The 2017-18 run of Saturday Night Live is not special. This is surprising given their talented cast and hosts, but nearly every show is a letdown. NBC’s sketch comedy series is too reliant on politics as the linchpin of each show. After 43 seasons it might be time to tap the breaks on politics and place an emphasis on creating good sketches.
Over the last month it has been a bit of a struggle for me to produce much of the content that I have set out to create for this blog. I have consumed a lot of great shows, movies, music, and podcasts that have inspired a wealth of half-written posts. There were some post ideas that were ultimately derailed by writer’s block or a lack of focus. It has been hard to watch a season of The Crown or Lady Bird and not be able to complete some of my ideas.
It may be a cliché, but the entire story of the PBS documentary The Boys Of ’36 feels like a Hollywood movie. Blue collar Americans who came of age in an impoverished economy, a sport that is built on remarkable perseverance, and the daunting backdrop of Hitler’s Third Reich are all present in the documentary that follows the University of Washington crew team on their journey to win the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
No one was taking odds in 1976, but the prospect of an eighth Rocky movie being released in 2018 would have been more unthinkable than the Italian Stallion knocking out Apollo Creed.
In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, columnist Peggy Noonan decried certain historical inaccuracies in the Netflix series The Crown and Steven Spielberg’s film The Post. While acknowledging the necessity of dramatic license, Noonan hammered Hollywood for twisting historical facts in an era when people learn through entertainment. With all due respect to Ms. Noonan, the obligation to find truth lies with the audience and not with entertainers.
2017 was a good year to be a couch potato. Thanks to a boom in streaming content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, there was a wealth of fantastic television. Here are the Flat Circle’s favorite television shows of 2017:
It is hard to pick one favorite track, but Wolf Alice’s “Beautifully Unconventional,” The War On Drugs’ “Pain,” Strand of Oak’s “Everything,” and Mondo Cozmo’s “Automatic” were among those that were played on a loop.
This past year was a great time to explore new podcasts and there are still over 40 episodes in my queue to catch up on as I head into 2018. Here are The Flat Circle’s five favorite podcasts of 2017…