Shows I’m Watching in the Middle of the Night

The Politician


I absolutely loved both seasons of this smart, quick, well-written, terrifically cast show. I mean come on. . .Bette Midler alone as the right arm and political advisor of the wonderful Judith Light is worth the viewing. She can do absolutely no wrong and the two of them together are a joy to watch. Bette threatening to hit the road and walk from the campaign “like a Jewish Highlander,” had me hysterical.

Jessica Lange as an alcoholic smart-ass grandma, Ryan J. Haddad as a simpering wisenheimer, and comedienne Jackie Hoffman as a take-no-prisoners, crabby-as-hell receptionist cracked me up. Someone give that woman her own show!

I’ve watched both seasons three times now because it’s that smart and enjoyable. Just watch it.

Nate Bargatze. The Greatest Average American

Hilarious stand-up comic. Oddly, I’d never heard of him before, but I’m thrilled Netflix gave him a show. He’s clean and clever and made me smile. He reminded a bit of Jim Gaffigan in that he doesn’t resort to the gutter for a laugh, but is an observationist. (Not a word? Don’t care!)

Loved him!

The Midnight Sky

In preparation for the Oscars, I watched The Midnight Sky—a George Clooney flic. If you have any stress or depression issues, I cannot recommend it. A bit of the storyline was lost on me too, but I mostly regretted watching it in the middle of the night with no real chance for a long cocktail hour and post-trauma banter with smiling, happy humans who have a scintilla of hope left for the planet. Instead, I raged for no reason at my husband and cried with the dog.

Operation Varsity Blues. The College Admissions Scandal

Learned a bit more about how the scuzz-bucket ring-leader Rick Singer pulled off the great crime. The fact that after the scam was uncovered by the FBI, Rick didn’t blink or think twice about turning into the big rat who recorded his clients, was interesting. This man committed crimes and lied to everyone and at the end of the day, has yet to serve a day in jail. It’s like he got away with all of it. Thanks, life ruin-er.

The show left me depressed about the world in general geared toward the rich and reminded me of the pressures that kids are under with the college admissions drama. I went through this with my daughter and recall all the grueling AP classes, the brutal athletics schedule, the volunteering hours, the test prep classes, the actual test-taking, the pressure to do more and somehow be better. And, of course, the money chats weighing the stupid prestige of certain universities over the realities about getting a wonderful education you could actually afford.

It’s a tough world out there, man. Rick took advantage of the pressure kids and parents are under, but another culprit is the university system which keeps the big trillion-dollar marketing machine going.

Murder Among the Mormons

Interesting, but edited to d-r-a-g it out. Think of an unnecessarily long Dateline episode with too many stupid interviews. I got bored halfway through because it was taking so long to tell me what happened. I’m still curious, but not that much.

All in all, boring.

Deadly Illusions

What the hell was that? I was just angry at the end. What the hell happened? It was all so unbelievable and convoluted. Kristin Davis puffs on a cigar like a wild woman.

Some spoilers here. . .

Kristin plays a successful writer and writing does things to her when she writes. Whatever. But they need the money because hubby is a dead beat so she and hubby hire a predictably hot babysitter/nanny who wants to destroy them. Da-da-da-daaaa.

It seemed like it was going to resemble a Lifetime movie, but there was kinda graphic sex with the babysitter. Kristin put her good-girl image to the side in this one! And hey, maybe Kristin was right about the writing process changing her because all thoughts of being the perfect mother flew out the window fast. But then. . . what was real what wasn’t? “You need to call 911,” Kristin says to the girl who just stabbed her husband. Why don’t you call, Kristin? Do you really trust that the lunatic-stabber babysitter is talking to the police? The babysitter has a split personality or something which comes upon us fast. Okey-dokey.

Totally weird movie.


I was up totally for this Amy Poehler high school movie and while it was definitely a good movie, it didn’t make me fall in love, maybe because I was expecting another Mean Girls or a laugh riot. But it was a softer drama. It’s well made, well-acted, and has an important message. . . Girl Power! And standing up to discrimination, misogynistic attitudes, and bullying. As you might expect, there was plenty of humor too, but not as much of the in-your-face kind.

A solid viewing.

My Octopus Teacher

I cried.

This movie got under my skin and stuck with me. It’s up for an Oscar. The title says it all. It’s a beautifully shot documentary that takes place in a small beach area off Cape Town and follows the journey of a man and his study of the kelp forest and its under-water residents. Especially one particular octopus.

After it was over, my husband used terrible judgment and made some joke about wanting to make calamari. He slept in the guestroom that night. It’s like my extremely predictable volatile ire is catnip to him. He can’t deal with it, but he can’t lay off. Mystifying man.

I’ll not spoil anything further other than to say you should watch it. . . with someone who has a soul. (JK, George)

The Sound of Metal

I watched because of the Oscar buzz and I’m glad I did. It’s about a drummer in a rock band who goes suddenly deaf and how that changes his life. It produced Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound and it earned every single one of them. Given the storyline, I’ll state the obvious that it was traumatic to see someone lose their hearing and while the acting was wonderful, what really stuck with me was the editing and the sound, and the way they make the viewer experience the phenomenon of hearing loss.

You’d be in the main character’s head, hearing what he hears—which was often nothing, and then the movie would cut to the morning birds chirping, or nighttime crickets, or the wind rustling through tall grass. Subtle and beautiful noises that this man would never hear again which would remind me over and over how freaking lucky I was that I could hear.

The trauma of the loss and how it changed his life pushed him to get cochlear implants and we got to learn what that was about. Basically scary as hell, controversial for good reasons, and expensive. But then we got to hear what sound was like with that technology. I don’t know if it was an accurate representation or not, but let me tell you, the hearing experience was NOT great. It surprised me how awful the sensory overload was and how distorted and confusing the sounds were through the implants.

All in all, a wonderful movie that educated me and made me feel grateful.

2 thoughts on “Shows I’m Watching in the Middle of the Night

  1. Thank you! I know you like to get those Oscar nominated movies watched before the big night! I’ll have to get on it with some of these!🧡💛💜💚

  2. I’m extremely sensitive about animals (I could barely watch Lassie when I was young because of animals in trouble, etc.) so if they don’t put the octopus in any danger and there isn’t an unhappy ending I’ll watch it.
    I’m a total horror fan but hurting animals or portraying them as evil makes me turn the channel.

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