TV

The Leftovers: Thoughts on the End of the Series

The last time Damon Lindelof wrote a series finale I cried for three days. Personally, I found ending of Lost highly emotionally satisfying, but I know that’s a controversial topic. Nonetheless, Damon Lindelof has proven himself capable of writing really powerful, emotionally affecting scenes between complex characters and I have a feeling we’re dipping right back into that well with tonight’s finale of The Leftovers. (more…)

Girls – “American Bitch” S6E3

While the Oscar debacle was unfolding on ABC on Sunday night, HBO was airing what might be the strongest and most important episode of Girls that the network has ever produced.

Lena Dunham is a divisive figure and as a result Girls has always been a divisive show. Life through the eyes of the narcissistic, self-indulgent Hannah Horvath provides a very unique perspective into this strange period of a young woman’s life as you’re finishing your education and trying to understand what it truly means to be an adult. Girls came on the air at the perfect time for me, it was right when I was finishing up my second semester in college, so as this group of young women have progressed and matured (or not so much so) my life has changed with them and I’ve always felt like the tone and the themes of the show are incredibly relatable.

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One topic that 20-something women (and men) have been particularly vocal about is rape culture and how the imbalance of power contributes to non-consensual sex. Girls took that topic on Sunday night and they handled it in a very, very smart way.

In a standalone episode that only follows Hannah, she meets with one of her favorite authors in his home to discuss a piece she had written about allegations college students on his book tours had made about coercive or potentially even non-consensual sexual encounters with him.

In her conversations with this author she defends her work, revels in his praises and they disagree about the nature of sexual relationships and the role that power plays in consent. Their conversation started out tense, but grows warmer as he opens up to her. You can see this hard line that Hannah has drawn between consent and coercion begin to blur in their own conversations, in the way that he’s treating her, but she doesn’t realize he is manipulating her until it’s already happening. It was very smart to show how a confident, empowered young woman could spout rhetoric about rape culture and the male power complex and mean every word of it, but not see it coming when it’s directed at her.

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There’s a great segment that at the end of the episode where Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner discuss the episode and they rightly point out that people who might adopt sexually predatory behavior aren’t always overtly evil and cartoonish. It’s not always that black and white.

If you’re not into Girls or just haven’t seen the show before, you can still enjoy this episode. It’s a standalone episode, so you don’t need to see episodes prior to follow it.

I was super impressed by this episode. It was a good narrative for the episode and the subtext was super powerful and relevant. Nicely done, Lena Dunham & Co.

 

Review: O.J. – Made In America

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Directed by: Ezra Edelman

Summary: O.J.: Made in America is a documentary chronicling the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson and how his controversial legacy is so deeply intertwined with race relations in Los Angeles and around the country.

I was four years old when Nicole Brown Simpson was found murdered in her Brentwood home. So, for most of my life O.J. Simpson has been the punchline to a joke. (more…)

Oscar Season 2016

So…life happens. New job. New apartment. I’ll spare you the boring details – but for the first time EVER life has gotten in the way of my ability to dive head first into Oscar season.

The season kicked off to a VERY disappointing bang with Golden Globe nominations. My problems were mostly with the TV nominees, but any award show that is going to deem Empire worthy of a Best Drama nomination over both The Leftovers AND The Knick has got their head way too far up their ass for me to take them seriously with TV or film.

I’m not kidding. I’m still irate. This might be the biggest snub in awards history since the “Daniel-Day-Lewis Not-Winning-For-Gangs-of-New-York” disaster of 2003.

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In any case, with just two weeks to go before Oscar night, I’ve decided to make a mad dash to the finish line and play catch-up. In the next two weeks I’ll be posting ‘bite size’ reviews of the Oscar contenders for this year along with my predicted wins in each award category.

More to come soon!

You Should Be Watching: The Leftovers

The Leftovers

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Starring: Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Margaret Qualley, Chris Zylka, Carrie Coon, and Ann Dowd
Created by: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta
Airs on: HBO

Last summer HBO premiered a new series written by Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta (author of the book upon which the series is based) called The Leftovers to positive reviews and consistently good ratings. Seeing Lindelof credited again, many viewers were skeptical. It’s hard to see Lindelof’s name and not immediately think of Lost and its controversial ending, but I promise you, The Leftovers is worth your time. (more…)

Emmy Winner Predictions: The Big 3

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My final Emmy winner predictions include the ‘big 3’ categories:

  • Outstanding Drama Series
  • Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Limited Series

Previous posts on Emmy winner predictions include the writing & directing categories and the acting categories.

Ready. Set. Go! (more…)

Emmy Winner Predictions: Acting

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More predictions for this years Emmy winners! You can read my previous post on the writing and directing nominees here.

This post includes the following categories:

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Here we go. (more…)

Emmy Winner Predictions: Writing & Directing

imageWe are less than one week away from the Emmy’s, so its time for some annual predictions about the winning shows for this year. This post will cover the following categories:

  • Outstanding Writing  for a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Directing for a Comedy
  • Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
  • Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special.

Before we begin, its important to draw attention to The Creative Arts Emmys. These awards that celebrate the more technical aspects of creating television (cinematography, sound editing/mixing, casting, original score, etc.) were distributed last week. In some ways, these awards can be even more important than some that are given out during the ceremony, but the list of nominees is a little out of control. You can check out the vast list of nominees and winners on my Emmy Nominations page.

Lets dive in.

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You Should Be Watching: The Knick

The Knick

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Starring: Clive Owen, Andre Holland, Jeremy Bobb, Juliet Rylance, Eve Hewson, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour, Eric Johnson
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Airs On: Cinemax

The Knick launched its first season on Cinemax around this time last year, to critical acclaim but a very small audience. In an effort to boost viewership for season two (I assume), HBO, parent company to Cinemax, is streaming The Knick on HBONow for a limited time. If you don’t have Cinemax and want to get caught up on this excellent, very underrated show, now is the perfect time! (more…)

#JonVoyage: Saying Goodbye to Jon Stewart

In just a few hours Jon Stewart will host his FINAL episode of The Daily Show. 

 At the second that the final Moment of Zen wraps my soul will be crushed into little pieces on the floor. 

In less than two years I have lost Chelsea Lately, The Colbert Report, and now Jon Stewart as the host of my beloved Daily Show- my favorite Jew and fantasy husband.    But this isn’t about me (yes it is). No one has earned retirement more than Jon but he will be sorely, sorely missed in living rooms all over America. What a wonderful 16 years it has been.