Tag Archives: television

TV Review – Orange is the New Black – Season 6 Review (Spoilers Abound)

Hey 3.5 readers.

I don’t have time to give this season the in-depth review it deserves, so I’ll try to break it down quickly.

I felt the first couple seasons were an interesting look into prison life.  Hollywood tends to really ham up prison portrayals –  i.e. that classic scene where the main character enters the joint for the first time and the prisoners throw rain garbage and flaming pieces of whatever down upon him out of their cells.

While I’m sure violence is an ever present threat in prisons (and is portrayed a lot on this show) the show gave an aspect that other shows about the clink rarely showed, i.e., that it’s all one great big glorified high school for adults, complete with social cliques, winners, losers, a great big fishbowl where everyone is in everyone else’s business and the slightest bit of gossip can wreak all kinds of havoc.

I felt in later seasons, the show started to jump the shark as the more outrageous the shenanigans got.  At times, some of the tomfoolery seemed unlikely and increasingly far fetched.

But this last season really brought the series home.

Here, the OITNB girls, or a segment of them anyway, end up in the “max” prison, following a riot that goes bad.  Alas, they find themselves as pawns in the neverending war between two geriatric sisters with a longstanding grudge that has existed since the 1980s.

Lots of emotion, sadness, all sorts of bad things happen.

If the showrunners wanted to, they could probably end the series here.  Piper goes home and assumedly, like the real Piper she was based on, will write a book about her time in the can.

Vause looks like she will atone for her sin of putting Piper in prison in the first place – then again, maybe not as it looks like the boss she had to swear allegiance to in order to get Piper off the hook is no longer around.

Taystee goes down for a crime she didn’t commit but is the poster child for how the system swallows poor young African Americans up.

Black Cindy will forever want to do the right thing, be unable to do the right thing, but always feel guilty for not doing the right thing.

I could go on and on, there are so many characters that I dont think it’s possible for all of their storylines to be resolved (other than most of them will be in the slammer for a long time) I think overall, this season finale brought home a lot of stuff for the main members of the ensemble.

I’ve read that there will be a season 7.  I assume this will be where Piper the ex-inmate becomes Piper the author.  Perhaps the writers will figure out a way to get Taystee out of the fix she is in.

At times, the show goes overboard and over the top.  Sometimes I think it is too liberal as many of the women are portrayed as poor little birds who couldn’t help but be there.  Many of the back stories show people who started out somewhat ok, then just made one bad choice and ended up in jail.  Flaca, for example, sold colored pieces of paper, told kids it was acid to make a buck, only to be charged when a classmate was dumb enough to believe he was tripping when he wasn’t and kill himself.

But then at other times, the show will get real…sometimes too real…the backstory scene where we learn what the 1980s bitties did to get locked up is too scary for words.

Guards are often portrayed as roid addled, power tripping losers but then we also see how they suffer behind the scenes too.

The show could end here and be a rare show that ties up all the ends but it sounds like it has at least another season left.  The writers will have to keep towing that difficult to balance light between humor and abject horror, never going too far into one side or the other.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

 

 

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More Insight on the Buffy Reboot

Hey 3.5 readers.  So, Monica Owusu-Breen, the showrunner who is in charge of the new Buffy reboot, had this to say on Twitter:

“So maybe, it could be time to meet a new Slayer…”

If that means, a whole new Slayer with a different name and different friends, then that’s awesome.

If you’re saying a new version of the same Buffy character, then stop toying with me.

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Andrew Lincoln to Leave the Walking Dead

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Sad news for “Walking Dead” fans, 3.5 readers.

My thoughts:

#1 – My initial hot take is you suck, Andrew Lincoln.  I hope this isn’t a ploy where you want more time to do movies because seriously, there is no movie that you could be in that people want to see more than a kick ass series finale to the show that made you a star.  Bryan Cranston realized that he had to juggle movies around his main bread and butter, namely sticking with “Breaking Bad” until the end.

#2 – But after calming down for a minute, maybe he doesn’t suck.  Lincoln is from England and he points out that the show has kept him from seeing his family for a long time.  AMC may be the network that a show about a meth cooking teacher built, but it is also the network that zombies kept afloat and in sticky cash.  AMC does not want to ditch those zombies any time soon.  It’s a great formula.  Hire dummies to run around the woods pretending to fight zombies.  Plot = humans need something in a place where zombies are.  Fight zombies.  Get sad a human dies.  Occasionally move to a new place that seems like it is run by nice people at first but then the people are bad.  Cut.  Print.  Repeat.

In that case, you can’t blame Andrew Lincoln for not wanting to stay FOREVER.  If AMC is going to keep the zombies coming until the end of time, then I suppose we can’t begrudge Andrew for not wanting to fight the zombies for the rest of his life.

“Law and Order” for example, found a winning formula and it has been on for decades now.  Sure, Mariska Hargitay stuck with it but that’s her choice.  Other actors haven’t stuck around.  I’m not even sure all the actors that were on it in the beginning are still alive.

I think we all have been waiting for that epic series finale that explains all but I have a feeling that AMC will keep “Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead” and possible other spin offs going forever, just bands of humans fighting zombies until the end of time.

If they pull it off, more power to them.  My gut tells me they won’t and once Rick Grimes leaves, that will be it for the viewership.  Maybe not.  Maybe they’ll pull it off but that rarely happens when the main star leaves.

Examples I can think of – “That 70s Show” kept going without Topher Grace as his movie career kicked off.  I don’t blame the cast and crew for wanting to keep it going but I stopped watching after that and I think most people did because it was cancelled not long after Grace left.  Replacing him with a cousin didn’t help.

It’s not impossible to keep a show running without the main character, just unlikely.

#3 – So if Andrew doesn’t want to be Rick until the end of time and AMC wants the zombies forever, I can understand why he wants to exit but even so, we at least need a kickass ending arc to Rick’s character.  That will be like a finale for those of us who have stuck with the show from the beginning.  Maybe we’ll dump the show after Rick leaves.  Maybe we’ll stick around if the writers figure out a great Rick replacement.  But at least give us some closure with Rick.  I fear that won’t happen but we’ll see.

#4 – Andrew leaving should have been kept quiet.  We are now going into the new season with a spoiler.  We know Rick will either die or go off on his own or something.  If they could have kept Andrew’s leaving quiet, then an unexpected Rick death would have suprised the shit out of all of us.

#5 – We’ll see how it goes but I think Andrew and AMC owed us viewers a good resolution to Rick’s character and to the show itself, because I do have a hard time believing the show can carry on without Rick but we’ll see.  We viewers built your network with our support for your show, AMC.  We didn’t let you down when “Walking Dead” needed word of mouth and people hyping the show up on social media, so don’t let us down by giving us a lame ending to a show we’ve been watching nearly a decade now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Pride in Work is Dead

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

Not to get into specifics because you never know when the Yeti might be listening, but recently, I upgraded BQB HQ and that required the purchase of a number of new appliances.

You take them out of the box, set them up, everything is right as rain, right?

Wrong.  You have no idea how much time I’ve spent on the phone with tech support and customer assistance the past few months.

I got a vacuum cleaner that wouldn’t suck and ironically, its inability to suck made it suck.  It was cheap so I thought I got a bargain but apparently it was cheap for a reason.  After multiple go arounds with customer service, I junked it and forked out the cash for a Dyson.  The Dyson works great and ironically, had I just bought a Dyson in the first place I could have afforded a better Dyson.

I bought a desk.  It came in a box.  I had to screw all the parts together.  It was missing parts.  I consulted with others who looked at it just to make sure I wasn’t crazy.  I wasn’t.  It was missing parts.  After a long tango with customer service I, you guessed it, junked it.  It was 100 bucks, which I guess is cheap for a desk but that was all I needed.  I gave up and just got a 20 dollar folding card table.  That’s my desk now.  WTF.

Yeah, in hindsight had I not spent so much on book covers for books I’ll never get published I probably could have bought a really fabulous desk but anyway….the lesson seems to be don’t buy cheap things because they are cheap for a reason.  I’ll buy a top of the line desk when I can afford it.  Until then, I might as well have saved the 100 and gotten the 20 dollar card table up front.

Except the buy top of the line doesn’t work either.  I treated myself to a fantastic TV.  TV is my life so I might as well have a good one.  I take it out of the box and…WTF…there’s a base that screws into the television but the screw holes in the back of the TV are nowhere close to where the screw holes in the base are.

After an hour of having a physics and engineering discussion with tech support, the guy said he’d send me a new part and I told him up front please like actually work on this because I already know you’re just going to grab the same part and mail it to me and I’m going to have a meltdown, not an angry meltdown but just an utter collapse of hope in the overall abilities of society and mankind.

Seriously, if I get the wrong part in the mail, that will be it.  It will be a sign that we have turned a corner in the world, pride in work is dead, and I will retreat to a corner and rock back and forth in the fetal position until it is my time to go.

Also, I hear they don’t make blogs as good as they used to.  I wouldn’t know.  This blog is superior to all blogs.  You laugh, but you’ve never logged on here, found the wrong post, and had me be all like, “Oh sorry, I’ll send you the right post in 7-10 business days but it will probably still be the wrong post.”

By the way, did I mention that earlier this year, I got a new laptop?  It was great and still as laptops go it is fine, but occasionally it overheats to the point where it is hotter than the surface of the sun.  It got so hot that rubber pieces attached to it melted off.  After many tangos with customer service I finally decided that it only overheats once in awhile and a laptop that occasionally burns me that I can’t leave plugged in while I’m gone for fear it will burn down BQB HQ is, as the quality of most products go, a freaking win, because at least it is, more or less, operational, and somewhere there is a guy whose laptop grows a leg and kicks him in the balls who would love an occasionally hot laptop.

Do you have a customer service nightmare you’d like to share?  Discuss in the comments.

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Women Think Everything is the Handmaid’s Tale Now

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.

I have never seen “The Handmaid’s Tale” – a) because I don’t have Hulu and b) because I have a penis.

However, my understanding based on the shrill harpy cries I hear on TV is that it takes place in a future where women are subjugated to male rule, kept as slaves, forced to wear red dresses and white bonnets and do the man’s bidding.  Apparently, fertile females are rare so they are owned by men who procreate with them and keep them locked up or something.

Also, apparently there’s an old woman named Aunt Lydia who keeps the handmaids in line.

So, I’ve never seen this show.  Tell me if it is worth a Hulu subscription but again I won’t think so because I have a penis.  All I know is these are some real life scenes that are happening all over the world thanks to this show.  Basically, if you ask a woman to do anything at all now they reach for the red dress and white bonnet.

SCENE #1 – The Remote Control

MAN:  Honey, can you pass the remote?

WOMAN:  Ah, fi on thee, cruel world, for though hast forced me into a life of handmaidenry!  Damned to do the bidding of my cruel master!  I shall toil away for life and never find any peace as I…

MAN: Oh, nevermind.  It was right next to me the whole time.

SCENE #2 – Sandwich

MAN: Honey, while you’re in the kitchen, can you make me a sandwich?

WOMAN:  Cursed villainy! I shall now dawn the red dress and white bonnet of the handmaid, for shuffle I will through life like a cursed wretch!

MAN: Whoa!  A 2 for 1 pizza coupon in my pocket!  Babe!  Nevermind!  I’m going to call Luigi’s!

SCENE #3 – At Work

MALE BOSS:  Sarah, the figures in your report is all wrong.  I’ll need you to stay late and re-do it.

FEMALE EMPLOYEE:  Oh, vicious agony!  To the chamber I will retire to work my fingers to the bone!

SCENE #4 – Kids

HUSBAND: Babe, I was thinking, should we have a baby?

WIFE:  Bah!  Oh woe unto me, for I have been forced into the unenviable life of a brood mare, damned to whelp your spawn at my breast for all eternity.

HUSBAND:  Yeah.  Plus babies smell bad and they cost a lot of money.  You know what, let’s just get a puppy.

WIFE: I love puppies!

SCENE #5 – The Date

MAN:  Pardon me, ma’am.  I don’t mean to be rude.  My name is Fred and I’m never usually this forward but well, you intrigue me and I wonder if you’d like to get coffee sometime so I could get to know you better.

WOMAN:  Blasted fate!  I shall have no choice but to take the name “Of Fred” and live in your broom closet where Aunt Lydia will whip me and chain me up and …

MAN: Whoa, geeze.  You know, I just remembered I’m allergic to coffee so, have a nice day.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Miss America Cancels Swimsuit Competition

What a strange new world, 3.5 readers.

Gotta be honest, I was outraged for 3.5 seconds until I realized the Miss America pageant was basically spanking material for lonely men in a time when there wasn’t any Internet porn.  Now that there’s Internet porn, there’s no reason to watch it.

I mean, really, when was the last time you watched it?  I haven’t watched it in many moons.

Ehh, let’s be honest though.  It’s not like they’re going to remove the swimsuit portion and then suddenly give it to some smart scientist woman who has a big brain but looks like Rosie O’Donnell or something.

They’ll just give it to the hottest chick in the evening wear competition.

I actually wonder if they’re doing this because Trump is president now and wasn’t he the big beauty pageant mogul for awhile?  I don’t remember exactly if he had any sway over Miss America but maybe when he was working in entertainment, casinos, the hot chick model industry, he might have been able to put his two cents in and put the kibosh on this tomfoolery.  Giving up power over the hot babe modeling industry to become the leader of the free world.  Sheesh.  Way to prioritize, Donald.

What say you, 3.5 readers?  My feeling is either it’s an antiquated contest where women compete like cattle at the county fair livestock auction and should be retired or otherwise keep it, but let’s not pretend it’s like a great competition of intelligence and talent when the hottest chick is just going to win anyway.

Americans really do love their BS.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Roseanne Destroys Her Show with a Tweet

Sigh, 3.5 readers.

If you ever wanted a lesson in how to ruin your career and/or lifetime legacy in less than 24 hours, today was the day.

I was really enjoying the “Roseanne” reboot.  I enjoyed the show as a kid and to see it back again was like seeing long lost friends come home.  Roseanne and Dan, Becky, Darlene and DJ, their kids, Aunt Jackie, all the extended friends and family that would stop by.

There have been so many attempts at rebooting old shows that have fallen flat (IMO) but this one was a winner.  I think Roseanne had cemented herself as the comeback kid and probably could have kept her show going for several years.

Alas, imagine my sadness when I heard the news that Roseanne referred to former Obama advisor (not sure of her official title) Valerie Jarrett as “Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes have a baby.”

Oh God, Roseanne.  Why?  Why???  So wrong on so many levels.

Roseanne has a history of writing controversial tweets but this was one that couldn’t be ignored.  Aside from sadness that this thought was in her mind and that’s bad enough, but that she didn’t have any kind of self restraint to hold herself back.  How she thought she could post that and still have a show by the end of the day is mind boggling.

I feel bad for the cast members.  Goodman has been the most successful over the years, though Laurie Metcalf was recently nominated for an Academy Award.  Sara Gilbert was (is?) on a View-esque talk show.  That girl who plays Becky and Michael Fishman (DJ), this was probably their big break so to see it go for them is sad.

So, a lesson learned, 3.5 readers.  First, if you are thinking such thoughts, cleanse your mind and your soul.  Second, develop a filter, an internal control that keeps you from releasing unfiltered thoughts into the atmosphere.

This is so ridiculous that there is a part of me that wonders if Roseanne did this on purpose….maybe she didn’t want to do the show anymore and wanted to go out with a bang.    I don’t think she did. She lost too much money.   I think she just rattled off a tweet without thinking but then again, she’s been in show business so long that it amazes me she didn’t realize this was a career killing tweet.

What say you, 3.5?

 

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Bill Cosby to Go to Jail

Hey 3.5 readers.

Bill Cosby, “The Coz” is headed for the slammer, the hoosegow, the stoney lonesome.

It’s sad.  For you younger 3.5 readers, you may not realize this guy was once America’s Dad and that was a big achievement because, you know, he was black and that was a new thing at the time.  There weren’t a lot of good TV roles for African Americans at the time and then suddenly you’ve got this show full of positive role models for anyone, black or white, to look up to.

The Cosby Show was riotously funny for its time, managing to transcend racial lines to discuss issues about family, growing up, teaching kids to take responsibility for their lives, education, doing the right thing etc yet somehow it managed to do so with humor and without being overly preachy.

My favorite episode is the one where young son Theo claims to have it all figured out, he’s going to drop out of school, not go to college, fend for himself and Cosby shows him via Monopoly money just how much the world is going to take from him if he doesn’t push himself to reach his full earning potential.  “Are you going to have a girlfriend?”  “Yep,” Theo replies and then wham, Bill takes the money and leaves the kid with nothing.

Plus, he sold Kodak film (product that eventually became irrelevant), New Coke (people demanded a return of the old coke) and pudding pops (which were freaking delicious and does anyone know if they still make them?  I want one right now that I am thinking about them.)

Sigh.  It is sad that apparently while he was doing so much good he was also apparently drugging ladies and taking advantage of them…I guess people think that fame will help them get away with so many bad things but it finally caught up with him.

Dave Chapelle put it best.  Imagine something you really love, like ice cream, then imagine hearing that thing is a rapist.  Damn, ice cream is a rapist.  Now I can’t enjoy ice cream anymore.

Sad.  What say you, 3.5 readers?

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BQB’s Netflix Pick of the Week – Lost in Space

Danger 3.5 Will Robinsons.

I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet but previews look good.  Why don’t you 3.5 readers watch it and get back to me on whether or not it is worth my time.  I can’t do everything around here, you know.

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BQB’s Twilight Zone Reviews – S3, Ep. 26 – “Little Girl Lost”

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Do you think there might be a gateway to another dimension in your house, 3.5 readers?

Little Tina is lost.  Her parents, Ruth and Chris (hey, together they can make a steakhouse!)…um, played by Robert Sampson and Sarah Marshall, can hear her but cannot see her.  After checking all over the house, they can hear her coming from inside the wall, but can’t figure the mystery out.

Luckily, the couple is friends with a physicist, because why wouldn’t they be?  Bill (Charles Aidman) ominously marks the entry to another world in chalk in the couple’s wall.  How the door to the other dimension got there he doesn’t know which means I basically know as much as a fictional TV physicist.

Blah, blah, basically all the humans fail and it’s up to the family dog to bravely run into the dimensional gateway and lead the girl to safety.  They’ll probably still cut his nuts off anyway.

I give Rod Serling credit for this one as interdimensional travel was probably heady stuff for the average 1960s TV viewer but its done well here.

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