Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category

Deep Water

May 23, 2017

Australia’s 4-part mini series Deep Water based on the “real life hate murders of… up to 80 gay men in Sydney’s eastern suburbs (Bondi) beaches in the 1970s and ’80s” (Wikipedia)  might be a hard sell if the quality of production wasn’t so thoughtful. There was a documentary produced in addition to the mini-series. Starring Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) and Noah Taylor as the detectives who link a gruesome reality of homophobic hate crimes and murders that continued through the present. The current killings are linked to the past as Stone’s Tori Lustigman uncovers a vast ritual of gay bashings dating back 30-40 years ago. Tori’s interest in the case goes from professional to personal jeopardizing the investigation at several key points. Deep Water creates a quiet, steady police procedural eschewing theatrics for methodical detective work which pays off in the end and makes the series easy to watch. Actor Jeremy Lindsay Taylor gives good eye candy as Tori’s friend Oscar who we find deeply connected to the past and puts himself into jeopardy to find answers. No denying the subject matter is difficult. The production respectfully honors the story with a steady, kind heart. 4 out of 5.

I watched Deep Water on DVD from the library. Netflix has it on DVD as well and it’s available streaming through Acorn TV.

I Love Dick: Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2

May 22, 2017

I was intrigued by the Amazon pilot I Love Dick, Jill Soloway’s (Transparent) new comedy on Amazon which aired earlier this year and got picked up for a full season. Soloway bills it as the first series which looks at the world from a female gaze. I’m paraphrasing there but that idea intrigued me enough to watch the next episode on Amazon.  Unfortunately I didn’t find the characters universal or relatable as in Transparent. To be honest, there was too much posing. The show feels too contrived skewering the hipster world of art and writing. Full disclosure, I read this rather confusing article last evening about Soloway which may have put a damper on my enjoyment of the show. Sometimes I learn too much about the creatives behind a project which colors my feelings. Based on the novel by Chris Kraus, I Love Dick explores a woman following her male partner to Marfa, TX where she explores the meaning of her art and life through an obsession with a self-absorbed male teacher named Dick. Though the premise and pilot intrigued me, I didn’t connect with the series after viewing episode 2. Again, I’m thrilled to not add another series to my list of must-see’s. I didn’t hate Dick, it just got on my nerves. Art hipster posing is not something I look forward to embracing on a rainy evening after dinner. 2.5 out of 5.

The Foster: Season 4

May 22, 2017

The Fosters continues its reign as Queen and Queen of family drama. That’s Queen Stef and Queen Lena, partners in love and life to five teenaged children – biological and adopted. Season 4 of this Freeform drama continues the chaotic lives of the Adams-Fosters family. I joked in a previous post that the show isn’t really performing unless at least three of the kids are having simultaneous disasters. But honestly, that’s the way it’s felt this season. And not in a stupid way. In a realistic way of what a household might be like with five hormonal teenagers. There are certainly moments I thank the Universe I never procreated and watching this show is one of them. Fun escapist drama as long as I don’t have to clean up their mess. Luckily they have two great Moms to do most of the cleaning up. Bravo to this beautiful and loving show for paving the way as it has for the past four seasons. Looking forward to Season Five premiering this summer on. 4 out of 5.

Of course any season with an appearance of Brandon Quinn as the twins biological Dad Gabe is always welcome, especially if he’s shirtless.

The River Wild

May 15, 2017

Not sure why but I had a hankering to watch the 1994 Meryl Streep film, The River Wild. I saw it listed on Amazon Video and added it to my queue, but it’s not part of Prime so I would have had to rent it. Luckily we have a copy at the library. It was exactly what I needed. Good escapist fun with a dash of natural American outdoor beauty. And Streep’s the main character whose the skilled white water rafter. All the men play secondary to her. Unfortunately there’s only one interaction between Streep’s character and her mother. So definitely not a Bechdel Test film. Still it was fun and even Kevin Bacon is believable as one of the bad guys after a bit. I truly enjoyed my trip down The River Wild memory lane. 3.5 out of 5.

Orange is the New Black | Season 5 Official Trailer (YouTube)

May 11, 2017

I’m taking my time absorbing the second season of Sense8 slowly and methodically. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer for Season 5 of Orange is the New Black.

That Gay Episode: ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ Comes Out Of The Closet (Decider)

May 9, 2017

Photos: HULU ; Illustration: Dillen phelps; from Decider

Brett White over at Decider continues the series, That Gay Episode this time focusing on the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode where Phyllis finds out her brother is gay. From Decider,

Gay people worry about how they’re perceived — not for vanity reasons, but survival reasons. The period of a gay person’s life — be they minutes, months or years — between acknowledging their queer identity and proudly flying a rainbow flag are a nonstop internal Q(ueer) & A session.”Do they know I’m gay?” “Wait, does this make me seem gay?” “When do I tell them I’m gay?” It’s hard to express who you now know you are when you’re dealing with people whose perceptions of you run back decades.

These are the issues at the heart of The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘s 1973 episode “My Brother’s Keeper.” Unlike Cheers‘ “The Boys in the Bar,” which tackled machismo and gay panic by making half the cast straight-up homophobes, “My Brother’s Keeper” saved its big gay reveal for the very end. To get all meta, this is a gay episode that literally plays it straight for 24 of its 25 minutes.

Read the full article.
Read Kenneth in the 212’s blog post about how this episode and other quintessential queer moments on television personally affected him.

‘Little Women’ Is Coming Back As A Three-Hour Miniseries On PBS (HuffPost)

May 8, 2017

The tenth adaptation (1917, 1918, 1933, 1949, 1950, 1958, 1970, 1978 and 1994) of Little Women begins filming this summer and set to air on PBS in 2018. Which version is your favorite? I’m partial to the 1978 Susan Dey version with Meredith Baxter, Eve Plumb, and William Shatner.

From HuffPost,

Whether you’re a Jo, a Meg, a Beth or an Amy, we have good news: your favorite treatise on girlhood and growing up is back.

Masterpiece and PBS announced on Thursday that the network has an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women underway, in conjunction with Colin Callender’s Playground and the BBC.

So far we know that the two-volume novel will be turned into a three-hour miniseries, though further details, such as casting choices or release dates, have yet to be announced. The U.K.-U.S. production team will begin principal photography as soon as July.

Read the full article here.

Gosford Park screens at Metrograph (NYC)

May 3, 2017

Metro NYC peeps: Robert Altman, Bob Balaban, and Julian Fellowes’ sumptuous pre-Downton Abbey class drama, Gosford Park appears on the big screen next week at Metrograph in NYC. Catch it if you can. Bob Balaban’s going to be there in person for Q&A. From Metrograph,

Gosford Park
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
1:15pm4:15pm7:00pm

2001 / 131min

DIRECTOR: ROBERT ALTMAN

CAST: BOB BALABAN, MAGGIE SMITH, MICHAEL GAMBON, KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, CAMILLA RUTHERFORD, CHARLES DANCE, GERALDINE SOMERVILLE, RYAN PHILLIPPE

Introduction and Q&A with Bob Balaban

Robert Altman’s classic whodunit set over a shooting weekend at an English country estate in 1932 features a peerless ensemble cast portraying the upstairs-downstairs array of guests and servants, fusing the spirits of Agatha Christie and Jean Renoir in this arthouse hit. Bob Balaban, who created and produced the movie, plays a holidaying American film producer and joins Metrograph for this one-night-only screening to discuss the film’s production. The screenplay comes courtesy Julian Fellowes, who would continue to dissect the English class system in Downton Abbey.

Contact Metrograph for tickets.
Read Reel Charlie’s review of the triumphant Gosford Park
. It’s been nearly three years since I’ve last seen it.

Sense8: Season 2 (trailer)

May 1, 2017

Are you ready? Four days until Netflix drops the entire second season of Sense8 – the global suspense mystery intersecting race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Eight people from all over this beautiful planet awaken to their supernatural connection. Catch up with Season 1. Or if you’re ready, watch the Season 2 trailer of the only show ever created which combines car chases, tender love, spectacular worldwide locations, mysterious supernatural powers, and psychic orgies. Bring it Wachowskis!

Watch Sense8‘s Season 2 trailer on YouTube.

From my Season 1 review: Sense8 (films)… on four continents spanning Chicago, San Francisco, London, Iceland, Seoul, Mumbai, Berlin, Mexico City and Nairobi.

Dear White People: Season 1

April 30, 2017

For some reason the original film, Dear White People didn’t resonate with me. Looking back on the review, I didn’t feel there was enough energy in the 2012-2014 project. Fast-forward to 2017. Creator Justin Simien turns his idea into a 10-episode Netflix television series. Now this was the right vehicle. Focusing on a character at a time, Simien and the crew tackle mostly race but also sexism and homophobia on modern college campuses. Dear White People is fun, but in the fifth episode things get very serious. And then by the seventh episode there’s some melodrama I could have done without, but then I remembered this is college after all and even intelligent, evolved young people are going to get messy with their emotions. Overall I love the Netflix show and am positively looking forward to Season 2. The series tackled a lot of really tough subjects head on as young people have a tendency to do. Bravo to the fearless cast and crew. 4.5 out of 5 for Dear White People.


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