Wondering what to do with your upcoming free time? Well we have some suggestions for what you should be watching, playing, reading, listening to, etc.!
Lauren’s Comic Book Pick: Locke & Key – I just want to take this opportunity to thank Netflix for adapting this series, because the fast approaching release date of the show pushed me to FINALLY read the first couple of volumes of Locke & Key that have been burning a hole in my digital shelf for years now. Shame on me for not taking the critic and fan hype seriously; Joe Hill’s series deserves every ounce of it. It’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s beyond intriguing, and it’s certainly as magical as the trailer for season 1 presents it to be. But be prepared: this is definitely deeply rooted in the horror genre. I mean, it’s Hill, so that should be an obvious assumption. I’m just warning those who might be thinking this is more along the lines of Jack Black guarding a house with ticking walls (I’m assuming that film is more whimsy than blood and death thanks to its PG rating, in all fairness) and not the legitimate threat of witnessing children being brutally scarred both physically and psychologically by what trauma they’re going to have to endure thanks to Keyhouse. I know it’d be easier just to wait for the show to experience Locke & Key, but the beautifully crafted world written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez make the source material well worth seeking out if you have the means to do so.
Ben’s TV Pick: Barry – I started this Bill Hader-led series thinking it was just going to be a well-written comedy, but it actually has a whole lot more going on than it I expected it to. While Barry has its fair share of humorous situations and witty dialogue, it also gives us a look into the mind of a man who is tortured by his past and is constantly struggling with the idea that he may not be a good person. Then the second season builds upon that premise even further, delving into the traumas of Barry’s acting teacher Gene (Henry Winkler) and fellow actor Sally (Sarah Goldberg). The way that Barry bounces back and forth between hilarious and heartbreaking is impressive, and it got me invested in each of these characters, hoping that they could somehow find happiness despite their flaws by the end.
Also, Anthony Carrigan’s NoHo Hank is one of my favorite TV characters in years.
Ben’s TV Pick: Sex Education – The first season of Sex Education earned the show a spot on my favorite TV shows of 2019 list, and its second dropped shortly after our last Suggestion Box. The series follows teenagers Otis (Asa Butterfield), Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), and Maeve (Emma Mackey) who sell relationship advice – most of which is gleaned from Otis’ mother, a sex therapist played by Gillian Anderson – to their classmates, all the while dealing with the craziness of their own lives as well. The script and cast are incredible, blending awkward comedy with heartfelt moments of emotion while tackling a host of issues with a surprising level of depth and tact. Its raunchier moments – like the opening of every episode – may be too much for some, but stick with it if you can because it’s a brilliant coming-of-age series packed with talented young actors, and one of Netflix’s best original series so far.
Ben’s Video Game Pick: DOOM (2016) – With a sequel set to drop in March – barring another delay – I decided to replay the 2016 reboot of DOOM for the fourth or fifth time. The story is simple: an arrogant scientist made the brilliant decision to open a portal to Hell in order to solve an energy crisis, thus allowing demons to eventually invade our world, making it your job to send them back to where they came from in a swift and gloriously brutal fashion as one of the most memorable video game soundtracks of all time plays over the action. It’s hidden lore and stunning visuals seem more in line with newer game franchises, but DOOM‘s gameplay and combat harken back to classic shooters of old in all the right ways. Instead of taking cover to regain his health, the Doom Slayer rips and tears his demonic foes apart to stay alive. Instead of a two or three gun carrying capacity, you’re able to bring the entire game’s arsenal with you wherever you go. Instead of a character driven story with a relatable protagonist, DOOM puts you in the shoes of a silent, ultra-badass warrior, gives you your weapons and says “go kill all the bad guys.” It’s a game that relies on its gameplay, and holy cow that gameplay is phenomenal. First-person shooters are my favorite video game genre, and DOOM 2016 probably has the best mechanics of any that I’ve played to date. Hopefully DOOM Eternal can increase the chaos and carnage without tweaking the practically perfect formula too much.
So what do you think about these picks? What content did we miss over the past two weeks while we were spending time with these? Be sure to leave a comment below letting us know about everything (both current and simply new to you) you’ve been consuming lately!