Television

Underrated/Overrated: An overdue return for A Tribe Called Quest and our ‘post-truth’ social media

A Tribe Called Quest
Phife Dawg, Q–Tip and Jarobi White shown performing in the movie “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.”
(Sony Pictures Classics)

UNDERRATED

A Tribe Called Quest’s “We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service”: In a year full of improbabilities, what were the odds of this hip-hop group releasing new music this good after 18 years and the recent death of founding member Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor? Though his previously recorded verses are a strong, ghostly presence, Tribe flies a sort of musical missing-man formation while reckoning with loss and the political landscape in what’s billed as a farewell album. However, with taut and timely rhymes, twisted samples and an eclectic roster of guests that include Andre 3000, Kendrick Lamar and Elton John, the group sounds more vital today than ever.

Filmstruck: With Netflix celebrating its victory in the movie rental wars by seemingly losing interest in actually streaming movies, an alternative for people who like experiencing the best in film both old and new may have finally arrived in the form of this new venture, which is a partnership between Turner Classic Movies and art-house favorite the Criterion Collection. Bound for AppleTV next month, the service carries a cost that’s comparable to rivals Hulu and Amazon and promises curated lists from the likes of Martin Scorsese. With a library that stretches beyond 1,000 movies, maybe we’ll remember a few Academy Award winners from years past after all.

OVERRATED

“The Wine Show” on Hulu: A British import crafted with laser-guided focus toward the pleasure centers of those who prefer TV served with the vicarious pleasures of travel served with sumptuous landscapes, distant and mostly unobtainable flavors and wry U.K. wit. This show led by Matthew Goode (“Downton Abbey”), an aggressively bearded Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”) and expert Joe Fattorini attempts to coast on charm but still adds up to a crushing bore. Though its far-flung reports on obsessed winemakers have their merit for the curious oenophile, the show sags in trying to fill hour-long episodes with more than exotic countrysides and rumpled casual banter.

Your social media feed: Now that Oxford Dictionaries have welcomed the ominously Orwellian term “post-truth” into our lexicon, let’s get a start on our New Year’s resolution early and begin to carefully consider where and how we read things on the Internet as a combination of out-of-context quotes, clickbait-driven headlines and unabashed lies threaten to overtake what was once quaintly known as the Information Superhighway. Going forward, let’s maybe give a little bit of credence to those publications with even the smallest history of reporting and integrity and return Facebook to its intended purpose: A bottomless resource for baby pictures.

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chris.barton@latimes.com

Follow me over here @chrisbarton.

 

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