I can hardly believe that the first month of 2018 is already over -- it feels like January just flew by! But, as the month was drawing to a close, my New Year's resolution to write more content on my blog kept nagging me.
Writing a personal blog here on my portfolio site has proven a challenge, mainly, what the heck do I write about? What would people want to read from me? Or, I work on a blog draft, and by the time I'm finished, I either hate what I've written and don't want to publish, or the topic doesn't seem timely anymore. It's a real pickle.
But I do really want to stick to this resolution, so I decided to start simple and reflect back on my "monthly favorites" for January and keep this up as a potential recurring feature. So, in no particular order, here's the shortlist of some of my favorite films, television shows, and web series of January 2018.
This movie. Holy sh*t. Period dramas are some of my favorite films, and Mudbound is definitely one of my new favorites -- I'm only kicking myself that it took me so long to see it!
Mudbound, adapted by Dee Rees and Virgil Williams from Hillary Jordan's novel of the same name, explores post-WWII rural Mississippi through the lens of two vets -- one black and one white. Complex. Complicated. Raw. The performances, particularly Mary J. Blige's, are masterful, Rachel Morrison's cinematography is well-deserving of an Oscar nod, and I still don't understand how Rees was shut out of the Best Director category.
It seems I have a running theme this month... This show has only aired two episodes, but I'm already hooked. Adapted from Caleb Carr's 1994 novel of the same name, The Alienist is both a psychological thriller and a historical drama, exploring the social classes during the Gilded Age in 1890s New York. It is equal parts suspenseful and engaging. One of my favorite parts about this series is the overall look and feel of each episode -- the production design is stellar, and the details help to lend authenticity to the era.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace has only aired three episodes, but this season, featuring Edgar Ramírez as Gianni Versace and Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, so far is fantastic. If you were a fan of the first season, The People v. O.J. Simpson, you would most likely appreciate this season, too. The casting is spot-on -- Ramírez is nearly unrecognizable as Versace and Criss' portrayal of Cunanan is haunting. The show relies heavily on Maureen Orth's book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U. S. History, and easily weaves in Cunanan's fantastical lies throughout the narrative. As the season progresses, I'm interested in seeing how many liberties the show takes in telling both Versace and Cunanan's story.
Most of my favorites from this month were pretty heavy, so catching up on Talkin' Toons provided some much-needed levity. As a HUGE fan of animation and proper child of the 90s, Rob Paulsen's talk show format series Talkin' Toons on Nerdist and Geek & Sundry's VOD service Project Alpha offers the right amount of behind the scenes nerdiness and nostalgia. Unfortunately, you need a Project Alpha account to see the whole episodes (as well as all of the series and content hosted there), but the clips that Nerdist provides on their website are super fun.
Pinky as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Chris Griffen as Anakin Skywalker? This is one of my favorites!
I don't know what this list says about me as a person, but these are my top picks for the month of January. What were some of your favorite films, television shows, or web series this month? Let me know what you're looking forward to seeing in February!