Sunday, April 7, 2019

Random Reviews

You know what you do when you have a day free and you are finally going to get back to that composition you have been working on? You start frantically looking for something to divert you so you can postpone the creative act just a bit longer! C'mon, you know you do it too. So here we go, just some brief random reviews. I used to do a series of catty micro reviews of pop music, but I don't bother any more.

First up, YouTube is always good for some brief diversion. One series I have stumbled across recently is James Blick's series exploring Spain with his girlfriend Yolanda. They seem to get everywhere. James is Aussie and an emigrant to Spain who really gets into the culture. There was a good video of them eating their way across Madrid tapas bars. This one is an excursion to Extremadura to view cherry blossoms and, of course, eat and drink.

This guy has got a pretty good gig, hey? Another big travel series is Rick Steves' the best of Europe with gazillions of clips. He's not as free flowing as James and Yoli, but probably more informative. I was watching this one, preparing for my upcoming trip to Salzburg:

My main critique of Rick Steves' clips is the unpleasantly out-of-tune cello solo in his musical introduction to each clip. Gets on your nerves. As a medicinal treatment, you could always have a look at one of Chef John's Food Wishes videos, in particular this one about how to make a beer float:

Ahh! Speaking of introductory music, the absolutely worst theme music for a video series on YouTube has to be, wait for it, Scott Adams' random scatting at the beginning of every one of his Periscope videos:

Scott confesses that he has no musical ability, ok, but does he have to demonstrate it every time? If you have never watched one of his videos, you might find it interesting as he has a rather different take on the events of the day from most. That's probably enough YouTube for now. One final word, Chef John's videos are usually pretty good, but don't try and make his recipe for Irish tea bread. Nope. Total failure. The rest are pretty good.

Over to Netflix which has an impressively huge lineup of shows, most of which seem to be for people of completely different genders, demographics and philosophical views from myself. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I got hooked on The Walking Dead for a while and, in season two, fell deeply in love with Lauren Cohan. But after a while I realized that I was only enjoying the scenes in which she was present and was completely sick of seeing rotting zombies get their heads slashed open, brutally crushed, completely decapitated, bashed with a baseball bat or mangled with various other hoes, machetes, samurai swords, garden implements and anything else that came to hand.

Lauren Cohan in The Walking Dead
Another show I was watching recently was the British historic crime drama Peaky Blinders. Love the name. It is an excellent view into the world of criminal gangs in Birmingham in the early 1920s run by people who are either psychopaths or suffering from PTSD. NTTIAWWT! I watched Arrow a bit, but while not bad, it got a bit too soap operaish. My big discovery was The Crown. Its two seasons cover the life of Elizabeth II from shortly before her coronation in 1953 into the 1960s. As a Canadian, she has been my sovereign for virtually my entire life. A really remarkable figure with a unique role in world politics that mostly consists in being extremely non-political. The weirdest thing about the show is that they have her married to Doctor Who. Well, sure, with the Tardis anything is possible. In any case, it is an excellent show and well worth watching. Alas, I have come to the end of season two so I have to look elsewhere. I find I am coming back to an Aussie show I watched a while back: Wanted. Due to the excellent acting and interesting story, probably worth re-watching.

Well, now I have to get to my actual work today. Wish me luck or something...

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