Apr 25, 2020
Some of the staff at the Cedar Mill & Bethany Libraries got together to discuss what we've been watching lately and ways you can stream movies with your library card.
0:03 : Introductions
Mark Richardson: Hi there, my name is Mark Richardson. I am a librarian at the Cedar Mill and Bethany Community Libraries, and we are currently closed. But one of the things that we do a lot of the time while we're at the library is give people recommendations on books and audio books and movies, so that's a service that we want to continue doing. Most of us are at home now. Still working, but yeah, this is one of the things that we really miss right now, is interacting with people and talking to them about the materials that we have in the library. So we are going to do a podcast where we talk about some of these things that we've been watching. Today we're going to focus on TV shows, but I also want to mention that with your WCCLS library card there's a great service that we offer called Kanopy that you can access and has a lot of great streaming options. So we're going to talk about TV shows in general today, but we may bring up Kanopy a bit here and there, and that's something that we may talk about later in a future podcast. So with that being said, like I said my name is Mark, and I do a lot of teen stuff at the library, do events, answer questions, and that sort of thing. And go ahead Sonia.
1:20 Sonia: Hi, my name is Sonia. I work at the Cedar Mill Library in the Circulation Department, and I work primarily with our Circulation volunteers, who do most of our materials handling.
1:33 Mark: Great. Patrick?
1:35 Patrick: Hi, I'm Patrick Coleman. I'm a library assistant at both Cedar Mill and Bethany libraries.
1:43 Mark: Shannon?
1:44 Shannon: Hi, I'm Shannon. I am the Head of Circulation at Cedar Mill Library, so I work in the front area helping people check out materials, check in materials, find things, and all sorts of things.
1:56 Marti: Hi, I'm Marti, and I work at the Cedar Mill Library branch in Circulation, and so I'm helping people check things in and out, find stuff, and I also do a lot of our social media posting.
2:06 What we’ve been watching
Mark: So I guess I'll go ahead and go first, and then I'll just, we'll go around and we'll talk about some of the things we've been watching lately.
2:15 Mark: So the first thing that I wanted to talk about is a show that started out as a movie--and this one is available on Kanopy, that's where I watched it--and it's called "What we do in the shadows". It is hard to explain, but I'm going to give it a shot. It's a mockumentary about three vampires who've been alive for hundreds of years, and somebody's filming them like it's a documentary. It's just very absurd and funny. And it's how they're dealing with modern life, even though they've been alive for hundreds of years. And there's an older vampire who looks like Nosferatu. And they're all living in a house together, and they're arguing and getting in fights for different things. And I guess they’ve turned it into a TV show, but if you are a fan of mockumentaries, like "Flight of the Conchords", or, you know, "Best in Show", or some of those things, this might be the thing for you. But it is a very specific acquired taste, so it's not for everybody, but I thought it was pretty funny in parts and it's worth a watch. Yeah, like I said, I think it is gone on to become a TV series as well, and I'm not sure which channel it's on, but this one was pretty interesting. So that that would be my first recommendation.
3:40 Mark: Sonia, do you want to go?
3:43 Sonia: Sure. So I watch TV shows mainly on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime. Last week I finished up the latest season of "Kim's Convenience", which was Season 3. It's a show that I've been following that came recommended by one of the staff members that I work with the library. And I checked it out, and I really enjoyed it. It's a show that's set in Toronto, and it's about a Korean-Canadian family who runs a convenience store. And it's one of the great shows that I've seen that has family dynamics, so parents and then their interactions with their grown children and their family and friends. It was really funny. So that's the first show that I would recommend, "Kim's Convenience", on Netflix.
4:48 Mark: Great. Patrick, what about you?
4:52 Patrick: Well, Mark's already talked about the film version of what I'm wanted to talk about, but "What we do in the shadows" the TV series is airing on FX, and Hulu has the complete first season right now, and is airing the first couple of episodes from season two, the season that's going on right now. It's a different cast. It's still four different vampires living in this house, and they're basically being terrible vampires. They have no idea what they're doing, and stumbling and shenanigans left and right. One of the highlights, Matt Berry from "The IT Crowd" is in as one of the vampires, and he's always really amazing whatever he is. Still filmed "documentary style", and it's a fairly short half hour comedy series, about ten episodes in the first season, so it's a quick watch.
5:45 Mark: Great. Shannon, what about you?
5:48 Shannon: Recently I've been watching "Chernobyl", and then the follow-up, "Life after Chernobyl", on Hulu. I think one of them you have to have the HBO add-on to get to the main series of Chernobyl. What it covers is the 1986 disaster, the nuclear disaster surrounding Chernobyl, and the events leading up to it. How some scientists were figuring out what was going on, despite all of that media presence in Russia that was being controlled at the time, and goes all the way through the follow-up "Life after Chernobyl" where scientists have gone in to the area that was once affected and are doing tests now to figure out what's going on with the wildlife, what's going on with the water systems, and things like that. What's interesting is you can also, on Libby, check out the audio book or an e-book on Chernobyl by Serhii Plokhy, and if you're really interested in it, there's also, on Kanopy, there are some different things: "Heavy Water, a film (for) Chernobyl”, and "The Babushkas of Chernobyl" is also available on Kanopy, so there's lots of different resources surrounding this nuclear disaster.
7:13 Mark: Cool. Yeah, I watched that recently, and I went immediately to the e-book and started reading that book, it's very interesting. Marti, what do you want to talk about?
7:25 Marti: So I binge-watched all of the first season of "Avenue Five", which is a short dark comedy on HBO. And it stars Hugh Laurie as the captain of a luxury cruise liner spaceship, and it's supposed to be on like a three month vacation journey, but due to the ineptitude of the staff, they get stuck in space for three years before they can make it back to earth. So it follows the staff and the passengers trying to deal with the situation, and it's just absolutely ridiculous. It's a mix of terrible situations with absurd and sometimes crude humor, but it was a nice escape and I got a lot of laughs out of it, so if you happen to have HBO, I recommend that.
8:08 Mark: Awesome.
8:09 Shannon: Marti, I've been watching that too, and it's such a contrast for Hugh Laurie, when I think about him in his role at "House", and then I see him on this. I keep waiting for him to, you know, have a different character persona, but he is--it's delightful seeing the range of acting that he can do.
8:26 Marti: It is, and he goes back and forth in the show between his British and his American accents, so it's even better.
8:34 Shannon: He does.
8:35 Mark: Is Josh Gad in that one too?
8:40 Mark: Okay, I thought I saw a picture, and I was like "what is he in", so...
8:44 Marti: And I forget his real name, but the guy who plays Jared in "Silicon Valley", he basically plays the same character in this, except a little more depressed, but he's hilarious, I love him.
8:57 Shannon: The funniest thing is the absurd scenes that come up as they're dealing with different life events on it, it's pretty funny. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it, just like Marty.
9:08 Patrick: Yeah, it's from the creators of "Veep", so it has that same kind of vibe, and it is really great.
9:15 Mark: Well I'll put it on my list, it
sounds good. So the second one I wanted to talk about is ... I just
started watching it this week, I think it just came out on Sunday,
and it's on ESPN, and also showing on Netflix as well, and it's
called "The Last Dance". And it's a documentary about the
nineteen nineties Chicago Bulls, and in it they're focusing on the
last season that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and that whole
team was together. They had won five championships, and then this
was the sixth season, and there was just a ton of drama that was
going on that season. And they had agreed to let a documentary film
crew film this, you know, the stuff that went on that season, so
this is the culmination of all that film work. But it's really
interesting because, each episode they'll like go back in time.
Like the first episode, they went back and they showed all this
stuff of Michael Jordan as a kid and, you know, what he kind of
went through to become the basketball player that he is. And then
the second episode, they did the same thing with Scotty Pippen, so
I'm really looking forward to hearing the story of all these
amazing players that I remember when I was younger, and, it's just,
you know you forget how incredible Michael Jordan was, but then you
start to see all these old film clips of him playing and it's just
phenomenal. And, yeah just the whole drama around it and that last
season and how things are kind of falling apart, it's just very
interesting that you would have this amazing team of players, and
that it's a business decision to let that fall apart, when they are
playing the best basketball that really any team's ever played. So,
if anybody's missing sports right now, I would highly recommend
checking out "The Last Dance".
Mark: Sonia, you have another one?
11:15 Sonia: Yeah, so last week I put a question out asking our co-workers what their recommendations were for binge-worthy Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows, and I got a lot of great recommendations. And one of the shows that I started watching is called "Dark Matter"; it’s on Netflix. I think it originally aired on Sci Fi, and there are three seasons on Netflix right now, I believe. I started watching it over the weekend; I'm really enjoying so this is one that I'm sticking with. It reminds me of any shows that are set in space, like Stargate Atlantis, or Star Trek, or The Expanse, which is another show that I really enjoyed that's on Amazon Prime. And it’s about this crew of six people who wake up on a space ship with no memory of who they are, and how they got there, and they’re navigating their, you know, they're trying to find out things about themselves and about their friends, and they know that someone's wiped their memories, and they suspect that it's one of the crew, but they don't know what the motive was, and who it could be, and then they’re dealing with other people who know them from their past, but they don't know who the other people are, so it's actually pretty interesting, the mystery and the drama that’s going on, and there's some fun scenes in there too. It’s pretty interesting to watch.
13:02 Mark: Excellent. Patrick, do you have another one?
13:04 Patrick: Yeah, my next one is the Netflix hour-long drama called “Ragnarok”. It’s set in Norway and actually is a Norwegian import. It's about a young man named Magne, who moves to a new town, and he finds out he may or may not be Thor reborn. And it's about him going up against the forces of evil in this town; also about climate change and glacial retreat, and his interactions with friends and family, as he's on the (autism) spectrum, and it's a really interesting portrayal of somebody who is “there”. And it's a six-episode season that they're going to be doing more of, and that’s a short but a really great series.
13:50 Mark: That sounds good. Shannon, do you have another one?
13:57 Shannon: Yeah, another one that I've been watching is on Netflix; it's called “The Staircase”. It's a thirteen episode, it’s more of a documentary featuring Michael Peterson, who is accused of killing his wife, Kathleen Peterson, through a fall down a staircase. So we do know that she did die of a fall on a staircase. He is accused of that, and as they started exploring his life and the accident that happened in their home, they soon discover that Michael Peterson, decades before, lost a close friend of his when he was living in Germany, and she died from a fall down the staircase. And Michael Peterson ended up adopting that person’s two daughters, ‘cause the father had died earlier, so it comes around to “Wow, this is really coincidental” that two people in his life have died through a fall down the staircase. Then, they do cover the trial and everything that happens, and there is some updates eight years later in the case that takes some really questionable twist and turns, when they find out some new information. I don't want to spoil it for you, but it is called “The Staircase”, it is on Netflix. They did a really good job of videoing it from the very first part of the moment that she had fallen down, this film crew had been there through the eight-year journey, and longer.
15:32 Mark: And let me just say, isn't it amazing that there are film crews everywhere filming everything at this point? What is going on?
15:41 Shannon: I have to say, it is so true Mark, I mean the film crew was there and some of the things that came up in the twist and turns in the trial, some of it eight years later, references the fact that the film crews were there, and caught some of the stuff on evidence, and it was easier to go back, ‘cause they weren’t there, initially. There's not enough twist already in there, so it is a very interesting series and, the two daughters that he did raise are adults in this series, so you get to hear from them, as well as his own children, and the children of Kathleen Peterson, and her daughter and her sisters as well.
16:23 Mark: Sounds like a good one. Marti, what do you have next?
16:28 Marti: My second recommendation is a slightly older one -- I am just starting a rewatch of “Community”, and if you didn't catch this the first time around, it's a comedy about a group of misfits at a community college who get together as a study group, and it just follows their crazy antics throughout their years at the college. They play around a lot with tropes, and they're constantly riffing on other TV shows and movies, so it's really fun if you're a pop culture fan or a film buff. And it's one of those shows where they've mastered the art of the call-back, and running jokes that span across seasons, so it's perfect to re-watch, because you're always going to catch more jokes the second or third time around, and the more you pay attention. Even if the plot lines get out of control at times, the characters are really realistic, and I found myself identifying with all of them at different points, so all seasons; six of them are available on Netflix now, so even if you did already watch it, perfect time for a rewatch.
17:33 Patrick: Also, not a lot of shows will have an episode based on “My Dinner with Andre”, so … that in itself gets credit.
17:41 Mark: That is very true. Does anybody have a third recommendation? Okay, Shannon, go ahead.
17:49 Shannon: I wanted to have everybody kinda chime in on this one. When Sonia had originally put out the call for suggestions for binge-worthy shows, “Locke & Key” came up. “Locke & Key” is the story of three kids and their Mom who move back to their Dad's family home on the East Coast after his death, and they find these magical keys in the home. And the first key is found by the youngest of the family, Bode, very cute character in this show, and I do know, Mark, you had mentioned as soon as we started talking about the show, about the graphic novels, do you want to share about those?
18:34 Mark: Yeah, I would say I do a lot of the graphic novel buying for the library, and I've read graphic novels for a long time. “Locke & Key” is one of my favorites of all time. The artwork is stunning, and the story is just solid, it's written by Joe Hill, who is Stephen King's son. You know, it's creepy, it's for adults, but really well done, so it's a great graphic novel if you get a chance, and I know it is available on Overdrive and Libby as an e-book. So if you want to check it out, you can get on there and place a hold on it.
19:14 Marti: Yeah, that's one that I cannot wait to watch; it’s on my list.
19:20 Sonia: That was a really great one, and I believe I had looked for the print versions of the graphic novels, before the libraries had all shut down, and this was way, I believe, in the beginning of March, it was when the when everyone was talking about the series, so all the books had holds on them, but I'm glad to know that the e-book version is available.
19:43 Mark: And that one's on Netflix, right?
19:45 Shannon: Yes, it is on Netflix; it's one season right now.
19:48 Mark: Anybody have anything else they want to add?
19:54 Patrick: Yeah, I had one more Netflix
19:55 Patrick: It’s called “The Gift”, it's an hour long Netflix drama. It's a Turkish series this time, and it’s actually filmed in Turkey and is in Turkish. It's about a painter named Atiye. She discovers … she's a painter and since since childhood she’s been painting these oddball … this image on everything. Kind of an odd one with loops and whorls, and an archaeological dig turns that symbol up in a place where she could not possibly have seen it, and she slowly discovers that she might have inherited a mystic power that she's only barely beginning to understand. And it’s a real slow burn, but it's not just about that, it's also about her family, and her upcoming marriage, and a lot of really cool cultural Turkish stuff that (you) really don't see in TV or movies much. It’s a really neat watch, eight episodes a single season on Netflix.
20:58 Mark: That sounds like a great one as well. If you guys ever need any more advice on what to watch right now, we are still available. If you want to email us, the email is AskUsCML@wccls.org, and we are checking it daily, and we will definitely get a response back to you. We really miss seeing everybody at the library; we are hoping to get back as soon as we can. So everybody stay safe, and hopefully we will get to see you again at the library real soon.