I have two very important questions for you all: 1) How has this last month been? and 2) Is “Squid Game” the biggest Netflix original series since “Tiger King?” I hope the answer to the first question is “Better every day,” and I’m sure the answer to the second is “Obviously, nerd. People like things with weird titles and murderous games.” Down below I’ll talk about something I watched that I thought was even better than “Squid Game,” but we know how particular I can be with genre stuff. Anyway, we at the Source hope you’re well, and we’re excited to spend this winter doing our best to keep you warm. Here are a few things I’m enjoying this month.
In Pod We Trust:
A podcast I’ve recently discovered and completely fallen in love with is “Heal With It,” which is entirely focused on the healing process, but in real-world contexts. For whatever ails you, there will eventually be an episode of “Heal With It,” where the psychologist host, Maytal Eyal, Ph.D., brings in the proper expert to help and to break down the healthiest ways to grow. The newest episode has Danish author Iben Sandahl as a guest, discussing their book, “The Danish Way of Parenting,” which goes into how different children become when they’re actually taught empathy in school. It’s a fascinating episode that kinda reinforced my belief that empathy is the most important tool we have as artists and human beings.
If you’re looking for a fun new horror podcast you might not have discovered yet, “The Calls Are Coming From Inside the Podcast” is an absolute blast. Host Kevin Sparrow has his guests talk specifically about the one horror movie that really hit them hardest, as the point of the show seems to be Sparrow’s search for the exact feeling people get from horror and why they love it. There have only been a half dozen episodes so far, so if you’re looking for deep dives into some of your favorite horror movies, now is a good time to jump aboard this one.
I have a new obsession and I know it’s not going to be for everyone (surprise, surprise). Sure, “Squid Game” is bleakly fun and there are all sorts of guilty pleasures clogging up the streaming services, but I just finished what I think might be the best limited series I’ve seen since “Haunting of Hill House.” Netflix’s new series “Midnight Mass” is from Mike Flanagan, the co-writer/director of “Hill House” and “Bly Manor,” but instead of going for jump scares and interesting gore, Flanagan has done something completely different with this new series. Imagine Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” blended with the Catholic frenzy of “The Exorcist” and the technical wizardry of Flanagan’s “Doctor Sleep” and you might come close to approaching the very specific joys I received watching “Midnight Mass.”
The show follows a dying fishing community on an island off the Pacific Northwest coast and the new preacher who shows up to change their lives. Miracles start happening, people start disappearing and island life becomes filled with terror and beauty in equal measure. The series is an absolute slow burn, so if you’re not a fan of episodes filled with character development and religious philosophy, this might not be for you. However, if the thought of an entire episode focused on two people sitting on a couch and discussing what they think happens after death sounds fascinating to you, then join me on this one. Everything goes completely, bloodily, bats*it insane in the last three episodes, so viewers’ patience is rewarded. Thought-provoking horror doesn’t happen very often and, when it does, it’s rarely as beautiful as “Midnight Mass.”
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