Being home with mom and dad for the holiday season was a treat, but when they go to bed at 9:00 pm and you’re in the middle of nowhere and the nearest established gay population is a 3-hour drive away, you fire up the streaming options and you start to binge. So what was on my list to view? I had to finally get to Midnight Mass, Finding Magic Mike, and not so much a binge but a must watch movie – The Matrix Resurrections.
Finding Magic Mike – HBO Max
I am sure I could have watched this one with both mom and dad and all would have been well as it did not get too sexual or sensual. Yes, there were some abs along with some dad bods and some skinny and not buff guys in the competition, but that was all well and designed into the show.
The premise was to find the next Magic Mike, but not just someone that could do the dances and look like a fit model, but someone that would be changing the most over the competition. The producers embraced that idea of looking internally into the men, and each episode was titled to represent each quality they were seeking; Episode 1: Meet the Mikes, E2: A confident Man, E3: An Attractive Man, E4: A Charismatic Man, E5: A Talented Man, E6: A Connected Man, E7: A Magic Man.
The show stuck with the premise, sliding men off the stage that were not meeting the internal challenges as well as not moving as well as others. They went from 50 to I believe 25 to 15 to 10, kicking one or two off a week after that. One man was injured severely and sadly had to leave (I was rooting for him) and another decided to listen to his egotistical hormones and break the show rules and quarantine by having a guest over to feed his johnson to and well, he was no loss and I was not sad to see him go.
There was some LGBTQ-ness, sort of in the series, as one announced he is fluid and another is bisexual. We also meet some momma’s boys and some criers. Out of the top 10 or so, we did not hear anything about the sexuality of all the contestants so there was some cloudy areas that let our minds wander and maybe hope a little.
Who would be in the final two to battle for the $100,000 and the title of the first Finding Magic Mike found as part of this type of search? Well, I won’t spoil this one as I think it is a fun series to watch and I want you to cheer for the one you want to. And I think they think they stuck to the “let’s give the one that changed the most” premise, but I may have to have a conversation with someone else that watched it to compare notes.
Final Statements – Is Finding Magic Mike worth watching? YES. Watch again? MAYBE
The Matrix Resurrections – HBO Max
Before traveling from Florida to Maine to the ‘rents home, I got stuck in a John Wick loop as the trilogy seemed to be on constantly on cable. Loving the time I spent with Keanu as John Wick and also loving the first Matrix movie and enjoying the sequels so far, I was looking forward to seeing the latest iteration.
My thoughts of “will this movie be as exciting as the original?” and “what new things will it introduce?” and “will it be a cliff hanger and have me wanting more?” Well, no, not much, and nope.
I did enjoy the “reboot feel” as we were being reintroduced to the familiar faces or familiar roles with new faces. But what I had not done is a taken the deep dive into the transgender scaffolding that held the trilogy together. I went into Resurrections a little cloudy on what the three previous had done and this might have been a mistake. I started looking for transgender allegories and then was presented with the faces of Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, and Brian J. Smith whom I knew were gay, well I kind of stopped considering the plot for a bit and was like, wait, what other cast members are LGBTQ+? Should I press pause on the iPad and start looking up the cast? Thinking about who was who and what was actually a little distracting to me and took me away from the movie. Yeah, probably a bitchy comment from a white cis guy, but it is what it is.
But there was a point where both Neo and Trinity see themselves as how others see them and it was not different gendered faces, but just older same-gendered individuals. So maybe this fourth Matrix doesn’t dabble with the transgender metaphors.
So, what does the Matrix really represent? Does Lana Wachowski also endorse a trans allegory? Will the new film provide more clarity? Even after all these years, and all the times other people have tried to explain it to her, Wachowski still wants to leave it up to you.
“I’m not interested in controlling people’s experiences or interpretations,” she said. “I’m grateful that people have taken the work seriously enough to engage in philosophical dialogue with the film and each other.”
and for a better review of The Matrix Resurrections, head over to theplaylist.net.
The action was slower (pun intended), the fight scenes were banal (except for the train scene), and the plot was lacking.
Final Statements – Is The Matrix Resurrections worth watching? NO. Watch again? NO
Midnight Mass – Netflix
I knew of the premise of this Netflix offering for some time as it’s been out since September 2021. I had forgotten about it but Netflix recommended it to me so I dove in. If you’ve tried this and only made it through one or two of the seven episodes, go back and push through.
A young man returns to his isolated hometown on Crockett Island hoping to rebuild his life after serving four years in prison for killing someone in a drunk-driving incident. He arrives at the same time as a mysterious, charismatic young priest, who begins to revitalize the town’s flagging faith. However, the community’s existing divisions are soon exacerbated by the priest’s deeds while mysterious events befall the small town.
Reading other sites and intros to Midnight Mass, they mention it’s about faith, forgiveness, Islamophobia, … and some other things.
What was enjoyable about this series was that it made me think as it should make everyone think. Yes, you can watch it for the Sci-fi, you can watch it for the embracing of or the expulsion of religion, you can let it make you ponder about forgiveness of others and yourself. Find someone else that has watched it and I am sure there will be some great conversations around it. I like thinker-thrillers.
What I found annoying about Midnight Mas was that the make up was not the best. You could tell that most of the actors were made to look older than they were in real live which would lead to most possibly figuring out what was going to happen to these characters as the episodes went on. Once I tried to block out the bad make up, it was better.
There were some upsetting scenes in the series as I found myself baffled that some things happened in the middle of the series and was thinking, well, what are they going to do now?! And did the angel make it?
Final Statements– Is Midnight Mass worth watching? YES. Watch again? YES
There you have it. Some sexy, sci-fi, and nostalgic viewing while I’m hunkered down in rural Maine with an iPad and wifi. Do you agree with the reviews? What would you recommend viewing next? Still a couple more nights to go.