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filmmaven's coffee chat

a morning discussion of film and popular culture over coffee

Month

June 2016

Summertime and the living is easy

Way back in the day (when I went to High School with Jesus as my son always likes to say) things shut down. Sunday there were no stores open except for that rare place from 1 pm to 5pm and you couldn’t buy liquor at all. Television was gone after 1am. Music played, an American flag would wave and you were deprived of any contact with the outside world until 6am. Television programming had seasons. You watched your favorite shows from October until May. Zip, that was it. Gone for the summer. Sometimes shows that really weren’t very good but the network wanted to throw it against the wall and test what might be would show up as a summer replacement. “All in the Family” was one of those…and it stuck. People loved it. Then it became a regular show. With a set time and place that closed down for the summer.

Now …Summer is rockin…..Cable networks and streaming options have made Seasons a thing that means a certain number of episodes and not a seasonal showing. I’ve got shows all year long. We can sit in relative comfort with air con and a blanket over us to watch the spring (Game of Thrones, Kimmy Schmidt, Wyonna Earp) offerings and now the summer programming begins with a bluster and a sweet ride.

 

Orange is the New Black (June 2016, Season 4) – Its sad, its sweet, its wicked, its sexy. But its still Prison. The show never lets you forget, as much as you adore and enjoy it, its still basically hell. I was hoping for more Daya and resolving her baby lost in the system issue…but was reminded as I binged the entire season in one weekend, that sometimes there is no resolution..and the girl is still in prison. Around the 5th episode I was wondering why Piper hasn’t learned a darn thing about herself and even when she seems to do so, it doesn’t take much to throw her right back down into selfish over privilege. Season 3 was by far the best of the best, but Season 4 makes you want Season 5 to hurry the F up and get here.

A small tribute to AMC — Making all the right moves …….

PREACHER (AMC, Sunday 9pm) — That Howard Stark dude is literally in everything. I can’t watch a movie with out going…oh, its that Dominic Cooper AGAIN. So I went into the first episode of Preacher with a little trepidation……Would I see past his Howard Stark-ness (ABC’s Agent Carter) ?? But no worries ….the show is creepy and gross and a little bit over the top nutty — I know Texas is full of cray cray .but WHEW ….A Vampire, a sultry bad girl feminist with the coolest dang car, a smoking cussing preacher with a sad mysterious background …and those are the 3 normal folks. Jackie Earle Haley (watchmen, bad news bears) is impressive; smooth and smarmy but also almost a normal guy. Anything can happen in this show and it probably will.

RIDE with Norman Reedus (AMC, Sunday 10pm) — Each episode is a terrific combination of bikes, people, vistas and small roadside food joints. Norman doesn’t blare his fame, but doesn’t pretend its not part of the action ..but the bikes and the ride come first. His road companion gets equal if not more of the camera time and the American landscape (highway 101, the blue ridge parkway) are the key focus. Its a hodgepodge of folk tales, road side spots, bike shops and the ride…the long winding ride. Its quiet and refreshing. The perfect  frozen Popsicle or tall iced mint julep on a scorching summer day.

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Television Women are BAD ASSES — more Please?

What is it about the small screen? The women are just totally kick ass and not taking names…When you think of it – this has been the case from the start of television ….Lucy & Ethel, ran that show with both physical and emotional humor. Donna Reed, Hazel, Aunt Bee, Mrs. Brady,  ..so many woman who were really in charge. Soap Opera’s always had the coolest female villains in daytime and nighttime shows.  The first show that really hit me with its female super hero was “Dark Angel”, there was no stopping Max and sitting on top of the space needle to think and reflect on the world was inspirational. I am still waiting for James Cameron to take up that character again.

Lately I’ve been joyfully watching “Orphan Black ” on BBC American (Thursdays 10pm) and “Alias” (ABC 2001 -2006) on Netflix while reflecting on the slowness of this trend onto the big screen. A spattering of women with physical power and super cleverness is still over shadowed by so many in supporting, not even side kick, characters that make pretty scenery. Let’s give full credit to Scarlett Johanson and Chloe Grace Moretz for taking on (all) the roles but we must have more and more and more of them seen on screen. We need a new generation Pam Grier and a next generation Geena Davis.

A recent request by two top level actresses interested in playing  James Bond was met with tittering and the revamped “Ghostbusters” is getting scorn and mocking as much as interest. While understandable that the reaction to remaking any favorite film is often met with dislike, using females in traditional male roles brings about a certain level of discomfort (if this applies to you, take a second look- why does it bother you? Not why is it wrong of THEM but why is it bothering YOU).

Meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy catching up on Jennifer Garner in “Alias” and trying to figure out if Tatiana Maslany is really triplets.

 

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