Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 9/23/22

Leave a comment

Look at this classic moment from Celebrity Jeopardy! (CREDIT: Sami Drasin/ABC)

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

Movies
Catherine Called Birdy (September 23 in Theaters, October 7 on Amazon Prime Video)
Don’t Worry Darling (Theaters)
The Munsters (Netflix, Blu-ray, and DVD) – A Rob Zombie Reimagining

TV
Bob’s Burgers Season 13 Premiere (September 25 on FOX)
Celebrity Jeopardy Season Premiere (September 25 on ABC)
Celebrity Wheel of Fortune Season Premiere (September 25 on ABC)
Family Guy Season 21 Premiere (September 25 on FOX)
The Great North Season 3 Premiere (September 25 on FOX)
The Simpsons Season 34 Premiere (September 25 on FOX)
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers Season 2 Premiere (September 28 on Disney+)
Ghosts Season 2 Premiere (September 29 on CBS)
Young Sheldon Season 6 Premiere (September 29 on CBS)

Sports
-Laver Cup (September 23-25 on Tennis Channel) – Roger Federer’s Last Hurrah

‘Catherine Called Birdy’: Kickin’ It Teen Style 1290 AD Edition

1 Comment

Look at that Birdy fly! (CREDIT: Alex Bailey/© Amazon Content Services LLC)

Starring: Bella Ramsey, Andrew Scott, Billie Piper, Joe Alwyn, Dean Charles-Chapman, Paul Kaye, Lesley Sharp, Sophie Okonedo, Ralph Ineson, Michael Woolfitt, Isis Hainsworth, Archie Renaux

Director: Lena Dunham

Running Time: 108 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for The Power of Suggestion

Release Date: September 23, 2022 (Theaters)/October 7, 2022 (Amazon Prime Video)

What’s It About?: What was life like for a sassy, opinionated teenage girl in 1290 England? That’s what Catherine Called Birdy is here to let us know! Based on a 1994 children’s novel by Karen Cushman, it follows the always rambunctious days of the irrepressible Lady Catherine (Bella Ramsey), aka (you guessed it) “Birdy.” She’s an unmistakably independent young woman, but what does that even mean in a patriarchal medieval society? Despite her unique wants and desires as a human being in her own right, the standards of the time insist that she’s little more than a bargaining chip for marriage. She might drive her parents (Andrew “Hot Priest” Scott and Billie “Companion Rose” Piper) batty, but they do love her. Although, they’re also in quite the financial bind, so they could really use that dowry moolah from even the oldest, ugliest, most grotesque suitor. What’s a little Birdy to do?!

What Made an Impression?: There’s something mystical about watching a story set in a time before mass telecommunication. Since there’s no video evidence of the era, any picture of centuries ago is a mere approximation. But this wasn’t exactly a problem for the people when they were alive in 1290. In fact, I would go so far as to say that nobody ever thought about that sort of thing, unless they were unusually philosophically inclined. Certainly, Birdy and her family and friends don’t concern themselves with such thoughts; instead, they mostly just go about their routines and live their lives as they are wont to do. So the fact that we get to have a peek into those lives arrives like a mysterious gift from the universe, even if it is all fully fictional.

On a more quotidian level, I also appreciate that Catherine Called Birdy is family-friendly without feeling like it’s holding back. There are several moments where it feels frighteningly possible that things could turn bloody and/or abusive. And while we’re spared the worst details, we’re not spared the vicarious experience of what it’s like to be a teenage girl at a time when that meant you were basically property. Ramsey boils it all together with a spirited, feral performance that should hook in plenty of viewers.

Catherine Called Birdy is Recommended If You Like: Rolling around on hills, Occasional swordplay, The scene with Dennis the Peasant from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Grade: 3.5 out of 5 Dowries