Lane and Michelle binged a few of the same things this week, and took advantage of their down time to take in some new shows, music, and film. From tracking the Oscars buzz to diving into shows we wouldn’t watch twice, here’s our week in binge!
1. SMILF Season 1
Austin had a snow day AND I stayed home sick this week so I had a lot of time to binge. I ended up using my free 7-day Showtime On Demand trial and binged a few Showtime shows.
I started with SMILF, written/directed/starring TV auteur Frankie Shaw. It’s a semi-autobiographical comedy about Bridgette (played by Frankie), a single mom in South Boston. Frankie wrote funny, endearing, flawed, and relatable characters – most notably, her mom (Tutu, impeccably played by Rosie O’Donnell), her baby daddy (Rafi – Miguel Gomez), Rafi’s new girlfriend (Nelson – Samara Weaving), BFF (Eliza – Raven Goodwin), and boss (Ally – Connie Britton aka America’s best mom playing America’s worst mom). It sounds like a show that would fall into a lot of single mom tropes, but it subverts them.
A few standout episodes:
– Episode 5: “Run, Bridgette, Run or Forty-Eight Burnt Cupcakes & Graveyard Rum” – Frankie’s take on Run Lola Run
– Episode 8: “Mark’s Lunch & Two Cups of Coffee” – Frankie takes a few digs at Woody Allen
2. The Affair Season 1
The Affair was super hyped during the 2015 awards season. But it’s taken me this long to get Showtime access. I described it to Michelle as a blend of Rashomon and Big Little Lies storytelling, plus characters/narrative from a super fucked up Nicholas Sparks novel. I’m addicted. It’s a super soapy, pretty conventional romantic crime story but packaged in shiny, awards-bait style.
3. Oscar Bait
- I, Tonya
- Phantom Thread
I caught my roommate watching this show the other day and I decided to look into it because I know Ryan Murphy has his hands in it. To my surprise it feels like more than your standard police/fire department/emergency services procedure. Don’t get me wrong, it has all of the typical cheesiness, drama, and unconvincing dialogue that comes as a staple to genre, but there’s a weird darkness looming over the show. It feels like a Ryan Murphy-production, and yet, it feels like something Dick Wolf would think was great. We do get the perspective of the operator, and follow their personal narrative, which is a fresh concept. The emergency scenarios are beyond ridiculous and some of the scenes resemble those reenactments you will find in a crime show. I would never go out of my way to watch this show, especially after the three episodes I consumed with my roommate, but hey, maybe you will.
Ever since I heard about this film starring Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp, I was excited to see it. It never hit domestic theaters, so when I saw it show up on the Recently Added on Netflix, I jumped right in. I was very disappointed in this film. It’s narrative is messy and never holds a strong direction. The acting is moderate at best, and Natalie Portman’s French is sometimes hard to sit through. I felt bored and disinterested relatively early on, and I’m usually pretty patient when I start to feel that coming on. It wasn’t horrible, but it was a 5 at best.
- I, Tonya
Margot Robbie. That’s all.
- Riverdale mid-season return
Riverdale is back and the mid-season return brought some of the thrill and suspense that made me fall in love with the show in the first place. Here’s to hoping for a strong second half of this season.
- The Cranberries discography
I don’t want to bring my emotions into this, but when I found out that Dolores O’Riordan passed away this week, I was devastated. I spent the rest of the week going through the band’s discography and honoring the extraordinary talent of Dolores. Listen to the beautiful acoustic version of “Dreams” which was released last year.