Lost in Television Series

February 22, 2018

I haven’t posted much this week. I’m juggling three outstanding television series and will take my time working my way through them:

Babylon Berlin: Season 1 (Netflix)
Rita: Season 4 (Netflix)
The Deuce: Season 1 (HBO on DVD from the library)

Tykwer’s Babylon Berlin pairs a huge German and Russian cast with complicated political and historical story lines. Add the over the top production design and you’ve got a runaway hit.

Rita continues to fascinate and charm me. I’m in love with this Danish series.

The Deuce is the newest series from The Wire and Treme creator David Simon. I’m completely hooked after the first three episodes. The Deuce slowly works its way into your heart as only David Simon can do.

Full reviews coming, I promise.
What are you watching?


A Streamer’s Guide to Best Actress (Decider)

February 21, 2018

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I love these articles popping up online pointing us to the best of someone’s career and how to stream it. Decider just posted an article about the five actresses nominated for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars and how to stream the best of their canon. From Decider,

The 2017 Best Actress field at the Academy Awards is an especially strong field, representing some of the top Best Picture contenders in a way that doesn’t always happen with the Oscars. It’s something that deserves to be celebrated, so first off a big round of applause for:

  • Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

  • Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

  • Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

  • Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

  • Meryl Streep in The Post

Find all the films and the full article on Decider.

Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

Netflix Reboots Lost in Space

February 21, 2018

Had no idea this was happening: Netflix reboots the 1965 television series, Lost in Space. My first thought was how will they cast and write the Dr. Smith character without making him an awkward and offensive gay stereotype? No, I don’t hate fem men. And I am fine with LGBT characters being evil. But the original Dr. Smith character hearkens to a time in film and television history where gay people were either punch lines or villains. So Netflix has two words for my concern: Parker Posey. Yup, the producers turned the character on its head and made him a woman. Genius. Brilliant. And if anyone can play evil and fun simultaneously, it’s Parker Posey. Now I can’t wait to watch the reboot. Also looking forward to Toby Stephens (Cambridge Spies) as the Dad.

Lost in Space launches April 13 on Netflix.

Read Nerdist’s take on Parker Posey as Dr. Smith.
Bonus question: who is actor Toby Stephens mother? (Hint: she’s British acting royalty.)

Watch the Lost in Space trailer on YouTube.

NYC’s Film Forum Marquee Letters

February 19, 2018

Own a piece of NYC film history. From Film Forum,

For the first time since 1980, we are updating our marquee as part of our expansion and renovation. Hundreds of well-worn marquee letters are being retired after spelling out some of the greatest movies of the past 37 years. Fortunately for you, this means you can own a piece of NYC film history!

Spell out your or your cinephile loved ones’ initials, name, favorite movie, curse word – up to you! Just $5 per letter.

Letters are 3-7 inches wide and 67/8 inches tall. Subject to availability.

All proceeds benefit Film Forum, a non-profit art house cinema since 1970. 
Click for more information and to purchase letters.

Rita: Season 3

February 18, 2018

Season 3 of our beloved Rita continues the journey of play not-by-the-rules, but by breaking them. Danish school teacher Rita knows best for her family, friends, and co-workers. Season 3 focuses more on Rita drifting into unknown waters as her children fly the nest and she’s back to being single. Rasmus might be gone from Rita’s bedroom, but lucky for us not from the series. Helle takes over as Headmaster of the school, Hjørdis and Uffe settle in to their relationship, Jeppe has his first live-in relationship with boyfriend David, and Rita meets a not exactly what she imagined new man named Said. Rita goes on a journey with her students this year which challenges her intimacy with strangers while making the audience wonder why she can’t have similar relationships with those in her personal life. Such a great show which goes darker than normal in this third season. When you get to the end, you realize why. Big changes ahead for our gal. Does that include her finally quitting smoking? Tune in to see. 4 out of 5 for this incredible television series from Denmark.

Ryan Murphy Leaves 20th TV for Netflix Mega-Deal (Hollywood Reporter)

February 17, 2018

The Hollywood Reporter discusses Ryan Murphy’s move to Netflix, a colossal deal which will cement a relationship for five years. From The Hollywood Reporter,

Ryan Murphy is joining Shonda Rhimes at Netflix.

The prolific producer behind American Horror Story and American Crime Story will exit his longtime home at 20th Century Fox Television in favor of a mega-deal at Netflix that is said to be for five years and worth $300 million, according to The New York Times.

Murphy continued stressing the importance of the voices he champions,

“The history of this moment is not lost on me,” Murphy said. “I am a gay kid from Indiana who moved to Hollywood in 1989 with $55 in savings in my pocket, so the fact that my dreams have crystallized and come true in such a major way is emotional and overwhelming to me. I am awash in genuine appreciation for Ted Sarandos, Reed Hastings and Cindy Holland at Netflix for believing in me and the future of my company which will continue to champion women, minorities and LGBTQ heroes and heroines, and I am honored and grateful to continue my partnership with my friends and peers at Fox on our existing shows.”

Best of luck to Ryan and Netflix as they propel us into the immediate future.

If you’re interested in the business behind this move, check out MarketWatch’s article, What Netflix’s $300 million Ryan Murphy deal says about the future of TV.

Read The Hollywood Reporter article.

Rita: Season 2

February 16, 2018

Danish series Rita continues to captivate me. Currently streaming on Netflix, I’m pretty sure I love the sophomore season more than I loved Rita‘s premiere which I rated a 5. I cried over several episodes, laughed my ass off over many scenes and marveled at the realness Rita’s producers, directors, actors, and writing team give the world. More than anything, the penultimate episode gave me goosebumps and made me sob. Without giving away any spoilers, I’m very upset over losing a certain character. But that’s what makes shows like Rita great and not just good – they are willing to take huge risks in hopes the audience will tag along. More cheers for Mille Dinesen in the title role making anyone with a pulse obsessed with her jean-clad butt. Researchers interested in how to empower female characters to flaunt their sexuality on their own terms should watch the way the filmmakers and crew craft the visuals of Rita and the reactions she elicits from those around her. Carsten Bjørnlund, Lise Baastrup, Nikolaj Groth, Peter Gantzler, Ellen Hillingsø, and Morten Vang Simonsen create so much depth and meaning to this series with a special shout out to Tommy Kenter who played bullied teacher Erik beautifully. To paraphrase a classic song, just can’t help lovin’ that Rita of mine. 5 out of 5.

Edit note: I originally wrote “Researchers interested in how to allow women to flaunt their sexuality…” I meant characters, not actual women. Actual women make their own decisions. I apologize if anyone read the original post and winced.

Here And Now (trailer)

February 15, 2018

HBO’s new Alan Ball series, Here And Now trailer dropped this week:

Check out HBO’s official page for Here And Now.

Be My Gaylentine 2018

February 14, 2018

When I first heard the word Galentine, I thought it meant Gay Valentine. Silly me. Anyway, it got me thinking. So here’s my Gaylentine, Leslentine, Bilentine list of my favorite LGB films filled with romance and love. Click on the link for Reel Charlie’s review.

Beautiful Thing
Freir Fall (Free Fall)
Giorni (Days)
God’s Own Country
Go Fish
Ha- Buah (The Bubble)
I Do
The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love 
Jongens (Boys)
My Beautiful Laundrette
Parting Glances
Reaching for the Moon

Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric

February 14, 2018

I believe the documentary Gender Revolution came about after Katie Couric was slammed by transgender advocates for spending too much time asking about genitals during an interview with Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. I’m remembering this which can be dangerous. So if that’s not how this project came about, you can tell me I didn’t do my homework and I’ll happily edit the post. Meanwhile, I found Gender Revolution to be an easy-to-digest, sensible, and accessible documentary for the general public. That’s a good thing. If you’re unfamiliar or confused by the terms intersex, cisgender, or any other word relating to gender, add this to your to-watch queue. The documentary is an eye-opening look at gender beginning with intersex people and moving into the transgender experience with all its iterations. There are doctors, scientists, parents and college students discussing how the western world is evolving and how our awareness is vital to the safety and happiness of our intersex, trans, and gender variant family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. 3.5 out of 5 for this clear examination of the complexities of gender.

See the Gender Revolution companion page on National Geographic.

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