Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager are teaming up to make a new documentary about the “safe space” phenomenon that is plaguing college campuses across America. The pair has been filming for the past few months, but now they’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign for $500,000 to help them continue production on “No Safe Spaces.”
Jimmy McGill is my favorite character on television.
There. I said it.
But throughout season one and two of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s wildly successful Better Call Saul, I couldn’t exactly put my finger on why.
Was it the fact that I used to work at a law firm as a legal assistant and had the satisfaction of stumbling through the legal world with Jimmy, fully able to agree that yes, Interstate Commerce is a bitch? Perhaps. Was it the fact that he’s loveable, despite his centrifugally flawed nature? Also possible. Hell, maybe it was that nose thing I mentioned earlier. Either way, I comfortably went along, aware of my not-so-specific reasoning. I mean, I could always divert by talking about how brilliant the show was in other aspects.
Full disclosure, I fell in love with Pete Holmes the moment I saw him show up on my screen like some gangly white ray of sunshine. I stumbled onto his show Crashing by accident, scrolling along the homepage of my HBO GO app until I saw a photo of a man sitting on a couch in the middle of the street mock-screaming directly into the camera. “I don’t know who this guy is,” I thought, “but I have a feeling he gets me.” Long story short, it was a show about a comedian, I’ve done stand-up a handful of times, and I’m a regular sucker for guys whose noses are of the Adrian Brody variety. I gave it a go.
My love of comedy about comedians started with Jerry Seinfeld. For me, he was the first comic to use serialized television to tell an audience the ins and outs of being a working comedian. Yes, I realize this dates me as a ’90s child – I’m sorry about it, too.
Despite the surprising maturity that Hannah found in the first half of “Girls’” final season, episode six proves trying in familiar ways. Hannah gets a ridiculous idea in her head: that she has no obligation to tell Paul-Louie she is bearing his child.
Kudos to the even-handedness of the writers for including characters that think this is an extremely unfair and unreasonable decision on Hannah’s part. Thankfully, towards the end of the episode, she starts to come around and she even tries to contact him. Hopefully she follows through.
Continuing the “bottle episode” theme, this segment shows only Hannah in the apartment of a literary idol, Chuck Palmer (Matthew Rhys). Hannah wrote a piece for a feminist blog about Chuck’s alleged probably-not-consensual sexual encounters with college-age girls on his book tour. Seeing the article, he invites her over to his apartment so he can prove her wrong.
Where “Girls” characters sometimes amount to cartoonish impressions instead of believable humans, this episode defies expectation. We expect Chuck to be portrayed as some obviously bad person that forced himself on an innocent girl. But we quickly see, through Rhys’ charming performance, all the difficult intricacies that surround issues of consent. He is portrayed more wholistically than we might expect: a man with a deep fatherly love for his daughter, a complicated history, and what seems like the capacity for vested interest and affection in women he likes.
The sixth premiere of “Girls” started off its final season on Sunday with a special 40 minute episode and guest appearance from Riz Ahmed. The episode reaffirms exactly what we’ve known for the past five seasons: that these characters are, well, girls. This first episode focuses mostly on Hannah’s story, and a little on Marnie’s—a continuation of a stylistic change we saw last season in which the friends spend most of their time away from each other.
Hannah starts off the episode with relative professional success, a Modern Love column resulting in a paid writing assignment from a magazine. She is expected to write about a surf camp in Montauk but she Hannahs the opportunity in about half a day by immediately hating the entire experience and functionally abandoning the project to hook up with the camp counselor and “find herself.” Again.
Welcome to Binge Watchers Anonymous (BWA).
I promise, if you follow this simple schedule you can change your life for the better. If you are like most binge watchers, when season three of House of Cards premiered Friday, Feb 27th on Netflix you were probably done with the 13 episode season by late Sunday night. After waiting an entire year for the season to debut, you immediately consumed it in less time it took the series editors to edit one episode. I understand, I’ve been there. I cut the cord a long time ago. No cable, no satellite. My Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions were my only link to the “good” part of television. I have rabbit ears for the occasional sporting event, local morning news, or American Idol (don’t judge me.)
Both Netflix and Amazon have been developing original series for a few years now, and unlike traditional television, they dump the entire season online at once for audiences to consume at their leisure or as fiendishly as possible. Most people I know, make it a habit to binge watch all 13 or so episodes all at once because, well they can. As one who’s engaged in the habit, I began to feel disappointed after it was all done. Because it’s over too quickly. Sure, I had control and got to maintain the momentum of the series at my own pace, but it was my weakness for cliffhangers that did me in. I began to miss the anticipation you get when having to wait a week to find out what happens next and to digest and savor that one great episode. Game of Thrones is a great example. I enjoy watching it week to week because it’s so good and I get months of enjoyment out of it instead of 13 hours over one weekend.
So, if you’ve ever considered trying to maintain a regular schedule of Netflix or Amazon Prime programming, then I have the solution for you. It’s the BWA 13 Week Program.
I don’t know about your Big Game party (if the NFL is gonna sue anyone who infringes on their trademarked name for the NFL championship game, then I will refrain from even exercising my journalistic right to use it and instead will, forever on, only call it the Big Game), but the most talked about commercial of all the Big Game ads was for NBC’s drama The Slap. Having never heard of the novel by Christos Tsiolkas or the subsequent Australian TV series of the same name, most people watching thought it was joke. In fact, right before the unveiling of the title, someone yelled out in an over dramatic announcer voice – “a new hit show, The Biggest Slap” which cued a laugh and then a collective “whoa” as the the title was unveiled.
After a bit of research (ahem, wikipedia) the book’s plot is revealed: