Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 5/14/21

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The Underground Railroad (CREDIT: Amazon Prime Video/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.

Movies
Army of the Dead (May 14 in Select Theaters, May 21 on Netflix)
Oxygen (May 12 on Netflix) – Directed by Alexandre Aja, but no piranhas.
Profile (Theaters)
Spiral (Theaters) – Chris Rock joins the Book of Saw.
Those Who Wish Me Dead (Theaters and HBO Max) – Might check out to see what Angelina Jolie is up to.
The Woman in the Window (May 14 on Netflix) – Joe Wright directs Amy Adams.

TV
The Underground Railroad (May 14 on Amazon)
-2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards (May 16 on MTV)
-2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted (May 17 on MTV)
-2021 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions (May 17-28, check local listings) – 19-game winner Jason Zuffranieri looks like the one to beat.

Music
-Aly & AJ, A Touch of the Beat Gets You Up on Your Feet Gets You Out and Then Into the Sun – This came out last week.
-St. Vincent, Daddy’s Home
-The Black Keys, Delta Kream – Dan and Pat cover hill country blues.

Best Musical Artists of the 2010s

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

One more list! One more list!

My Best of the 2010s list-making journey has finally come to a close! (Or has it? … For now, it has at least. The future will come as it may, and it may just surprise you, and me.) All this week, I’ve been posting my rankings of a few categories that I was inspired to put together after submitting them to a Best of the 2010s polls that I’m participating in with some of my fellow cultural aficionados. To wrap it all up, I guide you along to the realm of music and lyrics, as I present the Best Musical Artists of the 2010s.

My criteria was similar to that of my choices for Best Film Directors. I considered a combination of how much I enjoyed their musical output as well as how much – and how well – they influenced the industry at large.

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Best Songs of the 2010s

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

Of all the pieces of art and entertainment that I’m ranking for the decade, songs are probably the most personal. Yet somehow I feel compelled to consider how they affected the world at large moreso than all the other categories. The tunes that I value the most aren’t just the ones that make my own heart sing but also the ones that draw all of us closer together. So as I assembled this list, I asked myself both, “What has made me dance these past 10 years?” and “How would I like to dance with everyone else?” Here’s what that playlist looks like.
(I aimed to stick only to songs that were released as singles, as opening this to deep album cuts would’ve made things so overheated.)

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Best Albums of the 2010s

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One of the big themes about entertainment in the past decade is the incomprehensible explosion of available content in every medium. While this may be a recent development in cinema and television, it’s been the case for music for centuries, or even millennia. Since humans have been banging on rocks and clapping their hands, really. Of course, it was a little more recent than that when recorded music became readily available.

This is all to say, I of course haven’t listened to every album of the past ten years that made its way onto SoundCloud or Spotify, or even all the Billboard chart-toppers. But I did listen to enough of them to be able to assemble a vibrant and varied soundtrack of my life in the 2010s. Here are the musical collections of the era that I just haven’t been able to stop pushing play on.

[4/2/20 2:00 PM UPDATE: This post originally mistakenly included Justice’s , which came out in 2007.]

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Best Albums of 2019

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It’s been a few years since I’ve made an Albums of the Year list, but I really felt compelled to make one for 2019. Here are the audio compilations from the recent past that really made an impact on me:

14. Camila Cabello, Romance – Fun and bouncy.
13. Harry Styles, Fine Line – I like where Harry is headed.
12. Beck, Hyperspace – Reliable Beck.
11. Brittany Howard, Jaime – Great, big rockin’ voice goes solo.
10. The Black Keys, Let’s Rock – They never stopped rocking.
9. Ariana Grande, thank u, next – Lots of adventure from Ari.
8. Sleater-Kinney, The Center Won’t Hold – Band broke up, music’s still great.
7. Tyler, the Creator, IGOR – I feel so comfortable inside this album.
6. FKA Twigs, MAGDALENE – FKA reminds me of Bat for Lashes.
5. Vampire Weekend, Father of the Bride – Those Vampire Weekend guys have still got a hold on me.
4. Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell! – What a soundscape!
3. Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? – Just plenty of fun.
2. Lizzo, Cuz I Love You – I love you, too!
1. The Chemical Brothers, No Geography – Apocalyptic concept album.

Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 6/28/19

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CREDIT: Pamela Littky/FOX

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

Movies
Annabelle Comes Home (Theatrically Nationwide)
Yesterday (Theatrically Nationwide) –  Beatles Content

TV
What Just Happened??! Series Premiere (June 30 on FOX) – Fred Savage hosts fake-recap show.

Music
-The Black Keys, Let’s Rock

SNL Recap May 10, 2014: Charlize Theron/The Black Keys

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charlize-theron-snl-sketches-nbc

Do you know where Arbalato Street is?

A Mother’s Day Message from Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton
Vanessa has got Hillary’s vibe down, but the voice isn’t really close.  Sasheer’s Michelle was decent.  The back and forth of the tension was solid.  Hillary having not yet decided if she will run for mother of the year was a clever way to do an obvious joke. B-

Charlize Theron’s Monologue
I thought this was aiming to be a meta takedown of how so many SNL monologues are singing bits, and maybe it was, but it didn’t really work that way, instead being just another singing SNL monologue that kind of joked about how it was a bad idea to do that yet again.  Charlize’s line about men still liking her despite her height was worth a laugh, though, with Beck playing that moment well. C+

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SNL Recap December 3, 2011: Steve Buscemi/The Black Keys

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Cold Opening – A Message from the President of the United States
Interestingly enough, while I did think that this was one of the better message from the president cold opens in a while, I noticed what a lot of viewers have been saying lately: Fred’s Obama is getting worse.  This had the feel of a Wayne’s World top ten countdown.  Obama didn’t quite have the energy that Wayne and Garth have, but he did have something.  And points are deserved for all of the comments being right on target. B

Steve Buscemi’s Monologue
The problem with this monologue wasn’t so much that it was it was one of those “I’m going to explain to the audience my most notable characteristic, even though they already know that about me” monologues, it was that the character actors who were asking Steve for advice were playing too-specific characters.  Steve’s oeuvre of creepy roles show a greater range than a series of sassy black judges, or rapping grandmas, or even clumsy best friends from romantic comedies, and that dissonance was too great to overcome. C+

Frozen Mexican Dinner
Fish can help with constipation? B-

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SNL Recap January 8, 2011: Jim Carrey/The Black Keys

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Cold Opening – A Message from Michael Bloomberg
The humor of snow bamboozlement is long overdue. There were several individual items in this sketch that were funny, but the list format rendered matters a little stale overall. This is a rare example of a sketch that was “too New York.” Fred’s Bloomberg impression may have been accurate, but I don’t really know. Bloomberg just isn’t as well-known outside of New York as, say, Giuliani was. B

Jim Carrey’s Monologue
This is exactly the sort of positive energy we could hope for when Jim Carrey hosts SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE! And Lisa Loeb’s sister sure is cute. Too bad she’s taken. B+

Bosley Hair Restoration
Here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again. Original Grade: B+

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