Days of the Couch Potato

Well, technically, I watch an awful lot of stuff from the none-too-comfortable seat of our exercise bike, so it’s not really being a couch potato so much as it is a way to distract myself from probably-futile efforts to fight off the effects of age and a slowing metabolism.

But, couch potato is a good way to say “I’ve been watching a lot of video entertainment lately” though honestly not as good as just saying that and avoiding inflicting multiple run-on sentences upon the few people unlucky enough to read this site.

So I’ve been watching a lot of video entertainment lately.

I finished Beyond the Boundary and thought it was a good watch.  I don’t know if “Urban Fantasy” is an actual genre label, but I seem to be watching an awful lot of stuff that can be described as “It’s modern life but weird stuff happens that most people aren’t aware of”.  This show qualifies in spades – the main characters are fighting monsters and saving the world and there’s Mysterious Conspiracies afoot, but everyone else in the town is completely unaware.

It’s a little angsty and the last couple of episodes are designed to mess with you on an emotional level, but they’re balanced out by one pants-on-head-INSANE funny episode about halfway through the run.

I’m following up Beyond the Boundary with season 2 of Oreimo, which has absolutely no supernatural elements.  Like the first season, it’s pure slice-of-life comedy / light angst with – at times – a little too much fan service for me to be entirely comfortable with it.  I’m pretty sure that the ending is going to have me furious with how dumb the main character is, but that’s nothing new.

Friendship Is Magic, the show that never should have been as good as it was, is having a bit of a shakey fourth season (and honestly had a shakey third season), but still manages to entertain.  The rumors that Hasbro was taking a much closer look at what gets on-screen may be true, but the animators still manage to stick in a ton of did-I-just-see-that? moments.  It’s a show where paying sharp attention is vastly rewarding.

On my mother-in-law’s recommendation, we sat down and watched the recent Lone Ranger movie.  She usually has quite good taste in film, but this is a movie that got widely panned and has a 37% on Metacritic… Let’s just say that I wasn’t expecting much from it beyond Pirates of the Caribbean On Horses.  What I GOT was a Wacky Western Action Comedy with occasional scenes that I was quite startled to see in a Disney movie, especially one with a significant merchandising tie-in.  It’s a bit of a whiplash moment when you have to adjust from Silly Tonto Antics to seeing native Americans getting gunned down by gatling guns as they futilely charge US Army troops and then back to Johnny Depp being silly.

I still kind of liked it but I don’t think it’s a rewatch.  It kind of feels like it had a couple of different hands in writing it, so I’d actually be interested in finding out what the creators had intended and whether that was anywhere near what they got.

Finally, we watched The Adjustment Bureau, which I suppose falls more-or-less into the same Urban Fantasy genre as Beyond the Boundary.  It got kind of mixed reviews, and if you like your conspiracy theories and mysterious happenings to be explained at the end of a movie you’ll probably hate it, but I liked the way it slowly mixed the Weird and Unexpected into the main character’s everyday life and left most of the explanations up to the viewer’s interpretation.

Next up, I finish Oreimo, scream some at the main character for being an idiot, and then start something else.

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