The Magnet #66: Media Diet
Recommended TV show, movie, book, podcast, and zine
As summer draws to a close, I’m looking forward to cooler weather so I can run outside again. Meanwhile, I do sweat-inducing aerobic workouts with an Oculus Quest VR set. On top of that, I walk five miles on a treadmill while I work (at 2.5 miles per hour, I go five miles a day). My summer evenings and weekends have been spent watching TV, seeing movies, and reading. The Magnet this issue will highlight some of the media I’ve enjoyed over the summer.
TV Show: The Rehearsal
I watched this 6-episode HBO docuseries with Carla and my 19-year-old daughter after she recommended it. The show is created and hosted by Nathan Fielder, the comedian behind Nathan for You. Its premise revolves around Fielder helping people resolve interpersonal problems. To accomplish this, he hires actors to rehearse with the person and determine which approaches work best for them. The show is surprising, multilayered, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I don’t want to give too much away because each episode is filled with unexpected twists. You shouldn’t watch the trailer. Just start watching the show. You can watch the first episode for free on the HBO website.
Movie: Five Easy Pieces
As part of its American Cinematheque program, the Los Feliz Theatre in Los Angeles screens old movies every weekend. Earlier this week, we saw Five Easy Pieces, which starred Jack Nicholson and Karen Black. It’s about a man struggling to find his place during the social and political turmoil of the late 1960s. Nicholson plays an oil field roughneck who renounced his wealthy, upper-class background in a classical music family and is now living an aimless existence with a waitress (Black), who dreams of being a country music singer. Nicholson’s character is estranged from his family, particularly his father, a celebrated concert pianist. He returns to his family’s island home in Washington state when his father suffers a stroke, where his past and present collide spectacularly. The film’s class, family, and identity themes are as relevant today as they were when it came out in 1970. Five Easy Pieces is a must-see for any fan of great cinema.
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You have heard of many musical “waves” — the British Invasion, bebop, grunge, etc., but do you know about Russian Futurism, the wave of 1920s classical avant-garde? Check out the Russian Futurism blog and find out what you’ve missed!