All about the Arrowverse

CW’s Arrowverse kicks off its 2019 season tonight with the series premiere of Batwoman, and I could not be last-minuting this wrap-up of last season’s shows any harder. It turns out these shows that are usually my happy-place brain candy TV options really kind of let me down.

Legends of Tomorrow, mostly delivered a fine season but the landing was rough. The Flash was the opposite with the bulk of the season dragged down by elements I didn’t care for, but it pulled up before completely crashing.  And then there was Arrow. Poor Arrow that started it all. After years of defending it against criticism, it’s finally become something I just want to be over because I can’t imagine there’s any saving it. There might be a speck or two to look forward to in the shortened final season, but for the most part, it has failed me hard.

So let’s break it down.

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Fall TV is here again


Photo by Erik Dungan from FreeImages

I almost didn’t make this post about what I’m planning to watch this TV season. Mostly because I couldn’t find a source I trusted for premiere dates, scheduling and comprehensiveness after I realized so many of the returning shows on the TV Guide roundup had blurbs that were just not at all accurate. And also, from what I did find, there just wasn’t a whole lot of new stuff that I was that interested. Or there was Prodigal Son, which I won’t watch because Fox has broken my heart my too many times and the cast isn’t quite Must-See enough for me to do that again.

But TV Guide has updated, the Fall TV season writ large kicks off today, and here’s what’s on my schedule (all times central). What are you watching?

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Libraries are awesome

I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, a couple years ago, and for as unhappy as I was when I arrived after being part of an entire department that was laid off at a job I loved, one thing that’s always stood out to me was how fantastic its public library system is. For the longest time, I didn’t really take advantage of it that much. I’d get the occasional movie, the even less frequent book, and pop in at a branch every now and again if I needed some cat-distraction-free time to apartment hunt or write stuff.

But since my annual goal is always to read more, I decided more frequent library use needed to be a key element. And that’s how I discovered Your Next Great Read, a service inspired by the Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia. This article from The Library Journal goes into a ton of detail, but basically you fill out an online survey about your favorite and least favorite books, what you liked/didn’t like about them, your favorite shows and movies and some other questions about what you’re into and an actual person gives it a look, thinks really hard about it and offers up other authors and books you might like. If your library doesn’t have a similar program, definitely share this one with them to see if it’s something do-able.

“Big deal! Isn’t that just like GoodReads?!”

I mean, sort of, I guess. I don’t know exactly how the algorithms work for suggestions, but I suspect it’s something like “Oh, you rated this book four stars? Here are other books that other people who also rated it four stars also rated highly!” And that’s helpful, but it doesn’t allow for why you like something. It doesn’t know about that book you REALLY SHOULD HAVE LOVED but just kind of hated because of X, Y or Z. (Redshirts, I am looking directly at you.) It doesn’t factor in what you just don’t want to read at this particular moment in time.

Your online rec list algorithm isn’t tailor-made by people who’s job it is to know books.

I filled out my survey a few weeks ago, and in the world of “Everything is instant, gimme gimme now!” the two week wait to get your recommendations may seem interminable, but it’s okay. Really. Go to a movie. Take a walk. Play a game. Two weeks is nothing. Especially when it’s two weeks well worth it.

I did have to give a little nudge on the 15th day, but my library person was very apologetic and immediately got my reading guide to me. It was six-pages that  started with authors I might want to check out, and as I was reading about them, I could really see the rationale that went into choosing them based on the answers I had provided.

I was recommended Daniel H. Wilson and John Wyndham, which most definitely came from my love of The Terminator franchise and Ray Bradbury, and Jasper Fforde and Matthew Quick, which seemed to take my preferences on writing style into account.

martianEach author rec came with a couple books to start with, but then there was an entirely separate category of other books by other people I might like. And really? I’m very excited for the 7/8 of them that I haven’t read. The rationale behind the picks feels just as solid and personalized as the author list, so much so that when the note for Andy Weir’s The Martian says “I know you said first-person narratives aren’t your favorite, but if you can look look past that, give this one a try…” I believe that I should 100 percent overlook my general dislike of first-person fiction for the “gripping tale” about survival and rescue attempts. (The Martian is one of those movies I always meant to see but haven’t. And I pretty much did always discount the book because first-person.)

I just moved again (just a new apartment, not a new job). Unpacking is taking longer than I expected, and I’ve got one book in progress that I want to finish, but I’m looking forward to diving into this list next month. I’m going to shoot for three before the year’s out, starting with:

  1. The Martian by Andy Weir
  2. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  3. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham OR You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney if I’m feeling in a nonfiction mood.

Wish me luck (on the unpacking and the reading, please)!

Leisure Time in on Twitter! Follow @theLTtweet for post updates and smaller thoughts.

It Chapter Two floats a little higher

For how middle-of-the-road I felt about It Chapter One, I was really surprised by how excited I was for Chapter Two in the weeks before I saw it. And for the most part that excitement ended up being warranted. A lot of the issues I had with the younger cast were mostly resolved with the older cast, and even though it was a long movie that felt long, it was long in that sort of way that makes you glad you’ve got more time to spend with these people.

But it kind of failed at being scary.


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Covert Avengers: Robert Downey Jr – The Judge

If the Marvel movies are great at one thing, it’s casting. So much so that sometimes its hard to imagine their actors ever weren’t Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor and the myriad players to take the screen since. Maybe they always were and the universe just didn’t know it yet. So, with Avengers: Endgame a day away, let’s take a look at another work of the Godfather of the MCU himself, Mr. Robert Downey Jr, in 2014’s The Judge.

judge poster

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Covert Avengers: Jeremy Renner – Arrival

If the Marvel movies are great at one thing, it’s casting. So much so that sometimes its hard to imagine their actors ever weren’t Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor and the myriad players to take the screen since. Maybe they always were and the universe just didn’t know it yet. So, with Avengers: Endgame a week away, let’s take a look at some Avengers in other roles. This week, Covert Avengers features Jeremy Renner, in 2016’s Arrival.

arrival poster

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