Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite: GLOW (Netflix and Run)

Glow is my latest Netflix and Run binge that I am sad to be done with. It is a re-imagination of the 80s show that I also loved. My favorite characters back then were Dementia and the Farmer’s Daughter. This new show stars Alison Brie and Marc Maron as star and director trying to get the matches on television. It took me back to my childhood bedroom with the teal and peach comforter adorned bed, my side ponytail and florescent pink Garfield sweatshirt with matching leggings, while I listened to “Two of Hearts” by Stacey Q on my boombox. And even though there is plenty of wrestling (no monkey tosses, sadly), it is a story about friendships that are worth fighting for.

Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin) are close friends. Ruth is a struggling actress and Debbie is a new mom and former soap star. Ruth is sleeping with Debbie’s husband. When Ruth goes to an audition for a women’s wrestling show, Debbie crashes it with the knowledge of the affair. They end up being cast as each other foes, Debbie as the All American to Ruth’s Russian. They join the rest of the women who all portray a stereotype that befits their appearance.

In the ring each woman plays their part but out of the ring they are shown as not good or bad, but real. They all make mistakes, some with the best of intentions and some not. You want to hate Ruth not just because of what she did to her friend but because she can be annoying. But Alison Brie’s performance makes you love her anyways and you want her to win Debbie’s friendship back.

Just like Stranger Things‘ opening credits recall films like E.T., Glow brings back graphics that we saw on 80s shows like Solid Gold. Songs like “The Warrior” by Patty Smyth, “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie, and “Invincible” by Pat Benatar just enhance the emotional content of each scene. And if you remember Duran Duran’s Rio album cover, you have a good idea of what hair and makeup looks like.

Bad ass women, hair, makeup, and songs that bring the 80s, and an excellent Marc Maron, Glow is another hit for Netflix that you should check out. Season 2 should be a given.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorites: Korean Films and America

Joon-ho Bong’s Okja tells the story of a little girl and her super pig. When Okja gets taken from Mija (An Seo Hyun), she does everything she can to get him back. It is a moving tale that also showcases the meat industry and its disregard for animal lives. The cast is made up of Korean and American actors and has a lot to say about our society. Watching this made me think of other Korean films that I have been lucky enough to see over the years and how they seem to know us as citizens better than we do.

The Host is how a monster is created when chemicals are dumped into Seoul’s Han River by an American doctor (Scott Wilson, Hershel from Walking Dead). Hyun-seo (Ko A-sung) is taken by the mutant being and her family races to get her back. It is a monster movie but at it’s core it is about family with a bittersweet ending.

Snowpiercer is set in the future with a group of survivors who are trapped on a train that circles the Earth due to a climate change experiment. The train is separated by class of people. Those who run the train are in the front where it is luxurious and those in the back are keeping the train moving and are fed hideous bars of “food”. A rebellion rises up that is led by Curtis (Chris Evans) against the terrifying leader Mason (Tilda Swinton). Snowpiercer is my favorite on this list and is being made into a television show starring Daveed Diggs.

Train to Busan is about a father trying to get his daughter to Busan where she can be safe after a zombie outbreak occurs in Seoul. It is reminiscent of Snowpiercer in that is set on a train fueled by fear, the upper class believe that they deserve to be saved over the lower class, and it has an amazing action fight sequence. This is the only movie on the list that isn’t directed by Joon-ho Bong but it is just as good as the rest and I am a sucker for a quality zombie flick.

Korean films Okja, The Host, Snowpiercer, and Train to Busan are all about family (biological and non-biological). But they all have a darker view of the world, which takes away the element of a fairytale ending. Whether it’s a story about a girl and her pig, a monster movie, a dystopian tale set on a train, or a zombie film, I think this view is what sets them apart and makes them so good.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite: Master of None

Master of None is the creation of friends Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang. It is a Netflix show that just recently premiered season 2. It is a comedy and drama that tells the story of Dev Shah (Ansari) and his group of friends in NYC.

Season 2 finds Dev in Italy learning how to make pasta and absorbing the culture. He is recovering from a bad breakup. He has made friends with couple Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi) and Pino (Riccardo Scamarcio). After he returns to New York he lands a job hosting a cupcake competition show. As fate would have it, he is able to spend time with Francesca as Pino does business in New York. He develops feelings for her, which complicates their relationship.

You know when you sit down to watch something and you just know you are going to enjoy it? That’s Master of None. Aziz’s Dev is vulnerable, honest, funny, and lovable. His male character is one you rarely get to see on TV. He doesn’t try to be cool or strong, he is just Dev. But Master of None is not just his story. It is also Alan, Alan’s dad, and Dev’s friend Denise (Lena Waithe). Episode eight is a Thanksgiving story about how Denise’s family evolves over 20 years. The main focus is on Denise’s sexual orientation and how she comes out to her mom, aunt, and grandma and to them accepting her lifestyle. It was my favorite episode until I watched the one that followed. Nine is a work of art. There is an Italian score, the scenery of the city and upstate, and even the lighting in Dev’s apartment. The combination gives it the feeling of a sixties romantic film.

Master of None is one of the best television shows out there. Emmy nominations are right around the corner and it should get ALL OF THEM.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorites: Getting through the week

The news. Friendships. Local water parks that would rather treat you like garbage than give good customer service. These past couple of weeks have felt like somebody is pushing my head under water, letting me come up for air for two seconds, and then pushing me back under. Anxiety, depression, and life can be fucking unfair. But you don’t want to hear/read me whine like a teenager. Even I get tired of feeling sad. When I have those moments I stop and think of the first thing that is making me happy. It sounds so obvious but being grateful for what I have does not come easy. This is what’s currently getting me out of my head:

Movies: Get Out and Cars 3

Get Out is an intense horror film from Jordan Peele about an interracial couple going to the girl’s parents house for the weekend. It is uncomfortable and claustrophobic with social commentary that will open your eyes a little bit or a lot.

Cars 3 is the latest cartoon from Pixar. It returns us to the story of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and how he is being left behind by up and comers like Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). It is sweet and nostalgic with predictability that I didn’t mind. And it made me miss Paul Newman.

Movie Trailer: Stronger

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this film about the Boston Marathon bombing. He plays Jeff Bauman, a man who loses his legs in the blast. My girl Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) plays his love. The trailer is heart wrenching and made me want to see it if only for people coming together in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

Book: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

This young adult book is the 11th in The Mortal Instruments world that Clare has created. It is fantasy with warlocks, fairies, vampires, and a super human race called the Shadowhunters, which the stories mostly focus on. Lord of Shadows is number two in The Dark Artifices series and focuses on Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs. They are parabatai, a bonded pair of Shadowhunters and best friends. There is a war coming between the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders and it is their job to try and stop it. Clare has created a world that takes you all over the world and places you’ve never dreamed of.

TV Show: @Midnight

Chris Hardwick of Nerdist, Talking Dead, and any other show you can think of that he might host created this Comedy Central game show. Guests such as contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race, comedians, actors, and even Kenny G come on to play categories like HashTag Wars. It’s silly adult humor mixed in with current events and it makes me laugh at least a few times in the 30 minutes it plays. I started watching it after we cut the cable a few weeks ago and I have come to look forward to it every night.

What are you watching/reading/listening to these days? I want to know what is getting you through the day/week/month!

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture

Women Crush Wednesday: Angela Kinsey and Busy Phillips

Angela Kinsey is an actress that played Angela Martin on the American version of The Office. Busy Phillips is an actress that was on Cougartown and Freaks and Geeks. I loved the shows they were on. They are both moms who live in Los Angeles. But these women are my crushes for their Instagram stories. It shows their actual personalities and gives an in depth look into their lives.

Angela is a working actress who is most famous for her role on The Office and is currently on Netflix’s Haters Back Off. I started following her on Instagram last summer after I read about her wedding to actor Josh Snyder. I was delighted to find out that she is the exact opposite of her character Angela. She is sweet, bubbly, and funny. Her stories consist of her flying back and forth from the Vancouver set of her show to her home in LA, spending time with her family, going to her favorite store Target, and hovering over the doughnuts at Craft Services. She even made somebody tearing her Eddie Bauer jacket while she was walking around Vancouver an endearing story that lasted a few weeks. And her best friend is Pam herself, Jenna Fischer. She is just a mom who loves her family and job that happens to be famous. She is relatable.

I discovered Busy on Cougartown. The show was silly but cute. Busy’s character was ditzy and always wore lively outfits. I followed Busy on Instagram because of the show but realized how cool she was when she started doing the stories. Her wardrobe is hipster chic, her nails always make me want to run to the salon, and her hair is always Coachella worthy. She does stories of her working out and sweating so bad I feel the need to workout harder, hanging out with pals Danny McBride and Colin Hanks, and going on a Disney cruise with her family for her parents 50th wedding anniversary. Most recently she was honest about how disheartening it was that her pilot for NBC didn’t get picked up. She is herself in a way that is refreshing for an actress who has been in the business for 20+ years. Add the fact that she is best friends with mega actress Michelle Williams and it doesn’t get much cooler than Busy Phillips.

Angela Kinsey and Busy Phillips are both hard working moms in the entertainment industry. They live their lives on social media so fans can catch a glimpse of their world. Their lack of self consciousness while showing their daily lives is something to look up to. It makes you feel as if they could be your friend.

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite: Black Panther

During the NBA Finals tonight the Black Panther teaser trailer will air. Why should you be excited about this? Let me break it down for you:

  • The director of Black Panther is Ryan Coogler. He has directed Fruitvale Station and Creed. Both are amazing films, with the second a worthy addition to the Rocky series. Both star Michael B. Jordan. Which leads me to my next point:
  • The CAST is take your breath away awe-inspiring. Chadwick Boseman plays our hero, T’Challa. His character was introduced in last year’s Captain America: Civil War. He has also played legends Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up. Michael B. Jordan plays Erik Killmonger. His early work in Parenthood and Friday Night Lights gained him attention but he blew us away in Fruitvale Station. Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’O plays Nakia. She not only has an Oscar and is a fashion icon, she is also a part of the little known Star Wars movies. Danai Gurira plays Okoye. As the sword wielding Michonne on The Walking Dead, the lady knows how to play a strong woman. Other notables include Angela Bassett (there’s not a role this woman can’t play) and Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out).
  • It’s a Marvel movie-DUH.

I will leave you with this picture of the cast, director, and Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick from last year’s Comic Con because it brings me such joy:

Black Panther cast

The movie comes out February 16, 2018.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorite: Dear White People (Netflix Binge)

Dear White People is a Netflix original show based on the 2014 movie of the same name. The story is set at a college with a group of diverse students. Spike Lee’s 1995 Higher Learning failed to do what Dear White People succeeds at: Showing that your experiences are dependent on the color of your skin without getting in your face and coming across as preachy.

I had read and heard enough about the show that I decided I would make it my next treadmill binge after I finished 13 Reasons Why. Sam (Logan Browning) feels it is her job as a black student and radio DJ to make the white college students aware of their privilege. The show has humor and a bit of soap opera drama. But its underlying message is serious and each episode showcases that. When I read The Hate You Give, Starr had to be two different people. One person when she is is with her friends from her neighborhood and a different person when she is with her friends from her private school. Sam has the same problem when she begins a romantic relationship.

Episode 5 brings the tension to a head on campus. I was aware of what the episode was about but it still upset me to my core. The injustice of the incident frustrates me. And as somebody who didn’t feel her rights were taken from her until this past November, I feel ashamed.

Dear White People also deals with blackface, coming out, and interracial relationships. There needs to be more shows like this. As in, quality programming that educates.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend.  Thanks for reading!