That’s Auntertainment! Mini-Episode: Aunt Beth Tells Jeff to Listen to ‘We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions’

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Aunt Beth decided that it was a good time for Jeff to listen to the 2006 Bruce Springsteen album We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Does he overcome? Will we all overcome? Listen to find out!

Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 11/6/20

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Moonbase 8 (CREDIT: Showtime/YouTube Screenshot)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Moonbase 8 Series Premiere (November 8 on Showtime) – Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker, and John C. Reilly go to the moon!
The Unicorn Season 2 Premiere (November 12 on CBS)

-Kylie Minogue, Disco

Music on TV
-2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (November 7 on HBO)

Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy! (November 10) – Written by The Ringer‘s Claire McNear!

Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: John Mulaney/The Strokes

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SNL: John Mulaney, The Strokes, Ego Nwodim (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

With this, the most Halloween-iest episodes of Saturday Night Live, former SNL writer John Mulaney enters rarefied hosting territory by hosting more than once in a single calendar year. His last time on the Studio 8H stage was on February 29, 2020, which was a notable date not only because it was a Leap Day but also because it was one of the last live in-studio shows before the pandemic necessitated the shutdown of most in-person gatherings. This booking might demonstrate that the folks on SNL are not a superstitious lot, for otherwise they would fear that Mulaney’s presence would portend another shutdown. Or perhaps they are superstitious, just in the opposite direction, with the hope that his return might augur a return to safer times.

Musical guest The Strokes, like Mulaney, are also making their fourth official appearance.

They were last on in 2011, a time when Charlie Sheen was inescapable. What’s Carlos up to these days? Still throwing heaters?

While watching this episode, I downed some scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee cake, and the night before, I watched some football and put on a hybrid Halloween costume, so I was ready and rarin’ to go!


That’s Auntertainment! Episode 21: The Baby-Sitters Club

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The Baby-Sitters Club (CREDIT: Netflix)

Aunt Beth and Jeff had a great idea: they’re going to record a podcast episode about The Baby-Sitters Club, and they’re going to invite all their favorite family members to join! That’s right, Jeff’s cousin/Aunt Beth’s niece Megan and her daughters Elsa and Mia are here to break it all down as we figure out if we’re a Kristy, a Claudia, a Mary Anne, a Stacey, or a Dawn.

Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 10/30/20

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The Mandalorian (CREDIT: Star Wars/YouTube Screenshot)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

The Mandalorian Season 2 Premiere (October 30 on Disney+) – Baby Yoda is on this show.
Young Sheldon Season 4 Premiere (November 5 on CBS)

-Elvis Costello, Hey Clockface – The 31st studio album from Mr. Declan MacManus!

‘Come Play,’ Says the Leggy Monster on a Tablet

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Come Play (CREDIT: Jasper Savage/Amblin Partners/Focus Features)

Starring: Azhy Robertson, Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr.

Director: Jacob Chase

Running Time: 96 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for Spooks and Terror

Release Date: October 30, 2020

Did The Babadook fully sate our appetites for creepy bedtime story characters breaking out into the real world to spook a little boy and his mom? Come Play sure hopes that there’s room for one more! But it’s going to be very hard for it to avoid being referred to as “The Babadook, but the dad’s alive.” There’s even a moment when Gillian Jacobs echoes Essie Davis almost exactly when she shouts, “Can you just be normal for one second?!” There are some elements about Come Play that are worth recommending, although while I was watching them, I wondered if I was enjoying them mainly because of residual positive feelings for The Babadook. That’s far from the worst thing in the world, though. It’s at least better than resenting it for its resemblance.

The vibe of the game in Come Play is disconnection. Sarah (Jacobs) and her husband Marty (John Gallagher Jr.) have been struggling to communicate with their non-verbal autistic son Oliver (Azhy Robertson) his whole life. Really, though, it’s Mom who’s bearing the brunt of the struggle. It comes down to the typical split of household labor. Marty is mostly fine with the way Oliver currently talks, which is by pushing word buttons on a cell phone that vocalizes for him, but Sarah is constantly frustrated, partly because she spends a lot more time at home. Into this angst-filled situation crawls Oliver, a long-limbed creature on a tablet who would like his tale told to the end so that he can become a real monster who can be friends with Oliver forever and ever.

As Larry makes his presence more and more known, he spreads to Oliver’s parents and friends as a sort of supernatural infection. He’s like the Entity in It Follows or the certainty of death in She Dies Tomorrow: once you’ve been exposed, you cannot deny his existence. Voices of reason try to insist that this is just a case of powerful empathy with Oliver, which almost seems to be playing out as a sort of shared delusion. Of course, we know it’s not that, because the terms of the genre that we as audience have agreed to assure us that Larry is as real as any monster can be. But the emotional tethers that Oliver is attached to and the terror transported along them are quite telling. Larry represents and draws upon loneliness. Anyone lacking connection or fighting so hard to maintain an emotional bond is vulnerable. He can sting your heart, and that’s what really makes him memorable.

Come Play is Recommended If You Like: Horror Movies That Remind You of Other, Better Horror Movies But Still Have Enough to Say on Their Own

Grade: 3 out of 5 Legs

An ‘An Evening with Tim Heidecker’ Review with jmunney

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An Evening with Tim Heidecker (CREDIT: Tim Heidecker/YouTube Screenshot)

I’d love to review the bad comedy-deconstructing Evening with Tim Heidecker in the style of a poorly written blog, but it took Tim years to perfect his routine, so I think it might be safer for me to do something a little more straightforward. So here are some of my favorite bits from the special, recorded in the hope that this will increase their chances for meme-ification and being remembered fondly for posterity.

-Tim says early on, “I love T&A.” It might not mean exactly what you think…
-“Boy, there’s a lot of women in music these days.”
-Lady Gaga? “What’s next? Lord Goo-Goo?”
-Tim’s New Year’s resolution: “No more bullshit.” And then there’s a whole routine about not putting up with any more bullshit!
-“Because of Obamacare”
-Instead of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” it’s “Russia, Russia, Russia.” (There’s a lot of strained pauses in the delivery of that one.)
-“You better watch your ass, Batman.” (I forget what led up to this line, but I wrote it down in my notes, so I just HAD to share it.)

I Have One Important Thing to Say About ‘The Witches’ (2020)

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The Witches 2020 (CREDIT: Warner Bros./YouTube Screenshot)

Starring: Octavia Spencer, Anne Hathaway, Jahzir Kadeem Bruno, Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock, Codie Lei-Eastick, Kristen Chenoweth

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Running Time: 105 Minutes

Rating: PG

Release Date: October 22, 2020 (HBO Max)

There’s one thing I really want to mention about the 2020 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. It’s something that caught me by surprise, and I was happy to have it. It wouldn’t have surprised me if I had seen the trailer ahead of time, but I still would have been delighted by it nonetheless. I’m talking about Chris Rock’s narration! I had no idea he was playing the older version of our hero (who’s named Hero). But oh yeah, I totally approve of the flavor that he added to the mix. And at the end when we got a glimpse of him in the flesh, I was thrilled to see what he’s up to now. The rest of the movie is mostly more-or-less standard kids adventure fare. I would have hoped for something a little weirder from Bob Zemeckis taking on Roald Dahl. Maybe I missed some hidden weirdness!

Grade: 5 Giant Chickens Out of 3 Mice

Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Adele/H.E.R.

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SNL: H.E.R., Adele, Kate McKinnon (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

There is a long and proud tradition of musicians serving as both host and musical guest on the same episode of Saturday Night Live. There’s also a tradition that’s not quite as vaunted but that’s just as notable of musicians serving as only host while letting someone else provide the tunes. On October 24, 2020 AD, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (dude, we’re getting Adele!) joined the likes of Sting, Snoop Dogg, and Chance the Rapper by making her hosting debut while allowing Gabriella Wison (aka H.E.R.) to make her MG debut. And now I am going to offer you, my readers, some reactions to how they performed.

When I woke up on Sunday, it was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which was sweet relief from a preceding week that had been a bit of an Indian summer with swampy 60-something days. So as I’m writing this review, I’m not sweating any more than I ought to be on a late October day in Brooklyn.

Cold open was of course the last Debate (Grade: What We Expected). I laughed when Jim Carrey Biden revealed that he bought his suit on a train.


That’s Auntertainment! Episode 20: Palm Springs and the Groundhog Day Time Loop

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Time Loopers (CREDIT: NEON/Hulu; YouTube Screenshot)

Jeff welcomes guests Peter and Tim of the Dead Times podcast to discuss Groundhog Day, the Groundhog Day-influenced Palm Springs, and all the other time loops we’re stuck in.


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