Wondering what to do with your upcoming free time? Good thing we have some suggestions for what you should be watching, playing, reading, listening to, etc.
Ben’s Anime Pick: My Hero Academia (Season 5) – Even though this is probably my least favorite chapter in the series, My Hero Academia’s fifth season is still far, far better than the vast majority of the shonen anime I’ve seen in the past few years (Jujutsu Kaisen is super overrated, fight me). The path that the flame hero, Endeavor, is on hasn’t really clicked for me yet, and there were some pacing issues with that arc, but everything surrounding the main character, Midoriya, and his classmates has been as strong and enjoyable as usual. Plus, the direction S5 took the League of Villains in is almost great enough to completely outweigh my complaints. I’m stunned with how well MHA has built up Tomura Shigaraki’s potential as an antagonist worthy of his successor by finally, finally revealing his past, which is a horrifyingly dark reflection of Deku’s origins, and I can’t wait for the next encounter between the two protégés. Also worth noting is the action. S5 so far may not have had any big, truly earth-shattering moments like S4’s Overhaul fight, but that doesn’t mean it’s slouching in the slugfest department; there’s still plenty to enjoy as each set piece feels diverse and interesting, and the show balances it all with that impactful, heartfelt drama fans have come to expect from MHA thus far.
Lauren’s Movie Pick: CODA – CODA (standing for child of deaf adults) is a coming of age story about a musically inclined high schooler working towards finding her own identity after being an integral, depended upon part of her insulated family for so long, as her deaf parents and brother often look to her as their connection to the community around them. Seeing as it often takes a heightened reality in the vein of Booksmart for me to enjoy coming of age films, as well as the fact that I have extreme secondhand embarrassment when it comes to many singing situations, especially when the character is uncomfortable themselves – I kid you not when I say I had to look away from the screen a couple times early on thanks to the choir teacher that tried to impart his lack of shame in vocal warmups and attempts to uncover a confident vocalist within our lead – CODA was working at a pretty great disadvantage. And yet, eventually once we got past everything that frustrated me on behalf of the lead and started exploring the family dynamic as they worked towards truly understanding each other, I couldn’t help but be won over by this heartwarming story, no matter how predictable the typical genre beats are.
Ben’s Movie WARNING: Splice – The last time I saw Splice was when it was playing in theaters. I remember thinking most of it was alright, but the consistently terrible decisions the protagonists made kept me from enjoying the creature feature. Sadly, I still felt the same way this time around. As a huge fan of horror flicks I’m accustomed to dumb decision-making in movies (especially the ones that have to happen to keep the movie going), but Splice is on a different level than most of them. It’s like the entire film is just a cavalcade of hilariously terrible choices being made by supposedly intelligent people. I was shaking my head in disbelief or laughing through most of Splice, and the ending is so insanely awful that it’s almost impressive in its audacity.
So yeah, Splice still sucks.
Lauren’s TV Pick: Ted Lasso – After countless attempts from my sister to get me to watch this show about an American football coach going overseas to lead a soccer club (and never hearing one bad thing about it from the millions of others singing its praises), I finally sat down to watch Ted Lasso, hoping to fill the happiness injection void left behind by the series finale of Brooklyn Nine Nine. All fears of it being unable to live up to the hype were quickly assuaged by one of the most wholesome and positive personalities ever written; that said, every line from the titular character being a perfect message to embroider on every pillow at your grandmother’s house is hardly the only reason that this show is as wonderful as it is. It’s all about the relationships for me: from Ted weaponizing his warmth and cookies to chip away at the purposefully standoffishness of the soccer club’s owner, Rebecca (a relationship that has flourished in how they support each other without being forced into a romantic context), to the gruff “has-been” star and his “begrudging” perfection as an uncle, to the women supporting women dynamic between the unexpected pairing of Keeley and Rebecca, to the newer relationship in season 2 between Ted and the team’s psychologist as he learns to open up about his deeper truths and we discover that everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows as Ted presents things to be. I may never forgive the show for what it did to the team mascot, but everything else? Everything else is pretty darn close to perfection.
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!
And while you’re here, be sure to check some of the site’s other recent content:
- Middle of the Row: The Podcast episodes on the newer releases Luca and False Positive.