Media Update 5/21/20

Dora the Explorer

When I was unemployed for a long period of time years ago, I watched a lot of Dora the Explorer and Ni Hao, Kai-Lan (which is why I wrote a gritty reboot last month). There’s something very wholesome and calming about those shows. When I saw the poster for this movie, I was all in and I previously wanted to watch it in theaters or as a double feature with Sonic the Hedgehog. Anyway, the movie is sort of a sequel to the series but also reimagining the original series. It stars Isabella Merced as high school-aged Dora who is eternally optimistic and super smart. She is such a delight and she has an unironic sweetness that is so good. Jeff Wahlberg plays Diego, her now sullen and moody cousin Diego. Madeleine Madden plays Sammy, a type-A valedictorian who is threatened by Dora’s intelligence and baffled by her optimism. Nicholas Coombe plays the token white kid, awkward but intelligent and with a good heart. The adults are all great but a special shout out to Dora’s parents who are played by superstars Michael Pena and Eva Longoria. The movie is a fun adventure in the vein of Spy Kids and Temple of Doom. I also like how they were able to keep the cast Hispanic. I definitely recommend this movie.


This is an absolutely devastating movie but it has a lot of comedy to try to bring it up. The movie covers the last year of Judy Garland’s life when she had burned all of her bridges in the United States and briefly reignited her career with a series of concerts in England. It is such a fascinating look at somebody who has been utterly crushed by life and herself. I thought I knew about Garland’s life but I was immediately surprised by how much the movie taught me. I knew about the pills and I knew some of how the Hollywood system messed with young Judy’s head but this really laid it all out there. It also shows her relationship with her kids who she loved desperately. It mostly focuses on the younger children (Lorena and Joey Luft) probably because Liza Minelli disavowed the production. Also, they are portrayed as somewhat estranged in the movie. Renee Zellweger is really great as the confident yet anxiety-ridden Judy. Jessie Buckley plays her British handler, a young woman who tries her best to support Garland even as she is falling apart. Darci Shaw is really good as the young Judy Garland in the crushing hands of Hollywood. I recommend the movie although it is very dark and parts of it are creepy.

I Am Not Okay With This

I had heard really good things about this show. Adolescence and superpowers have long been linked in fiction and I was looking forward to an honest take on it. Being a teenager sucked for me and I like dipping into fiction that shows how awkward and weird being young is. Sophia Lillis is immediately likable and relatable as an awkward and ‘unremarkable’ teenage girl, Syd. Her inner monologue (which we hear constantly) is entertaining and feels both dark and funny. Wyatt Olef plays her awkward and hippie-ish neighbor and he is fun. Sofia Bryant plays Syd’s no-nonsense, badass best friend. I also really liked Aidan Wojtak-Hissong who plays Syd’s younger brother. He is a really well-done version of the kid prodigy and his chemistry with Lillis is so good. The show was instantly charming when it could have been overly dark. It also tackles LGBTQ+ issues well in that it makes it no big deal as it should be. I definitely recommend the series.

Music of the Week:
Deltron 3030 – Virus

Simple Kid – Serotonin

Quichenight – If I Get Corona

goomiey – ステレオタイプ

Sedona – Closer

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “This is Her Story”
– I watched more Rizzoli and Isles Season 3
– I watched more Elementary Season 2
– I watched more Buzzfeed Unsolved: Supernatural Season 5
– I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 10
– I watched more Black Lightning Season 3
– I watched more What We Do In the Shadows Season 1
– I started watching Riverdale Season 4
– I started watching She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 4

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