Meet the Parents (2000)

It was a fun enough Sunday afternoon movie. It was good enough that I wouldn't even call it totally mediocre. But if you had told me, back in the futuristic year 2000, that they were going to make two sequels, I'd have never believed you.



The Sarah Silverman Program - Season 1

It's hard to explain how good this is. Imagine a vulgar cartoon, like South Park or all the ones they've been putting on Netflix, but imagine it without the self-importance and/or lazy snarkiness. Imagine it with characters you like, instead of punchline delivery machines. And the head writer is Dan Harmon, of Ricky and Morty and Community. If that sounds appealing to you at all, then go out and watch this and you will not be disappointed.



Doom (1993)

It was revolutionary when it came out, but a million better (and less monochrome) shooters have come out in the meantime, making this feel pretty drab and boring.



Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

This, along with the indie rock popular around the same time, created the obnoxious precedent that affluent white guys whining about being sad is culturally significant.



Prometheus (2012)

The internet made me feel bad for liking this. I'm not sure why I let them influence me; the only movies the internet likes are the Dark Knight, MCU movies, and the Star Wars franchise but none of the individual Star Wars movies.

Anyway, I'm supposed to hate this because, in the film, some characters in their 20s make an irrational decision under duress, which I am supposed to find unrealistic. I'd say this is about as good as the seventh movie in a franchise is going to get.



Children's Hospital Season 2

Slightly funnier than season 1, but not the comedy freight train it became in season 3.

It's absolutely mind-blowing to think that this parody of Grey's Anatomy ran its full seven seasons and ended over two years ago, while Grey's still blindly stumbles on, killing off characters as fast as they're introduced.



Maria Bamford: Old Baby (2017)

I genuinely think that Maria Bamford is one of the funniest people around right now, along with being a remarkably talented voice actress. That being said, her act has gotten more and more avant-garde over the years, and her jokes are now so disjoined that I have a really hard time enjoying her comedy anymore. I'd probably have given this a perfect rating if I had watched this special in five minute daily intervals.



Cambridge History Of Ancient China

The Cambridge histories set a pretty high standard, and the volume on the Han Dynasty (also co-edited by Michael Loewe) has been one of my favourite books for many years. Aside from that, pre-Imperial China is an extremely interesting topic, so my expectations for this were high and I was extremely disappointed.

Many of the writers are competent. Some have an axe to grind or a personal pet theory to promote, which is poison to a book like this. The absolute low point is the chapter by David Nivison, and I have no idea why the editors didn't reject it. It's full of polemical claims about dating and composition for which he almost never provides evidence (aside from phrases like "most scholars consider", which doesn't even fly on Wikipedia). When he does hint at what evidence he's using, his reasoning is generally circular (we know text A was written in century B because it has idea C. We know idea C comes from century B because it is recorded in text A). He's also sassy and arrogant, which wouldn't have annoyed me if he had actually done the work.

The two best chapters are the are those on the Spring and Autumn period by Cho-yun Hsu and early imperial China's relationship to pre-imperial China by Michael Loewe. Aside from that, there are better ways of familiarizing yourself with most of these topics.



The Wolverine (2018)

Wolverine goes to Japan and works his way down a checklist of Japan things, like seeing an a-bomb explode and runing through a pachinko parlour.