But I do agree with John about one thing: There’s a major upside to the ongoing delays and shutdowns in Hollywood. With the tide of new content rolling in much more slowly, my wife and I finally have the opportunity to catch up on all the movies and TV shows we’ve let slip by in the past few years. And we’re both finding that—having missed the zeitgeist and the flurry of
conversations surrounding these releases when they were new—we’re able to enjoy this content on our own terms, at our own pace.
We’ve recently, for example, started digging into The Witcher, the Netflix adaptation of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s folklore-inspired fantasy series. As the credits rolled on the first episode, my wife turned to me and exclaimed, “Why did we wait so long to watch this?”
Well, our daughter was in town the week it dropped last year, and then there was Christmas, and by the time New Year’s celebrations settled down and we had time to sit down for some new entertainment, the sixth season of Grace and Frankie was out, and . . . look, there’s only so much time in the day and only so many days in a week. We forgot about one squirrel and started chasing a newer one.
Am I a little sad that the release of Marvel’s Black Widow, originally slated for May 2020, got pushed back indefinitely? Absolutely. In an alternate universe, my wife would be queuing it up on our Kaleidescape Strato tonight. Instead, I think we’ll give Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir a spin, since it didn’t even make a blip on our radar when it was released last year (to be fair, an unusually exceptional year for new cinema). Or maybe we’ll finish watching the amazing Imagineering Story on Disney+, which we somehow managed to forget about after four episodes.
I’ve also been itching to sit my wife down in front of Toshiya Fujita’s Lady Snowblood and Akira Kurosawa’s Kumonosu-jō (aka Throne of Blood) for years now, but there just never
seems to be the time. There’s always something new, something shiny, something tempting right over the horizon. And while few of these baubles ever truly measure up to the classics we’ve been meaning to watch or re-watch, they always seem to somehow find their way to the front of the line.
So, while I hope that Denis Villeneuve’s Dune manages to make its December 2020 target release date, and while I’ll certainly watch Wonder Woman 1984 the minute I can get my nerdy front paws on it, I’m kind of OK with the fact that the torrent of new releases has been reduced to a trickle. I’m not happy about the fact that so many creative types are out of work at the moment, mind you. But I’m glad I finally have the time to dig a little deeper into the home entertainment back catalog, the surface of which I only manage to scratch in any given year.
Dennis Burger is an avid Star Wars scholar, Tolkien fanatic, and Corvette enthusiast
who somehow also manages to find time for technological passions including high-
end audio, home automation, and video gaming. He lives in the armpit of Alabama with
his wife Bethany and their four-legged child Bruno, a 75-pound American Staffordshire
Terrier who thinks he’s a Pomeranian.