There’s Nothing to Do Here So Instead I Watch Depressing Apocalypse Films
This recent wave of interest in the apocalypse really butters my toast. The end of days is hot shit. The Mayans may have been wrong, but we’re still mesmerized by the footage of the meteor that recently dropped in on Russia. Even the average non-morbid person is enjoying the kinder, gentler version of the apocalypse in the form of dystopian stories such as The Hunger Games or TV’s Revolution.
I just saw Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starring Steve Carrell and Kiera Knightley, both of which I love. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great, either – Kiera Knightley’s character was meant to be played by Zooey Deschanel at her most-annoying quirkiest; it felt like sitcom-version of Lost in Translation with the May-December romance. Despite a few good moments, I was left feeling emotionally gorged and yet unsatisfied, like I had eaten three cartons of Panda Express on an empty stomach.
As a connoisseur of apopculture (see? SEE WHAT WORD I INVENTED?!?), here are my recommendations for media to enjoy that suck less than Seeking a Friend:
- Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr.: A novella about a young man who knows when the world will end, and his consequential struggle with life’s futility. It’s a lot more cheerful than it sounds.
- David Bowie’s “Five Years“: Granted, anything off of “Ziggy” is going to be fabulous, but the drums key up a stuttering heartbeat and the earnestness of Bowie’s lyrics feel like a bunch in the emotional babymaker.
- Jericho: File this TV show beneath “Way Better than Revolution” and “So that’s where Skeet Ulrich went…” It’s more dystopian than apocalyptic, but it’s got the goods if you prefer your world ending to have soap opera storylines and Meaningful Family Moments.
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury: You probably were forced to read this in middle school and resent it. Reread it. And if you haven’t read it yet, you’re in for a treat. Bradbury’s hypnotically simple language in this collection of connected vignettes hides a world of shared and scuttling human secrets.
And for the love of Christ, skip Melancholia, even if it’s currently streaming on Netflix Instant and all those critics said it was amazing. Kristen Dunst act-squints and yes, that blond vampire dude from True Blood is in it, but trust me, there is not enough nudity for that two-and-a-half hour mess.