Welcome to Watch It, a brand new column right here on MTV Movies Blog running down all the new and old movies and television shows we're currently slogging through. There's a lot of great (and not-so-great) material lurking out there that you've yet to put your eyes on, and this new weekly feature is here to fill those gaps for you.
So, what are we watching this week? Lots and lots of television. Many of us have returned to Westeros with "Game of Thrones," while others are traveling to other, considerably funnier wintery landscapes. Get those recommendations and more in this week's inaugural edition of Watch It.
Tami Katzoff, MTV News producer:
I just finished watching season 2 of “An Idiot Abroad” on Science Channel. As a travel show, it’s unique in two major ways: the traveler really doesn’t want to be at his destination, and the traveler is Karl Pilkington (the butt of many a Ricky Gervais joke). Gervais and Stephen Merchant send poor Karl around the globe and he’s forced to endure harrowing and often humiliating site-specific experiences. Season 2 is called The Bucket List - Pilkington is sent off to have once-in-a-lifetime adventures like whale watching, climbing Mt. Fuji and driving Route 66. As in season 1, Karl always departs grudgingly and never fails to provide hilarious commentary and complaint all along the way.
Brian Phares, MTV News producer:
I've been doing a deep dive lately. My Netflix cue has been fully put on hold in favor of a series I never thought I'd take the time to watch every episode of: "South Park." It's something I should have done long ago, but alas now I need to make up for lost time, 14 years of it. But I'm going the nontraditional route, watching backwards from season 14 to season one. Because honestly, the first few seasons were garbage.
Fallon Prinzivalli, MTV Movies editorial assistant:
In Fall 2010, I discovered two seasons of the BBC show "Merlin" on Netflix. As a fan of the medieval era and everything dealing with royalty, the show–which re-creates the Arthurian legend with Arthur as a prince and the sorcerer Merlin as his servant–instantly hooked me with the first episode. I started watching the show on Friday and the next thing I knew it was Sunday and I was caught up to Season 3—only airing in the U.K. I literally spent the weekend in Camelot. Luckily, the show started airing on Syfy and I've been engrossed in Season 4. (The finale airs this Friday!) For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it follows Merlin and his destiny to protect Prince Arthur, whose own destiny is to bring peace to Camelot. But magic is outlawed, so Merlin has to be cautious when he uses it to constantly save Arthur's life. It's a family friendly version that progresses with the aging of its audience. The current season is much darker and more cinematic than when the show first began and I have no idea how I'll hold up until Season 5 returns next January. Maybe I'll just watch them all over again?
Kevin P. Sullivan, MTV Movies editorial assistant:
I'm just finally getting around to checking off the remaining movies on my 2011 "to see" list, and "Young Adult" is one that I really regret not seeing until now. Had I watched it earlier, I would have raged throughout Oscar season for the injustice of snubbing Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody, but most of all Charlize Theron, who played the most fascinatingly unlikeable character of the year. This year's Best Picture race sagged with safe picks that bored more than they inspired, while "Young Adult" would have been a worthy and ballsy choice for any category.
Amy Wilkinson, Hollywood Crush editor:
We may have won the Revolution, but the Brits are winning the T.V. war. From "Sherlock" to "Downton Abbey," UK telly has been buttering my crumpets lately, so to speak. My newest obsession is "The Hour"—a sort of "Broadcast News" meets "Mad Men." Set in 1956, the six-part BBC series stars Romola Garai, Ben Whishaw and Dominic West as Cold War-era journlists covering the Suez Crisis on their weekly newsmagazine show called..."The Hour." Beyond the canal plotline, Whishaw's relentless Freddie finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery—an arc that some fans (myself included) could take or leave. Regardless, the Golden Globe-nominated series is a completely convincing portrayal of newsmaking in an era where government censorship still runs rampant. "The Hour" ran on BBC America earlier this year, but is available on iTunes.
Josh Wigler, MTV Movies Blog & Splash Page editor:
Like many of you, I'm buried in "Game of Thrones." The new season premiered on Sunday, and I’ve already seen that episode three times, and the next three episodes twice each. (I promise, I have a life, it’s just… on hold.) Having seen all of that, I can say that fans of the first season and the novels will find plenty to love in our return to Westeros, even if there are some not-so-successful changes to be found here and there. Also, if mercilessly slaughtered bastards aren’t your cup of tea, it’s probably best to avoid. Check out our recap in the video below.
I'm watching too much other stuff to list it all, but just because it needs to be said: Fat Betty. That's a thing that exists.
What are you watching this week? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!