After three weeks of watching little else (thanks, Covid) we finished all the Bosch in the world. That’s 7 seasons of the original series and one season of Bosch Legacy — wherein he’s retired from the LAPD and working as a PI. The vibes are off; it struggles to maintain the structure and entertainment value that came with Bosch having a partner and a team. They try to do something interesting with the idea that he no longer has the authority of the law behind him, but far from enough to sell the new concept within 10 episodes.
My speakers and headphones have played even more jazz than usual thanks to Bosch’s record collection featuring prominently on the show. Lots of Art Pepper and Wes Montgomery. Pity it’s an Amazon Prime Video series (and they still don’t have all the episodes available here for god knows what reason). If it were on Apple TV+, I’d bet there would be a great companion playlist on Apple Music.
Spiritfarer continues to be a cosy little time sink on the Switch. That’s about all I’ve played.
I bought Into The Breach for the Nintendo Switch about two years ago and haven’t started it up once. Always meant to get around to it, you know how it goes. It’s a turn-based strategy game featuring giant mechs fighting off an alien invasion in pixel art style. This week, it released on iPhone/iPad as a Netflix game — totally free to play for subscribers. I’m unable to decide which platform I would rather play it on.
Speaking of Netflix, we (okay, we started together but I was left to watch the remaining 75% myself) saw their latest big-budget mess: The Gray Man. It’s supposedly based on a book, but it must have been a comic book because the tone is completely off for a globetrotting spy/assassin caper. It suffers from the Marvelization (actually, is this also Joss Whedon’s fault) of entertainment, where everything is jokey and wacky and the stakes always feel low and the one-liners are channeling Ryan Reynolds freestyling at an open mic night (you’d be forgiven for being confused that it’s Ryan Gosling here). Depending on how much you’re forgiving of Marvel Tone, it’s either a 2 or 3-star film, but add another star because Ana de Armas is in it.
We went to see the National Museum’s exhibition OFF/ON: Everyday Technology That Changed Our Lives, 1970s – 2000s. It starts very strong, with a recreation of an office out of the 70s and 80s — the Olivettis and stationery and furniture brought me back to messing around at my mom’s workplace as a child. Overhearing conversations are absolutely part of the experience: someone encountering a typewriter and asking “how do you backspace on this thing?”; kids expressing surprise that we had ‘emojis’ for texting back then (they were emoticons :D); a zoomer pointing at a roll of developed film negatives and saying to his friends that “they’re like SD cards, in a way”.
Disappointments: Only one old camera on display, an Olympus Pen. I was really hoping to see a nice collection, and some more detail on film photography, because honestly the kids have no idea. And the section on Gaming was woefully underdeveloped, like it got none of the budget at all — featuring just ONE retro-inspired pachinko-style game developed for the exhibition. They could have had a few screens showing videos of old games, or put in a couple of MAME cabinets for people to play on. Maybe down to copyright issues, oh well.
I came across a generative art project that immediately got my attention: Bidonville, by Julien Labat. The title translates to “slum”, and each of the 512 pieces features a randomized, chaotic, yet organic layout for its little dwellings. As the artist’s notes say, it’s a thoroughly serious subject rendered with childlike naïveté. It’s moving. And by pressing E and W on their keyboard, the viewer can supply or cut off electricity and water to the community, and see their effects in the lights at night, and laundry being hung out to dry.
Speaking of moving, I forgot to mention last week that I came across this poem so moving it stopped me from speaking.