Review: Netflix’ GLOW is a splendid blend of many things—from campy female wrestling, satire to telly industry, feminism spirit and rage against racial stereotypes—that work fascinatingly. Presented as a period piece which sees L.A. circa 1985, the show radicalizes the era’s fascination towards glazing neon and devotion to day-time soap opera, then mixes them together in an exhilarating, vibrant ‘fake-sport’ drama.
In GLOW, a struggling actress, Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) is disheartened upon finding out that the industry has suppressed female roles to the brink of marginalization. When she encounters a desperate B-movie director, Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron)—who develops ‘The Gorgeous Lady of Wrestling’ a.k.a. GLOW for a TV channel, she surprisingly finds an absurdly empowering opportunity. From there, the line between pro-wrestling and soap opera begins to blur; and a road to stardom emerges. Continue reading A Season with: GLOW (2017) – Season 1
Review: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returns elegantly in aftermath of the second season’s ultimate cliffhanger and sees our titular powerhouse, Kimberly ‘Kimmy’ Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), grown into a more empathetically, complex protagonist. While the cult captive PTSD theme is still revisited for once or twice, season three witnesses Kimmy arises above the ground, literally leaves the underground bunker, and gets integrated into a real world problem of empowerment and feminism.
At first, Kimmy’s got to do something to clinch the cliffhanger, where Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm) demands a divorce; then, she’s going to college for education and, eventually, career; later, she’s learning something about herself that makes her different from other people. At the same time, creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock insert insightful quests for other characters to deal with, which take roots from their deeds in the second season; and make them a more integral part of the storytelling. Continue reading A Season with: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2017) – Season 3
Review: Taking full resilient force from Justin Simien’s 2014 indie-hit, Dear White People, Netflix’s Dear White People reuses the same force to launch this 10-episode of witty comedy into this year’s most thought-provoking spectacle. This works as an extension of the infamous black-themed white-people party in the feature film, although it starts off with effective reimagining of it; but, it transcends mostly as the aftermath with counter-racism and cross-cultural conversation at its heart.
Set in a fictional Ivy League university, Winchester College, Dear White People follows a tribe of black students living in all-black dorm named Armstrong-Parker house. If the film version combines multiple characters’ arcs in a full-frontal riot, the series presents the story differently. Each pivotal character gets a full 30-minute episode arc in exercising the doomed party’s aftermath. Continue reading A Season with: Dear White People (2017) – Season 1
Review: A teenage girl, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) committed suicide. Instead of leaving suicide notes, she left seven double-sided cassette tapes – in which she stated a reason and tagged a person ‘responsible’ for her demise in each side of the tape but one; hence, 13 Reasons Why. Ever since the first episode, the show is narrated by a dead girl pointing out who share the responsibility of killing her, as listened by a clumsy school boy, Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), who is eager to find out his school’s dirty little secrets.
This series is adapted from Jay Asher’s best-selling young-adult fiction which defies the convention of YA tropes. As much as it is accessible and binge-worthy, this somber, grim teen-angst ridden series is surprisingly taut and thought-provoking, despite revolving around coming-of-age tropes. So, here’s 13 points compiled to review 13 Reasons Why. Continue reading A Season with: 13 Reasons Why (2017)
Review: Welcome the final-yet-weakest member of The Defenders – Marvel’s street level vigilantes who fight criminals around New York City – Iron Fist! What I am saying in this opening isn’t exaggerating, although Iron Fist is often associated with martial arts master who owns iron fists that, if done properly, can break everything. However, in Netflix’ latest outing, what he breaks is his own potentials.
Prior to Iron Fist, we’ve fought with other Defenders meaningfully – Matt Murdock a.k.a. Daredevil deals with laws and disability; Jessica Jones over empowerment; and Luke Cage over black people issues around Harlem. Danny Rand (Finn Jones, Ser Loras Tyrell from Game of Thrones) found his way back to New York from his alleged death (which isn’t real; since he’s been residing and training in a mythical town K’un-Lun) in a similar fashion to Oliver Queen a.k.a. Green Arrow (DC Comics represents). Danny also fights, but what he fights isn’t as influential as his other comrades. At first, he fights for his fortune that has been usurped following his ‘death’; later, he fights against a familiar, evil organisation that has leeched upon his father’s legacy, Rand Enterprises. He fights for himself. Continue reading A Season with: Iron Fist – Season 1 (2017)
Review: Netflix drops another binge-watch-worthy Drew Barrymore-starred sitcom, Santa Clarita Diet, a while ago. The premise is kinda offbeat: mixing “zombie” story with family sitcom set in a Californian town with ‘diet’ in the title. One thing to keep in mind is: it is not your kind of diet.
If you’re thinking of zom-bombastic actioners like The Walking Dead or gory-zombie bonanzas, you’d better save your thought. You won’t find no ‘real zombie’ in this 10-episode half-hour series. What you will find is a couple of married realtors (Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant), who after a gut-spilling accident in the first episode, must deal with the fact that Sheila – the wife – is undergoing her turning into an undead. Continue reading A Season with: Santa Clarita Diet (2017) – Season 1