So, I watched the HBO Documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” last night. Boy. It was really something.
Now, let me start of by saying, I went in not knowing very much about Scientology. I mean, to me, it was pretty much just a punchline – people would joke about it on TV, on the web, and in podcasts. I didn’t really think of it as anything more than the butt of a joke – a weird 21st century cult, with strange beliefs, a couple of celebrity members, but ultimately harmless.
After watching the documentary, I don’t know what to think. I didn’t expect the documentary to be so serious – they really went on a deep dive into the so-called religion, and it was extremely informative. The documentary also made me really uncomfortable – it seems like there’s something off about a lot of the more devoted members. I mean, take someone like Tom Cruise. I’ve always just assumed that he’s kind of a vapid, weird guy who just happened to have enough charisma and good looks to make it as a big time movie star. But now that I’ve watched the documentary, I don’t know. It seems to me like there may be something darker lurking underneath his weird, glazed over eyes.
The documentary itself is more or less flawless – it’s utterly captivating, and even for someone like me, who has never really been interested in Scientology as a subject, found the doc interesting enough to watch all the way through without feeling bored. I’ve been reading a lot of reviews, and apparently a lot of the stuff in the documentary is not really new information, but as someone who was previously totally uninformed about the subject, I found it both entertaining and educational. Basically, I highly recommend it to everybody who hasn’t seen it – it’s not one of these dull documentaries that you watch only to seem smart. It’s genuinely both interesting and informative.
OK. On to other things. I’ve just a couple of pop culture notes for all of you:
- Kendrick Lamar’s new album is definitely a challenging listen, but it’s totally worth it. It’s really quite incredible once you get stuck in. It’s one of those albums that gets better as you listen to it. Highly recommend everybody get it off iTunes (or wherever you get your music).
- I’m really looking forward to seeing ‘It Follows’ – I’ve heard some incredible things, and you can always count me on board for any genuinely good horror film. The genre is filled with crap, but once in a while a really excellent horror film comes out and stuns everybody, and apparently ‘It Follows’ is one of those.
- The new Netflix show, Bloodlines, is really not my thing. The reviews were alright, and a couple of people I know told me it’s good, but I just can’t seem to get into. I suppose it’s shot well enough, and the dark, brooding family drama might work for some people, but it’s not my thing.
- The new iteration of the Late Late Show, with host James Corden, is just OK. I feel like the new batch of hosts are all incredibly enthusiastic and friendly, to the point where it gets on my nerves. I mean, we have Jimmy Fallon – we don’t need another puppy-human-hybrid on a late night show. Man, I miss Craig Ferguson. His show was the weirdest, most surreal, most original late night show for the entire time he was on the air. This new batch (Fallon, Seth Myers, Corden, and Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central) have thoroughly underwhelmed me. I like my comedy with a bit of bite, and these guys are all house-trained far too well to deliver it.