Weekend Watching: Hollywood Shuffle, The Maids, & More
One of the great/horrifying things about using apps like Letterboxd and TV Time to track what I’ve been watching is that they provide a RUNNING TOTAL of HOURS WATCHED. So, since I started using Letterboxd back in April, I’ve watched 112 hours of movies? Which is almost five full days?
Actually, you know what, five days isn’t so bad.
Clearly I should up my game and WATCH MORE.
Anyway, this weekend:
Hollywood Shuffle (1987): Comedy sketches about being a Black actor in Hollywood surrounded by a quieter framing narrative about a Black actor trying to break into Hollywood. Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans wrote and made it together—for $100,000, mostly on credit cards. I was really surprised, in particular, that I’d not run across the Black Acting School segment before—it seems like it’d have made the rounds during #OscarsSoWhite. But maybe it did and I missed it. Watched via Criterion.
The Maids (1975): Oh, wow. So many feelings. This is an English language adaptation of a French play from the American Film Theatre—which is a project that is TOTALLY worth looking into and you’d better believe that I’m going to track down the other twelve movies that they did—and it is A. LOT. Two sisters work as maids for the same woman, and whenever Madame leaves the apartment, one of them will dress up in her clothes and then they do this whole role-playing thing which culminates in killing her but then they start to consider ACTUALLY killing her and there’s a LOT of sexual tension and OMG OMG OMG. Glenda Jackson is AMAZING in it. AMAZING. It is, as I said, A LOT and I’m going to watch it again like 800 more times. Watched via Criterion.
Fleabag, Season One (2016): Speaking of FEELINGS. I know I’m one of the last to board this particular train, but OH MY GOD. How did she take me on that vast of an emotional journey in that short a time? How does the show go from sarcastic and wry with hints of sadness to UTTERLY DEVASTATING in six episodes? How is Olivia Coleman so fantastically good that I can know, without a doubt, that I adore her as an actress (and very probably as a person) and yet her character is so awful that I want another character to just step in and set her on fire? How is it possible that the thread about Fleabag and her sister is so nuanced and so heartbreaking on both fronts? HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW OMG. Watched via Amazon.
Lucifer, Season One (2016): And on the other end of the emotional and intellectual dial… So dumb, so fun, so much eye candy. I fell off the couch laughing when Lucifer got all mad and his eyes turned red and then they did a dissolve and his red eyes turned into brake lights on a car. And I also fell off the couch laughing when Lucifer VERY DRAMATICALLY YELLED AT THE SKY about his myriad Daddy Issues. There’s no way this show would work if it took itself too seriously, and there’s also no way it would work if Tom Ellis didn’t play Lucifer as a jackassy smarmy dork. So much fun, requires no brainwork whatsoever. Watched via Netflix.
Holey Moley, Season One (2019): And, finally, RIDICULOUS MINI GOLF REALITY SHOW. I can’t be alone in loving this, right? And I can’t be alone in feeling that the commentary makes it way more hilarious and memorable than it would be if they played it straight? I mean, they’re basically taking cues from Fred Willard and Jim Piddock in Best in Show, right? Watched via Hulu.