Must Watch: André the Giant

Post by Mark

If you grew up watching WWF (now WWE) and have access to HBO NOW, then you have to watch this new film by HBO. André the Giant is a documentary on the life of the professional wrestler, André Roussimoff starting from when he was young until his death in 1993.

I grew up in the 80s watching WWF, and André the Giant was one of my favourite wrestlers along with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and a bunch of other legends. My favourite part of this documentary was when Hulk Hogan talks about the lead up to Wrestlemania III where he was meant to fight André the Giant, I laughed out loud throughout the whole interview. The whole documentary was really entertaining to watch and made me miss the old WWF.

If you want to watch this documentary you need to have HBO NOW. If you don’t know how to access HBO in Kuwait, check out my previous post on how to access Netflix [Here]


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F1 TV Access in Kuwait

Post by Mark

There are a lot of companies or brands I don’t like, and only a very few I really really dislike or hate. To get me to really hate you would take a lot of effort (suing me is one way *cough* Benihana *cough*), and somehow beIN have managed to really piss me off. I’m not going to spend a lot of time dwelling on this but to summarize, I only use them to stream Formula 1 races, and when I’ve run into problems, they had extremely horrible customer service. But, I finally found another way to legally (kinda) watch the F1 races… F1 TV.

Before I continue, yes I am aware there are multiple ways to stream the F1 races illegally. Personally, I always try to go the as legal way possible route, unless I hit a wall and then I resort to piracy.

If you’re a Formula 1 fan and you follow the news, you might be aware that Formula 1 just launched F1 TV. Depending on where you reside, you’ll be able to subscribe to F1 TV and have access to their full archive of races as well as being able to stream their current races live via their website.

F1 TV in Kuwait
Kuwait sadly isn’t one of the countries where F1 TV will work. I think that has to do with the agreement F1 have with beIN but since beIN is so buggy, I had to find a way to get F1 TV working in Kuwait and I managed to do just that. To get F1 TV working in Kuwait you need two things:

– VPN with an American server
– Credit card issued by an American bank

The first is easy to get, there are hundreds of options available online and my guess is that pretty soon you’ll also be able to use smartDNS to access F1 TV like we do to get access to US Netflix and Hulu. The credit card on the other hand is much harder to get. I got mine while vacationing in the States but I think there are ways of getting one online although I haven’t tried them. Once you’ve got these two things you can just subscribe to F1 TV and get access.

What’s F1 TV Like?
There are two F1 TV packages, F1 TV Access, and F1 TV Pro. Access doesn’t allow you to stream the races live but with the Pro package you can. If you pay month by month, Access is $3 a month while Pro is $12. If you sign up for a year then the prices drop down considerably with Pro coming to $8 a month, the same price beIN charge for one day access.

This past race was the first time F1 TV went live and it was super buggy. It was so bad that F1 TV sent out an apology and a refund because they weren’t able to cope with the load this past weekend. But, thats fine, it was their first weekend live and nobody was expecting them to be perfect.

When it did work though the service was spectacular, more than anything beIN could offer or any other channel for the matter.

– During practice, qualifications and the race you get access to the cameras inside every single car. So if you’re a Verstappen fan, you can choose to view the camera in his car, and then watch him race until he crashes into something.

– During practice, qualifications and the race you get access to different audio channels. When watching the main stream you can choose to listen to commentary in different languages, or you can choose not to have any commentary at all and just have car sounds. While watching the race from inside the car of your favorite driver, you get an additional option of being able to listen to the team radio.

– With F1 TV you get access to 68 seasons of races! SIXTY EIGHT seasons of Formula 1 racing, that’s just insane. Last night I was rewatching the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix when half the cars crashed at turn one of the race. I then watched a documentary on one of my favorite drivers of all time, Mika Häkkinen. Even if F1 TV didn’t include the archive, I would have easily forked out $8 a month just to stream the races live. The fact that they’ve included so much content with this $8 is an incredible bonus.

As you can tell, I’m very excited about F1 TV. If you’re an F1 fan and have any questions about the service let me know. There are some negatives right now with F1 TV including the lack of an Apple TV app being one. Currently I’m using the browser on my iPad to watch F1 TV which is annoying, but they only properly launched a few days ago so they’re still super busy working out all the kinks and I’m expecting them to launch an app soon. Things will only keep getting better from this point onwards.


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New Shows To Watch

Post by Mark

If you’re looking for new shows to watch while you wait for a new Westworld episode every week, here are three:

Lost in Space
Even though I finished watching the whole first season, I am still undecided if I like the show or not. I managed to binge watch ten episodes over two days but that’s not really a tell on how good the show is since I also binge-watched the terrible Seven Seconds over two days as well. Lost in Space is a remake of a series from 1965 with the same name, it follows a family who get thrown off course in space and crash into an unknown planet. The show started off really entertaining but there was this one character and story plot I couldn’t stand which is why I’m not sure how I feel about the show. It’s worth checking out and I’m curious to see how the second season will develop. Lost in Space is on Netflix.

The Crossing
I originally thought this show was by the same creator as LOST, but while looking for info on the show for this post I realized it’s not. This should give you an idea on what kind of show this is. The Crossing is four episodes in and it has me hooked. The plot is very interesting and focuses on refugees that end up on a beach outside a small town, but the thing is, these refugees are from a war-torn future. The trailer above is what got me watching the show so check it out. The Crossing is available to watch on Hulu.

Barry
From the three shows here, Barry is my favorite. The show stars Bill Hader who plays the role of a hitman who moves to LA and decides he wants to quit to become an actor. Its a funny show that stars some legendary comedians like Stephen Root (Newsradio, Office Space) and Henry Winkler (Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation). Barry just recently started so only five episodes are out so far. If you’re interested, Barry is available to watch on HBO.


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TV Shows I Binge Watched Over the Holidays

Post by Mark

I didn’t travel over the holidays, instead, I stayed in Kuwait and just binge watched a bunch of shows. Some were better than others, below is the list of what I ended up watching:

Electric Dreams
This is a sci-fi series made up of short stories written by Philip K. Dick who also wrote Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall and a bunch of other popular sci-fi films. Each episode is a standalone story by itself, and each one stars a really big actor like Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Terrence Howard and others. Sadly the show was underwhelming and even boring. Out of 10 episodes, I think I just liked two. Things got so bad I didn’t even bother to finish watching the last two episodes of the season. This show is available on Amazon Video.

Altered Carbon
After a disappointing experience with Electric Dreams, I was hesitant to watch Altered Carbon especially since I had read some negative reviews about it. But, 4 episodes in I was hooked and ended up loving the show which stars Joel Kinnaman from one of my favorite shows ever, The Killing. This show is available on Netflix.

Crashing
I heard about this show from the podcast Kill Tony since Tony Hinchcliff guest stars in one of the upcoming episodes. The show revolves around the struggling standup comedian Pete Holmes who finds out his wife was cheating on him. The divorce starts a series of events where he ends up meeting other comedians and crashing on their couches while touring with them. Lots of celebrity comedians make guest appearances including Bill Burr, Sarah Silverman, Jim Norton, Penn Jillette and more. This show is available on HBO Now.

Seven Seconds
No idea why I watched this honestly, but I ended up binge watching 10 episodes over two days and it wasn’t even that great a show. The acting was bad, the dialogue cliche and the story not that interesting. But, I was curious to see the story play out till the end and the whole thing was just a disappointing mess. The only good thing about the show is it got me hooked enough to binge watch it, but that’s the only positive thing I have to say about this. This show is available on Netflix.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
From all the shows listed here, this was probably the best one. Mrs. Maisel is a housewife in the 1950s who decides to become a stand-up comic after her husband leaves her. The show is funny, Rachel Brosnahan who plays Mrs. Maisel is incredibly good and her wardrobe on the show… I think me and my friend spent more time talking about what she was wearing than we talked about the show. Beautiful wardrobe, incredible sets and locations, definitely watch this show if you had to pick just one from this list. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is available on Amazon Video.

Here and Now
Finally, Here and Now. I started watching this show over the holidays but only three episodes are out so far so it’s difficult to make a judgment on it. So far it’s interesting, I’m still trying to figure out where the story is going but the cast is great and there are enough different stories taking place to make it interesting. This show is available on HBO Now.


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VICE: Fast Food of Arabia now on YouTube

Post by Mark

In case you didn’t watch the episode last April when it was first aired on HBO, VICE have released the episode “Fast Food of Arabia” that features Kuwait onto YouTube. Here is a summary of the episode:

As Americans become increasingly health-conscious and junk food sales plateau in the States, fast food companies are spreading to new global markets, expanding their revenue — and the waistlines of their customers.

VICE correspondent Gianna Toboni travels to Kuwait, now one of the most obese countries on the planet, to witness the health effects on a country deep in the throes of an unlikely obsession with U.S. fast food.

screenshot from VICE episode on Kuwait

For my previous post on this episode, click [Here]


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Must Watch TV: Short Lived Comedies

Post by Mark

screenshot from bored to death

I’ve been watching a bunch of canceled comedies with a friend of mine and decided to list my favorite ones so far. Even though these shows were canceled after the first or second season, they’re still some of the funniest shows you can watch on TV. I think most actually got canceled because the stars on the show became too famous or moved on to bigger things, and not because they weren’t successful shows. Anyway, here are my recommendations:

Bored to Death
This show stars Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson. Schwartzman’s plays the role of a struggling writer who gets dumped by his girlfriend and then decides to live a double life by pretending to be a private detective.

Screenshot from Hello Ladies

Hello Ladies
This show stars Stephen Merchant who many of you might not have heard of, but he collaborates a lot with Ricky Gervais and is the co-writer and co-director of The Office, Extras and Life’s Too Short. In this show, he plays the role of a British web designer living in Los Angeles trying to find the woman of his dreams.

Life’s Too Short
This show is written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and stars Warwick Davis. Warwick Davis plays a fictionalized version of himself, a struggling dwarf actor trying to find work. The show had a ton of cameos that included Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp, Steve Carell, Val Kilmer and even Right Said Fred.

Party Down Screenshot

Party Down
Starring Adam Scott from Parks & Recreation and the super funny Ken Marino (both pictured above). Party Down is about a bunch of actors who are trying to make it big but end up working as party caterers.

Burning Love
Burning Love is a parody of reality shows similar to the “The Bachelor” and is produced by Ben Stiller. The show features a ton of great comedians and a whole lot of cameos by famous actors incuding Kristen Bell, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller and Adam Scott. The show also stars Ken Marino who plays the bachelor in the first season while the second season of the show stars the funny June Diane Raphael who plays the bachelorette.


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Must Watch TV: The End of the F***ing World

Post by Mark

This is such a great show, mostly because of how super weird and dark the subject matter is, and yet, its a comedy. This Netflix original focuses on James, a 17-year-old kid who enjoyed killing animals while young and now is considering killing this girl he met called Alyssa, but he kinda likes her. Super weird yet very cute at the same time and I love that.

The series is 8 episodes long and each episode is just 20 minutes so you should be able to get through it in one night. Its super entertaining and pretty fast paced without a single boring moment. The casting director did an incredible job with the show which is filled with great personalities. If you have Netflix, you need to watch this. [Link]


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Must Watch TV: Mindhunter

Post by Mark

I just recently finished watching the Netflix crime drama Mindhunter, and I loved it. The show is based on true stories and follows two FBI detectives in the late 70s, during the early days of criminal psychology and profiling. Because it’s based on reality, it feels like a well-done documentary at times like when we got to see how the term “serial killer” came about and various other ideas and interrogation methods we see today on current crime drama shows. Mindhunter is like the prequel to all crime shows.

The criminal cases covered on the show are all fascinating, but the characters and their own stories are as interesting, and by the end of the season, you’ll be attached to all of them. But, one of my favorite things about the show is how they’ve made the 70s cool again, in the same way Stranger Things brought back the 80s. The wardrobe on the show (especially Wendy’s outfits) along with the cars and the vintage electronics (that tape recorder used in the opening scene is so hot) just makes me want to go back and live in the 70s, which I kinda did over the past week…

Over the weekend I borrowed my old 1973 Datsun 240z from my friend whom I had sold it to. I hadn’t been in the car or driven it since I sold it nearly a year ago, but the show really made me miss it. Binge-watching Mindhunter and then stepping into a car from the same era and listening to music of that era, it felt like time travel for a little bit.

If you’re looking for a new show to binge watch and haven’t watched Mindhunter yet, then add this to your list. It’s available on Netflix Kuwait.


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Trailer: Birds Endless Migration

Post by Mark

“Birds Endless Migration” is a documentary series that will show the birds’ migration journey through Kuwait. The series will be aired this year and was filmed by Kuwait Environmental Lens, a project to document, monitor and protect the wildlife environment in Kuwait. Can’t wait to watch this, the footage in the trailer looks great. [Vimeo]


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Must Watch TV: Shot in the Dark

Post by Mark

If you were a fan of the movie Nightcrawler, then you’ll most likely love this Netflix series. Shot in the Dark is a documentary television series that follows three stringing companies in LA competing to get the best news footage to sell to news stations.

Shot in the Dark takes you along on the ride, showing you what it takes to get to the scene first, and what they need to do to differentiate their shots from the competition. I love documentaries and I think in another life, I could easily imagine myself being a stringer so I really connected with the show. It’s pretty intense, the competition is tough and I loved watching every minute of it. If you’ve got Netflix, check it out.

On the other hand, I just finished watching Jean-Claude Van Johnson. It’s a show starring Jean-Claude Van Damme in which he basically spoofs himself. In the series, he plays himself, but although everyone knows him as an actor and martial artist, in reality, that was just a cover for his real job which is a private contractor. The show starts off funny but kinda fades towards the end of the series. Still worth checking out though. Jean-Claude Van Johnson is available on Amazon Video and you can watch the trailer above.


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