The Tottering Colossus

We beat feet from cable for our nightly television viewing about ten years ago – my, how the time flies when you are having fun. We went to various subscription services at a quarter the cost of the monthly cable bill. This came about when we realized that there were only a couple of channels or services provided by cable that we watched regularly; this last weekend, we racked our memories, trying to recall the last American broadcast TV program that we looked forward to and made a point of watching. (Castle, BTW, mostly because of Nathan Fillion … which had its last season in 2016.) We have lavished our screen-watching time ever since then on old, or foreign movies and series, of which there is a rich and entertaining selection – everything from Blackadder, to the original Upstairs, Downstairs (Great Britain), to things like A Place to Call Home, 800 Words and Brokenwood Mysteries (Australia/New Zealand). Currently, the evening watching for us is The Durrells (BBC, and only minimal traces of wokery), while Wee Jamie seems to be fascinated by Alien TV (Australian), Grimmy and the Lemings (Canadian/French) and Masha and the Bear (Russian.)

Neither of us have felt the urge to go to a movie theater to see a first-run movie in ages. The last one that I went to a theater to see was Dunkirk. I do know that the one-two punch of Barbie and Oppenheimer did boffo business at the box office, sort of reviving interest in seeing first-run movies at an actual theater, as did The Sound of Freedom … but neither of us felt a jolt of interest in venturing to a theater. Those other movies on tap at the multiplexes just seem … meh. Over-loud, over-larded with special editing effects, inept writing and stupid plots, remakes of animated features or comic books, uninteresting concepts, and the unending lectures on matters political, racial, and sexual, pounded in with all the subtlety of a fifty-pound sledgehammer. Added to that, the movie-going experience now costing a small fortune as well as being physically unpleasant, compared to staying at home and watching it on your own wide-screen TV, sitting on your own comfortable couch, breaking for a snack, meal or a potty break.

From what I have read in various middle to conservative websites and blogs (including this one) with an interest in contemporary culture, entertainment and media in general and the comment thread attached to those posts, I am not alone in a prolonged disengagement with our American entertainment industry. Dropping viewer numbers for award shows, collapsing box office receipts, major houses like Disney circling the drain, audiences fragmenting into smaller and smaller niche markets, to include games, Youtube videos and the like … the American entertainment colossus, which once bestrode the world, appears near collapse. The SAG-AFTRA strike hardly seems to have made a ripple, outside of those in the industry most concerned. The rest of us are watching … well, practically anything else.
What are you watching, and diverting yourself with, when it comes to television and movies?

Comment as you wish.

32 thoughts on “The Tottering Colossus”

  1. Dunkirk was likewise our last theater movie.

    I find that watching a movie or TV show alone is less satisfying, and coordinating schedules with my wife isn’t altogether trivial for anything more than about half an hour. In consequence, shorter documentaries are the rule around here–Drachinifel’s Youtube channel is a frequent choice (e.g. The K class – Lawn-darts of the sea?”) Music, history, mathematics, and how-to dominate my playlists.

    We don’t subscribe to any streaming services.

  2. The Chosen is the best scripted show I’ve seen in ages.
    Also enjoying Dark Winds; I read all of Tony Hillerman’s books back in the 90’s and I’m glad it was so long ago, because these aren’t his characters. Still, pretty good on its own merits, i.e., the charismatic stars and the great art direction (life on the Navajo reservation in the 1970’s – those cars!)
    After that it’s old movies and baseball. Some Hallmark movies, too. Like a warm bath they soothe the strung out nerves.

  3. I have an oddly similar experience with a different outcome.

    I used to go to the movies a lot- from at least monthly to multiple times monthly, for years. I stopped hard in the summer of 2017, exactly because I didn’t like the approach taken in one of the two Churchill movies that summer [the D-Day one] and although I did and do appreciate Dunkirk as a sort of art film on the theme of the battle, I have little respect for it as “war movie” or “historical drama”. Something in them, acting on larger trends in the air, made me think, suddenly and deeply, that neither movies nor the culture were for me anymore.

    I was, to be sure, also sick of proto-woke superhero movies, and superhero movies in general, and superheroes as a concept at all, and of action movies featuring putatively normal humans who were all-but superheroes, and movies in which children had all the answers and resources to solve epic problems, and movies in which women discovered as if for the first time that they were magic, and so on. And I’m still sick of those things.

    I DID go back twice in early 2022, for The Northman and for Top Gun, both of which were well worth it. But my former habit of going to see anything that looked good, or just going and seeing anything I might like, is gone, and I have never even recovered the habit of keep track of what might be coming out, even passively from tv commercials, and of course I no longer have the cinema chain’s magazine nor have seen recent trailers. I am unlikely to ever go back more than once or twice a year. I’ve also given up on Star Trek, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones, and I never picked up other now-ancient franchises that all featured Vin Diesel.

    I also stopped paying much attention to new TV shows of any genre, around the mid 2010s, and seem unable to recreate that habit. Even if by chance, I watch few if any shows younger than a decade or so.

    And yet, I’ve stuck with cable. Largely because, all of the above taken into account, I treat TV as my parents treated radio. As background noise. To be taken passively, at intervals while doing other things. Or as passive drone while reading. [Whereas listening to music is for me more often a conscious activity.]

    Paying for streaming services, given what for me is their alarming complexity and multiplicity and the unclarity of what shows are on which ones, would demand a level of engagement I am simply no longer willing to give TV. It means paying for more than one, curating what shows are on which service, and actively deciding to seek out and watch a given show. I don’t have that kind of time, energy or will for TV anymore.

    That to me actually fits best with my aforementioned disinterest in new shows and in watching any shows as a fully aware act. If I’m not interested in new network shows I could easily watch on a trial basis semi-passively, by just tuning in at the appointed time, why be interested in new shows on streaming services that I’d have to search for, pick the right service, and then actually consciously watch basically the whole series to make the endeavour worth it? And if two shows, likely two different services. Three shows, likely three services. By the fourth possible show of interest, maybe I’d get lucky and it’d be on one of the three I’d already signed up for.

    Streaming strikes me as much of the selection and curation challenge of buying a show on DVD, without actually owning it permanently.

    I knew a guy who ten years ago had a confusing setup I never quite understood, with an Apple TV box that brought in multiple streams plus he could access it through his MrMediaCenter software which awkwardly linked it to his DVD collection and so on, as well as to his cable feed. I knew then I would one day no longer know HOW to watch TV, and that time is soon to arrive. I did NOT then realize I would also by then have lost any interest in watching new shows, which kind of eliminates much of the problem.

    It’s remarkable, when I think back, that once I eagerly awaited magazines discussing the new shows of the coming season, worried my faves were cancelled, awaited the new season’s contents of any given show, and followed long running series and particular franchises.

    That’s pretty much all gone now. Even the old shows, which I do watch passively in reruns with pleasure, when a cable network shows them, I could do without if they were no longer aired and would likely not even subscribe to a stream to access them if I could. They’re not “on”, then they’re not “on.” So be it. I’ll watch CSI series, Cheers, Raymond, BBT, Castle, whatever, if they’re available. If not, then not. Though my attention is periodically caught by a series on a stream I might like to watch, meh. I’ll never actually see them and that’s fine. I still haven’t seen The Flight Attendant.

    Love and Death was actually picked up by a cable network here and I started to watch. Very quickly I decided meh. I just couldn’t be bothered, and not really because of the show itself. I couldn’t make the commitment to sit and pay attention.

    I suspect that if I DID pay attention the same thing would happen that I sometimes notice with network shows or with the movies- the content, manner, presentation, style are just not for me. I made it into my 40s and through decades of social and stylistic change represented through television, but I’ve hit some kind of wall. I saw decades of different styles and qualities of WW2 action and drama with pleasure, but the 21st century combination of psychodrama and artsy surrealism eludes me. Much the same applies to TV.

  4. I’ve started to discover older movies too, and YouTube. I still seem to have a shorter attention span than I used to, but they interest me more, despite the former being ancient and the latter newishfangled.

  5. And yet, I’ve stuck with cable. Largely because, all of the above taken into account, I treat TV as my parents treated radio. As background noise. To be taken passively, at intervals while doing other things. Or as passive drone while reading. [Whereas listening to music is for me more often a conscious activity.]

    My wife is the same with TV. Now it’s football season so she is in her glory spot. She loves college football. I like it but otherwise don’t watch TV. I have a whole library of DVDs of classics but my hearing is going and the DVD player does not have a good sound system.

  6. IIRC, I last saw a movie in a theatre 20 years ago. I stopped watching TV when the time came to change over to HDTV?. It didn’t seem worth the hassle, as by then my TV viewing had dwindled down to pro football and British comedies on PBS- and by then the Brit comedies were reruns for the umpteenth time.

    I periodically take out movie DVDs from the local library. I often take out Spanish language ones, which often point out to me that it’s a lot easier to understand face-to face conversation than to try to understand from a screen. I recently viewed a cartoon depiction of life in a camp in France for refugees from the Spanish Civil War. Most was in French, so I needed the subtitles. I am reminded of Tom Lehrer’s verse from The Folk Song Army:

    Remember the war against Franco?
    That’s the kind where each of us belongs
    Though he may have won all the battles
    We had all the good songs!

    The best art from the Spanish Civil War came from the losers. (The more I read about that war, the more I am glad that Franco won.)

  7. These are great stories, Someone like Lileks should collect them and make a book about how our viewing habits changed over the years.

    I don’t know what you had in your locale, but back in Phoenix during the 80s and 90s we had a phenomena called “discount cinemas.” Basically as the theater industry went through transformation with different layouts and technology, they ended up abandoning a number of older theaters. The discount cinema business model was predicated on showing movies in these older theaters using films that had finished their theater run but weren’t out on video yet. We called them “buck-fifties” because that’s what it cost for a ticket and yes there was a matinee price. The upshot wasn’t that you got to see the best movies of the year at a reduced price but that you would see movies you wouldn’t otherwise sconsider. I can’t tell you how many times we walked out of a buck-fifty, commented on how great it was, but then reminded ourselves that we would never have paid full price for it.

    Those cinemas are largely gone, but I know that at least few years ago there was one left in Tempe. I know families that use streaming for the same phenomena, but given we don’t do either streaming or cable we fall into Gringo’s camp and use the local library for DVDs. However there is method to selecting a movie, everyone gets a section of shelf and a short period of time (3 to 5 minutes) to pick their 1 movie. I have been surprised how many good movies we’ve seen using this method that we would never have seen otherwise,

    When I visit other households I am amazed by the choices available through streaming, I can understand why some people just binge watch and never get off the couch. I was visiting a family member last year who had multiple sports packages and we settled in on a Saturday night watching games I would never would have seen otherwise just for the sheer novelty. I mean Colorado-California?

  8. Honestly I feel in line with random observer and OP. I still miss the taste of movie popcorn and the big sodas that would send me rushing for the bathroom (and which alas I have had to swear off) with a good movie. Hell, the refreshments could make even tedious nonsense like the first Jurassic World movie somewhat tolerable (the fact that JW was a more benign form of nonsense helped).

    But even at the time I was sparing in what I went to, and I haven’t gone in to a theater in years. The aggressing politicization mixed with Wuhan Flu did it in. Dunkirk was Ok and the Northman was Excellent and Sound of Freedom is chillingly brilliant, but I can watch those at home without paying more to people who hate me and want to empower Brandon. Just not worth it. Maybe it never was? I wouldn’t go quite that far since memories are priceless, but ey.

    Also it is amazing what you can find hosted for free on Youtube, Odysee, and so on. A lot of good classics. But my choice of vice has always been video games and books, and that’s what I’ve leaned on more and more as time goes on.

  9. Mike
    I don’t know what you had in your locale, but back in Phoenix during the 80s and 90s we had a phenomena called “discount cinemas.”

    I remember the “discount cinemas.”
    I also watch some YouTube stuff, but my patience is tried after 5 minutes. There are a lot of interesting wild animal videos on YouTube.

    One point about using libraries for movie DVDs is that a lot of them are in Blu-Ray format, and I haven’t yet figured out the software to install to view Blu-Ray on my PC. And as Mike says, there are some pretty good movies available from a random shelf.

  10. Thanks for the tips! Among other stuff I’ve enjoyed watching:

    Old American movies with Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler, and Jean Harlow. Old German movies with Heinz Rühmann, Hans Moser and Karl Valentin.

    Series only occasionally but not unbearably infested with wokism: Justified, Peaky Blinders, Sons of Anarchy, The Man in the High Castle, Humans, Stranger Things

  11. One other thing I forgot that is worth checking out is going abroad as well as back. Japanese and South Korean movies or series have been mentioned a bunch of times as worthy substitutes to the woke in the West, and I agree with that. Especially since a number of them tend to get localized with either subtitles or dubs, depending on how one prefers.

    I’d also suggest Bollywood. It has more of a landmine than one might think (since there’s a surprising amount of Red sympathizing, including a few Naxalite works) but also some classics and just plain good popcorn. IB71 is decent for that Mission Impossible itch for instance. Poland’s got a much smaller movie market than the rest, but it can still turn out some knockouts. Andrzej Wajda (Katyn and Man of Iron in particular) and PaweÅ‚ Pawlikowski (Cold War) beat the tar out of almost any major studio work in the West.

    And for those times if you want absurdity or just want to turn your brain off, “Wakaliwood” and its stuff might be worth a try.

    I’ve heard a lot of people like Scandinavian now, especially with the explosion in Nordic Noir, but I’ve found most of their stuff to be too woke personally. “Flame and Citron” and “Sisu” are the ones I remember being exceptions, and the fact that they were WWII action pieces probably helped.

  12. Gringo,

    Apparently there is at least one discount cinema left in Phoenix, Pollack Tempe Cinemas in Tempe! ( Michael Pollack is the mogul of East Valley strip malls and he kept this particular cinema open as a community measure. I was last there about 5 years ago and it was hopping.

    $3.50 a ticket…. which is about what it was inflation-adjusted in 1991. If you check the line-up you do have some recent releases and some from a good 30 years ago, not bad at all, Take a family of 4 to a movie for $14.

    The man is a legend

  13. Hans (from Australia) –
    The wife and I like to visit the local library which has a brilliant collection of DVD’s – movies from all years, TV series that we missed when first shown, foreign stuff we’re glad to discover.
    It’s all FREE, and it’s bloody fantastic :)
    Currently we are watching a Canadian series, ‘Murdoch Mysteries’, which is excellent.
    There’s so much to see, and the reason to go out to movies or watch pay-to-see stuff seems to have evaporated….

  14. I like the Criterion Channel for an astonishingly broad ranges of movies both old and relatively new. All the way from a collection of movies they characterize as “High School Horror”, to movies they characterize as “Noir by Gaslight”, to “Two Films by Masashi Yamamoto” (who?) and collections of other directors from John Huston to Roger Corman.

  15. Part of my problem is that the cable here in Tucson has most shows that I am not interested. For example, no TCM. We could change to another package but my wife likes only “The Price is Right” and college football. I haven’t figured out how to arrange that combination. And, of course, Comcast is the most hated corporation on earth and we know why.

  16. “And, of course, Comcast is the most hated corporation on earth and we know why.”

    Because Comcast owns “The pipes AND the content”. In my deregulated state, the electric company only owns the pipes. The consumer can choose/buy any content/electricity(green,neopagan,voodoo,magic) provider

  17. I can’t remember the last movie I went to. It must have been a decade back and entirely unremarkable.

    Culturally we are wallowing in a stagnant pool. The Muzak you hear piped in from various sources is often from the 1960’s. And as for “movies”…..

    We have the technology to in theory produce a thousand short features a day and probably a hundred feature length productions a week. Cameras, editing software even – for good and ill – graphics software mean a dedicated group of amateurs or part timers can make at least B grade stuff at home.

    But they can’t get paid for it and the number who do this out of the love of the art, and with a high tolerance of Ramen noodles, is small.

    New ideas have always been suspect but now they are shunned. Big Studios try to make Big Money with Reboots, Reimaginings, Recycles. Weirdly a lot of it is in the Super Hero genre which goes back to comic books.

    Sometimes they make money. Sometimes they flop and make less.

    But the actual creative process is dead outside the Ramen Noodle Amateurs. My pet peeve of late is the tendency to assume its just necessary to: Phase One, tell the same story with actors of color. Phase Two, tell it again with genders switched. Phase Three, make everyone gay.

  18. I was burned out on TV by the time I graduated from high school. I could say a reasonable facsimile of the actress/actor’s next line before they said it. I think the last movie I saw was the Titanic movie, mainly because the wife really wanted to see it. Interesting side note on that: there was a preview for some movie where a large chuck of space debris hits Earth, and my wife said she wouldn’t want to see that because it’s a disaster movie. Me: ?????
    For entertainment I used to read a lot. I have added a bit of anime recently, but don’t know how long that will hold my interest.

  19. “….wife said she wouldn’t want to see that because it’s a disaster movie. Me: ?????”


    It’s amazing how men and women see the same things in completely different ways

    The Titanic Movie:

    Men see it as a disaster movie

    Women see it is a romance

    Me? I see it as movie about public health because it shows why men end up having a lower life expectancy than women.

  20. David, that blink was very interesting. As I posted above, the only TV we watch is my wife’s choice of “The Price is Right” and college football. I used to watch Tucker on Fox but now, of course, my interest in one hour of Fox is gone. I wonder about Direct TV,. When I was living in New Hampshire for a year, I got a satellite dish and watched the OJ Simpson trial. I tried DTV for a while living in the mountains but snow ruined that. I wonder if they have a better program deal ?

  21. Mike – maybe it is a result my bad upbringing(old school America), but I think love should be a life affirming thing. To mix old and new, if gals go squee when the male romantic lead gets bumped off there has to be a serious hitch in their git-along.

  22. I’ve thought for a long time that “Titanic” was a huge disaster for Hollywood. My first thought when I heard that the production was well above $100.000.000 that they were about to prove that they could spend more on a movie than they could possibly make back. Boy was I wrong.

    If the people that run the studios could produce hits at will, this would be a matter of spending money to make money. Instead it seems pretty clear that their batting average isn’t demonstrably better than random chance. In the mean time, that historic production budget now seems frugal, but that sort of mega-hit has remained rare while mega-flops are becoming more common. Remember, promotion costs, usually 50-67% of production, is added to production and is all spent before they even know if anyone will come to see the movie.

    Thus the franchises, sequels, universes, etc. etc., and etc. All because they are supposed to guarantee an audience. Disney is in the process of finding out that there aren’t any guarantees in life.

    Streaming is pursuing the same dead end. I looked, and see that “Yellowstone” is supposed to cost 13 million an episode. I remember reading that some new show is gong to cost 53 million each. Considering that as far as I’ve heard, all the streaming platforms are operating below break even, this is certifiably insane.

    Movies are not only competing with each other, they are competing against every movie and television program ever made and now a huge amount of content from YouTube etc. Maybe they can spend enough money to buy an audience, I’m betting not.

  23. @MCS

    Have to agree with you and the general consensus that movies are rotting. I think this also ties into Tacitus’s point about the stagnation of culture. Honestly, I’d say that the movie industries as a whole need more Roger Cormans. Accomplished workaday directors and visionaries that can absolutely churn out low-to-mid-budget, workable product with an acceptable hit rate. Nothing ventured nothing gained, but the blockbuster mania has reached the point where it’s in “everything ventured” territory consistently, and that was always a bad idea. It’s particularly bad now where the risks of “Nothing Gained” are increasing.

    If they were wise they’d make less Avatars and more “Paul Blart”s, with the understanding that the latter are used to pad out the costs for not just the latter ones that fail but also the former, big blockbuster projects. But we’re not likely to see that.

  24. I haven’t been in a theater in years; the last movie I saw in a theater was Act of Valor because I thought it probably needed the Big Screen to get full impact. I’d like to see Oppenheimer but I refuse to put up with theater slobs who won’t shut up or leave their phones alone. I’ll wait for the DVD. Given current theater prices, it’s usually only a few dollars more for the Blu Ray, and it’s worth at least that for the ability to avoid the theater slobs. I can always sell the disk to the local used bookstore if I don’t want to keep it, can’t do that with a used theater ticket.

    As my hearing has deteriorated I favor closed captioning, and liberal use of the rewind button, so DVDs, especially BluRay, gets the nod. I don’t have cable or satellite, broadcast TV is orders of magnitude worse than absolute crap, and my TV sometimes goes a month without being turned on.

    Streaming? I’ll occasionally buy a month of Prime, or “Crapflix” if there’s a mini series release I want to see (did that with season 2 of The Lincoln Lawyer, it was a disappointment so if there’s a season 3 I’ll pass. I am waiting for season 2 of Bosch Legacy on FreeVee, but I don’t need Prime for that, and I burned out on Yellowstone halfway through season 2 – I didn’t see any of it until almost the end of season 4 and library DVD’s were available for the earlier seasons, it’s just a 1080p version of “Dallas” with cattle instead of oil).

    So what do I fill the time with? Books. Lots and lots of books. When I was working I had to absorb 10-20 hours/week of technical publications, now I read what I want to read, everything from “brain candy” novels, to Homer (re-read The Odyssey last month, hadn’t read it since high school) to civil war histories, biographies, cookbooks, how-to, you name it. Between the public library – mine does a terrific job with inter-library loans – to PDFs on AlGore’s Intertubes to several online used bookstores (I can buy “acceptable” used online for $4-7 and sell them for about half that to a used bookstore in town, a small tax to pay for access to zillions of books), there’s more available to read than I’ll have lifetime remaining to read them.

  25. Last movie in the theatre was “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood”. I don’t like the rewriting history aspect of Tarantino, but he does make great movies.

    Just started the new season of “Dark Winds”. Recommended.

    A big recommendation for a CBC series that is being rebroadcast on (of all places) the CW: it’s called “Moonshine”.

    Just finished “The Great”. Once you realize that it is like a Shakespearean comedy where anything goes, the show is a riot.

    No one has mentioned some others for which we are waiting for new seasons: “Resident Alien”, and “Outer Range”. And while I like “Yellowstone” and “1923”, “1883” really stood out.

  26. I watched “Barbie” in a movie theater. That was a week ago and I barely remember what it was about, except that it was visually stimulating, there were a few good jokes, and the plot was stupid. The best part was when the Kens took over Barbieland and briefly transformed it into a place that a normal person might actually enjoy visiting. (Caveat: I don’t get the references to horses, which I had thought are more a girl thing.) The worst part was the sermonizing and the allusions to boneheaded feminist tropes – the Board of Directors is a bunch of clueless white guys who don’t understand women! women have difficult lives and are expected to do everything! etc. The feminist lectures come across like the multi-paragraph legal disclosures you have to listen to when you apply for a credit card over the phone. And all for only $40 for two tickets (we smuggled in our own refreshments).

    There is good content on Netflix and Prime but you have to seek it out. The Netflix selection algorithm makes everything worse by overemphasizing movies that have the same actors as the last films you watched, and ignoring themes. Some of the series are good – I liked “The Crown”, though it’s obvious the writers take massive factual liberties. They probably made a lot of it up, and it’s easy to allow yourself to be fooled because the sets and characters appear authentic. There is a lot of left-wing agitprop in the form of documentaries and dramatic movies and series about politics and government, but what else is new. The many movies about driven neurotic chefs get old after a while. One of my favorites is the Prime series “It’s Me or the Dog”, where the ultimate source of most dog training problems is usually the dogs’ nutty owners, and the skilled trainer uses sound behavior-modification techniques to bring pets and their owners into line.

    The best technique I have found for finding reasonable movies to watch is to use the in-suite movie guide put out by the retirement community where a relative of mine lives. Let someone else do the time-consuming work of selection and filtering.

  27. There are some excellent productions from other countries, provided one is ok with subtitles. The Korean version of the series “City Hunter”, for example. And the Korean comedy/fantasy movie “Miss Grannie” is good. Japanese anime has some real high points, like “Mushishi” and “Darker Than Black”. Some Japanese movies too are well worthwhile, like the thought-provoking comedy “The Apology King”, and the tear-jerker “If Cats Disappeared From The World”. China is making some first class TV serials, like the crime drama “Reborn” and the sci-fi “Three Body”.

    The problem is — there are many movies and series produced around the world, but there are relatively few that are really worth watching. It does not matter what country we are talking about — US, or anywhere else.

  28. I liked Ford v Ferrari. Entertaining, and somewhat close to the actual.

    Before that, was a twofer, scifi, free for a couple pizza box labels(or something). World War Z and whatever was out with it at the same time. First ‘In Theater Movie’ for me in 20 years.
    Sounds(unexpected) made me JUMP. Good old escapism for a good half a day. Fun.
    I think that would be a 2018-2019 timeframe.

  29. Hello Sarge – a great topic. I cut my decades-long ties with cable TV in January for Roku streaming service.
    And I, too, expanded my consumption to foreign production, mostly British, but also from other European countries.
    Since added more streaming channels: Acorn; MGM+, Walter Presents, Tubi, Newsmax.
    Some Scandinavian and Spanish series are surprisingly good (and woke-minimal). French and German are woke-toxic collectivist righteousness-contest, abs. disgusting. Italian tend to be more human, but also more sickly-sweet sentimental. My first filter when choosing: nothing that was shot during the last 3 years.

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