"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
Another film by the Coen Brothers: "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs." The introductory song, "Cool Clear Water," was an old popular cowboy song, written in the 1930s and popular in the 1940s. It was effectively included in the movie, which is a collection of short episodes about the old west with a talented cast and lots of amusing scenes. We rewatched it a few days ago. It's a lot of fun, especially the first two or three episodes which are pretty much a send-up of classic cowboy movies.
The Great British Baking Show, 2021 Season
Friday, September 24, at 3 AM the first episode of the 2021 season of the Great British Baking Show was released on Netflix for American viewers. We watched it at around 8:30 AM. It's not that different from the previous 100 or so episodes we have watched over the years, but we like it. We will no doubt be watching every Friday until the last 2021 episode is complete and we know who won. Then we'll forget who won and what they baked, as we have forgotten the details of all the previous seasons. It's delightfully mindless and in-the-moment.
|Paul, Prue, and Noel: back for another season.|
The contestants this year aren't very different from prior years, including traditional British natives and a variety of immigrants to Britain who have adapted to British baking. From the Guardian review of the first episode:
"This time around we have Jürgen, the German IT guy, who brought in nuts, bolts and a spanner to aid him with the final task, and the Italian engineer Giuseppe, whose pronunciation of the phrase Jack and the Beanstalk was sweeter than sugar-cane cannoli. We have Jairzeno the Trinidadian, and Freya, the 19-year-old Scarborough vegan. Amanda is a detective who likes wild swimming; Tom seems like the sort of man who would be at home in a model railway shop. Fortunately, his family runs one." (source)
Full disclosure: I'm not that crazy about eating cake. The Great British Baking Show is all theater to me, and doesn't make me hungry or inspire me to actually perform anything in the kitchen. But as they used to say "There will always be an England."
Thanks to a review by the blog Intrepid Reader and Baker (here) I've begun watching the Japanese series "Midnight Diner" on Netflix. It takes place in a diner in Tokyo which opens at midnight, and which is full of colorful night-owls whose favorite foods are made by the diner's cook and only employee (or maybe its owner), known as "the Master." It's a hilariously funny show but you have to let the humor sneak up on you.
I agree with the New Yorker reviewer who wrote:
“Midnight Diner” is the rare show that I love but can’t binge-watch—I need to savor the show’s slow, meditative rhythms. The same goes for the food, which we see the Master prepare, and which always looks delicious. It’s particularly moving when regulars ask him to make their childhood favorites—a reminder of the basic comfort that his diner provides. Nighttime is when feelings of euphoria, or despair, feel particularly acute. Yet there’s a simple pleasure to eating with strangers, and swapping stories, in a small room full of people who can be alone together. (source)
I've watched the first few, and I'll be savoring my way through at least several more episodes pretty soon!
Blog post © 2021 mae sander.