wmtc: before the flood: good information but ultimately a weak message

Tonight we watched “Before the Flood“, Leonardo DiCaprio’s film about climate change, which I had heard such good things about. It’s well done, and is chock full of appropriately terrifying and depressing information. But in the end, the film delivers yet another “it’s up to each of us” message, focusing on individual actions, rather than ...

wmtc: labour day readers’ advisory: books and movies that celebrate labour

I spoke to a customer yesterday who was visiting from Denmark. He described himself as a trade-unionist, and he came to the library, looking for me, to learn about our strike! He also said he had read a book he loved, and was looking for more like it. He described the book: “by a Canadian ...

wmtc: we movie to canada 2015-16. this year there’s a part 2.

From the I Have Too Much Going On, Systems Are Breaking Down department, this year’s we move to canada awards omitted a big chunk of viewing. I was very surprised — and a bit disturbed — to discover this! Leaving aside questions about my mental competence, I’m reviewing the omitted films and series here, and I’ll ...

wmtc: further thoughts on himym

A few weeks ago, I blogged about watching “How I Met Your Mother,” a show that has been a huge surprise to me. At the time, I thought the show was slipping in quality. I had started the eighth season, and the whole thing was off. The characters were too shrill, the situations too zany and over-the-top. ...

wmtc: we movie to canada: wmtc annual movie awards, 2015-16 edition

I’m posting my annual movie awards later and later every year. I’m also watching fewer movies, because I’m watching more TV shows. When I come home on Friday or Saturday, exhausted and needing total downtime, sometimes even a movie is too much mental effort; binge-watching a series is somehow easier. So I end up with ...

wmtc: 14 thoughts on watching how i met your mother (first time through so no spoilers please!)

I was watching MASH when Netflix pulled the plug on our VPN. I found a new VPN… but now MASH is gone. One day I hope to finish the end-to-end rewatch. But right then, my comedy-before-bed slot was left hanging. I tried “How I Met Your Mother,” and I was very happily surprised. I have ...

wmtc: call me lucky: a hilarious, heartbreaking, and inspiring movie

Barry Crimmins might be the most famous person you’ve never heard of. In “Call Me Lucky,” a documentary tribute to Crimmins created by Bobcat Goldthwait, an A-list of comics talk about the influence Crimmins had on them and their community: Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Steven Wright, among others. Crimmins toured with ...

wmtc: m*a*s*h re-watch update: still funny and other observations

Back in August, I started re-watching M*A*S*H end to end on Netflix. I promised updates… and here we are. (tl;dr: it’s great.) Random thoughts below. A huge number of M*A*S*H episodes have no plot whatsoever, but are a series of unconnected scenes or vignettes. These aren’t clip shows, as the scenes have not aired before. For ...

wmtc: thoughts on re-watching m*a*s*h, one of the greatest tv shows of all time

Can the comedy-before-sleep slot be filled with overt social and political relevance? We’ll soon find out. After struggling through the last seasons of 30 Rock, I’ve rewarded myself by starting M*A*S*H from season 1, episode 1. (Thank you, Netflix!) It’s no coincidence that M*A*S*H, one of the best and most daring sitcoms of all time, ...

wmtc: we movie to canada: wmtc annual movie awards, 2014-15 edition

Thanks to everything-on-demand media, and no thanks to my schedule that doesn’t permit me nearly enough time for baseball, Movie Season now runs all year, at least marginally. These annual awards now document the movies and TV series we’ve seen from Opening Day to Opening Day. To recap my silly rating systems:– Canadian musicians and ...

wmtc: everything is political: bewitched and "george washington zapped here"

You may recall that my current comedy-before-bed TV sleep aid is a sitcom from my childhood: “Bewitched”. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying watching its ridiculous, predictable humour and sometimes surprising messaging. I was in the middle of the eighth and final season when Netflix pulled the show. (Argh!) But thanks to our amazing world of media, ...

wmtc: two random observations arising from watching a tv show from my childhood

In September, I blogged about watching “Bewitched” on Netflix as my “comedy before sleep” show. I’m still watching it, sometimes taking as many as three nights to get through one episode, so potent is this sleep aid. I want to share two random observations based on Bewitched. People on TV have whiter teeth now. I ...

wmtc: we like lists: things we learn from tv detective and murder mystery shows

If you enjoy detective shows, murder mysteries, and legal dramas, you learn a lot of things that don’t necessarily reflect reality. Here are some things you may learn from these shows. 1. Women are crazy and kill people. I have already blogged about and disproportionate percentage of female murderers on TV detective shows. In reality, ...

wmtc: thoughts arising from the death of a defender of free speech

This week’s obituaries included the last living link to two landmark moments in the history of freedom of expression. Al Bendich was just two years out of law school when he wrote the brief that is credited with the victory in the famous “Howl” obscenity case. In 1957, Lawrence Ferlinghetti published Allen Ginsberg’s masterpiece “Howl” ...

wmtc: wmtc movie and series season now open: your suggestions are welcome

Baseball season was painfully short for Red Sox fans this year. When your team wins a grand total of 71 games it’s a chore to watch, and I gave up early. The postseason, on the other hand, was incredible, and I watched (at least until I fell asleep) every night. I was mildly disappointed that the ...

wmtc: amazing but true: mlb does the right thing and increases fans’ access to the postseason

The biggest surprise of the 2014 baseball postseason isn’t the absence of both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. It isn’t the Baltimore Orioles, making the postseason for the first time since 1997, or the Kansas City Royals, playing baseball in October for the first time since 1985. The biggest surprise of ...

wmtc: we like lists: list # 20: top ten reasons we love our favourite cult show or movie

For those who want the question with no context: Do you love a cult show or movie? What movie and why? List at least 10 reasons. (I wish everyone would reply here and not on Facebook, but I know that is a lost cause…) * * * * Further to my longstanding tradition of watching ...

wmtc: sexism, magic, and pre-famous cameos: watching "bewitched" on netflix

The best use of TV, for me, is as a sleep aid. But I never thought I’d revisit comedies from my early childhood. I’ve watched a bit of comedy in bed, while ready for sleep, for my entire adult life, and quite a few years before that. Tuning in to something funny has always helped ...

wmtc: we movie to canada: wmtc annual movie awards, 2013-14 edition

It’s time, once again, for the wmtc annual movie awards. To recap, my silly rating systems so far: – Canadian musicians and comedians (2006-07 and 2007-08)– my beverage of choice (2008-09)– famous people who died during the past year (2009-10)– where I’d like to be (2009-10)– vegetables (2010-11) (I was out of ideas!)– and last ...

wmtc: some thoughts on emily brontë’s wuthering heights

Cover of 1943 Random Houseedition with woodcut illustrations Emily Brontë published Wuthering Heights in 1847, under a pseudonym. Brontë died the following year, at age 30. It was the only book she would ever publish. How did an isolated young woman, a parson’s daughter from a remote area of Yorkshire, who never married, rarely left home, and hated ...

wmtc: shirley temple black, breast cancer activist, former child star, 1928-2014

Shirley Temple and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson Growing up watching old movies, I was a big fan of Shirley Temple, whose dimples, singing, and tap-dancing charmed my parents’ generation. Temple danced with some of the tap greats, African-American men who Hollywood cast as servants, yassuh-ing their way into the dance scenes. The popularity of the adorable ...

wmtc: dylan farrow and woody allen: a feminist, a rape survivor, and a woody allen fan weighs in

Wmtc friend and reader Dharma Seeker writes: Some of my discussion groups have been blowing up since Dylan Farrow’s open letter to actors in Woody Allen films. My brain is muddled trying to sort out the various issues. I’d love your thoughts and hoped you might blog about it, although if you’ve not read it ...

wmtc: philip seymour hoffman, 1967-2014

If you care about independent film, you’ve been following the career of Philip Seymour Hoffman since the early 1990s. For a while, he was nearly ubiquitous, appearing in one brilliant small role after the next. When PSH achieved star recognition, it was as if a well-kept secret had been discovered, like hearing a song by ...

wmtc: murdoch mysteries, abortion on tv, and maybe an anti-war reference, too

I always like to have a detective-mystery series to follow. I try many of them, like a few, and watch several episodes in a row as downtime relaxation. I recently started the Canadian “Murdoch Mysteries,” which takes place in Toronto at the turn of the 20th Century. Back when we still had cable TV, I ...

wmtc: not love, but crap, actually

Tonight I tried again to watch “Love Actually”, and once again am left shaking my head in disgust (at the movie) and disbelief (in its popularity, among people who ought to know better). Why does everyone love this movie? Why is it hailed as the great ode to love and romance and a beloved holiday-season ...