Advent Day 1: Hap and Leonard

 

 

Fuck Sundance.

And fuck Netflix for not picking up this amazing series.

Hap and Leonard managed to touch on issues related to race in an entertaining and comedic way, delivering a tremendous cast, awesome storylines, and one of the best shows ever created.

So fuck Sundance for canceling it for no fucking good reason at all. And fuck Netflix for not picking it up. Sundance, who once produced the brilliance of Rectify … Sundance is dead to me now.

 

 

 

 

Advent Day 2: Bosch

Advent Day 3: I’m Sorry

Advent Days 6, 5 & 4: The Bleak Worlds: The Man in the High Castle, The Leftovers & The Handmaid’s Tale

Advent Day 7: Trail of Lightning

Advent Days 10, 9 & 8: Horror (It Comes at Night, Heredity, It & bonus, Castle Rock)

Advent Day 11: Barry

Advent Day 12: Salt

Advent Day 13: Blackkklansman

Advent Day 14: Dark

Advent Day 15: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Advent Day 16: Terror is our Business: Dana Roberts’ Casebook of Horror

Advent Day 17: Freeze-Frame Revolution

Advent Day 18: Haunting of Hill House

Advent Day 19: Wind River

Advent Day 20: Letterkenny

Advent Day 21: Black Mirror

Advent Day 22: The Oddling Prince

Advent Day 23: The Americans

Advent Day 24: Fight Fascism

Advent Day 25: Bodyguard

Advent Day 26: Baskets

Advent Day 27: Literature

Advent Day 3: I’m Sorry

As much as I have an appreciation for the future vision of the dark fiction masters who write dystopian tales, I’ve come to appreciate comedy more and more in recent years. I’m Sorry is a show that is so wrong, but funny, and like the best comedy it touches on very provocative issues in a way that resonates. There’s nothing quite like having your young child appear in blackface at a party with other adults or discovering that so-and-so’s mom from preschool used to be a porn star. And Andrea has absolutely no control over her mouth. The secret ingredient in this show, though? Jason Mantzoukis. Oh lord, he’s one of these guys who makes every scene he’s in better. Thanks to Jeff VanderMeer for the recommendation.

 

 

Advent Days 6, 5 & 4: The Bleak Worlds: The Man in the High Castle, The Leftovers & The Handmaid’s Tale

Advent Day 7: Trail of Lightning

Advent Days 10, 9 & 8: Horror (It Comes at Night, Heredity, It & bonus, Castle Rock)

Advent Day 11: Barry

Advent Day 12: Salt

Advent Day 13: Blackkklansman

Advent Day 14: Dark

Advent Day 15: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Advent Day 16: Terror is our Business: Dana Roberts’ Casebook of Horror

Advent Day 17: Freeze-Frame Revolution

Advent Day 18: Haunting of Hill House

Advent Day 19: Wind River

Advent Day 20: Letterkenny

Advent Day 21: Black Mirror

Advent Day 22: The Oddling Prince

Advent Day 23: The Americans

Advent Day 24: Fight Fascism

Advent Day 25: Bodyguard

Advent Day 26: Baskets

Advent Day 27: Literature

Advent Day 7: Trail of Lightning

51zyshlrvtl-_sx329_bo1204203200_My husband picked this book out for me, and I’m really glad that he did. I originally reviewed it here.

Maggie Hoskie is a monsterslayer, living in what’s left of the United States after the big floods have wiped out most of the country. This is the first entry in The Sixth World series, and it’s a dystopian storyline focusing on Indigenous people after near-global destruction.

The world-building is exceptional. The author doesn’t gloss everything over and pretend that elimination of the financial centers on the East Coast and the U.S. government is going to produce a Utopia overnight. There are complications in this new world; police are corrupt, everyone is concerned about their end and fear and superstition can be as important as currency. Maggie is something of an outcast; one of the things she needs to work through is accepting herself. The author weaves Indigenous beliefs (about the coyote, for example) into the story but modernizes the beliefs to blend in with her futuristic dystopian tale, and it works so well. Highly entertaining, with a kick-ass female protagonist who handles herself.

Still got Christmas shopping to do? Get out there and add this to your stocking stuffers. Teens and adults alike will appreciate the edge-of-your-seat intensity of this action-packed novel.

Advent Days 10, 9 & 8: Horror (It Comes at Night, Heredity, It & bonus, Castle Rock)

Advent Day 11: Barry

Advent Day 12: Salt

Advent Day 13: Blackkklansman

Advent Day 14: Dark

Advent Day 15: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Advent Day 16: Terror is our Business: Dana Roberts’ Casebook of Horror

Advent Day 17: Freeze-Frame Revolution

Advent Day 18: Haunting of Hill House

Advent Day 19: Wind River

Advent Day 20: Letterkenny

Advent Day 21: Black Mirror

Advent Day 22: The Oddling Prince

Advent Day 23: The Americans

Advent Day 24: Fight Fascism

Advent Day 25: Bodyguard

Advent Day 26: Baskets

Advent Day 27: Literature

Advent Day 18: Haunting of Hill House

Does anyone still need a reason to watch Haunting of Hill House? I absolutely loved how this series looked at children who’d lived in a haunted house and explored the PTSD that messed with their lives as adults.

And anyone who appreciated that aspect of the story will be thrilled to hear that the director is bringing his touch to an exploration of The Shining.

I found Haunting of Hill House fascinating. It was interesting to consider how those childhood experiences would affect each person.

 

This goes beyond ghosts. The psychological horror is real. The trauma is real. And the way people put up walls, live in denial and shut others because they can’t cope is all too real. Will it take another tragedy to bring the Crain family back together again? Or will new conflicts tear open old wounds and destroy what little is left of this family?

 

Advent Day 19: Wind River

Advent Day 20: Letterkenny

Advent Day 21: Black Mirror

Advent Day 22: The Oddling Prince

Advent Day 23: The Americans

Advent Day 24: Fight Fascism

Advent Day 25: Bodyguard

Advent Day 26: Baskets

Advent Day 27: Literature

Advent Day 27 – Literature by Guillermo Stitch

41juy2wqr-l-_sy346_I liked this book so much that I wrote two different reviews of it and interviewed the author. One of my tests for any entertainment is how memorable is it. Did it stay in my thoughts for days after the fact and make me think about the characters or the outcome or (in the event of a series) possible future developments? Did it inspire me to think about life or a philosophy or human nature?

One of the reasons I have to put this book front and center in my advent feature is that it is a book that has stayed with me. It has stayed with me for months. While I’m often struggling to remember all the titles I’ve read in any given year, this one had a huge impact on me.

I loved the fact that it defied genre conventions and boundaries and brazenly told its story. I loved the fact that it was action-packed and intense, and also profound and insightful. I loved the fact that the author didn’t follow formula.

Sometimes, authors are a little too enamored with their own use of language and all the pretty words. Guillermo Stitch offers spare prose that gets straight to the point, grabs us by the throat and doesn’t let us have a chance to catch our breath.

If I made such pronouncements, I’d likely declare this the best book I read in 2018. And the fact that it’s a self-published title that was able to get industry reviews and pretty much universal praise? Inspiring.