Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Civil War, Ted Lasso, and Underground Cities

May 7th, 2024 | Robin


Civil War (Film, US/UK/Finland, Alex Garland, 2024) Dead-inside photojournalist Lee Smith (Kirsten Dunst) and adrenaline-junkie reporter Joel (Wagner Moura) find themselves babysitting desperate fossil Timesman Sammy (Stephen McKinley Henderson) and cub photog Jessie (Cailee Spaeny) on a perilous drive to DC during (and through) an American civil war. This road picture braided with horror film shows Apocalypse Now and Year of Living Dangerously in its DNA, and almost lives up to them. Tightly edited, beautifully shot, and intriguingly scored, with Dunst and Moura’s great performances at its heart—all superbly set against the (intentional) hollowness of its protagonists.—KH

The Pig, The Snake and the Pigeon (Film, Taiwan, Ching Po-Wong, 2023) After receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, Taiwan’s third most wanted fugitive (Ethan Juan) decides to go out in a blaze of glory by hunting down and killing numbers one and two. Fable of violent redemption told from a compelling viewpoint of detached omniscience.—RDL

Ted Lasso Season 3 (Television, US/UK, Apple+, Bill Lawrence & Jason Sudeikis, 2023) Players and behind the scenes personnel of AFC Richmond forge new connections as coach Ted Lasso finds himself at a crossroads. Discovering that they have run out of story for their lead characters, the writing room bids an apparent farewell by broadening the relationships of the supporting cast.—RDL

You Hurt My Feelings (Film, US, Nicole Holofcener, 2023) Author (Julia Louis Dreyfus) struggles with feelings of betrayal after overhearing her flailing therapist husband (Tobias Menzies) confess that he’s only been pretending to like her work-in-progress. New York comedy of manners about confronting mid-life mediocrity maintains its realism by declining to raise the stakes.—RDL


Underground Cities (Nonfiction, Mark Ovenden, 2020) Factoid-laden treatment of the subterranean infrastructure of 32 cities around the world (but mostly in Europe) well illustrated and unevenly mapped. (No maps for Madrid or Beijing?) The cities chosen seem almost random: Cincinnati appears because it famously abandoned its subway, but Shanghai and Seoul (#2 and #4 metro systems in the world) don’t make it in? LA but not San Francisco? While it’s intriguing and interesting, consider this not quite a resource but rather a jumping-off-point for research into any of its locations’ underground.—KH

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