A week in film – 2017, week 10

This is one of those weeks where my system falls down. Or, more accurately, this is one of those weeks where my ability to follow my system has fallen down. I forgot to write down everything I watched over the course of the seven days, which means that I’ve been searching through texts to my boyfriend and odd recollections like a very low-key and low-budget detective. Over the twenty or so minutes that I’ve been doing this (you’ve got to put a time limit on these things) I’ve come to a few conclusions – firstly, that I’ve had an uncharacteristically busy week (I guess impending birthdays can do that), and secondly, that I don’t have a great deal to report on.

This isn’t to say that I don’t have anything to talk about – over the weekend, to sate my desire to see Logan without having to deal with the nightmares I’d inevitably have afterwards, I watched the first X-Men film for the second time ever. While it technically looks dated now – it’s not that far off twenty, and special effects have come a long way – it’s not difficult to see how X-Men paved the way for not only its own franchise, but the superhero genre which followed. X-Men sets up a lot of the rules that those films relied on for a while – the young kid trying to get to grips with the power now bestowed on them; the older mentor; the romance subplot. X-Men, though, doesn’t make life easy for itself. The romance subplot, for one, isn’t as rote as it could be – Logan and Jean spark, but very sensibly nothing happens – and the consequences of Rogue’s struggle to control her powers are more extreme than the average teenage hero. X-Men manages to make these elements work and, apart from a few notable exceptions, the ensemble cast all get something to do. Aside from being grateful to the film for everything it paved the way for, there’s also a lot I enjoyed in its own right.

There was also the matter of finishing up the second series of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, at long last. Even though Rebecca was no longer the ex for half the series – and (spoiler) was actually Josh’s fiancée for the remainder. Watching the run-up to Josh and Rebecca’s wedding (#bunchofchans) was a bit like watching a car crash, which is fairly indicative of how it feels to watch most of the actual plot of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The songs are the things that pull you through the utter dismay (and occasional contempt) you feel towards the main characters and, as I can’t really remember – and I definitely can’t hum – any of the songs from the series’ latter half, I’m not sure that’s really working any more. Instead, it’s the discussion of the root of Rebecca’s poor mental health which felt like the most interesting development – even if, ultimately, the revelation led to the complete opposite of personal growth. I’m glad that the third series got commissioned, even with the show’s bad ratings, and I’m kind of intrigued to see where Rebecca’s latest break takes it. Still, I hope it’s more up to the ludicrous and brilliant standards of the first series, rather than the slightly more difficult second.

Otherwise, it’s been my weekly dose of satire. Last Week Tonight continues to be brilliant, especially as this week John Oliver had an interview with the Dalai Lama, which was both deeply informative and funny – which is why I love the show so completely. For some reason my supply of The Daily Show seems to be a little old, but it’s still enjoyable – and both, in their own way, keep me updated with little bits and pieces of news that I’d somehow missed or hadn’t taken everything in about. If little else is working in America’s favour right now, at least they’ve got good satire on their TVs.

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