Nothing makes us happier than mindless television. Revision: Nothing makes us happier than mindful discussions about mindless television. Here’s what we watched at the end of 2019.
Amy – Andy Murray: Resurfacing
Sorry to James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser, but Andy Murray is the Scottish King of Men. I inhaled Amazon’s Andy Murray: Resurfacing documentary the second it dropped, and I have no more tears to shed.
Also sorry to A Marriage Story, but I am all cried out and have no time for you. Resurfacing follows Andy & co. during his battle with a persistent hip injury, and give us an intimate look at the physical demands professional tennis players endure in training and rehab off the court. It’s also heartbreaking as you watch acerbic Scottish Andy come to terms with ending his career in a sport he simply loves to play. Even knowing a happy outcome was on its way with Andy’s eventual hip replacement and winning late in the 2019 ATP tour, I was fully invested in what felt like a medical mystery show.
Worth watching just to see Andy attempt breakdancing.
Julie – Anything with Adam Driver
Okay, I’m not going to get into my love/frustration with The Rise of Skywalker. We’ll save that for later. But honestly, Adam Driver is the best part of that entire film. Fight Me.
Practically Adam Driver consumed the entirety of my fall and winter. I have no idea if any other movies and tv shows came out during that time. First was The Report, the IRL political thriller about the creation of the billion page Senate Intelligence Committee report detailing the CIA’s use of torture tactics during terrorist interrogations. It was raw, gritty, and at times difficult to watch, but it was worth it just to see Adam challenge the government and fight for the truth all while rocking it in a three piece suit.
Then, of course, there is Marriage Story, and yes, I do think Adam will not only be nominated for an Oscar but win for Best Actor. His turn as Charlie shows a man who you want to shake but then at the same time hold in your arms while he violently cries, which he does and made me love him even more. Like The Report, there were times that I felt I couldn’t watch, even to the point that I shouldn’t watch because it was so intimate, you felt that you were eavesdropping on this couple coming undone.
If anything, watch it for this moment, and if you don’t love Adam Driver after this, I will pray for your soul.
I’ve basically spent the entire autumnal season watching Derry Girls over and over again. It’s on pretty much non-stop. But I did find time to be flummoxed by Watchmen, obsessed with Succession, impressed with this season of Last Week Tonight, and completely in love with The Durrells on Corfu. And, unfortunately, the unexpected boredom I felt watching season 3 of The Crown lulled me into a deep, dark state of needing more Derry Girls, so we’ve come full circle there.
Heidi – Temptation Island
I can feel your judgement starting already but I don’t care – not unlike the cast of Temptation Island when they chose to sacrifice all their future job prospects by going on this show. Temptation Island is a remake of the early 2000’s version in which four unmarried long term couples separate by gender on two different sides of an island to date a mansion full of gorgeous, intoxicated, singles. In the end they decide if they want to leave the island with their original partner, alone, or in a new relationship. I know, it’s terrible and wonderful. I can’t stop watching.
It starts out being gratuitous and shocking, which is half the fun, but by the end it’s about self-discovery, empowerment and maybe even love. Would I recommend it to your grandmother? Probably not, unless she’s awesome. All I can say is that I chose not to watch it unless I was on my treadmill and, as a result, I’ve never run so much in my life as I have this season.
Karen – Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC
When I’m not binge watching TV shows that were all the rage five years ago, I do my best to watch smart and lively TV news. I live overseas right now (by the way, it’s an excellent time to be an expat) so getting news from the US due to access and time zones means that I watch a lot of the twitters. One of my favorite follows is Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC, who thankfully was hired a few years ago. She doesn’t have a true TV background, and it shows. She wiggles in her seat, she squints, she has arguments and real conversations with her guests and is not afraid to be silly or serious all on the same topic.
One clip I keep watching over and over again is with her absolutely DREAMY guest Anand Giridharadas. Yes, he is smoking hot, YESSSSSSS I am about to crack open his book about the myth of the super rich philanthropy. Want a master class on open thought and conversation with no screaming, take the 11 minutes to watch it and bask in your increased IQ.