Mental Health Awareness Month Review: “Christine”

I remember watching “Christine” (2016) the first time.  I went into the film knowing nothing about Christine Chubbuck or her life.  I knew minimal about broadcast journalism in the 1970s.  But watching the film was an eye-opening and haunting experience.

The real life Christine Chubbuck is not a household name. She was a television reporter in the Sarasota, Florida area, and worked on human stories; finding interest in the seemingly mundane about people. But in the 1970s, the world was shifting from feel-good news pieces to the mentality of “If it bleeds, it leads.” The 1970s is when we saw the rise of the Vietnam War, and serial killers dominated headlines. There was a paradigm shift and Chubbuck was not ready.  Sure, she was interested in politics and asking tough questions, but she was intrigued with others, how they operated and what made them tick. Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Month Review: “Christine”

Social Isolation Review: “The Politician”

High school is tough. Everything feels like the highest of high stakes.  One wrong move, no matter how miniscule, will be the end of the world.  Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” feels like “Election” (1999) meets “All About Eve” (1950) meets a Coen Brothers’ film ALL on acid.  

Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) is gearing up for his senior year and his run for president of his affluent high school. He is ready to win because his path to Harvard and the White House all start with becoming school president.  His opponent, Astrid Sloan (Lucy Boynton), isn’t going to make it easy and Payton is okay with that. He likes the competition. They aren’t just fighting over class president, but vying for the affection of River Barkley (David Corneswet). Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “The Politician”

Social Isolation Review: “Unbelievable”

People have always been fascinated with true crime.  But since the rise of the Internet and creation of the “Law & Order” television franchise, the space to indulge in true crime has expanded exponentially.  

But if we talk about and consider watching true crime during this time, the one series we should be focusing on is Netflix’s “Unbelievable.”  It is not an easy watch, and personally I have had to talk a number of people into watching past episode one.

The series follows Marie (a superb Kaitlyn Dever) who is trying to start out on her own following years in the foster care system. But her attempts to build a new life are demolished following a home invasion and rape. Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Unbelievable”

Why I (Still) Love Lucy

I remember the first time I saw an episode of “I Love Lucy”. As a 90’s baby, I watched Nick at Nite religiously. For anyone who was not born in the glory of the nineties, Nick at Nite was a cable program on Nickelodeon. Long after my bed time, Nick at Nite would play re-runs of old television shows like “I Love Lucy”, “Bewitched”, and “I Dream of Jeannie”. Instead of being annoyed by the lack of color I remember being fascinated watching the black and white shows.

My absolute favorite show on Nick at Nite was I Love Lucy. The first episode I vividly remember watching was one of the most classic episodes, “Lucy Does a TV Commercial”. Lucy advertises a medicine called “Vitameatavegamin” that unbeknownst to her contains 23% alcohol. My tiny ten-year-old self roared with laughter as Lucy got drunk off of the medicine and fudged all of her lines. “Do you pop out at parties? Are you unpoopular? The answer to all your problems is in this little ottle.” If you haven’t seen this episode, run and watch it immediately. It perfectly illustrates the genius of “I Love Lucy”. Continue reading Why I (Still) Love Lucy

Social Isolation Review: “Sharp Objects”

Want to feel deeply anxious and maybe a little depressed?  Look no further than HBO’s miniseries “Sharp Objects.” Amy Adams stars as crime reporter Camille Preaker.  Camille comes back to her small Missouri hometown after a second teenage girl is found murdered.

But coming home comes with more than just trying to cover and solve the murders of two young girls.  Camille is once again with her mother, Adora (Patricia Clarkson) and spending time with her younger half-sister Amma (Eliza Scanlen).  While she sorts through her past and her relationship with her family, she also tries working in tandem with Detective Richard Willis (Chris Messina) who has been called in from Kansas City to help with the investigation. Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Sharp Objects”

Social Isolation Review: “Bonding”

Sex is a little taboo.  I mean, for some, it is a lot of taboo. Coming to terms with understanding sex and sexuality is tackled in Rightor Doyle’s short-form comedy series “Bonding.”  Pete (Brendan Scannell) reconnects with his hometown friend Tiff (Zoe Levin) after they both move out to NYC.  Pete is gay and coming to terms with what his version of love, relationships, and sex all mean.  But he won’t be able to do any of that if he can’t pay his rent. That is where Tiff comes in. Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Bonding”

Review: “National Theatre Live: Fleabag”

Before “Fleabag” was a television show, it was a one-woman stage play.  Written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by Vicky Jones, the stage play gives us the first moments of Fleabag and her messy life and family.

Filmed by Tony Grech-Smith, the recorded live performance immerses you in Waller-Bridge’s story and characters.  Some characters are merely pre-recorded voices. The feminist lecturer and the bank manager are ominious voices played overhead.  Meanwhile, all the other characters brought to life by various actors in the show are portrayed by Waller-Bridge herself. Continue reading Review: “National Theatre Live: Fleabag”

Social Isolation Review: “Russian Doll”

What would you do if you had to relive the same night, over and over again, dying in a new way each time? Oh, and what if that day is your 36th birthday?

That is where Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) finds herself.  This existentially dark, “Groundhog’s Day”-esque show takes us down a path of self-discovery, alternate timelines, and redemption.  I won’t give too much away. “Russian Doll” is a particularly special show, and to ruin the magic of a first time watch would be criminal.  So, you’re just going to have to trust me that it is worth going down the rabbit hole for this one.

“Russian Doll” hinges upon Lyonne’s performance.  She does not disappoint. Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Russian Doll”

Social Isolation Review: “Fleabag”

This is a love story.

“Fleabag,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s award-winning series, is a masterpiece.  I do not say that lightly. But it is true.  

Fleabag (Waller-Bridge) is a quirky, sometimes crude woman attempting to live her life.  Season 1 introduces us to her life, her family, her friends. She is a mess. Her life is a mess,  Her mother has passed and now her father (Bill Paterson) is dating her Godmother (Olivia Colman).  She has a strenuous relationship with her sister, Claire (Sian Clifford).  And her best friend Boo (Jenny Rainsford) has died.  Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Fleabag”

The “Schitt’s Creek” Legacy

ong-running shows leave their marks on television.  “Schitt’s Creek” has been no exception. With its conclusion, here is a quick look at its legacy.

“Schitt’s Creek” gave us a tiny town with a host of characters.  This little oasis in the world far away from the “phobias” of the world.  The town of Schitt’s Creek is inclusive to the LGBTQ community. When David Rose (Daniel Levy) came out as pansexual, his parents Johnny and Moira (Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara) were very accepting.  The town was also unbothered by his sexual orientation. Continue reading The “Schitt’s Creek” Legacy