This is Free Form Friday, the vaguely topical slice of life into which we dig while we wait for another college football season to emerge from the oven. Maestro, the soundtrack:
By my inexpert count there are now 99 days left until the start of college football season. And I’m afraid you can’t spend all of them rewatching the 2018 World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Actually you could, but it might get boring after the 7,830th viewing. Maybe.
So on your behalf, and mine, I’m soliciting television and movie recommendations for these next few weeks, just to get us through until the preview magazines hit the racks.
There’s one ground rule: if you say Game of Thrones I reserve the right to send a dragon to your house. And that of your siblings, known and unknown.
I’ve got two selections to offer, one movie and one series. The movie is The Highwaymen, starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as a pair of over-the-hill Texas Rangers tracking legendary criminals Bonnie and Clyde (Netflix). It’s got engrossing dialog, spare imagery, and enough dark humor to keep things entertaining. There’s also a strong supporting cast that includes Kathy Bates and W. Earl Brown among others.
My series selection is Santa Clarita Diet, a dark comedy also on Netflix and starring Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore as married real estate agents who find their lives turned upside down when one of them becomes a zombie. Somehow it’s as campy as it sounds, but still absolutely hysterical. Olyphant is one of the more versatile actors out there, and Barrymore has an unironic comedic delivery that somehow makes you forget how absurd this show should be.
Veteran actor Nathan Fillion’s recurring role is fantastic, and recognizable comic faces like Andy Richter and The State/Reno 911 veteran Thomas Lennon also make appearances. But for my money young actors Liv Hewson (as Olyphant and Barrymore’s cynical daughter) and Skyler Gisondo (as the dorky neighbor kid) steal the show.
Santa Clarita Diet was cancelled recently after its third season, so this is not a show to get hooked on. But it should make for good binging while you wait for another Florida Gator to transfer/get arrested/ get arrested while inside the transfer portal.
Feel free to drop your suggestions in the comments, and...