If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait for 2021 to arrive. I’m not the first to say this, but 2020 has been dismal. I’m not going to go through all the reasons why, but I know we’re all ready for 2021 and hopefully spring will see normal life return — at least a little bit. And I know the only way I’m going to get through the next few months is by staying home (recommended anyway) and spending some quality time on the couch, watching a glowing electronic screen. And I don’t want it to be my phone, either.
But what to watch? I want something that will make me laugh, I want something that is going to make me feel good, and I want something that will make me feel good about the rest of the world, too. I also prefer movies and television that are a little different than the typical mega-epic-blockbuster fare. Thankfully, the library has many options available, both on DVD (available for curbside pickup) and streaming (available through our Kanopy streaming service, as many as 10 free plays per month).
So I’ll be hunting for movies like “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” with Sam Neill as the outdoorsy, grumpy foster uncle of a defiant city kid. Set in New Zealand, it’s guaranteed to remind you of the importance of family. Or perhaps “Captain Fantastic,” a story of a dad homeschooling his children in the Pacific Northwest wilderness when tragedy forces them to encounter the outside world together — with comic and profound results. I might have to rewatch “The Farewell,” my favorite movie of 2019.
I also look to foreign films, something like the French film “My Afternoons with Marguerite,” with Gerard Depardieu, about the relationship between the village “idiot” and an elderly novelist. Along with the marvelous Catherine Denevue, Depardieu also stars in “Potiche,” a hilarious tale of a 1970s French housewife taking over her husband’s factory and discovering she’s much more competent than anyone ever knew.
Movies, though, don’t always provide the needed relief. Sometimes I need something a little longer, or more accurately shorter — with more of it. Which means it’s time to binge-watch some decent television. Luckily, the library just got in the multiple-Emmy Award winning “Schitt’s Creek,” a truly funny sitcom depicting the misadventures of the formerly wealthy Rose family. I’ll also pick up a season of “Bob’s Burgers,” quietly one of the best animated series ever, or “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” For biting social satire, I might get “Silicon Valley,” HBO’s excellent comedy, but then again, that might be too real for me right now.
Interested in any of these movies or TV series? Check them out in our online catalog, search.neill-lib.org. Once they’re ready for you, we’ll send you an email and you can pick them up curbside from 1-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Into streaming? Grab your library card and head to neill.kanopy.com. Using Kanopy, you can watch on your computer, phone, or stream to Roku, Chromecast or many other devices. However you watch, here’s to making it through the next few months together, and lots of rewarding screen time.
Dan Owens is the adult services librarian at Neill Public Library in Pullman.