Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Scott & Bailey: Season 4

July 21, 2018

I finished Season 4 of Scott & Bailey on vacation. I watched very little television, but did catch the final few episodes of this solid television series from England. The best from Season 4: the promotion, Rachel’s Mom, Janet’s daughter Elise leaving home, Rachel and her sexy new man, Gill’s drinking, Gill’s impending retirement, and the slaves at the farm. Hard to believe only one more to go. Time flew by with Janet and Rachel. 4 out of 5.

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Scott & Bailey: Season 2

June 26, 2018

Still loving the British police procedural, Scott & Bailey. Fun to see the genders reversed – the women to be making the decisions, drinking too much, fucking up their relationships, and solving all the crimes. Best parts of Season 2: Janet’s marital problems, Rachel’s brother Dominic, Sean’s reappearance in Rachel’s life, Andy’s reappearance in Janet’s life, Sean’s surprise family member, Andy and Janet’s screw-up at work, Nick Savage’s reappearance, and Rachel’s Mom who helps with the cliffhanger. Kudos to the direction and writing. Tight, smart and easy to digest, Scott & Bailey is perfect for almost any occasion. Breezed through this second season full of surprises and filled with the familiarity of our heroines. 4 out of 5.

Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Enlightened: Season 2 (take 2)

June 23, 2018

Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of the colossal whistle-blower television series, Enlightened from the brilliant minds of Mike White and Laura Dern.

Man in an Orange Shirt

June 19, 2018

PBS’ Masterpiece imports another outstanding British production, Man in an Orange Shirt available today on DVD and streaming. The film tells the love stories of two male couples, one post WWII and one in present day England. British novelist Patrick Gale wrote Man in an Orange Shirt. If you haven’t read any Gale, I suggest starting with Rough Music or The Facts of Life. Gale is a master of storytelling in multiple time periods. Man in an Orange Shirt focuses on love, but also exposes the destruction the closet can reap on gay people and their loved ones, particularly their opposite-sexed spouses. Michael and Thomas struggle to hold on to their love in an unforgiving 1940’s England. Michael marries Flora while Thomas faces the law. Michael’s grandson Adam meets Steve as they face modern-day challenges of open relationships and online hook-ups. For both couples, the closet and societal acceptance prove their biggest hurdles. Writing, production values, acting, directing all first-rate. The story is told in two parts starting as the war comes to an end and finishing in present time. Man in an Orange Shirt feels like something I will want to revisit in the very near future. Thrilled these stories are being written and produced for television. Lots of tears with ultimately one happy ending. 4 out of 5 for Man in an Orange Shirt.

Love, Simon

June 16, 2018

Ah, a new generation’s coming out film. Only this time the film goes from indy to wide theater release with celebrities renting out movie houses for kids and their parents to see the film. We can and need to enjoy the progress while continuing the fight for full equality for all. The Greg Berlanti adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s gorgeous YA (Young Adult) novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda lives up to the hype. Before you watch, read the book. Newly crowned, Love, Simon, Berlanti’s film captures the simple, every-teen existence of Simon Spier navigating high school and his uncertainty about coming out in his picture postcard life. Simon has an easy life. What he doesn’t understand is why he has to come out and no one else does. Love, Simon becomes accessible by striking a balance between the characters. Yes Simon is white and privileged and male, but his story is universal and his friends are straight and many shades other than white. I realize it can be frustrating seeing yourself only in supporting roles. So I’m not minimizing that issue. I’m simply saying there’s power in telling these coming out stories to a wider audience using images society is comfortable with… cis white males and then absolutely following that up with stories about women, people of color, gender non-conforming, etc. I thought Simon worked on many levels and part of that was the accessibility of this film to straight white America. I live in a town with very little diversity so I understand the importance of visibility. Simon also excels at accessibility because the story stays simple and easy-going. No one gets beat up or threatened. Simon doesn’t lose his family’s love. But there’s still drama and angst which fuels the teen drama in familiar ways. I absolutely enjoyed Love, Simon and understand why it got such love when it was released. It’s out on DVD and streaming. Love, Simon will make you happy we live in a world where progress has been made. There’s still tons of work to do, but it’s nice to be able to take a break and enjoy how far we’ve come. Love, Simon is a tender reminder of the good things the world has to offer LGBT kids today. 4 out of 5.

Enlightened: Season 1 (take 2)

June 15, 2018

In awe of how great Mike White’s Enlightened is the second time around. Must see for anyone who’s ever felt dead inside and lost from our brutal corporate reality. Or for anyone who wants a wake-up call. Or anyone who craves intelligent television. Click on the image to read Reel Charlie’s updated review.

The Wizard of Oz, Now and Forever

June 14, 2018

The youngest child, Cassandra visiting this week is only four months old. She hasn’t yet found the time to obsess over pop culture. I predict no matter what, she will at some point and hopefully for the rest of her life fall in love with The Wizard of Oz. Because everyone needs a little Glinda in their life.

World Cup 2018

June 13, 2018

The middle child visiting this week, Matias is obsessed with soccer – errr, football. So here’s my ode to World Cup 2018 happening this week in Russia. And because I tease him about loving Cristiano Ronaldo so much, I’ll post a video of the world’s greatest footballer.

Harry Potter Obsession

June 12, 2018

In honor of my California family visit this week, I’m featuring three posts – one for each child. First up, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Sofia is a HUGE fan of the books. Click on the link below to read Reel Charlie’s review.

Sense8: The Finale

June 10, 2018

Never have I loved such a flawed show as much as I love Sense8. The plot can be ridiculous, the story lines impossible to follow, the back story baffling, and the violence over the top gross. And yet, in-between lives an arc of love, connection, compassion, and a sense of wonder. Gloriously filmed in Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Nairobi, Reykjavik, San Francisco, and Seoul, this finale movie wrap-up lands in Paris where the sensates gather to do battle with the Chairman and save their race from enslavement and extinction. I forgot much of the plot between Season 2 and the wrap-up movie. I sure wish Netflix and other streamers would create “last season on…” trailers to remind us where we left off in the previous season. Instead I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the ride. There’s way too much violence for me, and Daryl Hannah’s face work never stops being distracting. Still Sense8 imagines a world of possibilities for love and friendship. And for that I will end this series content and fulfilled. What’s not to love about a kooky, over-the-top, sex positive TV show that has a HEA ending? My girls found their moment after the battles ended. 4 out of 5 for the ambitious Sense8 from the Wachowskis.


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