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Preoccupation 9: Curated Viewing and turning a Saturday Night into Something Fun

Preoccupation 9

Adam comes back to his Shelter-in-Place column to talk about Curated View.

Yes, it’s been a while since I posted a column.  With content becoming more regularally available for review, the podcast kicking into high gear, and personal engagements, it’s been hard to come back to something that was deisgned to be freeform and fill a space left empty by a lack of content.  That doesn’t mean I don’t miss it. 

Not by a long shot. 

It was freeing being able to write about how I curate the stuff I was watching.  How it was designed to be a combination of “comfort viewing”, “check box” films, and “curated viewing”. I think we are all curators in our own respects.  Some people passively do it, others do it very actively.  I have a tendency, when I’m not reviewing for the site, to be very purposeful with how and what I watch.  

I believe that things should be played off one another.  It makes for a better all-around experience to your media digestion.  As example.  

Last Saturday Night began as such:

6:00 pm – Dinner

6:45 pm – Doom Patrol Sn 2 Ep 6

7:45 pm – X-Men: First Class 

10:00 pm – Desert 

10:15 pm – X-Men: The Animated Series (Sn 2 Ep 1 – Sn 2 Ep 4) 

A perfectly curated night designed for maximum fun.  You begin with Doom Patrol that featured a group of “superheroes” from the 1960s.  That was a perfect entryway to watch the best X-Men movie.  Matthew Vaughn’s 60’s era X-Men: First Class.  After that concluded a bit of desert followed by an hour of the Saban produced X-Men series from the 90s. 

It seems that I had designed it in advance but not really.  The Doom Patrol is something my wife and I have come to adore since discovering it upon the release of HBOMAX. I’ve been actually trying to figure out a way to discuss this very special show but haven’t’ figured out how to yet.  It is to say we make an event at our house.  Dinner is eaten around it.  It’s usually the main feature on Thursday Night when the newest episode drops.  But we got busy with other things… so it waited until Saturday Night.  It allowed me time to figure out if I wanted to couple it with something.  

Saturdays are a bigger night for us.  It’s usually the big “event” movie of the week.  Last week it was Palm Springs because we both love Andy Samberg.  As this Saturday did not have one like that it was up to me to program one.  After watching the preview for The Doom Patrol I knew it was going to be a 60’s era theme, in part, so the idea to revisit my favorite X-Men movie.  It filled the requirements to be a thematic riff.  

It worked like gangbusters.  Matthew Vaughn’s film works because it’s a Cold War Era spy film masked as a Superhero Film.  The film’s biggest asset?  The star making performance by Michael Fassbender.  Part James Bond.  Part Han Solo.  All swagger and swinging dick.  Fassbender’s Erik is the Nazi-Killing badass dressed to the nines, not yet the Radical Politically Motivated Mutant leader.  James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawerence, and the entire cast do a great job but its Fassbender as Erik that’s the best part of this film.  Vaughn and the creatives know this and amp everything up around him giving him center-stage.  One wishes that they had made the Magneto origins story with Vaughn and not had graphed on sections of it onto First Class.  Regardless, the film works as a great piece of Blockbuster entertainment.  

Now, after First Class, is where I got creative.  I initially thought that following it up with From Russia with Love, arguably one of the Top 3 Bond Films of all time (no argument here and the ranking of Bond Films is another time and place).  That was the plan, but it changed.  Why?  Because I was tired.  You want to give From Russia with Love your full attention. So, an audible was called.

The Japanese intro to X-Men: The Animated Series… imagine if this was the actual series?

Enter Saban’s ham and cheese on rye cult classic X-Men: The Animated Series.  The show was a huge part of my childhood and is something that, thanks to Disney+, has become what I call a “slow rewatch”, eg one episode at a time over a span of moths (also known as anti-binging).  If you’re going to follow Vaughn’s First Class up with something and it not too terribly long go with second season first two-episode mini-arcs.  It helps if you know the series but it’s the kind of silly kind of Cold War-era storylines that permeated the X-Men comic book series during the late 80s and early 90s.

Nights at home do not have to be boring.  They are what you make of them.  Rather than binging maybe it’s time you tried something like this out.  Dinner and a Movie doesn’t have to be going outside.  Sometimes its better when it’s done at home. 

You can even go as far as to generate tickets for your Saturday Night. Get creative. Places like allow you to generate and print custom-made tickets like the ones that are in this article.

Let me know what you think… 

We will be back in a few days with something along the same lines discussing shelter-in-place viewing.

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