Welcome back to the latest edition of TAOBW. We tried to give you some time to watch your way through the Top 100 list we left you with a while back. Now that you’ve spent hundreds of hours watching TV over the past few weeks, quit your jobs, damaged your relationships, and dedicated your entire summer to that list, it’s time to move on.
The interns and I are finally back from our most recent trip, a highly distinguished, invite-only film festival. TAOBW has some absolute gems this week, with streaming options aplenty, Kentucky basketball, fights, a letter from a fan and a preview of what’s ahead for “Game of Thrones” fans. As my editor always says, “This is insane—it’s so good. How will you fit all of this in one article?” Let me show you…
Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 (Netflix): The New York festival was meant to be the third in series of peaceful music festivals that began with the first Woodstock in 1969. I was 14 years old in 1999 and was absolutely caught up in the music scene (before the music scene passed away, RIP). Woodstock ’99 featured DMX, Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Alanis Morrissette, Creed, Godsmack and—for heaven’s sake—James Brown.
What could go wrong? Everything. The 1999 rendition of Woodstock would be remembered as one of the most unorganized large events in America’s history. If you’re in the mood for some loud music, riots, mob mentalities, corruption, fires, violence, and consumption of septic water, this three-part documentary brought from Netflix is for you.
The Resort (Peacock): One thing that we don’t do very often here at TAOBW is recommend too many shows on Peacock. If you enjoyed HBO’s “The White Lotus,” you will probably like this new hit series as well. There are some major differences as “The Resort” seems to be funnier and more action-packed. The series stars longtime NBC star Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”) and the premise is based around two young adults who went missing 15 years prior while visiting the Yucatan for vacation. Now, years later, two other young adults are visiting for vacation, finding clues that could unravel the mystery all while staying in a world class resort.
I Just Killed My Dad (Netflix): This one is heavy. I’m not going to break down the plot of this three-part documentary, for no reason other than a preference for surprises. Not everything is as it seems and sometimes we can read the title of a show, assume that we might like or dislike it and move on. “I Just Killed My Dad” isn’t a time we can make assumptions about the plot. Honestly, each of you true crimers just need to take the ride for yourself. In the case of Netflix’s latest hit, the twists and turns come in bunches as the question isn’t whodunit but whydunit?
Black Bird (Apple): “Black Bird” is by far the best television show I’ve watched in the last few months and will be making an appearance at the 2022 TAOBW awards show. If you’re not familiar with Paul Walter Houser (Cobra Kai, Richard Jewel) or Taron Edgerton (Kingsman series, Rocketman) than you should adjust your television sets to make yourself more familiar with both young actors. “Black Bird” is a true American crime drama that also just so happens to be a true story. It’s also the last performance from iconic actor Ray Liotta.
The plot revolves around Jimmy Keane (Edgerton) and his possible 10-year prison sentence, until he gets an offer he can’t refuse. If he can elicit a confession from possible serial killer Larry Hall (Hauser), he’s free. Considering Hall is in a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane, this one is interesting and stays that way through all six episodes.
Prey (Hulu): Remember that time Arnold Schwarzenegger, Apollo Creed, and Jessie “The Body” Ventura fought the Predator in the jungle? Remember that time Danny Glover battled the predator in Los Angeles? What about the time Adrian Brody went toe-to-toe with the big ugly monster in space? How good were all those movies?
Ehhh.. Honestly, outside of the original “Predator” installment, this is the first time they’ve struck gold with the “Predator” series in a long time. I almost forgot that time the predator fought Alien for an entire movie and I’m not sure what else I should say about that, for fear we will lose sponsors. What I should say is “Prey” has landed as the biggest premiere in the history of Hulu, netting larger numbers than any movie or show to come before it, and it is very good.
House of the Dragon (HBO): Game of Thrones ran from 2011 to 2019 and is the most watched show in HBO history. The controversial finale garnered 20 million viewers and I estimate that 19.4 million of them were pretty pissed afterward. Personally, I didn’t hate the ending. I’m experienced in this TV watching thing and rarely does anything end the way it deserves.
HBO currently has five different spinoff projects from the award-winning series as “House of the Dragon” is the first phase of those projects. A prequel of sorts, the series is set 200 years prior to the original GOT. “House of the Dragon” debuts Aug. 21, but I wanted to give you some time to catch up with all of your favorite characters.
TAOBW received a letter from a fan recently and I think she explained it best with her “House of the Dragon” thoughts:
“I’m really excited for the new show, just because I think the Targaryens are the most interesting family from “Game of Thrones.” I always found myself wanting to know more about their backstory, so I’m glad they are giving us that.”
I completely agree with the writer, as this new series is an important step for the GOT franchise. If this first phase doesn’t go as planned, I would imagine excitement for the other four projects would not be nearly as high, and could severely damage the “Game of Thrones” brand.
Kentucky Basketball is back-ish (SEC Network): The Kentucky basketball team has arrived in the Bahamas. The stage is set for our first live look at the 2022-2023 (I just got older typing those years) edition of Wildcat hoops, or as some of our locals call it, “ball.”
The SEC Network will present each of first looks at the new Wildcats. If you’re still feeling the sting of the first-round loss from last year, I’m afraid John Calipari might be too. Calipari has spent the offseason absolutely reloading his roster for a deep tournament run in March. I’m not here to brag on Coach Cal for his lack of production over the past few seasons, but I am prepared to give him another chance.
The roster is loaded: Oscar Tshiebwe (2021-2022 National Player of the year), Sahvir Wheeler and Jacob Toppin figure to be the team’s veteran leadership. CJ Frederick (Iowa transfer), Damion Collins, Antonio Reeves (Illinois State transfer) are bigger question marks with extremely high upside. Frederick will be on limited minutes in the Bahamas but I’m expecting to see a huge step forward from Damion Collins immediately.
Two more names we can’t finish this preview without giving you: Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston. Both newcomers will fit in well with Big Blue. The interns and I were invited by Coach Cal to watch practice and were just as thoroughly impressed with the athleticism of Livingston as the job the basketball program did with hosting us for the weekend. Enjoy! If Wednesday night’s blowout over the Dominican Republic was any indication, it’s going to be a fun few games.
Wednesday: Dominican Republic National Select Team (6 p.m.)
Thursday: Tec De Monterrey (6 p.m.)
Saturday: Carleton University (5 p.m.)
Sunday: The Bahamas National Select Team (11 a.m.)
All times Central, or “slow time” (for the savages). SEC Network will broadcast each game.
UFC Fight Night: Vera Vs. Cruz and Boxing: Lopez Vs. Campa (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN): It’s one of those fun and violence-filled Saturdays on ESPN that we talk about from time to time. Starting the day off early will be UFC Fight Night Prelims followed by UFC Fight Night: Vera Vs. Cruz. Domonic Cruz is one of the best to ever do it in the octagon. He’s no longer going to win many titles in the UFC, but he shows off an unorthodox fighting style, quick striking, and an ability to attack from literally any angle. Each fighter won “Fight of the Night” in their previous bouts, and I believe this one will add to each’s list of great fights. Although I’ve spent most of my time talking about Cruz, many think Vera is the favorite. Personally, I’m a Dominic Cruz stan and will be rooting hard for Dom on Saturday.
If you’re still craving violence at around 9 p.m., ESPN will host a boxing card with a solid main event with former world champ Teofimo Lopez knocking out some guy named Pedro. I will not be voting for Pedro on Saturday night as I’m going with Teofimo to get back on the winning track that he was once on after defeating Vasyl Lomachenko.
Readers are encouraged to send suggestions for “The art of binge watching” and/or tell Jordan how you really feel about his what-to-watch picks via email at Jordanwillis5393@gmail.com