While I was knitting …

I didn’t knit as much as usual last week, instead I crocheted Jeff a sweet cat cave. I caught up with and finished this season of Legion and was thoroughly entertained, helped along quite a bit by the appearances of a very groovy Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame) and the – I guess – production/feel of the show, which I’ve mentioned before.

I’ve also been watching Feud: Bette and Joan, which is about the relationship between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford before, during, and after the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange star in the show and are fabulous. It’s really nice to see older women cast and starring as older women facing issues specific to older women in Hollywood and in general, even if the show is basically about the awful ways that we can (and do) treat each other.

This week, I also turned the TV off and started listening to a new podcast, S-town. The show is “about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it.” S-town comes out of Serial Productions, from Serial and This American Life, two other podcasts I’ve listened to and recommend. I’m only two episodes into S-town and already things have taken an unexpected and incredibly compelling and fascinating turn. In addition to listening, go to the S-town website; it’s beautifully done.

Well done but not exactly beautiful, I leave you with this gif of Bette Davis freshening her Baby Jane makeup. Happy Tuesday!

While I was knitting …

I started watching Legion a few weeks ago, having not read the comic and without knowing anything about the story arc. I’d seen previews for it and was initially attracted by … well, I guess by the feel of it. I like most sci fi and I love sci fi that feels like its of or from a certain era, and Legion harkens to the late 60s and 70s; some of the wardrobe choices, the set dressing, even the lighting, and later, the action sequences.

A quick synopsis/the set up: David, played by Dan Stevens of Downton Abby fame but practically unrecognizable as the same actor who played Matthew, is a schizophrenic patient in Clockworks Psychiatric Hospital. He’s been in and out of institutions most of his life but has settled into a routine. A beautiful new patient arrives (Rachel Keller) and shakes up his routine; they’re attracted to each other but there’s something more. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, so I’ll just generalize and skip to the part where we find out that David might not be schizophrenic after all, that maybe instead he’s got some very powerful abilities that he hasn’t learned to control and that explains the growing list of odd things about him and his past.

This set up really speaks to me; wouldn’t we all like to find out our biggest weakness is really our biggest asset, if only we knew how to use it properly? Okay, maybe not you, but I would certainly be happy for this to happen and in fact I’ve been trying to take that perspective with mental illness because I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 after dealing with depression since I was a teenager.

I also like that the show plays with the ideas of reality, dreams, and memories. At points, it’s difficult to tell what’s actually happening – are the characters actually experiencing this or is it part of David’s memory or is it a nightmare, and is that nightmare someone else’s nightmare that’s being manipulated? I should probably re-watch the episodes so far (I’ve watched 5 at this point) and maybe poke around the internet for some clues about the story arc, but I’m really enjoying not knowing.