Overrated/Underrated: ‘Somebody Feed Phil,’ and the how long is long enough for a farewell tour?
“Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix: In a food and FOMO-obsessed TV landscape that’s given a show to almost every chef with a passport, there’s something refreshing about this series led by comedy writer and “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal. Spun out of a prior PBS incarnation, “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having,” the travel series hits on similar experiences from the Anthony Bourdain-o-sphere (it’s produced by the same company), but Rosenthal’s genial, quick-witted delivery coupled with a contagious sense of wonder leaves a pleasant aftertaste that stands out.
Jóhann Jóhannsson: Nominated for an Oscar for his “Sicario” score, this 48-year-old Icelandic composer and electronic musician had only just begun leaving his mark on film music before his death last weekend. Also heard on Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival” and the Golden Globe-winning music for “The Theory of Everything,” Jóhannsson’s ability to capture images and emotions in sound was equally powerful through a deep, haunting catalog of albums that included “IBM 1401 — A User’s Manual” “Fordlandia” and Orphée,” an inward-looking interpretation of the Orpheus myth from 2016.
“Peter Rabbit” outrage: A superficially cute attempt at counter-programming against the numb yet lucrative ventures of the latest “50 Shades” installment, this semi-animated movie hit the social media apology circuit last week after a sequence where Peter and his fuzzy counterparts defeat their nemesis by exploiting a food allergy. Outraged parents inevitably called for a boycott and an apology from the studio, which really should have been more spurred by its transformation of Beatrix Potter’s elegant creation into a predictable and crass cartoon than its clumsy hand with storytelling devices.
The long goodbye: You could fill a crowd-pleasing rock ’n’ roll museum with the number of acts who have announced they’ll longer be touring after a last run of shows beginning in 2018. While an end of the road is always going to come for a veteran musician, the retirement timeline for Ozzy Osbourne and Elton John in particular feels odd given both will extend their farewells until 2020 and 2021, respectively. Surely fans appreciate the opportunity to say goodbye, but you have to wonder if the artist appreciates them even more given the lucrative potential in many years of last chances.
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