Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 1

December 9, 2017

Season 1 of the Amazon Prime exclusive, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel succeeded my wildest expectations after loving the pilot during Amazon’s Pilot season earlier this year. Gilmore Girls creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino work their magic once again, this time in 1950’s New York City. Miriam “Midge” Maisel falls into stand-up comedy after a nasty break-up with her husband. Midge spent her young life being a daughter, wife, and mother. Now she’s back home living with her parents, two kids in tow while she figures out how to make money and how to break into show business. I love, love, love this series. It’s got everything: tight delivery, outstanding cast including Rachel Brosnahan as Midge (a star is born), Alex Borstein as Suzie, Midge’s lesbian manager, Marin Hinkle incredibly cast and nailing her role as Midge’s Mom, Tony Shalhoub as Midge’s dry sense of humor Dad, and Luke Kirby occasionally appearing as Lenny Bruce. The sets, costumes, design – all outstanding. The drama comedy balance perfect. I know I’m ruining it but I can’t help it. I love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Midge teaches us what it means to be a modern woman, figuring out how to break the chains of patriarchy while holding on to the parts of her life that work. The show never knocks you over the head. It teaches through the drama of the every day story. You’ll be hooked on Midge and her journey from the moment you begin. And did I say the series is so much fun? Laugh out loud moments, period songs inserted at just the right moment. 5 out of 5 for the Sherman-Palladino’s new creation. Thank you Amazon.

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Love, Simon (trailer)

December 4, 2017

Have you read Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda? Check out my review on Goodreads,

Loved Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda! Easy, feel good YA novel about a 16 year-old boy in the suburbs of Atlanta coming out as gay. These stories warm my heart and make me happy LGBT teens today can find a voice in literature. Great writing and strong characters make Simon stand out in the crowd. The formulaic plot doesn’t hinder – instead makes it easy to breeze through this beautiful book. Becky Albertalli makes Simon 3-dimensional while balancing a light and fun read.

So they’ve adapted the book into a film called, Love, Simon. The first trailer is out and it looks lovely. Check it out.

4th Man Out

December 2, 2017

4th Man Out continues a new, positive gay coming out film sub-genre. Instead of the family and friends struggling, hating, or being horrified, they do what real people do (or should do) and support their friend. 4th Man Out centers around a group of four adult men in their 20’s who’ve been besties forever. One of them finally comes out. At first there’s awkwardness, then the comedy begins. And so we usher in the Gay Dude Buddy genre. Gude? He’s just a regular guy. He’s a mechanic. He farts when he eats nachos. He just so happens to be gay. I like the genre. I like the film. We need more of these films. His buds support him, his parents support him. His mother chastises him for not sharing all of his life with her for the past 10 years. That’s the only thing she’s upset about after his coming out. 4th Man Out‘s sweet, it’s endearing. It’s feel-good, Friday date night, easy peasy fun. 3.5 out of 5.

Me Him Her

November 29, 2017

Me Him Her looked like a potentially cute gay male with straight best friend film. Watching the first half reduced my enthusiasm to a sigh. Filmed in 2015, the film relied on too many worn out tropes – the famous actor who can’t quite figure out how to come out of the closet, the goofy straight best friend who ventures out to save the day, the rebounding lesbian who ends up sleeping with said goofy straight best friend even though he doesn’t even remotely resemble a woman. Parts of it tried hard, parts were cringe-worthy. The bathroom fantasy club scene in particular rang homophobic to me. To be honest, I couldn’t finish it. There was something there – a kernel of potential, maybe even more. It simple never came together. 2 out of 5 for Me Him Her. Next.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 3, Episodes 1 & 2

November 15, 2017

I’ve enjoyed the remarkable experiment that is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for over two seasons. Innovative, creative, outside the box, feminist manifesto wrapped up in a Rom-Com wrapper are just some of the words and phrases I could use to describe the show. I gave Season 1 a 4 out of 5. I gave Season 2 a 3.5 out of 5. The sophomore season lost a bit of its edge. And the first two episodes of the third season feel like the creators have done all they can with the story. I currently follow 25 shows. That’s a huge commitment. So when I can bolt, I do. Rather quickly. Not out of hatred or horror normally. Out of a need to whittle that list down just a smidge so I can get more reading and more offline time into my life. I understand a future episode involved Rebecca and her mother shines bright with AV Club singing its praise. I’m happy the show is having some fine moments. I feel it’s best for me to step aside and remember season 1 for the remarkable creation it is. 2 out of 5 for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 3. Next.

Red Oaks: Season 3 (The Final Season)

October 22, 2017

Had a blast binging on the swan song season of Amazon Prime’s Red Oaks. Without a doubt this show has been one of my favorite sleeper hits of the past few years. Mid-80’s suburban NJ and NYC scenario of a young man finding his way in the world. This final season focuses on wrapping up stories on David, Wheeler, Nash, Misty, Judy, Sam, and Getty. Great mix of kids in the big city and parents in the ‘burbs. Love how easy-going David turns out to be in 1987 when his Mom discovers she’s 70% lesbian and his Jewish Dad is dating an African-American woman. Outstanding cast featuring Craig Roberts, Ennis Esmer, Oliver Cooper, Richard Kind, Greer Barnes, Tijuana Ricks, Paul Reiser, Alexandra Turshen, Jennifer Grey, Alexandra Socha, Josh Meyers, and Gina Gershon. Directing duties balanced between David Gordon Green, Hal Hartley, and Amy Heckering. Such a warm and authentic show from creators Joe Gangemi and Gregory Jacobs. They even managed to sneak a very funny Trump joke in a 1987 TV show. Really going to miss David and friends. 4 out of 5.

Match Game ’75

October 16, 2017

Thanks to Buzzr, Amazon Prime Video added some classic game shows. One of my all-time favorites, Match Game has a number of episodes streaming from 1975 and 1976. So much fun! Brett Somers, Richard Dawson, Fannie Flagg, Betty White, Greg Morris, and many, many more. Were they drunk? Were they stoned? Only host Gene Rayburn knows for sure. Whatever, they were giggly and silly. Great nostalgia. 4 out of 5.

If We Took a Holiday (Short)

October 3, 2017

Oh my lord. I love Glenn Gaylord (Eating Out, I Do). Can’t believe I took this much time to see his short film, If We Took a Holiday. From YouTube,

If We Took a Holiday tells the story of a struggling L.A. actress (Nadya Ginsburg) who agrees to impersonate Madonna all day long as a birthday present for her recently dumped gay best friend (Dennis Hensley.) Shenanigans and life lessons ensue. The film is produced and written by Glenn Gaylord, Nadya Ginsburg and Dennis Hensley and directed by Glenn Gaylord.

This was so much fun! Nadya Ginsburg is a genius impersonator and Dennis Hensley was perfect as her gay best friend recovering from a break-up. Birthday celebrations abound. The nearly 18 minutes flew by. I laughed, I felt all gooey inside. Really outstanding. Yea! 5 out of 5.

Watch If We Took a Holiday on YouTube.

 

My Favorite Martian: Season 1, Ep. 1 & 2

September 24, 2017

Told you Amazon Prime has been adding a whole lot of classic television. Watched two episodes of the crazy My Favorite Martian which landed in television sets during the mid-1960’s. Ray Walston plays Uncle Martin the Martian. Walston’s role felt familiar alongside other fussy, bachelor-type characters of the day including Jonathan Harris’ Dr. Smith from Lost in Space, Sebastian Cabot’s Mr. French of Family Affair, and Paul Lynde’s Uncle Arthur in Bewitched. These characters were a combination of comic relief, throwing some spice in an otherwise ordinary household and acting as a surrogate parent – particularly in place of an absent mother for a heterosexual household. In 2017, these characters read old school asexual gay to me: don’t ask, don’t tell. Walston’s character acts more as an intrusion into main character Bill Bixby’s life as the marooned Martian in the series. He also plays cupid for Bixby as he struggles with finding the girl of his dreams. What struck me most about this stroll through nostalgia was the size of Bixby’s waist. A lean young man indeed, he was 29 during the first season. Full of sexist remarks – most surprisingly from the female characters, as well as the mandatory and annoying laugh track, My Favorite Martian remains best as a memory instead of a binge. 2 out of 5. Next.

One Mississippi: Season 2

September 21, 2017

Spoiler alerts: What I found missing since discovering Tig Notaro’s projects which definitely weave real life with fiction is the idea of naming her sexuality. She certainly doesn’t hide being a lesbian. She just never says the word. It’s a very post-gay, urban stance – to imagine the culture has progressed to the point where it’s unnecessary for labels. We simply show up with a partner and if they are of the same gender, then that is who you are with. It’s a lovely thought for a Star Trek episode. But for the current world we live in, I disagree. For years I have said the world outside of urban gay ghettos doesn’t embrace everyone equally. That idea felt quaint and outdated to many. With the advent of the election last year, everyone’s eyes have been opened to the need to stand up and be counted – as a person of color, as a woman, as an immigrant, as a person of science, and as LGBTQ. So I was thrilled to see Tig name her sexuality. Tig uses the words gay and lesbian strongly during the first two episodes of her sophomore season of One Mississippi. It feels right especially in our post-election reality. However in the middle of all this, the audience is thrown a huge curve when fictional Tig explains to her yet requited love interest Kate (straight Kate as Tig’s brother dubs her) played by Tig’s real life wife, Stephanie Allynne that she’s dated men. No not before she came out, but after. She tells Kate that gender is something that’s specific from a distance, but up close its blurred. Uh what? Why isn’t her character bisexual? I can’t help but think in order for openly gay women and men to be considered reasonable and accepting, we are now expected to embrace having relationships with people of the opposite gender. Just in case anyone might want to label us closed-minded. Tig’s fictional character doesn’t talk about being bisexual. Or being mostly lesbian. She doesn’t talk about being attracted to trans or gender fluid people. She simply drops that bombshell and moves on. It makes absolutely no sense and colored my enjoyment of the series for the rest of the season. I don’t need every queer character to be a gold star gay like me. I know there are all kinds of people in the world. But this kind of posturing rings so politically correct and inauthentic, I’m not buying it. Especially not for Tig’s character.

I realize this argument is my personal argument. I own that. The rest of the season waffles between extremely artful expressions of golden age television and awkward trying too hard moments. I hung in there and will check out Season 3 if it gets renewed. I’m giving One Mississippi: Season 2 a 3 out of 5.


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