Modern Art, Modern Mirrors (Barry, Succession, and Ted Lasso Edition)

Three of the finest shows I’ve ever seen wrapped before the mid-point of 2023. I’m not here to spoil anything so relax. I’m also not going to talk about them in a way where if you never saw a single episode this matters. I’m bringing them up because Barry, Succession, and Ted Lasso are holding up a mirror to show us where we are.  

We. Us humans. “All youse guys,” in PA vernacular. Society. At least in the traditional West.

Because this is what great art does. It doesn’t just capture a picture, it captures the feelings and swirls us in them to sweat like an ice cube in a glass of whiskey. 

EVEN IF YOU DIDN’T WATCH ANY OF THESE – you can relate. You’re already talking about all of these things in some way, shape, or form. 

Mirrors. 

Out of the three shows…

One got really dark. It got into what happens to life without love – of ourselves, for others, from others. It was about family and capitalism and media, and what happens when none of those spirits have any recognizable souls. 

Another got really raw. Where “sound and fury” signify nothing, because drama is what happens while we’re trying to be good, without accepting we are good. All try and no accept make for Hollywood. Acting out living without actually living is no way to live. 

But one took a spin on the exact same subject matter as the first two and managed to float. 

While the others looked big for confirmations of worth, value, and existence, this one showed us how all trophy-celebrated wins are fleeting. How the only enduring change we can ever hope to make stick, comes without trophies, at the smallest levels.

There’s a lot of black in these mirrors. Pun absolutely intended. We do not seem to be at a particularly healthy place within our cultural family, business, politics, sports, or media coverage of it all. 

The choice to NOT play for the trophy, but instead – to play for the other players is still very much alive. 

Maybe only one of these shows ended with that sentiment in the closing shot. 

But one show still ended that way. 

Hope is the thing with feathers

Just because we feel lonely thinking about it, doesn’t mean we’re alone in thinking it. 

Always look at the mirror. Always feel as much as you look. There’s a lot of bleak all around us in 2023, but there are glimmers of hope, with direct reminders of our ability to put a feather on our corner of the world. 

So for the love of one another, be a goldfish.

PS. I have more posts on Succession, not really Barry somehow(?), and lot’s on Ted Lasso.