Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Instant Gratfication Theater: Was on PBS, then on Netflix...uh, and then not on Netflix anymore

One of the best ways to watch PBS programming, if  you can wait a little bit (more like if you miss it the first time because there is no video on demand component for public broadcasting on your provider, but let's move on from that), is via Netflix. No commercials, no pledge breaks, no muss...Only thing is, it ain't gonna last.

This post is a roundup of stuff I watched on Netflix because it was about to expire. One of these (I'll give you a subtle hint when we get there) actually STILL is on Netflix because I watched IT on the PBS Roku channel. OK, now I'm confusing myself.

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise: An excellent edition of American Masters with the usual blend of archival footage and insightful contemporary interviews. I gotta say, folks, I had some mild Mel Brooks Fatigue--not Mel Brooks material, per se, but specials about Mel Brooks--which is probably why I put this one off so long. I'm glad I finally got around to it.  It's a solid overview of his entire career and covers some things I hadn't seen in other recent specials, like talk about Get Smart.

Richard Pryor: Icon: This one doesn't quite transcend my Richard Pryor Fatigue.  Again, it's not that I'm tired of seeing Richard Pryor perform. It's just that it feels like there is a new tribute/documentary about him each year. No real depth or new insight, but if you're a fan, it's an easy watch if you get a chance.

The Black Kung Fu Experience: Doomed from the start. Why? I thought it was about African-American kung fu movies of the 1970s, the documentary started with some cool footage of African-American kung fu movies of the 1970s, but then it was "only" about actual dudes doing kung fu in real  life. It may well be a great piece of work, but I just wasn't feeling it after experiencing the letdown.

An Honest Liar: NOTE: THIS ONE IS STILL ON NETFLIX! I highly recommend this profile of noted debunker of paranormal frauds James "The Amazing" Randi. It chugs along as a compelling and informative biography of its subject, and then, wham, suddenly becomes about broader issues. It will catch you off guard in a good way if you go into it with as much ignorance as I did (to be fair, that is how I approach most subjects, not entirely by choice).

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