting and editing and direction needed work. Some of the extras were more entertaining than the mains (sorry).
  • The Harder They Fall—This was fun! More westerns, please! Especially with romance (I loved Godless). How can you not love a movie with both Regina King and Idris Elba??
  • Red Notice—Hohum.
  • Dune 2021—Visually evocative and stunning but should’ve been a 6-10 ep multi-season series. Review, maybe, eventually.
  • Yellowstone—I love this show. Review forthcoming.
  • Black Widow—Loved. It was a good sendoff for Nat and a great intro to Yelena whom I adore. Review forthcoming.
  • Goliath—I’m a sucker for courtroom dramas where the little guy takes on the bigger, badder ones.
  • Squid Game (DNF)—I haven’t finished this yet because it is brutal. I will eventually.
  • Bosch—This is probably one of the better and less frustrating LEO series I’ve watched.
  • I Am Not Your Negro—I am there for anything James Baldwin.
  • Europe’s Most Dangerous Man: Otto Skorzeny in Spain—Infuriating. I have many questions.
  • Greatest Events of WWII in Colour—This answered lots of questions but I have more, of course.
  • Malignant—Fascinating & not so much scary. Ok, perhaps a tad scary.
  • The Sum of All Fears—This was a rewatch. Affleck did a great job as Ryan. Interested to know what Jamelle thinks of it on his Unclear and Present Danger podcast.
  • Cliffhanger—I saw this in the movie theater and couldn’t watch it again because that first scene fucked me up. It still makes my knees weak watching it.
  • Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror—A good intro and must watch.
  • The Morning Show—Provocative. Great writing and acting. Aniston & Witherspoon are fantastic as is everyone woman on this show and Steve Carrell made me wanna punch him. I enjoyed this but was disappointed that Hannah [spoiler]. Haven’t watched the second season yet.
  • SAS: Rise of the Black Swan—Entertaining and interesting. I like Ruby Rose and since watching Outlander, I’m fascinated by Sam Heughan considering a generation or more of historical romance authors have most likely used him as their template of a Scottish highlander in their own novels (Or is it Jamie they copy? Are they one in the same at this point?). It’s too bad that Outlander will probably be his only historical romance since there are so many good ones out there and he’s really good at portraying that character type (he is Scottish). Those types of portrayals would definitely keep him working and rich given his extensive fanbase.
  • Reminiscence—This had an interesting premise but was a bit dull.
  • Freaky (DNF)—I just couldn’t.
  • Mission Impossible 1-6—I have many guilty pleasures; Tom Cruise movies are many of them. Like the FF series, a suspension of disbelief is a must. Cavill plays a good bad guy in Fallout and he doesn’t have to kiss anyone (😉)—What?! I like picking on him. The stunts in these movies are unlike any I’ve seen in filmmaking. The motorcycle stunts are amazing.
  • A Quiet Place Part I & II—The first one was good. The second one’s only redeeming quality was Cillian.
  • Outer Banks—I love this show because it reminds me of what irrational and emotional hellions we were as teenagers; some of us. I also love the Outer Banks but then was disappointed to learn that it wasn’t filmed there because of the stupid GOP bathroom bills. It is filmed in Charleston, SC and I’m a huge fan of the lowcountry—I lived in SC for many years.
  • Resident Evil Series (DNF)—I love Milla and these were a fun watch but they weren’t all available to me on Prime and I didn’t wanna rent the rest.
  • Twilight Series (DNF)—I don’t even remember starting this…? Update: I remember now; I got 2-3 movies into the series and got bored. As much as I enjoy watching Kristin, Robert and Billy, I just could not. I may finish these in the future.
  • NCIS (Review)
  • The Suicide Squad—Fun. Love Harley and Margot Robbie. Viola Davis is queen. Idris and Taika are always a pleasure.
  • Ted Lasso—Bravo. Well done. Since everyone else has talked so much about it, I’ll leave it at that.
  • Westworld (DNF)—I’ll go back to it eventually. I love Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, and Jeffrey Wright.
  • Loki—This was a lot of fun but the casual walking upright into a category five hurricane made me roll my eyes.
  • Outlander (DNF)—I love this series. I took a break from it because I started reading a book series that I couldn’t put down. I’ll eventually finish and write a review.
  • The Tomorrow War—This was an okay B movie. You have to suspend disbelief a lot in certain areas.
  • Shadow and Bone—This is another show I’ve watched so many times that I’m afraid Netflix will cut me off. This will be getting a review along with the books because they are amazing.
  • The Nevers—Really enjoyed this, especially when Claudia Black popped onscreen like a blaze. How this woman doesn’t get more airtime is beyond me. Hollywood is so stupid when it comes to middle-aged women. Claudia Black is amazing and Farscape is a favorite.
  • The Undoing—Compelling. Watched straight through.
  • Mare of Easttown—Kate Winslet is fabulous.
  • His Dark Materials (2019)—This book series is still one of my favs.
  • Army of the Dead—Meh.
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead—A Taylor Sheridan action movie with lots of pretty people? Yes, I’m there.
  • Sound of Metal—Riz Ahmed should get an award for this movie. Or, has he already? My pop culture knowledge is so outdated.
  • Mortal Kombat (DNF)—I tried.
  • Tenet—This was really good and made me crush on Pattinson a bit too much. Christopher Nolan movies always tweak me.
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier—I liked the show; I didn’t like Mackie’s new suit—way too much white; it makes him a moving target; so unrealistic, and just WHITE.
  • Cursed (DNF)—I’m burned out on Merlin stories.
  • Lucifer (DNF)—I liked how they humanized and made Lucifer so malleable. I got bored though.
  • The BlackList (DNF)—I’m a James Spader fan. I got to the ep they made during the beginning of the pandemic. I haven’t seen the rest.
  • Space Sweepers—I have a special fondness for Korean scifi.
  • Behind Her Eyes—I was totally shocked at the end and that almost never happens.
  • The Invisible Man (2020)—Great feminist adaptation and Elisabeth Moss is excellent.
  • Godzilla vs. Kong—It’s a Godzilla movie, what’s not to love?
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters—ditto.
  • Kong: Skull Island—This is my favorite movie in the Kong-Godzilla series perhaps because I shipped Brie and Tom a bit too much and loved the music and the quirky fun dark humor of it. Samuel Jackson too.
  • Godzilla (2014)—Again, it’s a Godzilla movie. Duh.
  • Star Trek: Picard (DNF)—I was not in the mood. I’ll go back to this eventually.
  • The A-Team (2010)—This was actually a fun surprise.
  • In Time—I was shocked I hadn’t heard of this because it’s right up my alley. Loved it. Philosophically compelling.
  • Zack Snyder’s Justice League—I thought it was great.
  • Aquaman—This is a fun movie and I love Jason Momoa and him and Amber Heard together are fun. More, please!
  • Suicide Squad—I enjoyed this.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Ultimate—Nice bathtub scene and that was a good kiss, bravo, which was actually the most memorable of the entire series and movie, besides the end and that spoiler; I wasn’t aware that happened in the comics. It was a bit of a shocker. I thought Affleck was a great Batman; darker and a bit more brooding. Looking forward to Pattinson’s rendition.
  • Enola Holmes—This is a cute, fun movie. Cavill’s Sherlock is a bit stuffy compared to Cumberbatch’s but that’s like comparing avocados to red cabbages.
  • WandaVision—Fabulous. Loved it. Marvel has come far with their roles and narratives for women from the first days of Iron Man, Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.
  • Man of Steel—I eye-rolled at more than a few scenes and some of the writing but ultimately a good movie; that overly lengthy fight scene at the end was a bit much, but I enjoyed the movie and have watched it a few times. I love anything Russell Crowe does—he is a favorite. Amy Adams is always a favorite. Cavill did a good job and he looks the part, if a bit beefy so much so I was a bit rattled on his shirtless debut (I had not watched him anything prior); it’s like when you watch someone gain so much weight for a role and you wonder if they’re a bit too dedicated—or recklessly obsessed or being pushed too far and hard? This was sorta-kinda the same—not so much as being cruel and mocking or bodyshaming (no) but hoping they’re okay and not miserable or forced to do something they don’t wanna. Or hell, perhaps I was just bumfuzzled from the sight of him, who knows. I do mock his and Amy’s bad kissing in that scene late in the movie—peeeuuuu. Otherwise, this was a good adaptation and they did a great job. A Superman-Bloodsport movie (Cavill & Elba) would be great.
  • Star Trek Discovery—Love it. Sonequa is fantastic. Michelle Yeoh always rules the screen. There isn’t a character I don’t like and I love science fiction. I loved the eps with a darker younger unsure Spock dressed in black with a beard—I’d like to see more of that guy. The spore network is an obviously fascinating idea 😉.
  • Downton Abbey (DNF)—Maggie Smith is the whole show. British romances written by men are so languid and fastidious and underwhelming to me. So listless. Only a few truly move me, which is vexing given Shakespeare and Jane Austen were Brits. I got into a few eps at the beginning of season three then quit. Perhaps I’ll go back eventually for purely historical and geo and sociopolitical reasons.
  • Soul—Loved it, even given its metaphysical theme as it endeavored to be nondenominational without being condescending.
  • The Mandalorian—I can watch Pedro read a cookbook. I’m still hoping for a South American romance period piece between him and Oscar.
  • The Head—This was a thrilling and compelling horror with a climate change theme sorta like Fortitude or The Thing. I have a weakness for icy horror movies or shows.
  • Clash of the Titans—I enjoyed this but kept wondering what a Madeline Miller script of this would look like and found that idea far more interesting.
  • The Dig—I have a weakness for anything archaeologically fiction.
  • Extraction—Chris Hemsworth is pretty.
  • Ava—Jessica Chastain, Colin Ferrell, John Malkovich, Geena Davis and Common. Enough said.
  • La Révolution—Fabulous French Revolutionary (obviously) period piece with a mystical spin. The direction and cinemaphotography were gorgeous.
  • The Last Kingdom (Review)—This is a Netflix favorite of mine. I’ll update the review when they finish the series and the movies.
  • Judas and The Black Messiah—A must watch.
  • The Little Things—Underwhelming.
  • Underwater—I love Kristin Stewart and I love underwater movies, especially horror; Leviathan, Deep Star Six and The Abyss are a few of my favs off the top of my head. This is another.
  • Battleship—This was a fun scifi, and Rihanna.
  • The Expanse—Love this show. Waiting for the entire last season to drop currently so I can watch. Review forthcoming.
  • Rebecca (1940) (Review)
  • Rebecca (2020) (Review)

© 2022 Matilda London/Pamela Gay Mullins

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