I recently went on a streaming service bender. Unfortunately, due to a combined motorboat/live puma accident, I am only able to write short bitlets for the next three days. So I combined two of my thoughts on things I recently consumed in this article. Enjoy!
A Sundance movie from last year, Slow West is an odd but enjoyable western starring Michael Fassbender. Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a young Scottish noble, journeys to the American West in search of his love, Rose Ross (Caren Pistorius). Along the way he runs into the mysterious Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender) who offers to help Jay reach his beloved.
Slow West seems like a relatively straight-forward, coming-of-age, Western. The movie, however, has a odd bend to it. At points, Slow West can be incredibly dark, as seen by the first gunfight of the movie, but also comic and absurd, like when Silas teaches Jay to shave.
The acting in this movie is top-notch. Michael Fassbender gives an amazing performance and makes the Clint Eastwood-esque character his own. Another standout is Ben Mendelsohn who plays the leader of a gang following Silas and Jay.
Slow West isn’t a new classic for the western genre, but it is a solid, enjoyable movie.
Arrested Development Season 4
Hear me out on this one. Now I love Arrested Development. When it was on Fox, it was the best comedy on TV at that point. The show was insane, absurd, and, most importantly, had some of best characters and writing in comedy at the time. Unfortunately, it was canceled after three seasons.
So when Netflix announced a fourth season, expectations were pretty high. For the new season, the creative team behind the show tried something different. Instead of following the story chronologically, each episode followed a different character over the years since the show ended. This format didn’t appeal to a lot of people. Most were turned off by the repeating of events in episodes. The show would return to key events, showing them from different perspectives every time. The repetition, along with irregular structure, made people feel confused and lost on what was happening on screen. This caused a lot of the great aspects of the fourth season, like the still-amazing writing, to be lost in the controversy.
I re-watched the fourth season and this structure issue came up. I still love the fourth season, it’s everything I would want out of a new season of Arrested Development. I actually like the non-chronological structure to the season. The new reveals would change my views of what I thought previously happened. I loved those reveals, they always felt surprising and logical.
I would say if you were annoyed by this structure, give it another chance. Watching it again with a base understanding of what was going on made me less annoyed, if at all, by the repetition. Besides, Arrested Development might be the only show that gets better the more you watch it. The writing is so good that re-watching with future knowledge allows you to appreciate the foreshadowing and background jokes that are in every episode.
Just watch two or three episodes at a time. Let the season build and don’t let the repetition get to you.