The Awful Awards

Okay, we need a laugh or two again, and it’s a Friday. Having seen several of these below in recent days given awards (once more) and/or termed “great” (once more), I felt I wanted to offer a dissenting view. Here are several films and TV that I have NOT enjoyed recently and WHY I did not. LOL!

Taste is extremely personal, of course. But these are my genuine reactions (even if I expect few else to share them). In no particular “worst” order then, okay, here we go…

[Photo by Louis on]

First, a couple of recent films…

The Banshees of Inisherin: I don’t care how many awards this wins. And spare me the nonsense about this actually being some “deep metaphor” for the Irish Civil War. (Talk about an over-stretch.) This was my biggest film disappointment in years. We stayed with this for over an hour hoping hoping hoping something actually entertaining would happen. Nothing did. After it became clear how unhinged one character in particular is, it just went downhill from there… and we gave up. A “dark/black comedy” – supposedly. Has every writer/director alive forgotten what “dark comedy,” actually is? Just because you have troubled individuals in a film doing disgusting, ugly things, does not make a film a “dark comedy.” (I bet some moron writers think Schindler’s List is a “dark comedy.”) This film is best-described I feel as mental health problems passed off as “quirky Irishness.” Yeh, but as long as there is a cliff or a “pictureseque” Irish cottage or a cute donkey to include in the shot, it must be worth watching, right? Uh, no, it still isn’t. If that’s what you crave, spare yourself this and rent The Quiet Man; yeh, it is seriously dated and all that, but you will at least smile and actually may have a few laughs even at the early 1950s references to the IRA.

Judy: Thankfully, at least no one seems to be saying this is a “comedy,” and not even a “dark” one. (Although I would not be surprised if someone did.) We got through about an hour of Renee Zellwegger being drunk and obnoxious and self-pitying. We know how this ends in real-life about a year later: “Judy” dies. (Sorry if that is a spoiler.) Judy Garland deserves way better than her last days being her main “bio-pic.” Re-watch The Wizard of Oz or Meet Me in Saint Louis and remember her that way – as the wonderful entertainer she was. (Next up, we are going to be treated to Amy Winehouse’s life; and one can only imagine what that will be like. When does the bio-pic zeroing in on Humphrey Bogart enduring esophageal cancer for the last year of his life appear? Don’t be shocked if some idiot is as you read this already crafting that Bruce Willis bio-pic.)

[Photo by cottonbro studio on]

Now to television. These three? Good grief…

Succession: Previously, I devoted a post to this junk in full. To summarize here in a paragraph. I have been baffled from day one as to WHY and HOW this supposed “dark comedy” is a “hit” or “critically acclaimed.” Is everyone watching it stoned? I write that because I was once told by a (now late) family relation who spent a lot of years stoned, that stoned people tend to find unfunny stuff funny. Because I can say being sober nothing is funny and none of the characters are interesting in the slightest. I forced myself to endure about four episodes of the first season hoping they went broke and the father died (in long, slow, deserved agony). Then I gave up. It is also supposedly satire, but it is not “satirical”; it just gross and ugly – and those are not, in themselves, “satire.” (Someone clearly needs a dictionary.) Bottom line: I don’t even see the point to the existence of this program. We have to endure this c-ap in real life from the real Murdochs and the real Trumps and similar slugs and their flunkies and apologists, so I have no reason to devote entertainment time to it, too. This program has I think become the epitome of “Have you heard what everyone is watching?” marketing… to try to convince you it must be “great” because “everyone is.” I ain’t buying it.

The White Lotus: Got through about four episodes of this too and finally thought: “No, I’m done with this. Life is too short.” This struck me from the outset as similar to Succession in it is clearly yet another “let’s see how vulgar and disgusting we can manage to be on US pay cable TV and get away with it.” Again, I previously devoted an entire post to this “award-winning” rubbish. I cared about NONE of these characters and could not have given a damn what happened to any of them (other than some of the staff, who you feel sorry for). Thinking about it more for this post, this series is basically someone’s idea of what happens on “all-inclusive” vacations/honeymoons – that heterosexual couples talk about gay sex, and most everyone is generally an obnoxious, mouthy nutcase, and drunk/druggie. That’s the whole show. If that somehow intrigues you, this series is for you. Just don’t expect many actual laughs. You are more likely to look at the screen and find yourself baffled: “Uh, what? Seriously?” Don’t worry, you are not alone in that. Otherwise, there must be something that needs to be painted at home or some university exam you need to study for. Both would be time much better spent.

Shrinking: Just a few days ago, we watched in stunned disbelief the first episode of this (I presume what will also be “award-winning”) so-called “comedy” that, I swear, the Apple+ ad on its home screen called it without even adding the word “drama” (because that’s why we watched it – we expected simply a comedy). We won’t be watching another. Eventually, we find out it is about a psychologist whose wife was killed in a car accident, their teen daughter who clearly needs her father, and the father who in his grief is totally into drink and drugs and now can’t stand listening to other people’s problems any longer at work: his wife is dead, so he couldn’t care less about some couple’s petty marriage troubles. In the last scene, some guy turns up at the daughter’s high school soccer match while the psychologist looks on at her playing (she having told him that it might be nice if he showed up for something she did now and then) and walks up to the psychologist and punches him in the face – after the man yelled that he was furious the psychologist had counseled the man’s wife to leave him. Another patient who is being treated for anger issues (a former soldier who had spent too much time in combat zones) had come to the match along with the psychologist and quickly jumps to the psychologist’s aid, pummeling the assailant into a bloody mess and is then arrested. I know, hilarious, right? After it ended – thank God – I had a look at Wikipedia, where I saw it labeled, like Succession and The White Lotus, “comedy-drama.” Increasingly, I am starting to think that mixed description is a way to duck explaining why a “comedy” is not actually funny – just add the word “drama” to it. I welcome anyone else who watched that first episode of Shrinking simply to tell me what was even slightly “comedic” in the entire episode. (Indeed even George and Tammy, termed ACCURATELY simply a “DRAMA,” is at times funnier.) I wondered too: What on earth is Harrison Ford doing in this program? They must have offered him a ton of money, because I can think of no other reason.

[From Instagram.]

I wonder if I have been away from the U.S. for too long? (I am only there to see family briefly and have not worked there in decades.) Succession? The White Lotus? Now this Shrinking? All the prescription drugs? It seems half the country is on medication. The parents are all headcases and the children have to become the adults. And do men now just walk up to other men at high school girls’ soccer games and start fistfights? (I suppose that is not impossible, but on the bright side at least that guy did not turn up with a rifle.) All the “f-ck this” and the “f-you” in the offices, too? Are all these sorts of “comedies” truly reflective of what life in the States is by now? Is that why so many give them good reviews on IMDB and elsewhere – because they recognize the familiar in them in some twisted ways and actually do find something(s) to be FUNNY that I just don’t see?

A little while ago, after I wrote all that above, I decided before hitting “publish” to confirm I had not gone off the trails myself. I asked the Mrs: “What was the last ‘comedy-drama’ we watched that struck us as both comedy and drama?”

She replied: “Ted Lasso and Mrs. Maisel.”

Absolutely. Thankfully, a new season of Ted Lasso is up shortly. Both that and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, are laugh out loud funny at times, and they are also quite serious at other times. Laughter is absolutely necessary… in a “comedy-drama.”

I feel better now. I just wanted to get all that off my chest. LOL! Have a good weekend, wherever you are and whatever you watch. 🙂


  1. I do find it funny in a dark way when my wife and I watch something that everyone else loves and has been raving about and we keep waiting for the punch line and it never comes. We’ve gotten much better in recent years in just turning things off. There’s too much good content out there, too many other things to do with our time.

    Liked by 1 person

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