On Netflix for Christmas: “Don't Look Up”

Netflix has made a comedy about a planet-killer comet headed for Earth, Don’t Look Up. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, the cast includes Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, and Ron Perlman. The movie will be streamed on Netflix starting Christmas Eve, 2021. The short plot description is:

Two astronomers go on a media tour to warn humankind of a planet-killing comet hurtling toward Earth. The response from a distracted world: Meh.

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The trailer is densely-packed with a record number of Hollywood clichés per minute.


Lots of big actor names (rather than say, two or three), cliche-packed? No, thanks.

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I immediately decided I wouldn’t watch this either. Left to my own devices, I would get rid of Netflix (and Hulu, which, at least costs only half of what I was paying for DirecTV). My wife, however, is near homebound with illness and relies heavily on streaming from various sources. There is such a scarcity of watchable content that the ratio of searching time to content viewing is approaching 1:1. Remember Newton Minnow? “Television is a vast wasteland” was never more apt. That statement was prescient in ways nobody could have imagined.


CW – Sorry to hear about your wife. I hope her condition improves.

While she is homebound, a key question is whether she can tolerate subtitles? If so, there is a world of streamed international programming to choose from. Of course, the percentage of available programs worth watching in any language is unfortunately small. If your wife does a lot of searching, she would be doing us all a service by keeping up a list of approved content.

Personally, I have become quite impressed with the Great Courses series on selected academic topics – I watch on DVD, but there is a streaming version too. Again, quality is variable, but the best can be highly stimulating.


Thanks. Yes we can both tolerate subtitles and have watched many Russian (gasp) productions. There are quite a few in the historical/true fiction category. I was so impressed with the quality that I wrote a full post on Ratburger. As I recall, some were on Netflix, some on Amazon. Particularly good were Rasputin, Sophia (paleologina), and Godunov. Interestingly, in the end credits we learn that the productions are partly funded by the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense. Imagine that - a nation believing that portrayal of its actual history serves as an element of its defense! That, we know, could NOT happen here.


I watched it over the weekend. It was OK.

Much of the nonsensical stuff annoyed me.

Spoiler alerts.

Why, let alone how did we densepack Cape Canaveral with launch towers?

The explaining away of the India-Russia-China effort was similarly ridiculous.

The sudden naked-eye-visibility appearance of the comet was also ridiculous.