Hey, it’s a new month! So here we are with a new Enthusiasm List. And, to be honest, November is kind of a slow month. Even thought it’s a sweeps month, there are precious few premieres that have me excited. It feels like 2018 was king of frontloaded in terms of entertainment. So it’s going to be a shorter list this time, but there are still some swell things coming.
The Thrilling Adventure Hour Treasury – This actually premiered earlier this week, but it was announced too late to make October’s list. And since it’s an ongoing series, I feel like I can bring it up know. Basically, The Thrilling Adventure Hour was a live show presented as an old-time radio show and then aired as a podcast. Genre comedies like Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars, Beyond Belief, Captain Laserbeam, and Amelia Earhart: Fearless Flier among others were absolute delights and the cast included wonderful folks like Paul F. Tompkins, Paget Brewster, Marc Evan Jackson, Janet Varney, Craig Cackowski, and many more. It was my favorite and a few years ago, creators Ben Acker and Ben Blacker ended the show. And now it’s back with two episodes a month. From what I can tell, it’s one all new show with three segments, presented like the original but recorded in a studio, and one rare archived installment not previously available. The first new episode, which brought back Sparks and introduced two new segments was great and hilarious, and I’m so glad they’re back. Also, if you support their Patreon for $5 a month, you get access to all of the past installments from the original run. Even though I have every episode, I’m still paying in because they’re good people and they deserve it.
The Green Lantern (November 7) – I haven’t paid attention to Green Lantern since DC’s 2011 reboot. I know we’re up to seven Green Lanterns on Earth and a huge number of individual titles to buy. Well, there’s a relaunch with a new number one, putting the focus on Hal Jordan and his role as a space cop. And it’s written by Grant Morrison (with art by Liam Sharp). Morrison is kind of my guy and I’m here for whatever new project comes along, so this is the most excited I’ve been about Green Lantern since I was a kid and there was that issue with the cover where the boy exploded in the vacuum of space. Morrison’s committed to 12 issues, but he’s known for long runs and he just might be the guy to restore Hal to prominence. And man, there’s just something about that “The” in the title that feels weird and offputting. It’s a little tweak but it’s so effective. (DC Comics)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (November 16) – This Netflix series was intended to be the Coen Brothers’ first TV show (not counting Fargo, which they don’t actually work on), and then they retooled it into a movie but it’s still on Netflix and still has an anthology format. So it’s basically a long movie broken up into separate stories and they’ve taken themselves out of Emmy consideration by calling it a movie. Regardless, it’s a Western connected by the singing cowboy lead character, played by Tim Blake Nelson. The cast includes Tom Waits(!), Liam Neeson, and Zoe Kazan and I’m sold on the Coens, but come on. Let it be a TV series instead of a long-ass movie. That feels snobby to me and I don’t like that. (Netflix)
Widows (November 16) – This looks so rad. Steve McQueen’s new movie follows a group of women who attempt a heist after their husbands are killed botching a similar job. The trailer looks amazing and the cast is just ridiculous, including Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo (who killed it in Bad Times at the El Royale) as the titular widows and then two of my favorite actors, Carrie Coon and Garrett Dillahunt. This cast could make a Zack Snyder movie and I’d be geeked about it.
The Little Drummer Girl (November 19) – Remember how good The Night Manager was? AMC does, and so they’re doing another miniseries adapting a John Le Carre novel. This one’s about an Israeli spy who enlists an actress to help hunt down a terrorist. Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy) directs the whole thing and Michael Shannon is in it and they had me from word one. (AMC)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (November 21) – I have a real soft spot for Wreck-It Ralph, even if there’s too much candy and not enough video game. I’m looking forward to seeing the characters again, but I’m a little worried because, man, this really just looks like an ad for Disney properties. Reuniting all the princesses is a neat idea with a lot of potential, but a lot of the trailer looks like Ready Player One pandering and I don’t need Ralph to remind me that I like Iron Man. Hopefully there’s more to it than that.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (November 22) – A new batch of six episodes hits Netflix! I may have small objections to the relaunch (The ‘bots are way too mobile now! That’s really my only objection.) but the first season was great fun in the classic MST3K vein and I will watch new episodes until my eyes fall out. Rumor has it the new episodes will address why the ‘bots are still in the SOL if they went to Earth with Mike at the end of the original series. This is not something that should bother anybody, but it bothers me. (Netflix)
Anything you’re excited about? I mean, besides Cranksgiving. That’s always a high point.