Musings in the Dark: January 2021


TV & Me: Fargo

Noob put me on to Fargo some years back.  We’re anthology lovers, and she knew I’d like it.  Fargo, created by Noah Hawley, is inspired by the movie of the same name, and the Coen Brothers are executive producers.  Currently there are four seasons available, and I’m waiting for Season 4 to finish before I binge watch it. 

Each season tells a different story during a particular time period, in and around Minnesota, and there is a brand new cast each season.  There are some acting heavyweights lending their talents to the stories, such as Ewan McGregor, David Thewlis, Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

What I really like about the show is how things go from zero to 100 in as few episodes as possible, and once you pass that point, you’re addicted.  Or at least I was.  I await S4 with glee.

As always, I don’t want to say anymore.  It’s best that you check it out for yourself.  You can find Fargo on FX, but I’ve also seen it on Netflix and Amazon Prime.


TV and Me: P Valley

"Down in the valley where the girls get naked..." --Jucee Froot

P Valley (Pussy Valley), created by Katori Hall and airing on Starz, centers on the lives of the people who work at The Pynk, a strip club located on the Mississippi Delta.  The show stars Brandee Evans as Mercedes, the baddest dancer (with retirement plans) at The Pynk, Nicco Annan as Uncle Clifford, the ostentatious non-binary owner of The Pynk, and Elarica Johnson as Autumn Night, a woman with secrets who gets a job dancing at The Pynk.  

I love strippers and strip clubs, so when my bestie recommended this last summer, I was game.  I was all in halfway through episode one.  Nicco Annan’s Uncle Clifford is, as far as I’m concerned, the best character on the show.  They are honest, hilarious, vulnerable, and caring.  Uncle Clifford will do anything it takes to keep The Pynk functioning and they take care of their dancers.  Brandee Evans’ Mercedes is an absolute pole-dancing badass with mommy issues.  Personally, I find Autumn the least interesting character, but she is the audience’s entry into this world.

I don’t want to say any more, because P Valley is best when you go into it not knowing anything.  But definitely check it out.


TV and Me: Lovecraft Country

Maaan, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve done a TV post.  I’ve watched a lot of TV this past year because of Covid and want to share some of my favorite programs with you.  Feel free to share your faves in the comments section.

Last summer, my dear friend Noob put me on to the book Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.  She convinced me to give Audible a try (and I am still trying to train my brain to be receptive to audiobooks).  I got Lovecraft Country and used the length of time my trip took from the US to Dakar to listen to it.  It’s a good read.  

Last fall, HBO turned the book into a 10-episode TV show.  Misha Green is the executive producer and I feel that she did a wonderful job adapting Matt Ruff’s novel.  It was enjoyable to see a show with a mostly all-Black cast helmed by a sistah.  The show stars Jonathan Majors as Atticus Freeman, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Letitia Lewis, the awesome Courtney B. Vance (in a short role) as George Freeman, Aunjanue Ellis as Hippolyta Freeman, Michael K. Williams as Montrose Freeman, Abbey Lee as Christina Braithwhite, and Wunmi Mosaku as Ruby Baptiste.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so this will be brief: The show ties aspects of H.P. Lovecraft’s (a virulent racist) Cthulhu Mythos with racism in the US during the 1950s.  Atticus (called “Tic”) has returned home from Korea to go look for his missing father and gets pulled into a dark web of horror and magic and monsters instead.  Definitely worth a watch if you’re a horror aficionado like me and love seeing unambiguously Black actors on the small screen.  Also, Jonathan Majors is fine as wine and we get to see him shirtless quite a bit! (I see you, Misha!)


The Expat Diaries; Volume IV: Dakar, Senegal

In October of 2019, I accepted a job in Senegal.  I was not planning on moving to Africa, as I wanted to stay in Asia for a few more years.  I had my heart set on getting a job in Hong Kong, but I would have settled for Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, or Bangkok.  


Year End Wrap-Up

Well, what can I say?  2020 is definitely a year for the books.  Who knew that we’d end the year in the middle of a pandemic?  This year was crazy!

But, relatively speaking, was it a good year for me?  Yes. I’m alive and in good health and I’m now living and working in West Africa (I will talk more about this in another post).  My family and friends are all doing very well and I have not lost anyone to Covid.  I do know people who contracted it and people who have lost loved ones, and they confirm that it ain’t nothin’ to play with.  So I am truly, truly grateful that I am in good health, in spite of all the traveling I had to do last summer.