Netflix

OITNB Season 5

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I have SO many thoughts about Orange is the New Black, and I’m still processing.  After every season, as I’m crying and cursing the fact that I have to wait another year to see what’s next, I’m asked why I like this show.

There are is absolute good in Orange is the New Black.  This is a given, by virtue of the fact that the protagonists are inmates in a prison.  What Orange is the New Black has always done well is making it a story about humans– these are people.  Just because people have made some bad choices does not make them bad people.

The conditions they are subjected to as inmates are frequently inhuman.  The circumstances some of them face are insurmountable.  Certainly, no one deserves what we see practiced at Litchfield.  No one deserves Poussey Washington’s fate.

This season is a departure from OITNB’s usual format.  It all takes place over the course of three days during the prison riot.  This effectively traps us in the prison with them.  At points, it’s more difficult to watch than ever since the tables are turned and the guards are now hostages.  They’re subjected to some major embarrassment.  It’s a fine line between a slight sense of satisfying revenge and cringe-worthy be better than them thoughts.  It’s a particularly intense season.  Things often feel drawn out, as we don’t get the respite of time passing.

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June TV

It took 6 months this year, but finally I’ve got a bunch of TV premieres I’m really excited about!  Here’s what I’m looking forward to this month.

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Who else got this little surprise from Dr. Morello?!  image via Netflix

Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Every summer I binge this newest season.  I’m really sad that we won’t have Samira Wiley this season, but the cliffhanger we ended on last year!!  I actually remember where we left off this time.  From what I’ve read so far, the entire season takes place over 3 days as the prison riot unfolds.  I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I do love OITNB and I’m excited to see where they go with this!  We don’t have to wait long!  This will be available for binging June 9th.

Orphan Black (BBC America)

I’ve been waiting for what feel like forever for the final season of Orphan Black.  I started watching this show kind of randomly after a friend made an off-handed recommendation praising Tatiana Maslany.  I have been a loyal fan throughout and I’m dying to see how everything ends!  I actually don’t want it to end, but I’ll be glad to have it back in my life on June 10th!

90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? (TLC)

Wow am I glad I chose to go with PS Vue to keep this channel!  I just love 90 Day Fiancé, but if Happy Ever After? is all I can get, I’ll take it!  Most of my favorites from this show seem to be happily married, and this spinoff deals with the drama.  Of the returning group, I’m particularly excited to see Jorge & Anfisa again.  I’m not a fan of this Danielle and Mohammed drama, though.  Still, I’ll be watching and waiting for this to start on June 25th!

Counting On (TLC)

Seriously, all I watch is guilty-pleasure TLC.  I kind of got sucked into this 19 Kids and Counting spinoff last season because Jinger’s relationship was just so engrossing!  She just seemed so daring by comparison to her sisters and it was interesting to watch.  I guess it’s inherently interesting that she’s the daring one.  Now with 19-year-old Joy’s wedding kicking off the season… I’ll be back for more on June 12th.

TV Lately: Stranger Things

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You’ve probably heard of this Netflix original.  I kept seeing tweets & Facebook statuses mentioning Stranger Things, but I hadn’t heard too much hype.  Still, the title alone suggested it was something I wanted to see.  One episode in, I was hooked!

Stranger Things is set in 1983 in rural Indiana and has a delightful X-Files feel!  It’s retro for a reason– not only does it lend itself to a killer soundtrack, but it puts us in a world without cell phones and a world ripe with paranoia about Russia.  Science fiction meets detective work in an 8-episode odyssey told mostly through the eyes of children.

It starts with four young boys playing Dungeons and Dragons.  These kids are full-out nerds, and completely lovable for it.  I found myself completely endeared to every AV Club and Star Wars reference they made.  After a rousing campaign in D&D, one of these boys mysteriously vanishes.  The remaining boys– Mike, Lucas, and Dustin– meet up with a mysterious girl, Eleven, and try to locate Will.  Will’s mother (Winona Ryder) and brother Jonathan and a particularly sharp sheriff investigate as well.  Mike’s sister Nancy joins in once her friend goes missing too.  Conspiracy unravels and you’ll be binging episode after episode until the end.

I watched the series in two spurts of four episodes, starting late last Friday night and finishing up on Saturday morning.  I can’t recommend it enough for X-Files fans, and sci-fi fans in general.  The finale wraps up well, but is just open enough for a season 2!

Have you seen Stranger Things?  Tell me all your thoughts!

OITNB Season 4

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I finished Orange is the New Black’s fourth season right in time for bed on Saturday, June 18th.  It had been up for roughly 34 hours at the time.  I felt sad.  I usually feel sad when I finish a new season of OITNB, because it’s a long, long wait on a cliffhanger ending.  This was different.

I’ve been gathering my thoughts throughout the week.  I’ve been reading around, too, and with a little Googling, you’ll see a lot of “darkest season ever,” and “deeply upsetting,” in the headlines.  Well, I agree, but I’m not going to talk about that.

This show does its job really well, though– it’s a story about people.  People are deeply complicated and the abundance of moral ambiguity in this show makes it all too real.  OITNB’s fourth season left me crying on my couch.  To me, this is art.  It made me experience so much emotion, and thus, it succeeded.

Various thoughts under the cut, none so heavy as the paragraphs above, but full of SPOILERS:

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Unbreakable Season 2

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Tina Fey gets me, and I just finished Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 2 and loved it so much.  I think season 2 started a little slowly, but each and every member of this cast makes this show worth watching.  Every character was so engaging, so here are your reasons to watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s second season:

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2016 To Watch

It’s officially 2016, we’ve sufficiently celebrated and then retreated to the comfort of our couches.  Let’s get to what’s important here: what we can watch in 2016!  Here’s the TV I cannot wait for in the immediate future:

January 10th, Shameless (Showtime) | Originally, this was set for January 17th (which I remember because it’s my birthday!) but I can’t complain that we’re getting season 6 a week early!

January 15th, Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) | This is always a favorite of mine, as big of a Gordon Ramsay fan as I am.  I’ll likely be keeping up with this one on Hulu, though it’s made appearances on the blog before.

January 24th, The X-Files (Fox) | There are literally no words for how I feel about this show’s return.  I should honestly be setting my DVR now, but this show will have a Monday night time slot which means I should be home to watch each week.

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No words.  [Via]

February 2nd, American Crime Story (FX) | As obsessed as I am with AHS, I always figured I would watch this show.  I’ve seen a preview here and there for the The People v. OJ Simpson and I literally cannot wait.  I was super young when this happened, but I still remember it on the news.  Should be interesting!

February 14th, The Walking Dead (AMC) | Happy Valentine’s Day to me!  I love The Walking Dead and I’ve missed it so.  February seems like a while to wait for this mid-season return, but things could be worse.

February 21, Girls (HBO) | My Sunday night ritual!  Doesn’t Girls usually return in January?  The wait for this one has definitely been long, but I’ll be tuning in and definitely recapping for the blog!

What’s missing?  Oh, just a few shows I can’t live without!  Game of Thrones, obviously, which is set for April 2016.  Also, Orphan Black which is set to have season 4 pop up this year too.  Finally, probably my favorite show of 2015, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, should be coming back to Netflix for season two this year!

What shows are you looking forward to?!

Orange is the New Black season 3

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I was tired last Thursday night.  I was seconds away from switching of Netflix for the evening in favor of sleep when I was alerted to the early release of season 3 of Orange is the New Black.  Suddenly, I wasn’t so tired anymore!  I only got an episode in that night, but I had a proper binge over the weekend.  How on earth do I forget how AMAZING this show is?!  I loved this season, as I do every season.  Guys, I freaking love this show!

I don’t know how I’ll survive a whole year again, but since I’ve done it twice before… I suppose I’ll make it.  Until then, I have three things to say about season 3!

  1. Why is Red not everybody’s favorite character?!  She is the freaking best.  I have loved Red since season 1, but my love for her is off the charts right now.  She can properly take the title of my favorite character in this show.  She’s tough, but so sweet.  Can we start a Red Reznikov fan club?  I’m completely obsessed with Red right now and I never want to lose this feeling.
  2. I loved Morello since I first saw her, with her charming but wacky accent.  I was shocked to learn her backstory last season.  I couldn’t be happier to see Yael Stone promoted to a genuine credited regular!  And she was definitely utilized.  We got more Morello this season and she was hilarious! Since we know her better, we can truly appreciate the happiness she achieved this season.
  3. I’m concerned about Nicky.  Somebody please tell me Natasha Lyonne is coming back for season 4.  Lie to me if you have time.  With that swift exist, I was wondering when and if Nicky would come back all season.  I’m worried more than ever now that she didn’t.

What were your favorite moments from season 3?

For some of my favorite moments & my episode-by-episode thoughts, (reassembled from cryptic notes I took on my phone while watching,) check below!

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Au Revoir, April

The amount of instagrams I post in a given month is directly proportional to how much fun I had.  April started out with a big surprise and the whole month has been shaky and confusing.  The weather has made major improvements, though it’s been cool this week!  Mostly, I made myself feel better my buying myself a lot of things.  You’ll notice that in April’s instas:

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[1] April started out with Easter weekend!  Here’s my dad grating so parmesan for our Italian holiday. [2] I picked up a couple of the Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection brushes on my first trip to Ulta.  I’ve been loving them! [3] My Colour Pop Cosmetics order arrived and this color, Julep, has become my absolute favorite! [4] I spent some quality time in my favorite place, bed, with my favorite companion, Netflix. [5] I felt my cutest this day I went to Foxwoods to see Iliza Shlesinger. [6] I ate a lot of cookies, which should come as a surprise to no one. These were slice and bakes when I was young, but now you just pop ‘em in the oven! [7] I picked up this lovely rose gold bracelet from Kate Spade on a Trip to Wrentham Outlets with Elissa of Style Wire. [8] I bit the bullet and bought the perfume I’ve been wanting for years– Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb.  It reminds me of Paris! [9] The best thing ever happened to Downtown Crossing: Roche Bros. Supermarket!

Yesterday’s Justin Timberlake memes encouraged me (you know what I’m talking about!) that May is going to be a good one.

Have a great weekend, loves.

❤ nc

7 Reasons to Love Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

image: NBC/Netflix

image: NBC/Netflix

I confess, I had the first season of the newest Netflix release, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt completely finished by Saturday morning.  I just couldn’t stop watching this completely wonderful show!  I’ve actually rewatched about half of it by the time I’m writing this.

The basic plot is that Kimmy is one of four women who was rescued from a Doomsday cult; she’s lived in an underground bunker for the last 15 years.

I’ve not been able to stop telling people to watch this show.

Here are some reasons why:

[7. Tina Fey]

If you’re watching this show solely to see Tina Fey, you are in luck! Tina does indeed make an appearance in a few episodes.

[6. The Comedy]

It goes without saying that this show is funny.  Though much of the humor is in line with that of 30 Rock, if that wasn’t your cup of tea you will likely still be laughing at Kimmy Schmidt.  The outdated pop culture references are a special treat to me!  Quirky humor reigns supreme here.  Some favorite lines are Kimmy’s, “Dancing is about butts now!” and when Mrs. Voorhees calls a piñata a Mexican candy animal.

[5. The Characters]

The supporting cast of characters are wonderfully weird.  There is one completely incompetent character that even got on my nerves a bit, but for the most part they are super interesting.  Titus serves as Kimmy’s roommate and the perfect sassy best friend to ease her into her new life.  My favorite character is Jane Krakowski’s Jacqueline Voorhees: a hilarious rich housewife with a surprising backstory.

[4. The Future is Now]

At one point, Titus tells Kimmy to stop calling the present the future.  Kimmy’s been underground for 15 years, so things that are commonplace to us are novel to her.  It puts a funny lens on the smartphone life, for sure.

[3. The Theme Song]

It’s so catchy!  You can hear the full version here.  They set it up as part of the plot as well.  It’s a mock auto-tuned news report, which reminds me so much of this one.  You’ll be singing Unbreakable! too.

[2. Kimmy Schmidt herself]

Ellie Kemper does a fabulous job embodying this funny, eternally resilient character.  The situation has resulted in Kimmy being somewhat alien in a world 15 years away from the one she left.  This creates fantastic opportunities for comedy.  It reminds me a lot of my favorite character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anya– removed from the world of humans for so long she questions every concept both comically and in a heart-felt manner.

[1. Females are Strong As Hell]

If you’ve heard the theme song by the time you got here, I’m betting this is stuck in your head as well.  This is the most important message from this show.  We are resilient and we can overcome all kinds of crazy things.  You go, Kimmy!  And you go, Tina Fey!

Have you watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt yet?  What did you think?

I can’t wait for another season!

What to Watch in March

If you’ve got a hole in your heart the size of Parks and Recreation and you need a new show to fill it, never fear!  March is upon us with some great TV options.

Maybe, like me, you’re still making your way through House of Cards season 3 which premiered on Netflix late last week, February 27th.  This was one of those rare weekends on which I actually had a life, so I didn’t get to binge much.

More exciting to me is tonight’s US premiere, season 2 of Broadchurch on BBC America.  Tennant on my TV, always.  If you haven’t fallen in love with this show yet, you can binge the 8 episode first season series (sorry, I forgot we’re dealing with British terminology!) on Netflix.  This is one of the shows I’m most excited for this year.  I’ve never watching week by week before, seeing as I missed it’s first series BBC America run.  I watched Gracepoint, the US version also starring David Tennant, that way, but Broadchurch is infinitely better.  I can’t wait!!

image: BBC America

image: BBC America

On a blog-relevant note: a new season of Hell’s Kitchen started last night!  Since I didn’t blog last season and I can’t seem to live without Gordon Ramsay in my life, you can expect Hell’s Kitchen posts starting tomorrow!

And finally, on the Netflix front, we have two new shows that I’m interested in.  The first is thanks to my idol, Tina Fey.  Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s first season hits Netflix this Friday, March 6th!  I have been eager for this one since I first heard it existed and you can bet it’ll be my weekend binge.  Then there’s Bloodline, which we’ll have to wait until March 20th for its release on Netflix.  I admittedly don’t know much about this thriller-drama, but I do know that I miss Kyle Chandler from my Friday Night Lights binge.  I’ll be watching this one later in the month as well.

If you don’t think March has enough in store for you, remember that April is that much closer now.  April means Orphan Black, my most-anticipated return of 2015, and Game of Thrones, which is likely everyone else’s!

What shows are you most looking forward to?