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LOCKDOWN LIST: THINGS I HAVE BEEN WATCHING AND READING

These are strange & unusual times, and time is at a rare premium for so many of us, but when I have been able to carve out a moment for myself during this lengthy stretch, these creations are what I have been drawn into. Feel free to add these to your own list, or feel free to ignore them. Just wanted to share what I’ve been digging of late

TV
Better Call Saul: The prequel to Breaking Bad, which might even be better than the original series. Superb writing, beautifully filmed and career best performances from Bob Odenkirk and the extraordinary Rhea Seehorn.
After Life: Ricky Gervais is occasionally a bit smug and irritating for me these days, but in this show he has created a brilliant meditation on grief and loss. Easily the best thing he has done since The Office.
The Last Dance: Despite being only a casual basketball fan, this documentary is a compelling look at elite sports and the awe-inspiring athlete that was Michael Jordan. I remember the 97-98 season very well from my time living in Utah and watching the Bulls compete in the captivating NBA Finals against the Jazz. Nice memories
Westworld: Eerie, icy, austere, odd, gripping, beautiful bonkers show. No idea what is going on, but I love it.


BOOKS
Hitching For Hope by Ruairi McKiernan: A memoir of Ruairi’s hitchhiking adventure around the island of Ireland, which becomes a reflection on hope and a peek into the soul of Ireland. Really spoke to me at this time
The Rap Year Book by Shea Serrano – Funny, insightful, interesting book about hip-hop, where the “Most Important Rap Song” from every year since 1979 is, discussed, debated, and deconstructed. Shea Serrano is a great writer and his joy just bounds off every page.

What I’ve been creatively consuming lately

Another of my occasional posts about what I’m absorbing from the world of words and sounds – this time with a focus on all things Irish ­čç«­čç¬

TV

Derry Girls – If you havent watched this crackling comedy set during the troubles in Northern Ireland, then buckets of pure joy await you. Sharp writing and great performances, and a kickass soundtrack

The Young Offenders – The film that kicked off this series was a bit patchy for my taste, but the series is an absolute gem. Equal parts┬ápoignant and utterly hilarious. The season 1 episode on the bus with hostages, pizza and singalong Frank & Walters (as insane as that sounds) is a thing of comedic perfection

FILM

  • Sing Street – From the director of Once, this joyous story about growing up and the power of music is just a bundle of delights. And the songs are pop perfection
  • Handsome Devil – John Butler’s beautiful, gentle coming of age story in a rugby school in Dublin is so good. Andrew Scott (one of the truly great Irish actors) plays the mentoring teacher role impeccably alongside the two leads. I was lucky enough to meet John once at a gig and he was a true gentleman, both encouraging of my own creative aspirations and very open about his own

PODCASTS

Dreamgun Film Reads – Wildly funny live performances of rewritten movie classics in a short sharp hour – terrifically silly performances, stuffed full of jokes, and subtly perceptive critiques of films we know and love. To see them live is a gift, but this it the next best thing. The Matrix and Jaws episodes are particularly good.

Love & Courage – Ruairi McKiernan is a true lifelong champion of social justice, equality, inclusion and so much more. On these podcasts he sits down to speak with a wide spread of thinkers in the field of activism, politics, art and social inclusion – ranging from Christy Moore to Johann Hari, and Mariane Williamson. Many of them challenged my thinking process and assumptions. Easy to listen to, hours to ponder.