Best New Stuff – May 2018

This month I did something a little different: I watched a lot of The Americans.

That wasn’t all that unusual; the show has been one of my favorites since I started watching it years ago. The show is a smart, level-headed look at marriage through spywork, finding perfect distorted mirrors of parental and partnership trials, always one step ahead of what I think it could be.

I’ve spent May watching the first five seasons of The Americans — as well as, of course, the sixth season as it currently airs — for a few reasons. The first being, writing an essay for Bright Wall/Dark Room, timed with the release of the final episode. And also, it’s been great to rewatch the show, and see how the kernels were methodically planted (and uprooted) over the years to get The Americans where we are today.

The result is that I have a more profound understanding of the show, as well as an essay at BW/DR. But throughout it also struck me how hard it can be to write about what we love (I mean, just look at that slapdash description up-top).

Shows like The Americans excel so well at so many things it can be a struggle to find the words to describe how it operates, let alone how it hums. And I find that I can often feel this way when I discuss lots of different kinds of things I like: Essays I enjoyed, movies that really touched me, people who truly enrich my existence. It’s something I’d like to get back to, and also something I hope to do more (and better) within the walls of this platform.

Between that and the Seattle International Film Festival, I’ve been pretty booked-up, pop culture-wise this month.

But among other things I watched this month:

Sorry to Bother You

Picnic at Hanging Rock (a bit uneven, but so damn enthralling) 

Akane no Mai, from Westworld, which seemed to be one of the first things actively interested in the emotional groundwork and stakes for its characters. 

Killing Eve — another slightly scattershot entry, but boy howdy is that something I can’t wait to see more of. 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which found such depth of humanity without ever tipping its hand into excusing bad actions. This is one to watch, with a real starmaking turn from Chloe Grace Moretz. 

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