Sunday, October 26, 2014

Scandal, Orange, Cards - thank you Netflix

Hello, friends.  Been a while.  At least it's not my year in review (normally in late December, early January). So, I've been busy with a new job, you?  Like so many people in their middle 40's, work becomes a major focus and time becomes a treasured treat.  In a world of on demand, smart phones and Apple TV, you can watch what you want, when you want.  Since I purchased a little cottage and don't have cable or internet, Netflix has become my new friend.  

I kick it old school, though, as I use the DVD's from Netflix, so you can only watch what you have...that's fine as many episodes of a show can be squeezed onto one disk, still allowing for marathon viewing.

What have I been watching?  Much the same as the rest of America.  I'll start with my favorites in order.  Scandal is the most bubble gum joy of the moment.  From the same creator of Grey's Anatomy, I wait for the time when I can't take it anymore and just stop watching, but not yet.  Not as good as West Wing (or another show featured in this entry), it got better with time and is certainly fun to watch.  For those who don't watch, it's about a woman who fancies herself a political "fixer."  In the show, they call themselves gladiators, but their actions are not always noble.  Kerry Washington is the lead actress playing Olivia Pope.  She's the mistress of the President of the United States, played by Tony Goldwyn.  

Young, Goldwyn and Washington

She finds herself assisting political types in the most compromising of situations while also intertwined with the White House and the various scenarios we think could maybe happen.  It's really bubble gum drama.  What is good?  Some of the characters are interesting and there are lots of spins and action.  What's not good?  The acting is a little over the top and it's hard to find redemption in many of the characters.  The best actor in the group is Bellamy Young who plays the President's wife, Mellie Grant.  Evidently, she was written with a small role in the first season and now is the most interesting and complex character in the show.  Do I recommend?  Sure.

Orange is the new Black is a prison dramedy...more comedy about a women who is sentenced to about a year in federal prison for drug trafficking.  The show is based on Piper Kerman's memoir and features not only a story line about the main character (Piper Chapman), but many of the other women she is forced to spend her time with while behind bars.  This is what makes the story enjoyable beyond the antics of a "fish out of water" story.  We get to know the other women, so they grow beyond scary, stereotypical characters and are well-developed's called life.  

As the Kathy Gifford song proclaims, everyone has a story.  Lesbians like the show...go figure, a funny show about a women's prison.  But MANY people like the show as it's funny, a little scary and the acting is good.  Watching it begs the question of "what would I do?"  In my job, I had to live in a tiny room for 17 days and the whole time I thought about the show and how I couldn't leave, didn't have much space, BUT, I adjusted.  I think that's the real people like us can adjust when things go bad.

The best show is House of Cards (another Netflix show, along with Orange).  This stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a democrat Congressman who climbs his way into the White House.  His wife is played by Robin Wright and the two of them are hypnotic together and individually.  I was curious about Spacey taking on a series role...although, series television is far better than the film industry at this point.  

I was dubious in the first episode, especially of Wright, as the scenes and acting felt very theatrical.  But as the show progressed, the pacing improved and the scenes between the two of them alone in their home became critical to the character development.  Mind you, Spacey was good from the first lines he spoke.  Where Scandal is melodramatic, this show is down right scary as watchers only hope this stuff doesn't really happen...but it could.  While I struggle with Scandal not having redeeming characters, Spacey and Wright really have no good qualities, but I still root for them.  This show makes you question your own morals as they weave through the political underbelly of Washington DC.  This show is better than a film and better than most series on television (or through some on demand world of programming).

No book reviews this time.  No social commentary on the news...which is currently covering ISIS and ebola.  Simply three recommendations for busy people wanting a break from their jobs, homes and family life.  If you're so lucky that you can spend a few hours on the couch, these shows will take you Calgon.

1 comment:

  1. Great Series! I've no access to Netflix or Fox so I'm watching in ALLTorrentPlayer. Wanna try?