media diary - january 2024


so after i made a way-too-long article for the end of last year, i guess i subconsciously took a break from watching stuff for the month. the majority of january was spent working on my upcoming KINGDOM HEARTS II video, so a lot of my spare time was filled with work on that project and i barely did anything else.

once january ended i kinda panicked because i knew i wouldn't have much to write about if i went by the rules of last year's MEDIA THREAD, and i continued not really having time to even make this article, so i made the decision to loosen up a little and write more directly on the stuff i did this month even if i didn't Finish a lot of things. the format needed a shake-up anyway so i think this will work better for allowing me to write about more stuff!!! i only watched two movies, i didn't complete any games and i haven't finished any TV shows, but here's what i did anyway:


i had a heck of a new year's eve! and then the year started and i immediately had to catch up with an essay i wrote for my class. no idea if i can disclose the subject matter of the essay itself but i can tell you it got me to watch this film, one of the earlier animated PEANUTS adaptations and also a pretty god dang good one.

over christmas i watched the christmas special with my family, which believe it or not is the first time that has EVER happened. i'm convinced that this series isn't nearly as ubiquitous in the UK as it is for americans, but at the very least it's never really been present in my household. we only put it on because my stepdad was showing off the fancy schmancy apple TV subscription he got for free or something, and my sister chose it because it's one of the few things that platform actually has. (lmao)

the christmas special left an impression on me, and so i had the series in the back of my brain til it was made relevant by my essay assignment and suddenly i was researching it. and then i saw a random post recommending A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN because it's some kinda masterpiece that doesn't get talked about enough and MAN, THEY WERE RIGHT IT RULES. it has such an unexpected amount of artistry from a period of animation i haven't explored much of besides contemporary DISNEY releases, so it left a mighty impression. please watch it if you get the chance, it's unhinged.

[16/01/2024] MALCOLM X

readers of last year's media thread may understand that i checked out a few biopics, and out of the handful i checked out BLACKBERRY ended up impressing me to the point where i went around saying it's the best biopic i've seen. that uh. that changed very quickly after friend of the blog jai told me i should watch spike lee's MALCOLM X biopic.

i'm seriously ashamed by, like, either my own lack of curiosity on the topic or just the education system that before watching this movie i had never heard of malcolm x. someone so important and influential with an important role in our modern history just completely neglected, flying past my radar -- it's messed up!!! it makes me a little embarrassed to even write about because i feel like i SHOULD have at least had some idea of who this man was beforehand, but i genuinely didn't and i'm glad that changed. this biopic was not only great at documenting the guy's life, but also at introducing me -- a complete dumbhead -- to why he was important and remains important today.

it's a great documentary!!!! everything was packed together tightly and the way it all flows is wild to me. this movie is THREE HOURS AND TWENTY MINUTES LONG, and despite its length and serious subject matter not a single moment felt dull or wasted. if i had more technical terms to describe it i'd probably illustrate my point better but it had me floored and now i'm thinking i should watch more of spike lee's filmography. guy directed a david byrne concert movie, i have to.

also the timing of watching this on MLK day wasn't even intentional or anything but yeah ok that's neat!


so i'm making the kingdom hearts II video and it's gotten me thinking a ridiculous amount about FINAL FANTASY, particularly VII as it's the only one i've "finished" before. i put "finish" in quotes because when i first played it i used cheats and burnt through the game with no patience whatsoever.

i made my way through this in early 2020 on the nintendo switch, playing it alongside other stuff like WIND WAKER and PIKUNIKU and ANIMAL CROSSING, so i feel like i should have a more intimate and deep relationship with the game but uhhhhhh nope! not really! and it's all down to the fact i was frustrated by turn-based RPG systems. anything with random battles and The Dragon Quest Format upset me but i wanted to get into these games so badly and thought FF7 would be a good one to get me used to this gameplay style. i admire a lot about its visuals and characters and story, but my memories of it circa may 2020 are hazy. one thing i do remember is my family making curry every sunday and so i'd play FF7 while curry smell wafted throughout the house. FF7 is a curry game.

so fast forward to 2024, today, right now, when i'm making my video on KH2 and i've had more than enough time analysing the first two KH games to be able to reassess the FF games. i had to record chunks of all the PS1 entries (and also FFX on PS2) but i kept going with 7 just to see how i'd feel. while i still haven't played much more FF since 2020, i'd say i've gotten more used to The Grind through stuff like KINGDOM HEARTS and PERSONA 5 and DRAGON QUEST XI as well as trying various other RPGs. i think i've developed the patience and understanding to play FF7 and get more out of it this time -- even though as of writing i've only played up to the end of the introductory MIDGAR portion of the game, it's been a lot more successful than my first time round. so far, i've only died ONCE (not even to a boss or anything i just messed up on a battle with a hell house), and the first seven hours breezed by like they were nothing. i haven't cheated or used save states or anything; i think i've just naturally Gotten It a lot better. it's felt like a smoother experience, and i hope i can continue with the game and maybe even beat it without cheating this time.

[ongoing] TWIN PEAKS

ok here's a funky one.

in my slice of life games video i mentioned this show, talking about its influence on LINK'S AWAKENING and the fact i haven't watched much of it. i tried getting into it around autumn 2022 but it hadn't really hooked me the way i was expecting, but i wanted to give it a shot again and folks it i uh it um it uhh it's good it's really good man it rules.

the thing that got me to check it out again is pretty interesting actually -- i was at THE BRITISH LIBRARY on a trip with my class because they were holding an exhibit based around fantasy in media. this initially seemed unrelated to our game studies but they had, like, dark souls and the elder scrolls there as well as (from what i recall) an exhibit-exclusive game? demo? thing? i don't remember it's pretty foggy but right by the videogame stuff was a whole ass ROOM based around twin peaks. the friends i went with were both completely ENAMORED by it because it had this weird mirror camera display that would warp our movements and so we called it "THE SILLY ROOM" because it was pretty silly. i told them the show it's from is pretty neat, and doing so reminded me that i really ought to have seen it by now, so once i got home i decided to pick it back up again.

it's still a slow start, i think. i kinda got overwhelmed by Information and wasn't following for the most part, but by the end of S1 i would safely say i was hooked. i watched the first season over the end of december and the start of january, and as of writing i've been watching S2 since around january 20th. the opening episode of S2 kinda sealed the Vibe i think -- i put it on after waking up at midnight so the weird surreal state of having just woken up but it still being dark out combined with the way they start the season off showed me what this series has going on. it's a particular feeling, one where it doesn't matter if things particularly make sense because you sorta trust that every piece will eventually fall into place.

it isn't ALL wacky shenanigans, but you get that feeling all throughout, and while i wasn't huge on the characters in S1 they really begin to grow on you through S2 and they do some truly silly things. everything's at least a little unusual, but it feels like an expansion on the kinda philosophy i was investigating in the slice-of-life video that makes me wish i actually watched the show beforehand so i could write about it more. i'll keep you updated on what i think of the rest, but for now it's a daily slow burning kinda situation and i admire it significantly.

february >>