Genre Bending? Yes, please.


Netflix’s six-part series, Wormwood, is brilliant. This is the documentary I’ve been waiting years to see hit popular culture.  Wormwood fits perfectly into the grey area at the intersection of fiction and reality.  And I am proud to argue against the critics who claim this series is anything other than the most inventive documentary they have seen in ages.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I am an Errol Morris super fan – check out my previous post on Gates of Heaven. I fell asleep and complained about the film being a waste of my time.

Now, back to the gushing …

  • Impeccable story telling
  • inventive camera angles (I read there were 10 per an interview)
  • beautiful composition
  • seamless transitions from collage, to text, to dramatic interpretation, to interview
  • props for the continuous comparison to Hamlet
  • excellent usage and collection of archival materials

I could go on and on but, I’m sure you are just about ready to sign on to Netflix and binge watch the series. So, without wasting anyones time :

DRINK PAIRING: Prosecco! This calls for a celebration.  Pass the bubbly.

SCORE: 5 out of 5 cheers.

Doc of the Week > This American Life – Season 2 – Finale

Documentary: This American LIfe – Season 2 – Finale

Reviewed By: becky b

This show is in the top 5 of my all time fav TV shows ever.  It ranks somewhere in between The Wire and Weeds .  It is  just so well done – every part of it.

For those of you who don’t know – this TV show started as a weekly radio show.  You can find that on your local NPR station and as a podcast via iTunes.  That program is equally as amusing and is what lead to my interest in the TV series.  They are both in the same “format”.  Every week is a new theme and that theme is told in several acts.  Each act is a true story that is always entertaining and true.  The characters are real people and always approachable.  The story telling is pushed forward by the always quirky Ira Glass (pictured above).  The tv show is also beautifully shot.  Every moment is thoughtful and therefore appreciated by me.

Summary of the Finale: John Smith
The story of one life, told through the lives of people from all over the country, all named John Smith. Baby John Smith is 11 weeks old, in South Carolina, and his parents are still reeling from the sonograms that all predicted he would be a girl. By the time he’s 23, John Smith in Laramie, Wyoming, has made some mistakes and is appearing in front of a judge. At 46, he’s in Texas, welcoming his oldest son back from Iraq. In-depth portraits of people growing up, growing old, and figuring out how to be fathers, husbands, and men in America today.

The writers of this episode twist these stories together perfectly.  It is baffling how good this creative team is.  I hope everyone takes an hour to enjoy this episode.

I find it much easier to make comments about the docs I’m not thrilled about than the ones I love.

5 out 5 Cheers


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