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Rando Recommendations: What Pop Culture Thing Do You Recommend (Not Geek Media)

Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, set in Australia of the 20s. Fun entertainment. Well made.

'The series revolves around the personal and professional life of Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis), a glamorous private detective in 1920s Melbourne. Three series have been broadcast, and a feature film titled Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears was released in February 2020. A television spin-off Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries was broadcast in 2019. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries has been aired in over 100 countries and territories.'
 

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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
due to the wonders of Netflix and streaming in general I’ve been watching African dramas, which have some great offering and provide a good insight into modern life on the big continent.

Queen Sono, Netflix - Queen Sono is a Sth African Spy so a bit geek
Kings of Jo’burg, Netflix - about a family who dominate organised crime

An African City is a Ghanaian show about group of modern young women living in Accra which appeared on Youtube in 2014, (its the first African show I watched, thus it earns special mention)

oh and for a change Jinn is a Jordanian show on netflix about a group of teenagers who during a school trip to Petra summon a Jinn and must stop it from destroying the world.

(and yes love Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries too)
 

Reynard

Legend
This is going to sound stupid, but Naked and Afraid is usually really good. It is at once a compelling reality show about people thrust together, and highly educational regarding survival in adverse conditions. I ignore the show for ages because I thought the premise was dumb, but one day my wife and ended up watching it for a lark and were hooked almost immediately.

I prefer the XL challenges (larger groups, longer challenge) and prefer dry places like Africa to wet places like the Amazon (because moisture does horrible thing to human bodies). There is very little "competition to it and the drama feels like it arises more naturally than in lots of other, similar shows.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Knives Out is a thoroughly enjoyable film with actors from franchises in roles that are notably different (Daniel Craig, Chris Evans) and was directed by someone who took a lot of heat from fanboys from his work in geek media (Rian Johnson). It's streaming on Prime and well worth checking out.
 

Ryujin

Hero
A movie that might have flown under the radar of a few people here, that's definitely not the usual fare for this group; "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." It's on Prime. The somewhat fictionalized story of an investigative reporter for a major magazine, who is tasked with getting an interview from Mr. Rogers. Really well done and Tom Hanks knocks it out of the park, in my opinion. Watch for the little things in this. You'll know what I mean when you see them :)

On the other end of the scale, there's a little short film production that was made by a couple of my acquaintances, in Washington State. (I'd like to call them friends but honestly don't know them well enough, at this point, to make that claim) It's called "Iron", is about 15 minutes long, and is the story of a woman who moved to Washington State, during WWI, and took up a "man's job" during the time when so many women did, because so many men had gone to war. You can watch it for free at thefantasy.network by just searching for it. No account or login required. FULL DISCLOSURE: I was one of the original backers of the project, and Samara is gorgeous, so I'm more than a little biased ;)
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
A movie that might have flown under the radar of a few people here, that's definitely not the usual fare for this group; "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." It's on Prime. The somewhat fictionalized story of an investigative reporter for a major magazine, who is tasked with getting an interview from Mr. Rogers. Really well done and Tom Hanks knocks it out of the park, in my opinion. Watch for the little things in this. You'll know what I mean when you see them :)
Tom Hanks IS amazing in this. I can't emphasize this enough. He does a fantastic Fred Rogers.
 

Mallus

Legend
The Hercule Poirot series starring David Suchet. My wife and I binged all of it early the Plague Year. It's now one of my favorite performances -- and TV series -- of all time.

A book of short stories: The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson. He's one of the finest American writers of the last 100 years or so. This is his last book, published just after his death.

A non-fiction book: Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino. She writes great stuff about culture and learning to be/being a writer now, in the age of the Very Online.

The Farewell, starring Awkwafina (aka Nora Lum). Sure, Crazy Rich Asians was fun, but this movie is much, much better.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Hmmm....

Good Eats: stars Alton Brown. Teaches you both The HOWs and WHYs of cooking. There is also a Reloaded version of the series in which he revises and improves episodes from the show’s prior incarnation.

Homicide Hunter: features Lt. Kenda (Ret.). A really good true crime series narrated by a deadpanning grandpa who has seen too much.

Midsommer Murders: a long-running murder mystery series from England. Midsommer county may be the deadliest place on earth after Cabot Cove, Miskatonic, Castle Rock, and Amityville.

Rumble: a documentary about the history of Native Americans’ influence on rock & roll. You WILL learn things you didn’t know before.

Later...with Jools Holland: a killer showcase for musicians from around the world, in all kinds of genres. You will hear the familiar and bands and music you didn’t know existed.

And God Spoke: a mockumentary depicting two B-list movie makers and their struggles making of ”the next great hollywood Bible epic”, And God Spoke. Many surprising cameos. The more you know movie making, Hollywood, and christianity, the funnier this film is,

Spinal Tap: one of the earliest mockumentaries, and one of the best. Details the trials and tribulations of Spïnal Tap’s attempts do come back and tour in America.

Incident at Loch Ness: a mockumentary starring, produced by and written by Werner Herzog and Zak Penn. The small cast film follows Herzog and his crew working on the production of a movie project on the Loch Ness Monster titled Enigma of Loch Ness.

Line of Duty: brilliant UK police procedural that focuses on the detectives who investigate the police.

Unforgotten: British police procedural about cold-case detectives l
 
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billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Which you can follow with more work by the same people...

Best In Show: Spinal Tap, but for dog shows. Yes, really, dog shows.
A Mighty Wind: Best In Show, but for folk music.
Don't forget:
Waiting for Guffman: community theater
For Your Consideration: awards buzz

There's a special brilliance in a lot of these because they're so good at playing things straight while being completely bonkers. And that dates all the way back to Spinal Tap. When Spinal Tap appeared on SNL as the musical guest, it was accompanied by an interview with that week's host Barry Bostwick. I didn't immediately catch on that the band was a gag - I just thought they were really stupid. Admittedly, I was young at the time and didn't recognize Michael McKean and didn't connect Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap to the Nigel Tufnel on my Lenny and the Squigtones album.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
There's a special brilliance in a lot of these because they're so good at playing things straight while being completely bonkers.

Much of which can be traced to how the dialog isn't precisely "written". Most of it is improvised, and that leads it to have tone more similar to actual conversation than "look, it is a joke!"
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
There's a special brilliance in a lot of these because they're so good at playing things straight while being completely bonkers. And that dates all the way back to Spinal Tap. When Spinal Tap appeared on SNL as the musical guest, it was accompanied by an interview with that week's host Barry Bostwick. I didn't immediately catch on that the band was a gag - I just thought they were really stupid. Admittedly, I was young at the time and didn't recognize Michael McKean and didn't connect Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap to the Nigel Tufnel on my Lenny and the Squigtones album.

🎶 Tonight I'm gonna rock you tonight ... 🎶
 


Ryujin

Hero
Don't forget:
Waiting for Guffman: community theater
For Your Consideration: awards buzz

There's a special brilliance in a lot of these because they're so good at playing things straight while being completely bonkers. And that dates all the way back to Spinal Tap. When Spinal Tap appeared on SNL as the musical guest, it was accompanied by an interview with that week's host Barry Bostwick. I didn't immediately catch on that the band was a gag - I just thought they were really stupid. Admittedly, I was young at the time and didn't recognize Michael McKean and didn't connect Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap to the Nigel Tufnel on my Lenny and the Squigtones album.
To this I would add...

"Attacking the Darkness" - independent film, religious film, role playing gamers, ... The pretty much take the piss out of anything related. Definitely not in any way related to the film, produced by the same people, of the Chick Tract "Dark Dungeons." Really. Seriously. I can't be more emphatic on this point. < Ahem... >
 

Ulfgeir

Hero
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, set in Australia of the 20s. Fun entertainment. Well made.

'The series revolves around the personal and professional life of Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis), a glamorous private detective in 1920s Melbourne. Three series have been broadcast, and a feature film titled Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears was released in February 2020. A television spin-off Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries was broadcast in 2019. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries has been aired in over 100 countries and territories.'
Seen a couple of episodes. Very nice. It is on my long list of things to watch.

I would add the following youtube-channels:

Tasting history with Max Miller. He does like to cook (food from old recipes) and talks about history.. Packaged in small bite-sized episodes.

The Charismatic Voice. A very nerdy opera singer / vocal coach / composer reacts to, and analyzes music videos. Lots of metal-videos. She has done some really good interview as well, where she and the interviewee both go full nerdiness on music and other things.

Also fallen down the rabbithole of a couple of dress historian talking about historically clothing (both in General and in film/tv). Don't know the names of their channels, but look for Abby Cox, Bernadotte Banner, and Karolina Zebrowska.


Edit: added the links for the channels..

Tasting History: https://www.youtube.com/c/TastingHistory/featured
The Charismatic voice: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCharismaticVoice/featured
Abby Cox: https://www.youtube.com/c/AbbyCox/featured
Bernadette Banner: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSHtaUm-FjUps090S7crO4Q/featured
Karolina Zebrowska: https://www.youtube.com/user/czekoladaimaslo
 
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LoganRan

Explorer
Long time lurker, first time poster...

Two of my current favs are: Endeavour (Amazon Prime) which depicts the early years of Inspector Morse in Oxford, England and Detectorists (Acorn TV), a show about metal detectors (err...detectorists) and their lives in rural Essex.

I would also give a second recommendation for Doc Martin who is my personal hero.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Seen a couple of episodes. Very nice. It is on my long list of things to watch.

I would add the following youtube-channels:

Tasting history with Max Miller. He does like to cook (food from old recipes) and talks about history.. Packaged in small bite-sized episodes.

The Charismatic Voice. A very nerdy opera singer / vocal coach / composrr reaccts to, and analyzes music videos. Lots of metall-videos. She has done some really good interview as well, where she and the interview er both go full neriness on music and other things.

Also fallen down the rabbithole of a couple of dress historian talking about historically clothing (both in General and in film/tv). Don't know the names of their channel, but look for Abby Cox, Bernadotte Banner (?), and Karolina Zybriewska (?).
Yes Tasting History is some great stuff, Max is really entertaining
and I adore Bernadette Banner, her quirkiness is so enchanting (does she count as a celebrity? She’d be my celebrity crush)
 

Ryujin

Hero
Long time lurker, first time poster...

Two of my current favs are: Endeavour (Amazon Prime) which depicts the early years of Inspector Morse in Oxford, England and Detectorists (Acorn TV), a show about metal detectors (err...detectorists) and their lives in rural Essex.

I would also give a second recommendation for Doc Martin who is my personal hero.
Haven't seen the first, but "Detectorists" is excellent.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Some of us do read.
Bill O'Reilly's Killing XYZ books. Each focuses on an individual and the era he lived in. I re-read Killing Lincoln.
 

Mad_Jack

Adventurer
The Charismatic Voice. A very nerdy opera singer / vocal coach / composrr reaccts to, and analyzes music videos. Lots of metall-videos. She has done some really good interview as well, where she and the interview er both go full neriness on music and other things.

I love her - she's so enthusiastic about everything, and her facial expressions are freakin' priceless, lol. She also has a great way of explaining things, and you can learn a lot about singing just by listening to her.

My suggestions:

Underground: A tv series about escaped slaves, starring Aldis Hodge and Jurnee Smollett... They've only made two seasons of it, and I've only watched the first so far, but the acting and writing on it is amazing. The choices of background music are perfect for the scenes, and the supporting cast is deep with great character actors as well - in the first season Christopher Meloni of L&O: SVU/Oz fame plays a bounty hunter who travels with his teenaged son while hunting escaped slaves.
Available on dvd fairly cheaply, and probably to be found on at least one of the streaming services.

Sharpe's Rifles: This is a series of fourteen British tv movies from the '90's based on the best-selling novels by Bernard Cornwell...
Sean Bean of Game of Thrones/LotR stars as Richard Sharpe, an enlisted man in the British army during the Napoleonic Wars who gets jumped up to officer rank after saving Wellington's life. It's an excellent historical action/adventure series, full of great battles and good dialogue.
I own the first five collected on dvd. They may be hard to find.

Strike Back: a co-production between Cinemax and Sky One, about a secret British military unit called Section 20, based on the 2007 novel by Chris Ryan... It's basically non-stop shooting intercut with great character moments and the occasional hot sex scene. It's nothing that hasn't been done a hundred times before, but Strike Back does it damn well and with style.
Available on dvd, and most likely on the streaming services.

Copper: About an Irish police detective in NYC in 1864, who comes back from fighting in the Civil War to find his wife missing and his daughter murdered.
Available on dvd and probably the streaming services.
 

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