Wondering what to watch, play, listen to, etc.? Well we have some suggestions for you! (But before we share those Zac wanted us to let everyone know he finally got first place in Tetris 99 and he is super proud of himself. Congrats, Zac! You did it, buddy.)
Jon’s Pick: Better Off’s Reap What You Sow – Better Off’s sudden demise several years back was an unfortunate but seemingly acceptable loss for a scene that has been desperately trying to fix how it has treated both female musicians and female fans. Yet, seeing that no main member of the band was accused of any wrongdoing, part of me couldn’t help but feel frustrated for the undoing of a band that was so fresh and rejuvenating. It’s not an understatement to say I pined for more of Luke Granerd’s melodies and confessions and Charles Miller’s dynamic drumming. Then, with a brief comprehensive recap of the band’s history (along with a recounting of their withdrawal of support of the accused touring member and their apology and reconciliation with the victim), they announced their third album Reap What you Sow. This offering finds the band stretching themselves at both ends of their spectrum, from the raucous distorted emo rock jams, to somber, ambling emo ballads. Luke Granerd also shines vocally, crooning on the soft numbers to channeling his best Jim Adkins meets Jordan Pundik on the emo anthems. Consider Reap What You Sow a more than welcome return of a more than missed band.
Ben’s TV Picks: Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Arrested Development – I’ve gushed about these two shows to anyone who would listen in person for YEARS, but this is the first time I’ve actually written anything about the cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine or the family sitcom Arrested Development. Both series feature some of the best casts, writing, comedic timing, and overall quality of any TV series I’ve seen. Each episode of Arrested Development and Brooklyn Nine-Nine is laugh-out-loud funny, and well worth your time.
Ben’s TV Pick: The Good Doctor – While it shares a few of the same clichés and weaknesses of other hospital dramas, The Good Doctor has a surprising amount of emotional depth and nuance surrounding its main character, Shaun. Played by Freddie Highmore (who first caught my attention with his phenomenal performance as Norman Bates in Bates Motel), Shaun is a gifted surgical resident who has Autism, and The Good Doctor follows him through his residency alongside other, neurotypical doctors. It would probably still be an enjoyable, dramatic show without Highmore (it’s brought me to tears more than a few times), but his portrayal of someone on the spectrum is genuinely moving, and the most accurate depiction of autism I’ve seen in TV or film to date.
Ben’s TV Pick: Killing Eve – I recently finished the first season of the espionage thriller Killing Eve, and now I’m dying to see the second. The less you know about it going in the better, so all I’ll say is that Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer’s strong lead performances make the strange dynamic between their characters, and the show itself, hard to stop watching (the rest of the cast is great too, just FYI). It’s been quite a while since I’ve come across a show so addictive that I lied to myself by saying “just one more” after almost every episode.
Lauren’s Video Game Picks: Metro 2033 Redux and Metro: Last Light Redux – The release of Metro: Exodus is what reignited my interest in finally playing this post-apocalyptic FPS series within and above the mutant-filled subway tunnels of Moscow, and the inconsistent difficulty with the sudden, overwhelming waves of enemies and constant lack of air filters for my gas mask is what almost made me rage quit a couple hours into game one. Fortunately I am a stubborn person and pushed through the frustration. My note? If you’re struggling with the more challenging “survival” mode of the game, switch to “spartan.” Doing so for my second playthrough made it possible for me to finally enjoy the game, as well as gave me the leniency necessary to allow for further exploration of this bleak future. And trust me when I say it’s bleak: there are some scenes I came across in Metro: Last Light involving the remains of those who perished in the nuclear war, as well as some “ghosts” left behind, that are easily some of the most discomforting and haunting visuals I’ve seen in a video game. Oh! And one last thing: aliens?
Ben’s Movie Pick: Triple Frontier – Netflix’s Triple Frontier is a well executed heist thriller that doesn’t add anything new to the genre, but is still entertaining and enjoyable thanks to its terrific main cast. The film’s five stars, Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal all deliver strong performances (although Affleck doesn’t seem entirely into it at times) that give the movie’s stakes and good-but-not-great action more oomph than they probably would have had with a group of lesser talents. You don’t need to move this to the front of your Netflix queue, but I definitely recommend giving it a watch at some point if you’re a fan of one or more of its cast.
Jon’s Pick: The Walking Dead – Say what you want, but I’ve stanned this show since the beginning. I haven’t had a show since Lost that was so dedicated to exploring the bonds that bring us together and what drives the formation of our societal morals and values. Sure the show has taken some risks by veering off from comic canon (um, so how bout that midseason finale?) but it still provides the gut-wrenching horror and shock value that made the comics so affecting (um, so how bout that penultimate episode?). Shakeups aside, I’m eagerly anticipating the season 9 conclusion this weekend.
With the second slip into The Suggestion Box, March comes to an end. So what did we miss? Be sure to leave a comment below letting us know about all the content (both current and simply new to you) you’ve been consuming lately!