Hip-Hop Evolution

I am enjoying Netflix’s documentary of hip-hop. From gangster rap to New York lyricist, the series brought back so much memories. Watching it makes me feel good to be growing in the evolution of rap music. Hip-hop was part of my life. Now I cannot keep up with the new rap. I am official an old-school hip-hop fan.

The Degenerates

The six Netflix’s half-hour specials are crude as fuck. Big Jay Oakerson confessed about seeing his fourteen-year-old daughter’s bush. Brad Williams went all in on being a midget. Yamaneikia Sauders held nothing back on sex. Liza Treyger broke down the different between real sex and porn. Joey Diaz admitted he’s a fucking degenerate. Christina P. channeled her craziness so brilliantly. Solid season for comedy lovers.

Joe Rogan: Strange Times

In his latest Netflix special, Rogan puts his own spin on the #MeToo moment. The things he said about women would be sexist in the real world, but he got a pass in his stand-up. It is a dangerous line to cross and only a good comedian would walk down that path. Rogan is brilliant.


Directed by Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks, Quincy documents the 70-year career of the music legend whose producer credits ranging from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. His accomplishments were astonishing. His marriages were not so much. Still, it’s an intimate, inspiring watch. Check it out on Netflix.

D.L. Hughley: Contrarian

Hughley is hilarious yet he never quite delivered. His latest Netflix special is no exception. He had lots of one liners. Most of them were funny, but none unforgettable. By the middle of the special, the rapid fire started to fade. I can’t even recall a single joke that stood out. Maybe I prefer a deep dive routine over quick shots.

Black Panther

I finally got a chance watch this much-talked-about movie this year on Netflix. The visual is splendid, but the story is disappointing. I enjoyed the experience, but was not satisfied with the characters and narration. It’s a missed opportunity.

Ken Burns & Lynn Novick: The Vietnam War

This documentary took way too long to finish because I had been watching it with my sons. My six-year-old Đán fell asleep ten minutes into each episode, but my nine-year-old Đạo who has profound interest in the history of wars watched every minute of the eighteen-hour series. At first, I was concerned about the gruesome images and adult languages for a nine-year-old, but the educational values outweighed the violent materials. He learned about the Vietnam war through this ten-part documentary as much as I had.

Even though I am much older than Đạo, I had not fully understand the complexity of the Vietnam war. It was over by the time I was born. Living in the US, I am constantly reminded of the war through musical shows, Asia Production in particular, hatred stories from the older generation of Vietnamese-Americans who fled the country, and painful experience from South Vietnamese veterans. For almost thirty years, I have only heard one side of the story. I understand their pain, suffering, loss, and lost, but I had always interested in the true, unbiased view of the war. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick have tried to accomplished that in their monumental documentary.

Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, narrated by Peter Coyote, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns, The Vietnam War tells the story from all perspectives. It does not shy away from telling the truth about the dishonesty of the North Vietnam, the corruption of the South Vietnam, and the failure of the America. Every side involved was responsible for this bloody, brutal massacre. This excellent, evenhanded documentary has shed a light our tragic past and it is now a part of our history. The footages are breathtaking. The interviews, which ranged in different views, are convincing. The music, includes Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Cassandra Wilson, enhances the experience. A must-watch masterpiece.

Follow This

Log off Twitter and Follow This, a new Netflix Documentary Serious in collaboration with BuzzFeed. Each episode is sixteen minutes on a peculiar topic that had been reported by BuzzFeed journalists. Two eye-opening stories for me are on the world of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) and intersex. These mini documentaries are short, informing, and fascinating. Give it a try.

Iliza Shlesinger: Elder Millennial

In her latest Netflix special, Iliza focuses on one topic: women vs. men. Her writing and performing are so good that she is engaging the entire hour. Iliza is a feminist with a positive message for women and their body. Whatever you think you are, you are right. In addition, no flaw on a woman’s body can be worse than a scrotum. I love it when a comedian dives deep into one subject. Iliza did it brilliantly.