Category Archives: Television

“UnREAL” is Unreal

If you engage in the guilty pleasure that is The Bachelor/ Bachelorette franchise, you will be mesmerized by Lifetime’s new show UnREAL.

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Shiri Appleby (you might remember her as Adam’s girlfriend Natalia on Girls) stars as Rachel, a producer on a faux-Bachelor show called Everlasting. She had an alcohol-induced meltdown on the last series of Everlasting, and returns to the show determined to prove to Quinn, her no-nonsense boss (Constance Zimmer AKA Dana Gordon on Entourage) that she has recovered and is ready to get back to work.

The one-hour drama conveys the manipulative and almost villainous tactics the producers use to manufacture the drama and insanity the audience craves. Rachel struggles with eagerness to be the best at her job, and reluctance to exploit the female contestants for the sake of good television. She is constantly grappling with where to draw the line. The show also explores the strained relationships between producers and the complex personal lives of Quinn, Rachel, and the “suitor”, Adam, a British hotel heir attempting to reinvent his image.

This psychological drama conveniently airs on Mondays at 10 PM (right after The Bachelorette), and will make you rethink the social phenomenon that is reality television.

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My “Mad Men” Pitch

This morning I sat in my first ever yoga class thinking about Mad Men. It still hasn’t quite hit me that there will never be another new episode of this beautiful and perfect show, and that I have seen all I ever will of these characters lives. I was prepared to write a nostalgic and wistful post about the brilliant finale and how the series personally affected me as a whole. But, and this is not even a joke, I sat in yoga this morning just as Don did in the last moments of the show, and I thought of a better idea. madmen_don_meditating I felt complete closure with each character’s story line (except maybe Betty’s, because it makes me too sad), and I loved that Don’s Coca-Cola pitch was left to the imagination. That being said, below is a list of possible television show/ movie spinoffs that I would deeply enjoy to watch:

Le Mariage

Written and directed by Nancy Meyers, this romantic-comedy is set in France, and follows the nuptials of Roger Sterling and Marie Calvet. A whole slew of characters come together to witness that it is never too late to find true love. Megan brings a young, actor boyfriend as her date; Margaret Sterling leaves her cult to make a surprise appearance; Don brings Sally to make a fun trip of the weekend, but she is shocked when she remembers the LAST time she saw Roger and Marie together!

“A Thing Like That”

What happens when two wealthy New Yorkers decide to pick up and move to Wichita, Kansas? This hilarious sitcom starring Pete and Trudy Campbell! They make new friends, choreograph more dances, and finally buy a new chip-n-dip.

“The Peggy Project”

Similar to “The Mindy Project”, this witty half-hour comedy stars Peggy Olsen as she navigates New York City, her thirties, a new career, and a blossoming office romance. In episode one, Stan finally meets Peggy’s mother and sister! Let’s hope Mrs. Olsen doesn’t find Stan’s stash of weed…

All I Wanna Do 2

This is a sequel to the 1998 film about a 1960’s all girls’ boarding school that starred Kirsten Dunst. This movie is set in 1970’s Miss Porter’s School, and stars Sally Draper who returns from Betty’s funeral determined to honor her mother’s wishes and return to normal life. Things get complicated when a distraught Glenn Bishop hears about Betty and decides to pay Sally a visit…

Ginsberg, Interrupted

He may have lost his nipple, but he hasn’t lost hope.

Genehood

Exactly like the film Boyhood, but following Gene Draper for the next twelve years of his life.

Guilty Little Liars

Guilty pleasures… we all have them in one way or another. Whether it’s secretly subscribing to The National Enquirer, jamming out to One Direction when you’re alone in your car, or digging into a family size bag of Doritos under the covers after a long day.

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Personally, my guilty pleasures are all television or movie related (shocker). They are the things I watch that I am afraid to admit I deeply enjoy… the things that are so bad they’re good. Here are ten of my television and movie vices:

TV:

  • Teen Mom 2
  • Pretty Wild (it lasted only one season around eight years ago, but I re-watch it on Netflix regularly)
  • The Bachelor/ Bachelorette
  • Jersey Shore
  • Any and every Lifetime special (my top picks include Who Is Clark Rockefeller?, Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret, Blue Eyed Butcher, and William & Kate)

MOVIES:

  • Sleeping with the Enemy (and Enough, they are similar and equally as riveting)
  • Twilight
  • Wild Things
  • It’s Complicated
  • Bewitched (thank you Nicole Kidman…thank you)

The above works of art bring me so much happiness and escape, that I am not even sure why I am embarrassed to admit how much I love them. Sure, I might be more intellectually stimulated by Mad Men or American Beauty, but there is nothing wrong with needing a little mindless catharsis every now and then. Why should guilt ever be associated with harmless pleasure?

So, confess! What are the shows and movies you lie about loving?

Mad Men Finale: Study Guide

The second half of the final season of the beloved and brilliant Mad Men premieres in one week. So, for those of you who might have forgotten where we left off, here is a quick recap to get you geared up and ready for the April 5th premiere:

Historical Period: The moon landing, July 1969

Mid-Season Finale Title: “Waterloo”

Important Plot Points:

  • Jim Cutler sent Don a letter citing him for breaching the addendum to his contract by barging into the cigarette meeting two episodes prior. Jim’s line of reasoning: “You’re just a bully and a drunk”. Can’t really argue with that…
  • Peggy visited Indianapolis with Pete, Don, and Harry and gave the Burger Chef pitch in Don’s place (the day after the moon landing). It was the most moving pitch of the show since “The Carousel”, and symbolic of Peggy’s professional and personal growth. Don’s face alone during Peggy’s pitch, gazing at his protégé emulating his knack for zeroing in on authentic and raw emotion, was tear jerking and Emmy worthy.
  • It is interesting to note that “The Carousel” pitch was nostalgic and looking backward, while the Burger Chef pitch looked toward the future.
  • Bert Cooper passed away while watching the moon landing on the couch in his living room.
  • Roger proposed to Don his plan to have McCann buy out their company and make them a boutique agency-within-an-agency, promising all of the partners a large sum of money. Don succeeded in pitching the deal to a reluctant Ted and the other partners during a meeting, and it was decided: McCann owns Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price.
  • Don and Megan’s marriage was apparently broken up over the phone… though this is surely not the end of Megan Draper (in some capacity) on the show.
  • Back in the Francis household, Betty is still living her post-divorce life with Henry and is nevertheless miserable and restless, but maybe a little less so than in previous seasons.
  • Watching Sally’s development has been my favorite part of the show. The night of the moon landing, she made out with the nerdy boy staying at her house (Betty’s friend’s son) instead of his hunky football player brother. She is a smart girl and I can’t wait to see where her character ends up. Also, Betty was possibly attracted to the hunky football player (throwing it back to her inappropriate obsession with young boys like Glenn), which is symbolic of how different Sally is from Betty.
  • The episode ended with Don hallucinating, or possibly just imagining, Bert Cooper singing and dancing to “I Believe In You” which Robert Morse sang in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

This is just a basic list of things to remember for next Sunday. To be truly prepared, give last season a re-watch. Maybe even the entire series.

Parting is such sweet sorrow…

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Thoughts on “Girls”, Season 4

I must preface this post by saying I am an unconditional fan, supporter, and admirer of Lena Dunham. She is by far my most profound role model and I aspire to be half the writer she is.

That being said (don’t you just love this passive aggressive phrase?), this season of Girls just didn’t do it for me. We saw the “girls” together only a handful of times, and the plot-lines flew all over the place. Hannah was in Iowa for graduate school, Hannah came back to New York to find Adam with a new girlfriend, Hannah spent time with said girlfriend (Mimi Rose) and kind of liked her, Hannah decided to be a teacher, Hannah started dating a co-worker at her school (a guy named Fran, which I did kind of love), Hannah inappropriately befriended a high school student (Maude Apatow), then Hannah witnessed the home birth of Adam’s sister (played by Gaby Hoffman who was BRILLIANT). Adam asked for Hannah back while gazing at his sister’s child (named Jessa-Hannah), Hannah declined, and apparently six months later Hannah is in a serious relationship with Fran. Also, Hannah’s dad is gay, Marnie is engaged to Desi (or is she anymore?), Ray ran for office, Shoshana is going to Japan, and Jessa is going to be a therapist.

The best thing about Girls (for me) was always how relatable it was. I felt a deep emotional connection to each character. This season I watched the show and felt hollow. I sometimes connected with Hannah’s confusion and frustration with entering adulthood, but it was overshadowed by how easily she settled into a new job and a new relationship. Wouldn’t losing her boyfriend, quitting graduate school, and finding out her father is gay trigger Hannah’s OCD? Wouldn’t Marnie rise to the occasion and be there for her supposed best friend? I miss the days when Hannah and Jessa sat in a bathtub with “Wonderwall” playing in the background.

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What do you guys think? Where is Girls headed?

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Tina Fey, Netflix, and God have all answered every hope and prayer I have had for a new TV show to be obsessed with… Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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Tina Fey’s new show, which is now streaming on Netflix (the entire first season!), stars Ellie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt, who you probably remember as the “you smell like pine needles and have a face like sunshine” girl from Bridesmaids. Kimmy has spent the last 15 years in an underground cult, has been rescued, and returns back into the real world of New York City. Kimmy’s childlike and charismatic outlook on the world is endearing and hysterical, and she would probably seem annoying if she was played by any other actress than Ellie Kemper, who was frankly made for this role.

Kimmy’s bizarre roommate Titus (played by Tituss Burgess) and her insane landlady (Carol Kane, perfection) jive perfectly into the show. Most importantly, the Upper East Side mom Kimmy nanny’s for is played by Jane Krakowski, who is one of my favorite actresses of all time and utterly steals the show. Krakowski brings elements of her 30 Rock character Jenna Maroney into the performance, but is also creating an entirely different, but just as iconic role in Jacqueline Voorhes.

What I love most about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is that the show is funny but still savvy and complex. Kimmy is essentially a child trapped in a woman’s body, but is still determined to make a life for herself even though she worries she will never truly be normal.

This show is perfect in every way. Binge watch the first season right NOW! You will fall in love with the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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