Thea’s Culture Watch: TV

So now that you’ve gotten to know SMAC’s very own Thea Mann little better, you get that she has her finger on the pulse of pretty much anything you need to know about entertainment and culture, from the best music to the must-read books to what to watch on the big and small screens. Today, she gives us a look at her TV obsessions, past and present—M.S.

The second season of Fleabag is nearly perfect—loved it!  It’s darkly acerbic and quirky and devastating and hilarious. The writing is pointy, knife-blade sharp, and the acting is perfect.  Andrew Scott, who plays a priest and the love interest (I said it was darkly acerbic and quirky) is beyond brilliant. Phoebe Waller-Bridge created the show and plays the “fleabag.” Waller-Bridge is killing it right now; she also created Killing Eve (another must-watch) and is co-writing the new 2020 James Bond film.

I also just finished watching the second season of Mindhunter on Netflix. It’s phenomenal. Detail to period is perfect, acting is beyond. Years ago, David Fincher, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and I met with Robert K. Ressler, a then-retired FBI agent and author (his most famous book is Whoever Fights Monsters) who had played a significant role in the psychological profiling of violent offenders in the 1970s andwho is often credited with coining the phrase “serial killer.”   Robert is no longer alive, but I wonder if David Fincher used any of Robert’s anecdotes in Mindhunter. I hope so.

Of course, I’ve got my old-school favorites, too: I loved Mad MenDeadwood, Game of Thrones, and on the unscripted side, I have recently become obsessed with Alone on History Channel. Alone is a survivalist show (which I am exactly the polar opposite of; I don’t even like to step on grass barefoot, truth), but these contestants, men and women, are dropped into the wilds of Vancouver, British Columbia, totally alone. They are taught to use a camera to film themselves surviving, hunting, gathering, everything: We see them build shelter, make a fire, skin an animal, provide for themselves—they get to bring like six life-saving tools, an axe or something—and they are not together; they are alone, dispersed all over the forest. To leave/exit/be rescued, you have to “tap-out” via walkie talkie. Let me just say on the current season finale, a dude’s shelter burned down and he had to tap out—but because it was the Arctic and all the water ways were frozen and it was too dark to helicopter in and get him, he spent seven hours with no shelter, and only the embers of his burned-down shelter keeping him warm … if warm means almost freezing to death. I could never, but I love it.