It’s sometimes really hard to pick just one topic per issue, given how absorbed I can get into pop culture on a daily basis. The thing about entertainment is that it’s always evolving and changing and flowing; what was big news an hour ago is old news in even less time. So it’s hard to keep up with when you only publish every other week. However, the nice thing about writing your own column versus receiving an assignment is that it’s up to you how you want to spend your time. I’ve had a handful of ideas over the past couple of issues and rather than spew on about just one, it’s time to do a little round-up of my current obsessions—and because that would take the length of this entire book, I’ve narrowed it down strictly to television. Specifically, summer television since options are limited but nonetheless entertaining. This may very well carry over to next issue, so stay tuned!
Younger, Season 1, TV Land
The first season of TV Land’s attempt at the New York City sitcom came to a close on June 9. I had started watching on a whim; I’d been watching Friends re-runs on TV Land and kept seeing commercials for it over and over. Their persistence worked, because even though they were already airing episode three that night, I added it to my TiVo list. It’s from the creator of “Sex and the City” and stars Sutton Foster (Bunheads), that cute not-actually-gay guy from “The Following,” Lizzie McGuire herself, and the mean lady from Beethoven’s 2nd. Millennials to moms will probably get a kick out of it. (Based on my two latter cast descriptions, I’m clearly in the right age group.) From the IMDb summary and written by TV Land: “Follows 40-year-old Liza (Foster), a suddenly single mother who tries to get back into the working world, only to find out it’s nearly impossible to start at the bottom at her age. When a chance encounter with a 20-something guy at a bar convinces her she looks younger than she is, Liza tries to pass herself off as 26—with the help of a makeover, courtesy of her best friend Maggie (Mazar). Armed with new confidence, she lands a job as an assistant to the temperamental Diana (Shor) and teams up with her new co-worker and fellow 20-something Kelsey (Duff) to make it in the career of her dreams.” I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this show. It’s fast-paced, witty, and funny. I fully recommend catching up before season 2 returns in the winter of 2016!
Orange is the New Black, Season 3, Netflix
The same weekend that had me glued to my seat during Jurassic World is also when I binged (i.e. sat in my basement like a hermit for endless hours every day) the third season of Netflix’s breakout prison dramedy. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have claimed to give OITNB a try and “just couldn’t get into it.” I don’t understand those people. I will admit that the series probably wouldn’t survive if it was formatted as a typical weekly primetime show, because it definitely doesn’t move fast enough for that. If it’s your least favorite character’s turn to get their backstory exposition, you’d be likely to tune out. But that’s why Netflix is such an awesome platform for TV in this digital era. 12 episodes are so easily consumed over the span of a week or less and viewers are SO hungry for more when those episodes pass and they can’t view any more new ones until an entire year later. It can be torture. At least when “The Walking Dead” ends in February, I know I only have to wait another … 8 months (wow, that sounds long!) instead of 12. This season had its high and low points. They’ve started to paint Piper as a sort of insufferable monster, but they also focused on some characters who until this point had just been background noise in the grand scheme of life at Litchfield. The internet is freaking out over the discovery of Ruby Rose, the androgynous and beautiful Aussie whose character of Stella became a romantic interest for Piper. And what stands out for me had nothing at all to do with character development, but the final scene in which (SPOILER ALERT), they all seemed to experience such absolute delight in their fleeting moments of freedom while swimming in that lake. How something so simple can become so joyous really illustrated how much we take our freedom for granted.