Archive for the ‘Legal’ Category

Prison Break: Event Series

August 9, 2017

A lot has changed in the twelve years since Prison Break premiered on Fox in 2005. American television kept climbing until the best industry people take time to create phenomenal series truly elevating the medium to an art form. Which makes it more and more difficult for me to watch mediocrity. I loved the escapist comfort food of Prison Break back in the day. The series took me out of my world and allowed me to spend time… well if truth be told, I spent time fantasizing about a threesome with Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller. Fast-forward 12 years. Dominic Purcell is still broodingly masculine. Wentworth Miller got a little closer to my reality by coming out of the closet. And my taste in television got a lot more sophisticated thanks to the dearth of outstanding choices from streaming services, premium cable channels and even a few broadcast shows. Too bad the new incarnation of Prison Break just doesn’t hold my attention. Dominic and Wentworth are still sexy as all hell. But I need my eye candy with a sophisticated plot and outstanding writing. Golden Age of Television: you’ve spoiled me for the pretty boys. 2.5 out of 5. Next.

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50 Shades of Gay (2017) – Channel 4

July 11, 2017

An unfortunate title, Channel 4’s 50 Shades of Gay turns out to be a brief, compelling look at the progress made in Britain’s gay community since the repeal of sodomy laws 50 years ago. Rupert Everett wrote and presented this snapshot of how lives have changed since 1967. Remarkably, Everett manages to include older gay men, people of color, television actors, laborers, a lesbian community, a lesbian trans couple, Princess Diana’s former assistant and the former head of BP. Quite an impressive collection of diverse stories for 47 minutes. And Everett himself softens his persona in order to welcome the changes that have taken place allowing the viewer to decide which are positive and which may be troublesome. 4 out of 5 for 50 Shades of Gay. Watch it on YouTube.

Orange is the New Black: Season 5

June 15, 2017

Damn ladies. Orange is the New Black just keeps getting better and better. How is that even possible? Every season builds on the previous. Not a misstep in this season. Absolute amazing acting, directing, editing, and writing. Highlights include,

Natasha Lyonne as Nicky getting clean and reaching out
Uzo Aduba as Suzanne falling apart again and again (another Emmy?)
Danielle Brooks as Taystee negotiating the deal of the century
Taylor Schilling as Piper realizing her fate and future
Lea DeLaria as Boo proving butch girls look good doing romance
Jackie Cruz and Diane Guerrero as Flaca & Maritza proving the ridiculousness of our instant fame culture
Selenis Leyva as Gloria delivering a powerhouse performance and becoming my favorite character for S5
Taryn Manning as Tiffany (Pennsyltucky) navigating the complicated waters of rape culture, forgiveness, and desire
Adrienne Moore as Black Cindy full of comfort and relief in the final episode
Yael Stone as Lorna crazy as ever
Kate Mulgrew as Red full of revenge
Laura Prepon as Alex filled with PTSD and remorse  and just wanting to stay free (of drama and violence)
Kimiko Glenn as Brook walking the long road of grief
Brad William Henke as Piscatella leading with misdirected spite and evil in the face of homophobia
Elizabeth Rodriguez as Aleida figuring out how to be free
Dascha Polanco as Dayanara facing her consequences

I’m sure I missed someone. What a roller coaster ride this season was and what a cliff hanger. All bets are off that everyone will survive the final moments of the raid. It’s Netflix after all. Unbelievable. Thank you Jenji Kohan and crew for this gift. 5 out of 5.

Treme: Season 3 (take 2)

March 30, 2017

Just can’t get enough of New Awlins. Click on the image below and read my updated review of Treme: Season 3.

Treme: Season 1 (take 2)

March 17, 2017

David Simon’s 2010 follow-up to The Wire uncovers a meditation on New Orleans post-Katrina. Complicated, nuanced, with a phenomenal ensemble cast and the best variety of music any series has yet to produce. Click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review.

Rectify: Season 4 (The Final Season)

March 11, 2017

What to say about Rectify after all these seasons? Certainly it continues to be a sleeper hit. Thanks to SundanceTV, it made it through four glorious seasons. Rectify certainly isn’t a series for everyone. It can be hard to watch. It’s neither light nor escapist. Rectify pulls you in with  atmosphere, despair, and outstanding acting. Nothing goes unexamined. Eventually everything is spoken but most of the time it is what is left unsaid that fuels Rectify‘s excellence. This final season in particular, the mood is more ensemble. We see each character making the first apprehensive steps towards life post-Daniel’s incarceration. The cast is outstanding. Not a weak performance in the bunch. Thank you Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron, Adelaide Clemens, Clayne Crawford, Luke Kirby, Jake Austin Walker, J.D. Evermore, and Bruce McKinnon for four excellent years. Rectify is the kind of show you sit back, watch a scene and then catch your breath wondering what just happened? How did they create beauty out of so much sorrow? This is my kind of intense television show. Congrats to creator Ray McKinnon, the cast and crew for a spectacular look into the destruction and collateral damage of a wrongful conviction. 5 out of 5.

Orange is the New Black: Season 5 (teaser trailer)

February 11, 2017

Fifteen seconds of teasing from Litchfield Prison and Season 5 of the luscious Orange is the New Black. Release date: June 9, 2017. Watch the teaser on YouTube.

When We Rise (trailer)

February 4, 2017

Is anyone else excited about the ABC mini-series, When We Rise coming to television the end of the month? The series written by Dustin Lance Black (Milk) chronicles the continuing struggle for LGBT equality from Stonewall to Marriage Equality. I’m sure Black didn’t realize how topical this series would be when he began writing. Ironically, the series which was intended to air on ABC over four consecutive nights is now being interrupted between 1 & 2 by Donald Trump’s congressional address. Since I don’t have cable or live streaming, I’ll be looking for this on disk and perhaps Netflix or Amazon in the very near future. Watch the trailer for this series featuring an incredible cast.

When We Rise airs beginning Monday, February 27, 2017 on ABC.

Sneaky Pete: Season 1

January 15, 2017

sneaky-peteI re-watched the pilot for Amazon’s Sneaky Pete as well as episode two this weekend. Season 1 premiered Friday on Amazon. I liked the pilot, but for some reason the series didn’t gel for me during episode two. I love Giovanni Ribisi, but the back and forth between his character’s former and new life felt stilted. I wanted more depth and got neither from the two settings. Too bad because the acting pool is great, the production value high. I have to admit relief whenever I run across a series I can let go of. Is that bad to say on my blog? I barely have time to keep up with the plethora of series I am committed to this year. And as you can see from my year in review posted on NYE, I watch a lot of television. So goodbye Sneaky Pete. I’m sorry I couldn’t stick around for Giovanni’s new project. 2 out of 5.

13th

January 2, 2017

13th

Ava DuVernay‘s (Selma) Netflix original documentary, 13th dissects the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery except in cases of incarceration. 13th is a must-see for anyone interested in the conversation of race, equality, and social justice in the United States. DuVerney’s outstanding creation makes this difficult subject understandable and easy to digest. Lingering doubts about our country’s abuse of the criminal justice system disappear with this factual film. Takeaways: we need to spend money taking care of our citizens, not handing them over to corporations who profit from locking them up and keeping them locked up. It’s up to those of us who have never had to face this injustice to finally right this wrong. 13th brings a necessary conversation to the masses. 5 out of 5 for 13th.


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