Vacation reading list
I'm out of town for a few days; while I'm gone, I'll be finishing Posner's Case Closed, and starting I Love You, Beth Cooper and that book on the TV-news wars Kim lent me months ago.
While I'm gone, no new updates or comment approvals, but to pass the time, consider
1. Reading Eric Deggans. Along with Sepinwall, Mo Ryan, and a few others, Deggans is must-read crit for me; while he can and does crack on TV, he's not afraid to take it seriously, either. He was one of my favorite TV beat writers to do an interview with, too. This piece is more about politics but gives you a good idea of what he's about.
2. Watching The King Of Kong. I can't believe this didn't get nominated for an Academy Award for Best Doc; I hope it's because of some rules-of-entry reverse loophole, and not because it wasn't considered serious enough subject matter (it's about two guys trying to beat the scoring record in old-school arcade Donkey Kong). But the movie is everything I love about good documentaries: a good story, well crafted, with a handful of memorable characters (and, in this case, memorable hair — check out the extras, where Billy Mitchell's stepdaughter is talking about the carcinogenic amounts of hairspray he uses). The friend of the "bad guy" who has a change of heart; the dedicated ref; the impatient wife; the kid screaming for toilet paper…you couldn't make that shit up. Not to take anything away from more downbeat documentaries — Steve James's work is really quite depressing in spots, but he's a master of the form — but one like this, that does what it sets out to do so well, should have been recognized by the Academy.
3. Seeing if you could pass 8th-grade science. I got an 84%, which is better than I'd expected to do, and about commensurate with my science grades back in the day.
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