Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive

This month's Nothing to Watch on Netflix segment spotlight's Tracy Morgan's return to stand-up after a near death experience and a long convalescence to deliver some laughs to the 'Flix.

The special opens to a relatively low energy crowd, as the audience is unsure what to expect. Tracy Morgan was in a coma, after all, and it's difficult to tell how much he has been affected by his injuries. He moves a little slower and his speech seems to be affected by the brain trauma. However, just 2 minutes in you'll forget about all of that, as performing comedy seems to be like riding a bike for Tracy Morgan.

His one-hour special covers a wide range of topics, including how he met God when he was in a coma, the dark side of his family, the difficulties of physical therapy, and what it's like to not remember the words of a song. Tracy takes a rapid-fire Rodney Dangerfield approach to telling jokes with punchline following punchline with no break in the action. He often also follows up these punchlines with one or two extra tags to keep the energy up and the laughs rolling.

Overall, this is an incredibly strong stand-up special. The material is well-crafted and the pacing is perfect. There are no lulls and you will be laughing for almost the entire 60 minutes. It might be especially fitting to watch this special when laid up in bed with a sickness or injury. Definitely give this a watch if you're looking for something light and funny. 

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a 2008 Kevin Smith comedy that squeaked under the radar due to being overshadowed by such instant classics like Tropic Thunder, Step Brothers, and Pineapple Express (2008 was a big year for comedy movies). However, Zack and Miri is a hilarious movie in its own right and it's available to watch right here right now on the flix.

Being a Kevin Smith movie, Zack and Miri is surprisingly weak on the Kevin Smith circle-jerk. A few of the usual suspects join the cast (Jason Mewes, Justin Long, Jeff Anderson), but there are plenty of other people that Smith does not typically work with, including some people with actual experience in Pornography. Seth Rogan and Elizabeth Banks are strong leads, but the secondary characters steal the show in almost every scene they are in. Craig Robinson and Justin Long, in particular, bring a ton of laughs and quotable lines.

 The script for this movie is strong and, being a Kevin Smith film, things do not stray from the more... vulgar aspects of producing and filming pornography. The dialogue is snappy and Rogan/Banks' delivery is spot on and full of pep. The plot is simple and takes a little time to get momentum, but by the end, everything comes together. Ultimately, even though this is a movie about making a porno, Zack and Miri falls firmly into the category of Romantic Comedy, even if it is full of gross-out humor and dick jokes.

From a technical perspective, there wasn't anything particularly special about the way the movie was shot. Being a movie about a couple of deadbeats making a porno, it doesn't require many special effects. Really, this is a movie that is all about the wordplay and the visual jokes, as there is one particularly memorable scene where Zack (Rogan) awkwardly propositions someone. Obviously, with a title that includes porno in the name, there is going to be a lot of sex, so if you've got some weird hangouts about seeing people plow, this may not be the movie for you. On the other hand, if you're looking to see some boobs and some dick, this might just be the movie for you.

Check it out! 

Lucky Number Slevin

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In this edition of Nothing to Watch on Netflix, we watched 2006's Lucky Number Slevin starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu, and a bunch of other great actors. 

Lucky Number Slevin is a hidden jewel of the 2000's, especially if you are a fan of other crime thrillers like In BrugesThe Usual Suspects, and Snatch. This movie sports a plot that is full of twists and absolutely rewards multiple viewings.

While the action sequences and actors are fantastic, this movie's strongest point is the script. The chain of events is so tightly woven that by the time the credits roll every possible question the audience could have is answered. There are plenty of funny beats to add a comedic streak to the action and mystery.

Lucy Liu does a particularly great job as her character is very different from the usual cold-hearted killers Rather, Liu plays a plucky mortician named Lindsay, who in addition to serving as the main love interest also works to push the main character, Slevin, to unravel the conspiracy he is steeped in.

There are absolutely ridiculous elements in this movie, such as one of the main crime bosses being a rabbi that has Hassidic Jews as his henchman or the fact that the set design looks like something someone would see when they're tripping on acid. But the ridiculous elements work with the film and enhance the overall enjoyment for the audience. 

Definitely give this one a watch. 

Love Season 2

This month on Nothing To Watch on Netflix we spotlight the newly released second season of Love. 

For the uninitiated, Love is one of the many, many pies that Judd Apatow has a finger in. After a moderately successful first season, Love's second season dropped at the beginning of March.

In spite of its title, Love is a complicated look at modern romance from a realistic, if not overly cynical perspective. While the first season focused on the boy-meets-girl dynamic between Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), the second season centers on their developing relationship.

The thing about this show that separates it from other rom-coms is that the main characters are total, nearly irredeemable pieces of shit. Gus is a passive-aggressive "nice guy" with a savior complex while Mickey is a psycho-sexual trainwreck struggling with alcoholism and sex addiction. If that doesn't make things bad enough, this season also focuses on the strains that distance can have on an already dysfunctional relationship.

One thing that is particularly unique to Love is that the viewer actively roots against Mickey and Gus at every turn. It's clear that, due to their individual shortcomings, their relationship is not meant to last. However, the two characters are too lonely and co-dependent to see this for themselves.

While the burgeoning romance between Mickey and Gus may not be the main appeal for most viewers, the secondary cast of characters will probably keep the audience interested. Bobby Lee's character is particularly entertaining as he steals nearly every scene he is in. Bertie, Mickey's roommate (played by Claudia O'Doherty), deals with relationship issues of her own that are on the whole more entertaining to watch because she's not a total piece of human garbage. 

Love is without a doubt an entertaining watch, but it is by no means feel-good. If you are a fan of fuzzy pink romance stories, this is not the show for you. However, if you are interested in a realistic portrayal of love between two deeply flawed individuals then this is the show for you.

Sausage Party

Another month, another edition of Nothing to Watch on Netflix. This month, we've got the comedy hurricane Sausage Party for you just as it hits Netflix.

Released in 2016, Sausage Party is a Pixar-spoof about the secret life of food. If the R-rating hasn't made it clear enough, this movie is not for children. Starring Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig alongside a slew of cameos, this movie is a hilarious and depraved clusterfuck.

The beauty of this movie is that it borrows the typical format that most animated features follow: some category of inanimate object is anthropomorphized, a ragtag group of misfits get lost, and they learn valuable life lessons on the way back home. Except, in Sausage Party, the objects are food and the valuable life lesson they learn is that they will be savagely devoured by humans.

The humor doesn't stop at the fact that adorable animated food products are using swear words, either. The writers work in some thinly-veiled social and political commentary, like the pairing of Sammy Bagel Jr. and Kareem Abdul Lavash to poke fun at the Israel/Palestine conflict. (It should be noted that 10/10 people surveyed had no idea what the hell a lavash was)

On the whole, Sausage Party is simply hilarious. Considering the all-star cast, the rock-solid script, and the producers' track record, this shouldn't come as a surprise at all. Give this one a whirl the next chance you get. 

The Beaver

Mick sat down and watched the 2011 dramedy The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster and starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and Jennifer Lawrence.

 

One thing that is particularly impressive about this movie is how realistically clinical depression is portrayed. Mel Gibson does a great job of showing the heavy weight that depressed people bear and how they are unaffected by every outside attempt to help them. Jodie Foster and the rest of the cast do an equally phenomenal job of showing how family members of people suffering from depression are put into a painful position caught between trying to help their loved ones while also trying not to be dragged down as well.

Once the titular Beaver makes the scene, things take a turn from horribly depressing to wacky and surreal. Foster strikes a balance between absurdity and reality, as the people that meet Walter and his puppet are first taken aback and then quickly accept it for what it is.

The only weak point of this movie was the arc involving Jennifer Lawrence's character, which wasn't due to her acting so much as poor characterization that left the character too flat and too much of a Mary Sue.

On the whole, The Beaver is a whirlwind of emotion that ends on a bittersweet note and does a great job of spotlighting the struggles that people with clinical depression must face.

Give this one a watch if you're feeling thoughtful and reflective. 

St. Vincent

This month, Mick watched the 2014 comedy St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, and Naomi Watts. 

To summarize this movie, it's basically a less depressing, less racially-charged Gran Torino. Instead of a curmudgeonly Clint Eastwood watching his neighborhood turn into a cesspool of crime and poverty, Bill Murray plays an old, curmudgeonly man named Vincent who is slowly turning his neighborhood into a cesspool of crime and poverty.

In spite of Vincent's many, many shortcomings, his new neighbor, a young boy named Oliver, sees Vincent's heart of gold. Vincent, in turn, teaches Oliver how to be a man by fighting bullies and gambling at the race track. While Vincent is without a doubt a piece of shit, Bill Murray toes the line wonderfully, making Vincent a complicated, but generally likable character.

The supporting cast does a great job to make Melissa McCarthy plays the straight woman perfectly, giving a believable performance of a put-upon mother at her wit's end. Naomi Watts adopts a Russian accent to play Vincent's "Lady of the Evening" companion. Chris O'Dowd (from the IT crowd) also plays a bit part as an Irish-Catholic priest to bring a bit of religious levity to the screen.

Not to downplay the great performances given by the players, the script is also fantastic. It's a blend of drama and comedy that will bring tears to your eyes in parts and make you laugh through the pain in others. St. Vincent isn't a goofball laugh a minute comedy that's gonna make you forget about all your troubles, but it will help you see the lighter side of things no matter how bad they get.

Give this movie a watch if you're in the mood for something light, but thoughtful.

Burn After Reading

This month, Mick sat down to watch the 2008 Coen brothers hit Burn After Reading. Centering around a low-level CIA agent, his poorly written memoirs, and a cast of incredibly famous people. Burn After Reading is a wonderful comedy of errors.

Of course, one can't expect anything less from Joel and Ethan Coen than a tightly wound plot full of insanely talented actors. Sporting a big cast, it's difficult to say who the main character is. We first meet John Malkovich as he gets sacked from his job at the CIA. Tilda Swinton plays his ice-cold wife. George Clooney, a sex-crazed US Marshall, soon joins the mix. Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand play two gym employees trying to strike it big through any means necessary, including blackmail.

Like another Coen brother's movie, Burn After Reading also centers on a MacGuffin. Instead of a rug that really ties the room together, it's a stolen disk containing a low-level CIA agent's memoirs. It gets lost, stolen, and passed around as everyone believes that it contains sensitive government intelligence. While the disk is the main driver of the plot, the story is centered around the relationships between the many characters, as everyone is sleeping with everyone else. Especially George Clooney.

The thing that makes Burn After Reading so entertaining is that every scene is saturated with dramatic irony. We, as viewers, see two people meet and have a conversation under one pretext, but know that there are other things happening. Time and time again, the characters make mistakes and missteps, thinking they have the upper hand. Eventually, tensions reach a tipping point and everything flies completely off the rails.

The movie closes with a hilarious recap featuring J. K. Simmons as trying to make sense of everything that unfolded over the film's tight 90 minutes. Don't be fooled by the relatively short runtime, it is very dense and you'll be hanging on every line as you try to figure out where the plot is going.

Definitely give this a watch if you like your comedies with a little more substance.

Easy

This month's feature is the Netflix original program Easy. On first glance, it seems as though Easy is just another comedy. But do not be fooled by the trailer's upbeat music and editing. This show provides a candid and realistic examination of actual problems that people face when in relationships of all levels of commitment and complexity. 

Netflix has pulled out all the stops for Easy, as the lineup is chock-full of famous names. The reason they are able to load the show with so many celebrities is because each individual episode is a self-contained story of its own. However, if you pay close attention, you'll notice a continuous narrative thread spanning across these eight stories. It's not enough to bring them toward any larger point, just a little something to reward dedicated viewers for their attention.

The thing that is most striking about Easy is how accurately the relationships are depicted, especially the sex lives of the characters. They don't try to glam it up with fancy angles or romantic music. The directors work to show average, everyday sex, which can be uncomfortable if you aren't mentally prepared to see such a thing. 

The relationships between the characters are emphasized to the point where they are at the center of all of the action. Many of the episodes do not have a conflict. They merely serve as character studies for when one type of person gets involved with another. The plots tend to be understated at best and nonexistent at worst, with most episodes ending as abruptly as they started. While this does break typical convention for television, it is not a bad thing at all. 

The thing that makes Easy such a great show is that it depicts the mundanity of modern living without being mundane itself. It shows real relationships between people who could plausibly exist and it shows real sex without being vulgar or embarrassing.

Give this one a watch if you're in the mood for something different.

WolfCop

As fall approaches, it only makes sense to spotlight a crazy horror movie like WolfCop. WolfCop is a movie that falls into a class of its own, as there are plenty of comedic moments coupled with scenes of brutal depravity. Following in the footsteps of other comedy-horrors like The Evil Dead and Shaun of the Dead, WolfCop flies off the rails about halfway through its brief 70 minute run-time. 

WolfCop starts slow as they hammer the point home that the main character, Lou Garou, is possibly the worst cop in America. For reasons that are left unrevealed, he is in a constant state of drunkenness. Don't expect to have any questions answered in this movie. Just let the absurdity overtake you as the chaos unfolds.

It should be noted (and viewers should be warned) that there is some extremely graphic violence and body horror in this movie. One particularly notable scene depicts possibly the most terrifyingly realistic transformation sequence ever filmed. There's also plenty of relatively mundane human on human violence peppered in as well to remind viewers that we don't need to be werewolves to mutilate each other. 

Much of the humor lies in the absurd visual gag of a werewolf dressed in a police officer's uniform doing everyday tasks like driving a car, getting laid, and shooting bad guys. Cinematically, there are many call backs to the old-school horror movies along with more modern classics. The quick cuts are especially reminiscent of Edgar Wright's visual style.

On the whole, WolfCop is a movie to watch with some good friends and strong drinks. Sometimes you'll be laughing at a joke and other times you'll be laughing because you don't know how else to process your deep discomfort. It's an absurd descent into madness that's good for a couple of laughs. 

Jane the Virgin

Normally, Mick watches manly shows and movies about manly men solving problems in a manly way- usually through bare-knuckle boxing matches or, if there's really something to be sorted out, an explosion that he doesn't look back at.

This month, however, he's exploring his feminine side and branching out by watching Jane the Virgin.

Jane the Virgin is, at its heart, a parody of telenovelas while also being a telenovela. Centering in on the titular Jane, it's a story about how she became impregnated through gross negligence and incompetence. Of course, her life is thrown into chaos and she has to navigate one crisis to the next.

This show is a solid blend of laughing with and at. There are some characters that bring genuine laughs every time they grace the screen. Sometimes the absurdity of the lines/scenes/ the fact that many people had to greenlight what was happening creates a laugh of its own.

This isn't to say that there aren't flaws. The narrator can be particularly grating as the audience is assumed to have the memory and situational awareness of a goldfish. Some of the characters are just the worst and not in a love-to-hate-them kind of way, but more like a this-show-show-would-be-so-much-better-without-them kind of way. Episodes can feel a lot longer than the 45 minute run time, mostly because of how much is happening. 

You see, there are a million different plot threads branching out in all directions with Jane at the periphery of many of them. There's so much jumping around in this show that it makes Game of Thrones look like Cast Away.

Overall, Jane the Virgin is a really fun show to watch, especially in the company of friends in order share laughs in the good moments and eyerolls in the... ahem less believable ones. 

Deathgasm

When Mick saw that there was a movie called "Deathgasm" in the new arrivals, well, he had to see what it was all about. 

Taking place in the New Zealand suburbs, Deathgasm is about a metalhead named Brody who inadvertently ushers in the apocalypse.  One part Evil Dead and one part Tenacious D, Deathgasm is a hilarious gross-out buddy comedy.

The plot isn't anything groundbreaking and is actually riddled with holes and red herrings, but let's be real for a second- are you really watching a movie called Deathgasm for the plot? A kid moves to a new town and makes new friends and bumbles his way into causing the end of the world and has to stop it. Deathgasm adds a metalhead twist on the formula and skewers many of the much-beloved metal tropes like corpse paint, "Satin" worship, and playing music in the woods

The thing that really impressed me with this movie was how they played with cinematography. There were plenty of quick cuts and interesting scene transitions that kept the energy up even through the exposition before the demons started running around.

It should be noted that this movie is extremely, excessively gorey. I'm not normally one for such things, but some scenes were so ridiculous and over the top that I had to laugh. There was one part I found particularly funny as the heroes try to fight off a bunch of demons with a stash of sex toys.

Overall, Deathgasm is a silly 90 minute jaunt into the world of black metal, chainsaws, and demon worship. I had fun watching this movie from beginning to end and I don't even usually like horror movies. Check it out!

Make Happy

This month Mick watched comedian Bo Burnham's one hour Netflix-exclusive special Make Happy.

The thing about comedy specials is you usually know what you're getting: someone standing on stage with a microphone and telling jokes. If you're familiar with the comedian, you may be able to further predict the content of the jokes in advance. Bo Burnham shatters the standard one hour stand-up format in this special, making for a one of a kind experience. 

If there was one word to summarize what sets Bo apart from other stand ups, it's this: Showmanship. Dude knows how to put on a dynamic and engaging program with a hilarious blend of comedy, light shows, and music. It's particularly fitting because a major theme of Bo's work is the nature of performance and how in our modern society we are pressured into performing for each other at all times on the stage of social media. 

There are points in this special where Bo gets serious, where he takes advantage of his place on the stage to do a little bit of social and political grandstanding. Immediately afterwards, he calls attention to how this kills the momentum of the show and wonders aloud as to how he will bring the audience back, making everyone laugh in the process.

Bo has a whip-smart sense of humor and isn't afraid to take risks. He plays with different formats in his jokes, using a mix of extemporaneous crowd-work alongside meticulously pre-prepared songs. One bit in particular that stands out in memory is a part where Bo asks an audience member his name, only to burst into a song about how he had sex with that audience member's mother.

Overall, Make Happy is a fantastic special. It's funny and thoughtful and it's very clear that Bo put in a lot of work and time to make this happen. Give it a watch and you'll find that you've never seen anything quite like it before.

Check it out! 

Documentary Now!

I would be doing a disservice to the world at large if I didn't spotlight a long running television institution hosted by Hollywood treasure Helen Mirren.

Wait, let me try that again. I would be doing a disservice to the world at large if I didn't spotlight the mockumentary show pretending to be a long running television institution hosted by Hollywood treasure Helen Mirren. 

The product of a collaboration between comedy geniuses Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, Documentary Now! is genre-busting nugget of gold.

Documentary Now! serves as a hilarious parody of many well-known documentaries including Grey GardensThe Thin Blue Line, and Nanook of the North

The thing that makes Documentary Now! different from other mockumentaries (Like This is Spinal Tap) is the fact that there are two levels of humor. First, there is the general absurdity that comes with parody of all kinds. Then, about halfway through each episode, the documentaries take hard left turns and viewers suddenly find themselves watching something very different from what they initially started.

Armisen and Hader definitely take some risks in this short 8 episode series, but they pay off more often than they don't. I can only think of one episode I didn't particularly care for and even then there were enough absurd moments to keep me engaged through the entire episode.

Even if documentaries or laughing aren't your things, I implore you to at least give the first episode a shot. If you don't like it, well, there's no accounting for bad taste, I guess. 

Look Who's Back

Adolf is back at his old tricks again. After inexplicably time traveling to 2014, Hitler struggles to acclimates himself to our topsy-turvy modern ways in Look Who's Back.

 

I don't even know where to begin with this movie. I was hooked straight out the gate, as Hitler attends finishing school and laments that nobody greets him with a proper Nazi salute. It's hilarious in a subtle, surreal kind of way. Look Who's Back is sort of like a toned-down (and scripted) version of Borat. Both are movies about outsiders shining a light on modern absurdities, butBorat has a more limited scope as it strictly focuses on highlighting actual xenophobia in America. Hitler, being displaced in both time and politics, (in addition to...you know, being Hitler) offers a unique perspective on a slew of topics including racism, populism, democracy, and the media's role in all of it.

Much of the comedy comes from the fact that nobody thinks our protagonist is the real Hitler. Why would they? It wouldn't be possible for Hitler to visit unless time travel were possible. (Spoiler Alert: It is, but don't think about it too much because it's not that important in the movie.) All they see when Hitler gives his trademark salute is a brilliant comedian/method actor reallycommitting to his role.  Of course, the internet falls in love with him and Hitler becomes an overnight celebrity and comedy ensues.

From a cinematographic perspective, Look Who's Back  is a well-crafted film. The director experiments with different perspectives and lighting, including several shots from Hitler's POV, which for some reason is in a fish-eye lens. The craziest thing about this script is about halfway through Hitler decides to make a movie about getting acclimated to modern times, of course with some slight alterations to the events we saw leading up to that point. 

On the whole, this was a remarkable film and I can't recommend it highly enough. It will make you laugh, but it will also make you think about the state of modern politics and the media's role in it. After I watched, I had a better understanding of how people can latch onto magnetic personalities with the hopes of making their country great again. Even if you're not the type of person who normally watches movies with subtitles, give this one a shot. You won't regret it. 

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

It's the showdown everyone has been waiting for: two Appalachian hillbillies are the only ones who can save the world from a force of violence and evil known only as Chad. 

 

Normally, I don't go for blood and guts slasher flicks because I have the constitution of a twelve year old girl and have no desire to be reminded of the pointlessness of life by watching college kids get dismembered in increasingly creative ways. However, I was pleased to find that Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil is actually a sharp-witted black comedy dressed up as slasher.

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil is unique in its self-awareness as the characters ask the same questions audiences often ask themselves: "Why is everyone dying?", "Why can't we call the police?", "Why don't they just leave?". All of these are addressed in believable and hilarious ways.

The thing that's particularly amusing about Tucker and Dale's characters is that they are almost completely oblivious of the fear and havoc happening all around them. They're just two guys trying to spruce up their new cabin while college kids suffer from what has to be the worst case of bad luck ever encountered by another human.

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil can aptly described as a genre-busting film as it takes the horror format and adds a comedic twist on things. Remarkably, elements from rom-coms make their way into the movie as well, as Dale struggles with his inability to get a date among all the bloodshed.

Overall, Tucker and Dale made very effective use of its tight 88 minute runtime. Definitely a great movie to throw on if you could use a laugh but also want to see people die. 

Dope

On February 10, Dope became available to watch on Netflix. My interest was piqued by the trailers when it came out last summer, but I never got the chance to see it. So when it became available for streaming I had to give it a go.

 

I could not be more satisfied with my decision. From the beginning, Dope had me hooked. The trailers are deceptive- it looks like a light hearted period romp, something like like Superbad or American Pie. What you're actually getting is a movie closer to Scott Pilgrim Vs. the WorldDope isn't afraid to be experimental in both plot and its execution. The main character, Malcolm, isn't actually a 90's kid. The movie takes place in the present and Malcolm and his friends are just obsessed with 90's hip-hop culture. 

Modern technology is a major theme of this movie. It hones in specifically on how much the internet has influenced every facet of modern life ranging from the spread of information all the way to the drug trade. It's shot in such a way that viral videos resulting from the characters actions are presented to the viewers as a record of their antics.

Dope takes the coming of age story to the next level, showing the anxiety of being a teenager facing an amoral world and the subsequent loss of innocence. Malcolm not only has to try to get into college, he also needs to face down drug dealers whose tendrils of influence invade Malcolm's life to a frightening degree. 

Even beyond the fantastic plot, this movie is full of cameos including Blake Anderson, A$AP Rocky, and Tyga. Pharrell Williams and Sean Combs both had producer credits. Pharrell also wrote 4 original songs for the film and they're all amazing. Basically, there's a lot of talent backing this movie and it shows.

I loved Dope and I'm probably going to watch it again very soon. Can't recommend it highly enough. Bump this one up to the top of the queue. 

World of Tomorrow

Normally short films are reserved for Wednesdays, but Netflix has recently added Don Hertzfeld's latest animation: World of Tomorrow, so naturally I had to share it here, since I am a huge fan of his work.

World of Tomorrow is the story of a little girl who meets a version of her future self. She goes on an adventure through time and space, learning about the future and all of the crazy things that eventually happens to Future Emily.

True to the Hertzfeld style, World of Tomorrow is a poignant reflection on life, death, and love. Similar to It's Such a Beautiful Day (which is also on Netflix), an overarching theme is facing one's mortality. However, World of Tomorrow specifically focuses on how technology shapes humanity's quest for immortality. Of course, there are tons of morbid jokes and surrealist gags peppered in to keep things relatively light.

Overall, World of Tomorrow is worth far more than its 16 minute runtime. It's touching and sad and funny and will absolutely make you think. It has won tons and tons of awards, so even if my word means nothing to you, many other people have praised Hertzfeld's latest work for its heart and ingenuity. 

Watch it today.

W/ Bob and David

Comedy nerds rejoice- Mr. Show's own Bob Odenkirk and David Cross have made their return to sketch comedy with their new Netflix-exclusive program W/ Bob & David. 

W/ Bob & David retains many of the things audiences enjoyed about Mr. Show: the blend of the dark with the absurd, the semi-continuous transitions between sketches, and the vicious, no-holds-barred satire of modern society. 

Some of the bits include a freelance Jewish Pope, a sovereign citizen who only encounters friendly police officers, a man whose utterance of the word "cunt" summons the people he's shit-talking, and a musical about rooms called Rooms: The Musical

Acting out these crazy sketches are many of the old Mr. Show cast and writers, including: Paul F. Tompkins, Scott Aukerman, Jay Johnson, and Brian Posehn. And among the veterans are some familiar faces including: Keegan-Michael Key (of Key and Peele), Stephanie Courtney (Flo from Progressive), and Arden Myrin (of Chelsea Lately).

The only bad thing I can honestly say about W/ Bob & David is that it's too damn short. Clocking in at only 5 episodes (4 regular episode and 1 special), it's really closer to a movie than a season of a TV show. I highly recommend watching the one hour special as well, as it affords a rare look behind the curtain on how the show was made starting from the writers room and ending on set.

Park yourself in front of a screen and binge-watch this one.

The Culture High

 This time around, I sat down and watched a movie called The Culture High The Culture High is a documentary exploring marijuana prohibition.

This documentary affords a no-holds-barred examination of marijuana prohibition in the United States. Note that this movie is staunchly in favor of ending prohibition and the War on Drugs at large, so if you're looking for something "objective", this isn't the film for you. But then again, if you're looking for information in favor of the War on Drugs, you're probably not at all the target audience in any case.

A wide range of individuals are interviewed and provide their perspective on prohibition. Snoop Dogg and Joe Rogan make an appearance in addition to a bevy of experts, scientists, lawyers, pundits, and police officers.

The thing that's the most interesting about this film is that it starts with a historical perspective and then moves into the current factors and vested interests in keeping marijuana illegal. Obviously, money  pouring in from all sides is the main factor. Police want to keep their absolutely fucked up civil forfeiture laws, for-profit prisons want to keep their populations up, and pharmaceutical companies don't want any competition.

There were points in this movie where I got legitimately angry. I knew things were bad, but I had no idea how bad they were. If you're curious about marijuana prohibition and why the War on Drugs is a thing, you need to absolutely watch this movie.