In the mood for a quirky comedy? Netflix' favorite female odd couple, Grace & Frankie, returns to the streaming service March 24th. For those of you who haven't discovered the quirky Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin series it may be one for your watch list.
Remember when you watched Downton Abbey and thought, "Hey, I wonder what Lady Mary would look like as a meth addict."
Yeah, me neither.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be...unless it's streaming on Netflix. Then, there's a good chance it's everything you remember and a whole lot more. Coming November 25th, you'll be able to judge for yourself when it releases Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
Have you ever seen a movie and thought, "I wish I could've been there when they filmed that..." C'mon, wouldn't you have loved seeing Spielberg shoot the face-melting-Nazi scene in Raiders of the Lost Arc...or been a fly on the wall during Meg Ryan's infamous, I'll-have-what-she's-having shot in When Harry Met Sally.
Actor Alec Baldwin is one of those performers you either love or hate. Some people just love to hate him. Me? I love his podcast, Here's the Thing, and I'll let y'all sort out the rest of it for yourselves.
If you enjoy crime dramas (think Goodfellas, the Godfather trilogy and The Wire) then I've got a binge watching bonanza for you. Narcos, the Golden Globe-nominated series from Netflix will be streaming Season 2 Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 2).
Now that summer is on us (around here it's on us like a wet blanket drying in the sun) I'm switching over to lighter libations for cocktail hour. My go-to summer drink is something Charlotte and I discovered in Italy: Aperol Spritz.
Charlotte and I have been in love with LA (Lower Alabama) for more than a decade. The laid back lifestyle, sugar-white sandy beaches, golf courses, great food and (yes, shopping) have kept us entertained for weeks on end.
Now there's another reason to visit: Beer.
It's been 52 years since a major film studio made a movie about the legendary Hank Williams. If you saw George Hamilton (no joke) in the original back in 1964, it can only mean one of two things: 1) The 60's didn't kill you, or 2) You REALLY like Hank Williams. I fall into category #2.
I love war movies. As a kid I grew up watching John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Humphrey Bogart fight in the Pacific, Germany and Japan. The movies were black and white and so were the ethics. That's not true today.
If you're a fan of period dramas (think Mad Men) that are binge-watch-worthy I have one you need to check out: Narcos. It's set in the late '70's and details the life and (many) deaths surrounding Columbian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.
Let's just get this out in the open. Robert DeNiro is a national treasure who gets better with age. And what better way to celebrate his DeNiro-ness than his latest film, Dirty Grandpa. A movie that tosses out his tough guy image and replaces it with a sexy curmudgeon.
C'mon...what's not to like?
OK, I am officially ready to get my Claus on. Christmas is coming early this year thanks to Bill Murray and Netflix.
Lemme 'splain. In a stroke of brilliance, Netflix conned kidnaped convinced Bill Murray to star in an all-star musically-driven holiday special, A Very Murray Christmas.
I've been a fan of Aziz Ansari since his days on Amy Poehler's Parks & Recreation. His Tom Haverford character was easily one of the most memorable (OK, I liked the imitable Ron Swanson, too) on the sitcom and his standup (Buried Alive and Live at Madison Square Garden) is gut-busting funny.
I'm a recent convert to the world of Beck, thanks to our son and MUSIC SHERPA, Cole. Beck Hansen's sound is an eclectic fusion of indie, pop, rock with a touch of jazz. And it's damn near impossible to turn him off after you start playing his music.
This guy is audio Fritos. You can't listen to one song without wanting more.
When Charlotte and I aren't hip-deep in period dramas (Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge) we love a good crime story. Film Noir is my favorite genre (anybody up for Maltese Falcon, Diabolique or Elevator to the Gallows?) so we're always on the lookout for a new movie or series to scratch that itch.
Over the summer we hit the jackpot, by finding two gritty noir-ish series that satisfied our cravings. First we got hooked on the Netflix original series Bloodline. Then, we capped off our summer with the terrific Rectify from The Sundance Channel.
The new favorite pastime here at Boomer Brief HQ is binge-watching. We've discovered and rediscovered so many series and movies through the miracle of Netflix that watching episodic TV seems so...so...2014.
Our recent discovery is Mr. Selfridge, a British TV drama about Harry Gordon Selfridge and his department store, Selfridge & Co. The story kicks off in 1908 during a time when women were enjoying an ever-increasing amount of freedom and the world was rapidly changing.
The good folks at the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas have come to their collective beer-making senses. Now, for a limited time (sounds kinda like a Toyota commercial don't it?) they're selling our beloved Prickly Pear Lager in six-packs and cases.
You're welcome 'Merica.
There's so much content (and I'm not just talking about Kim Kardashian nudes) on the internet that it's hard to find the nuggets that are worth your time. Some days I feel like a digital prospector panning for online gold.
When Charlotte and I go to NYC to visit our Big City son, one of our favorite stops is the Brooklyn Flea In Fort Greene. It's a smaller, urban version of Canton First Monday Trade Days and there's always something that'll catch your eye.
Charlotte found the perfect pair of Justin cowboy boots (Size 5...yes, I'm serious) in this outdoor bazaar and I'm always looking for something to eat or drink (walking makes me hungry). They're usually three-deep at the counter for Dough (artisanal handcrafted doughnuts) and just the sight of the lobster roll at the Red Hook Lobster Pound makes my mouth water.
St. Vincent is one of the best movies of 2014 you probably overlooked. It's a great curmudgeon comedy/drama with a terrific cast and a not-so-preachy feel-good message.
Bill Murray (America's film treasure) is Vincent, a Viet Nam vet whose life choices have left him without much of a life. That is, until Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver move in next door. Maggie's a single mom trying to make ends meet without unraveling the fragile ties that bind her and her family together.
One of the best things about getting older is that you get to say things like "They don't make music like THAT anymore!" And since we're Baby Boomers and saw everyone from Jimi Hendrix to the still-touring Rolling Stones - we're usually right.
When it comes to podcasts, I'm a late bloomer. It's not that I didn't know they existed, there's just so much freakin' content on the web that I've never taken the time to check them out.
Netflix continues to raise the bar for streaming content and original series. Charlotte and I fell hard for House of Cards when it debuted and (OK, just me) I love BoJack Horseman and Orange is the New Black. The only problem with success is that people expect you to keep topping yourself.
We've been sheltering in place here at the Boomer Brief bunker during the past couple of weeks. The weather's been so cold **how cold is it?** that we've actually had to turn on the fireplace. Tweet your messages of sympathy to us at #thesepeoplearecrazy.
We all have our favorite holiday movies we watch this time of year. Sure, there are the classics (Miracle on 34th Street, I'm pointing my finger at you) but there's a treasure trove of underappreciated gems that'll get you in the spirit of the season. Here are 4 Charlotte and I will be watching between now and New Year's Eve.
Kristen Wiig is an actress plenty of people can either take or leave. You might have loved her in Bridesmaids and hated her in her many character roles on Saturday Night Live. Regardless of your feelings, one thing you can say is she's a formidable comedy talent.
The problem with the blockbuster movie business is that there are a lot of terrific films that don't have the marketing budget of say, Iron Man 7 so they go unnoticed. That's why it's a delight to run across an independent film as beautiful and haunting as Ain't Them Bodies Saints.
Netflix has had a string of hits with its original productions. I love Orange is the New Black and Charlotte and I can't wait to binge-watch the next season of House of Cards. But when Netflix announced its latest series would be animated, I balked.
I discovered a new cocktail when Charlotte and I were in Italy: Aperol Spritz. I'd never heard of Aperol until we were in Europe, but it's the most popular liquor you've never heard of.
Charlotte and I had a wonderful dinner with Francis Ford Coppola winemaker Corey Beck a while back. Corey showed off a few of his favorite Coppola wines - all retailing under $20. Just as the evening was winding down, he stepped it up a notch and poured what may be the best mid-priced cabernet I've ever had: Coppola's Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you're ready for an edge-of-your seat suspense movie, then put Prisoners at the top of your list. This film noir-ish drama features a superb cast, deliciously deranged plot and more twists and turns than your last rollercoaster ride.
Netflix' new original series, Orange is the New Black, returns June 6 for another 13 episodes. The edgy drama features brief nudity, language and adult situations. If these things bother you, then I'd stick to Inuit Pawn Stars on The History Channel or House Hunters Intergalactic on HGTV.
Our son Cole is our music Sherpa. He guides us up through the dreck and dross of pop culture by introducing us to new artists we'd never find on our own. Our most recent mountain-top experience came by way of Charlotte's birthday (yes, she's finally 30, so stop the jokes about me robbing the cradle) when he gave her the new album from Courtney Barnett.
If you're late to the Mad Men party like I was to House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, then it's time to catch up. Season 7 of this Emmy-winning series kicks off for its final season April 13th on AMC.
I know that many of you have been fans of singer/songwriter John Hiatt for a long time. I'm a new convert to the certifiable American legend, thanks to "discovering" him through Pandora.
We usually tell you about things we looove in this column. This is not one of those times. Today I'm outing a couple of real stinkers masquerading as great entertainment so you can hopefully avoid them and not repeat our mistakes.
House of Cards, Netflix' entry into original programming, is a terrific indie drama I overlooked when it debuted over a year ago.
I Give It A Year is a great indie comedy you've never seen featuring actors you see all the time. It's one of those how-did-I-miss-this-one films you'll be telling your friends about -- and they'll be glad you did.
I have a long-standing belief that if I live long enough, everything I once thought was "Hip" will come back around - wide ties, bell bottoms, psychedelic music...my old Ford Pinto. Well, with the exception of the Pinto, I'm actually right. Old IS new, especially when you're talking music.
Life by Keith Richards is an amazing tell-all by the man who saw it all, lived it all (barely) and wrote it all down. The 576-page celebrity memoir is a compelling behind-the-scenes look at Richards - his lives (he's had more than a 100 cats,) loves (ditto) and of course, The Rolling Stones.
Charlotte and I are BIG Netflix fans - streaming and instant. But, sometimes we'll put movies into our DVD queue and forget about them until they show up at our home like an unwelcome guest. This happened to us recently when Mud appeared in our Colleywood mailbox.
There are times I run across a song I just can't get out of my head (that's great, because it gives the voices a rest). The other night, I stumbled across From a Window Seat by the alt-indie band Dawes and it's been on replay in my head and car ever since.
Netflix' new original series, Orange is the New Black, is more than just another edgy drama. It's a shot across the bow of traditional network and cable TV, because it's only available to Netflix subscribers (all 33 million of us).
Charlotte and I had a wonderful dinner with Francis Ford Coppola winemaker Corey Beck earlier this year. Corey showed off a few of his favorite Coppola wines - all retailing under $20. Just as the evening was winding down, he stepped it up a notch and poured what may be the best mid-priced cabernet I've ever had: Coppola's Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you want a lesson in survival you don't have to look any further than country/rock/blues icon Leon Russell.
I've never had a beer where I needed to watch out for the thorns...until I tried Shiner Prickly Pear Lager. OK, I'm kidding. There aren't any stickers, but this seasonal beer from the folks at the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas is definitely different.
I used to think I knew a lot about music until the birth of our son, Cole. This kid came out of the womb with an encyclopedic knowledge of every musical genre from Robert Johnson to Daft Punk. I gotta confess it's 50% intimidating / 50% enlightening. But, it's also damn cool when he turns me on to a new performer like Father John Misty.
Reality TV series may ultimately be the death of prime time television, but they're also prime targets for snark-filled satire. Which is a good thing.
I've been a fan of singer-songwriter Jose Feliciano since the '60s. His rich, powerful voice, flawless guitar skills and Latin-influenced rhythms make him the Godfather of brown-eyed soul. There's nobody like him. Or is there?
In the 1970s, I went through a phase. Back then, just about the only music I listened to was the guitar-heavy sounds of Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds...and wait for it...America.
Thanks to Pandora, Charlotte and I have been revisiting our faded playlists and discovering some overlooked gems. We recently found Toad the Wet Sprocket, a 90's alternative rock band with several hits including Walk on the Ocean, All I Want, and Something's Always Wrong.
Like many Boomers, I have a concert bucket list. I've been fortunate enough to live long enough to see many of my favorite performers live in concert (Dylan, CSNY, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, etc.) but there are a few names I haven't checked off my list. Notable among these remaining scratch-offs is Diana Krall. Charlotte and I will remedy THAT little oversight this May when she blows through Dallas/Fort Worth with her 2013 tour.
Many of our favorite recipes are ones we grew up eating like this divine Pecan Pie. Bob's grandmother, Norma Crawford, often made it when he was a boy living in Granbury, TX.