Overzealous Recycling 015: Wanting to change vs. wishing to stay the same

I don’t do very well with catch-up projects on TV shows and movies. Oh, I’ll binge through a bunch of episodes if I’m behind on a show. I just finished off the last five episodes of Manifest last week, after NBC renewed it. (That reminds me: Renew The Rookie any time now, ABC.) Up next are Doom Patrol, Arrow and The Flash.

— If you missed the last Overzealous Recycling, you can read it here 

But when it comes to catching up for a refresher, I’m not often successful. For instance, I didn’t rewatch the previous seven seasons of Game of Thrones before Season 8 began. And I won’t have watched all of the Marvel movies again — not even the three Avengers films — before seeing Avengers: Endgame this week.

There are too many TV shows and movies that I haven’t watched to devote that time to stuff I’ve already seen. Killing Eve, for instance. Star Trek: Discovery. The second seasons of Westworld, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. There’s that new Ultraman series on Netflix. That reminds me, I also haven’t watched Season 3 of Queer Eye. There are so many more. Oh, and the show I’m probably most embarrassed never to have watched: Breaking Bad. Yeah, that’s right.

However, I will rewatch the three seasons of Deadwood before its revival movie premieres on HBO May 31. It’s one of my favorite TV shows, probably in the top three. (Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire are the other two. Seinfeld, ER, and Mad Men are probably in the mix, though. This will have to be a future blog post or podcast.)

Yes, I’m aware that this is the second time I’ve written about Deadwood in my past four newsletters. I love the show that much. Or I forgot, which would be the far bigger issue.

I even once wrote a Deadwood blog, Requiems For a Gleet. Well, eight total posts were written, so “blog” might be pushing it. But it did get a little notice in the Deadwood fan community. I originally intended it as a way for my friend A. and I to talk about the show. Had the series gone on longer or my sports blogging career hadn’t developed, maybe it would’ve become something more. Hell, I’m just glad it’s still around to link to, unlike some of my other writing.

As this newsletter goes out, I have five weeks to watch three seasons or 36 episodes. That seems easily attainable, essentially one episode per day. I’m eager to reunite with Al Swearengen and Seth Bullock, along with so many other residents of Deadwood, South Dakota, and the delightfully profane language that colored their dialogue.

Unfortunately, Deadwood‘s return comes with a bittersweet note. Series creator and renowned TV writer David Milch revealed in an interview with Vulture’s Matt Zoller Seitz that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a year ago. Milch’s concessions to health and resulting changes to his work methods — especially frequent, last-minute rewrites — may have made HBO more agreeable to do a Deadwood movie.

Toward the end of the piece, Milch is quoted as saying, “I hope you remember it. I hope you tell people about it.” He’s not talking about Deadwood, his work, or himself, but he could be. The Vulture piece mentions that he’s working on an autobiography. Milch has struggled with a gambling addiction that wiped out most of the fortune he made from his television success and left him in significant debt. Hopefully, the Deadwood movie is a much-deserved victory lap for a staggering talent.

Please subscribe to Overzealous Recycling at tinyletter.com/casselberry. (Although I think the final product here at the Casselbloggy is better with embedded videos and so forth.) Thank you for letting me in your inbox.

** The actors who play the Avengers rightfully receive a lot of attention for the career boost and redefinition playing superheroes has provided. But that applies to directors Joe and Anthony Russo too. The Russos were considered TV directors (Community, Arrested Development) before taking on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which rocketed them to being behind the camera for Marvel’s biggest team-up blockbuster. What will they do next? [Esquire]

Joe Russo is also a fellow Iowa Hawkeye, which I thought was worth mentioning. He went back to Iowa City for a lecture last year after the release of Infinity War. (By the way, David Milch also attended the University of Iowa.)

** Did you know the White House Correspondents Dinner was this weekend? Maybe not, since a comedian wasn’t the keynote speaker. The WHCD significantly overreacted after Michelle Wolf’s performance last year and chose presidential historian Ron Chernow to speak instead of another comedian. But Wolf is over it, as she should be. [Playboy]

(As it turns out, Chernow did a fine job — and without offending anyone like Sarah Sanders.)

Can’t Escape La Llorona

I never would’ve seen The Curse of La Llorona last week had Edwin Arnaudin not asked me to review it for Mountain Xpress. And I’m glad he did. Not just because I got an article in print and some Podcass content out of it, but because my movie-watching diet should include more horror movies. I just hope most of them are better than La Llorona.

You can read my Mountain Xpress review here.

And here’s the latest episode of The Podcass with a different review.

** I’ve really enjoyed seeing my former colleague Harry Lyles Jr. grow and find his own writing voice at SB Nation. As a result, he has a bigger and better platform than he did at The Comeback. Pieces like this, on MLB suspending Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (who is black) for using the N-word, warrant that larger stage. [SB Nation]

** “A cheap book still has a high cost.” A Lawrence, Kansas bookseller recently went viral on Twitter by explaining how deeply discounted books from online retailers affect local businesses and communities. I’m guilty of buying too many books online, but try to support local independent booksellers more often because I love having bookstores where I live. [Chicago Tribune]

** Once an editor, always an editor. When you see grammar and style mistakes that drive you crazy, it makes your hair stand up. Mixing up “it’s” and “its” is certainly up there. Not putting punctuation inside quotations (like a comma or period) is a personal irritant for me. [The Cut]

Laugh to Keep From Crying

Every so often, I’ll feel a twinge of nostalgia for the daily comic strips in the newspaper. Fox Trot, Get Fuzzy, Arlo and Janis, Luann, Curtis, For Better or For Worse, and Pearls Before Swine were among the many I enjoyed. (I’m surely forgetting at least a half dozen more.)

I still read Pearls and the new Nancy online, but don’t follow as many comic strips as I used to. Please give me some recommendations! But I do read many political and social cartoons through The Nib, which I found while reviving my love for Keith Knight and The K Chronicles.

A recent cartoon I really enjoyed was from Emily Flake, titled “Reasons I’m Glad I’m Not a Young Person.” Though I spend more time than I should reliving the past and dwelling in regret over what I should’ve done differently, I’m generally happy I don’t have to go through my teens and 20s again. Flake captured that sentiment — and the reality of adulthood — well.

** With Hate and his character Buddy Bradley, Peter Bagge was one of the cartoonists who opened my eyes to the storytelling possibilities beyond superheroes in comic books. (It took me a while to see the misogyny in Hate that was pointed out to me.) Bagge has grown from slice-of-life indie cartoons to full-on biographies in his work. His latest is a book on journalist and activist Rose Wilder Lane (daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder). [NPR]

What’s Cookin’

It’s been a while since I’ve included a recipe in Overzealous Recycling, which I doubt anyone expects from me. Yet I hear that people like recipes in newsletters! As I mentioned on The Podcass, I’ve been eating more grains and beans for my protein while trying to lose weight and reduce my blood sugar. Those might not be ideal for a low-carb diet, however, certainly not a Keto one.

So that makes this Tex-Mex Quinoa dish from the Washington Post Recipes newsletter, based on a recipe by Christina Lane, ideal:

  • 1/2 medium orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, minced (may substitute a pinch of ground cayenne pepper)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup canned, no-salt-added black beans
  • 1/2 cup dried white quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth or water
  • 3/4 cup canned, no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (regular or fire-roasted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Small handful parsley (may substitute cilantro)
  • 1 lime, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan until shimmering, over medium heat.

Stir in bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder, cumin and dried oregano, stirring to incorporate. Cook for 1 minute, then add the rinsed/drained quinoa, broth or water, tomatoes and beans, corn, salt and pepper. Stir to distribute evenly, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, add chopped parsley. Serve with sour cream and lime.

** Congratulations to Asheville Citizen-Times food writer Mackensy Lunsford, the subject of a recent regional magazine feature. Mackensy was one of the first writers who became a must-read for me when I moved to Asheville because she covered one of my favorite subjects. (She got to interview Anthony Bourdain before his appearance here in 2011.) It’s been enjoyable to see her beat expand to cover food and business trends in addition to local chefs and restaurants. She’s cool! [Carolina Home + Garden]

** Asheville has an intriguing, impressive baseball history, one I’ve enjoyed learning about during the nine years (!!) I’ve lived here. Babe Ruth was once hospitalized in Asheville after collapsing on a train before the New York Yankees were to play the Brooklyn Dodgers in an exhibition. There were briefly reports that Ruth died. [Mountain Xpress]

Musical Interlude

One of my favorite bands of the 90s grunge and riot grrl eras was L7. Guitarist Suzi Gardner told me to stop looking at her ass when I was waiting for an autograph at Lollapalooza. (I was looking at the ground!)

After 20 years, they have a new album, Scatter the Rats. A second single, “Stadium West” was just released. But I think I like the first one, “Burn Baby,” a bit more.

I’m not sure L7 scratches the itch that they did for me 20 years ago. But I’m looking forward to blasting their new album when it comes out on May 3.

** San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich shows that it’s possible to be an outstanding coach and interesting person. His deep passion for wine and food have made him beloved among chefs and sommeliers throughout the country (along with NBA colleagues). Those meals have also been important team-building exercises for his staff and players. [ESPN]

** Those who grew up with MTV, did you ever enter one of their contests? You could party with Van Halen, live in Jon Bon Jovi’s childhood home, or own the Batmobile, among many examples. But those prizes turned out to be major headaches for the winners. For instance, paying taxes on those properties. If my parents read this, they’re very thankful I never won anything. [Page Six]

Weekly Affirmation

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