Category Archives: TV shows

Orange is the New Black

from randomhouse.com

from randomhouse.com

 

Last month, I wouldn’t shut up about The Bling Ring. This month, I’m telling everyone about Orange is the New Black.

“No one’s gonna hit you harder than life.”

So says my favorite new character on a TV show– Taystee  on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. 

There are so many quotable lines, really, and they range from deep and true to laugh-out-loud hilarious.  Some how this show is managing to balance on the line between witty and dramatic in such a way that I actually want to watch it.  Usually, I eschew dramas thanks to my day job in crisis intervention for mental health.  It’s my job to hear about everyone’s worst day ever, so I generally want to lighten my mood by the time I settle down in front of the television at night.   I’ll make the exception for Orange is the New Black. 

It’s based on the memoir by the same name by Piper Kerman.   The real Piper carried a suitcase full of drug money for her girlfriend at the time. Ten years later, she’s living a hetero-WASPy life with her boyfriend Larry. Her past catches up to her when she’s named by one of the other members of the drug ring, and she’s tracked down by the Feds and sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.    The Smith graduate ends up in Danbury, CT in a system totally alien to her blond-haired, upper middle class existence.

Truthfully, the book isn’t as good as the TV show, but it’s still pretty interesting. Buzzfeed helpfully points out some of the biggest differences, but the biggest thing is that Real Piper makes better choices than TV Piper.  But what fun is a TV show where the heroine is perfect?

I think Tom and Lorenzo sum up the show’s appeal pretty well in this blog post.  It’s a show about women and by women. And these are women who we never see represented on TV.  It almost feels weird to see so many women on a show, which is disheartening.  It would be easy to focus on Piper, but the show is really the best when she’s NOT front and center. There are so many compelling women, and their friendships and conflicts with each other make you really care for them.   My favorite pairing on the show isn’t even romantic at all– it’s the prison BFF dynamic duo of Taystee and Poussey.   Here’s a scene where they imitate white people, and it’s a killer.

Not everyone loves it.  Here’s a critic who didn’t last more than 3 episodes, thanks to the “gross out factor” and some personal quibbles with the characters.  I would argue there’s no more “gross out factor” than what you praise on HBO.  You see the same boobs and sexual activity on Game of Thrones.  Is it less watchable because women are the leads?

Here’s a couple of links to get your started down my Road of Obsession:

The Real Piper talks about consulting on the show.

Some great details from the show, highlighted by the ever list-friendly Buzzfeed.   Included: Crazy Eyes and her quoting of Shakespeare, Taystee’s dancing, and Sophia’s prison fashion.

Natasha Lyonne’s character seems a lot like her real life persona.  A Vulture reporter follows her around for a day while she apartment hunts, and it’s hard not to imagine Nikki every time Lyonne opens her mouth.

While we’re at Vulture, they rounded up some fun facts about the show. For example, Yoga Jones (a prisoner who leads a yoga class for her fellow inmates) is played by the voice of Patty Mayonnaise on the 90s cartoon Doug.

Oh, and here’s the trailer for the show.

Go forth and binge watch!

 

 

 

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The Phone. It Rings.

from YouTube user aliaslover123

I miss Gilmore Girls, and I especially miss Michel and his bitchy French attitude.

Don’t worry, we’re not talking about Gilmore Girls today. We could talk about it, and I want to make a Bunheads/Gilmore comparison chart anyway, but that clip just resonates this evening because of a series of unfortunate interactions today at my Real Life job. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say I think it’s reasonable to expect other mental health professionals to know what Autism is. At the very least, it’s not crazy to think they know how to spell the word.  There came a point where Michel’s whiney accent drawled in my ear, “People are particularly stupid today. I can’t talk to any more of them.”

Three Day Weekend, you can get here anytime.

 

 

 

TV Shows That Should Be on Netflix Instant

A list presented without comment: TV Shows That Should Be On Netflix Instant

1) Community

2) Rainbow Brite

3) MMC: The All New Mickey Mouse Club

4) Gilmore Girls

5) The West Wing

6) Lizzie McGuire

7) The Good Wife

8) Freaks and Geeks

9) Veronica Mars

10) Pushing Daisies

11) Best Friends Forever

12) Young Americans

13) The OC

14) Being Erica

15)  Game of Thrones

 

A Very Dorothy Parker Valentine

I actually don’t hate Valentine’s Day (Candy! Sappy sing along songs! Rom coms playing on TV!), but it still seems like a good opportunity to list a bunch of bitter Dorothy Parker quotes.  Enjoy!

from wikipedia.org

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MMC Reunion!

from nbc.com

Thank you, Vulture, for bringing this to my attention–this fantastic moment in which Christina Aguilera clearly does not remember one of her old co-stars from her MMC days even though he was practically the leader of the pack at that time.  This beautiful moment which I cannot embed in my blog because I’m becoming more and more technologically dumb as I age.  My niece will probably have a blog embedded in her arm, but I can’t embed a video clip. Anyway.

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The Heart of Hart of Dixie

I realize this is a good year for TV, and so there’s an excellent chance that you are missing a fun little gem currently airing on The CW: Hart of Dixie.  I won’t claim that it’s actually good, but it does grow on you if you let it.   I mean, it’s not even like shows of years past like Veronica Mars where viewers cry foul that the show never gets recognized by the Emmys.   No one is saying, “Rachel Bilson is just so fantastic in this and the writing is so tight– it really deserves attention.”   But it’s charming and easy and perfect  for watching in marathon form on a rainy Sunday.  I highly suggest watching beyond the pilot as that first episode does not really do them credit.

Aren't they a beautiful cast? Picture from cwtv.com

 

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Welcome to the Upper East Side, Bitches.

So, I’m watching Gossip Girl last night, and  Serena van der Woodsen is right in the middle of telling Dan Humphrey that she does choose him after all… and I suddenly have this vague feeling of, “I’ve seen this before. Where have I seen this before? Where have I see a wealthy It Girl choosing the soulful but poor loner over her society beau?”

Oh, I know. I saw it on The OC.

I can’t possibly be the first person to  find similarities between the two shows, and I know there’s plenty of difference…. but the more I think about it, the more I’m thinking that Josh Schwartz wasn’t quite ready to be done with the tony world of Orange County and maybe he wanted to fix some of his past mistakes.

Observe. Read the rest of this entry