Do the Tastee Twist with Danielle Brooks

tastee twist

You have four days to make your video and get it up on Instagram to enter this brilliant Orange is the New Black dance contest. Danielle Brooks, Tastee herself, is going to judge and pick some favorites.

Start dancing!

Images ©Netflix.

Recommended: Borgen

Borgen is an award winning Danish political drama. The 3rd season just aired in Denmark. You can catch up in the U.S. by watching LinkTV for full length episodes. Season 3 will begin on LinkTV on October 4. Some episodes can also be seen on Dish and Direct TV.

Borgen is outstanding in every way. As a political drama we see how power changes people, the sacrifices and compromises it demands, and the steely strength it takes to wield it. As a character study we have a fascinating array of individuals to watch. It is produced by the same people who made The Killing.

brigitte
Sidse Babett Knudsen as Birgitte Nyborg

Leading the cast is Sidse Babette Knudsen playing Birgitte Nyborg, who becomes the Danish Prime Minister and leads her country in a direction she believes is the best one. I tend to agree with her political choices, so I’m always rooting for her to win her political battles. We see her from her earliest and most idealistic days, through her rise to power, and through all the struggles to hold on to it. In her determination to lead her country she sacrifices and/or loses a great deal, most especially her personal life. While she struggles to lead a country, she struggles to be a parent and raise a family. Borgen is a study in how power shapes people and in how the use of power can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

Kasper
Pilou Asbæk as Kasper Juul

Birgitte’s closest advisor is Kasper Juul, played by Pilou Asbæk. He is even more of a political animal than his boss. Kasper also has an interesting background, lots of secrets, and a truly messy personal life.

Katrine and Birgette
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen plays Katrine Fønsmark

Part of Kasper’s personal life is in the person of journalist Katrine Fønsmark, played by Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, who reports on politics for both newspapers and television at various times in the course of the drama. Katrine has the most unyielding moral compass of any of the characters and is willing to lose her job for her convictions. She’s strong and tough like the people she writes about.

The stories are filled out by a marvelous supporting cast of journalists, politicians, family members and characters who revolve around the Danish government and political parties.

It’s in Danish, so you do have to watch the screen all the time to read the subtitles. There’s no time to play with a second screen and take your turn at Words with Friends while Borgen is playing. However, once you take a look at Borgen, you will not begrudge the attention it requires. You will be thoroughly impressed by the quality of the drama and the outstanding acting talents of the cast.

If you love good serious drama, are fascinated by character, and long for more television featuring well-written female characters, Borgen will not disappoint.

Look for Borgen UK on Facebook to keep up with announcements. You can read about all the awards this series and its actors have won on Wikipedia, where you’ll also find possible places to view it in a number of countries. The website is in Danish with some English options.

All images ©Borgen DR

Orphan Black Creators Talk Season 2, Possible New Clones, and DVDs

The creators of Orphan Black, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, talk with TV|Line about season 2, Emmy snubs, Tatiana Maslany’s mad skills, whether there will be new clones coming, and the goodies available on the newly released DVD set of season 1.

See Also: The Force That is Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black

The L Word Opening Credits (Season Three)

Nothing but the credits recapped here, right up to the moment when we see the director’s name. Then we stop. It’s really all you need to know. Continue reading “The L Word Opening Credits (Season Three)”

A Musical Tribute to Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke was on CBS from 1955 to 1975. There were a whopping 635 episodes of the show. It was a western drama set in 1800’s Dodge City, Kansas.  James Arness played Marshall Matt Dillon. Amanda Blake was Miss Kitty, the owner of the Long Branch Saloon. Other important characters were Milburn Stone as Doc, Ken Curtis as Festus, and Dennis Weaver as Chester.

When TVs started appearing in homes in the 1950’s, Gunsmoke was the thing to watch. For anyone who was growing up during the early days of TV, Gunsmoke was a regular part of the week.

Let’s talk about kissing.

In the early days of TV, there wasn’t much kissing. Even married couples on TV had to sleep in twin beds. There was certainly no sex outside of marriage, and Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty were not married. Things were a lot different then.

Getting Musical

Not long ago I was at a concert watching singer Claudia Nygaard perform. With no introductory explanation, she launched into a song with these lyrics:

She’s self-employed and runs a business out of her home,
She lives up over the Long Branch all alone

That’s all it took for me to get what was coming and I started to laugh with delight. The song turned out to be as much fun as I was expecting and it’s been a favorite ever since. The song is called “Miss Kitty.”

Wouldn’t it be fun to post a video of Claudia singing the song on my blog, I thought, as a tribute to Gunsmoke and the good old days. When I searched on YouTube for a video, I found this. Claudia isn’t shown in it, but it’s her singing. And it’s absolutely perfect. I hope you agree.

Here’s to remembering how it used to be.

You can watch Gunsmoke on Amazon Prime and Yidio. TV.com has some episodes. Netflix has some seasons on DVD.

Amanda Blake image ©CBS

Recommended: Broadchurch

Broadchurch is a small town on the coast of England. Broadchurch, a new series on BBC America, takes its name from that location. A young boy is murdered there at the opening of this excellent police drama.

Episode 1 aired last Wednesday, but you can watch it before episode 2 on this coming Wednesday. Stay tuned to find out where.

David Tennant in Broadchurch
David Tennant in Broadchurch

Two police officers investigate the murder. David Tennant from Doctor Who plays DI Hardy. Olivia Coleman is DS Ellie Miller. Their first interaction is unfriendly, since DI Hardy is new in town and new on the job. Ellie Miller, a long-time Broadchurch officer, thought the DI job was going to be hers.

Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan play the murdered boy’s parents. Broadchurch is a small community where everyone knows everyone else. At least they seem to. There are secrets. The death of the boy impacts everyone in the community. DS Ellie Miller and her son Tom were close to the family of the murdered boy. In episode 1 we begin to see some of the ripples within the community as the town tries to deal with the event and the search for a suspect intensifies.

When news of the murder is leaked on Twitter, a media circus comes to town which adds to the ensemble of characters and to the drama going on in the homes of the community members.

I was immediately hooked on the drama, the characters, and their many secrets. The relationships between the police officers, the townspeople and the journalists is compelling.

Season 1 contained 8 episodes, which were well received in the UK. A second season is scheduled, even though reports are that we learn the identity of the murderer at the end of episode 8.

If you missed the premier, BBC America has made the whole episode available on YouTube. You can also see the entire episode on BBC America. Episode 2 will air on Wednesday.

I recommend you watch the premier of this excellent police drama and check your local listings for the time you can catch the rest of the episodes on BBC America.

All images ©BBC America.

The Zombie Apocalypse Makes Metaphoric Sense

As a metaphor, the zombie apocalypse makes a lot of sense. I can say “Global warming is the zombie apocalypse,” and you get my metaphor. Pick your disaster – climate change, the rise of the 1%, nuclear war, genocide – whatever. Compare it to the zombie apocalypse and people understand that you are saying that your disaster represents the end of the world as we know it and that chaos will follow.

The Walking Dead is very clear, metaphorically speaking. A zombie apocalypse wiped out every human institution and every kind of infrastructure that holds society together. The humans who survive are struggling to cope. Every human trait from morality to greed to violence to self-preservation to self-sacrifice can be built into stories around this struggle to cope and survive.

Under the Dome: Huh?

Under the Dome
Under the Dome, ©CBS Entertainment

Under the Dome is not so clear for me. Is the dome the end of the world – the whole world – the way a zombie apocalypse would be? No, because there are people outside the dome who are living their normal lives. Yes, the people inside the dome are struggling to cope, but with what, exactly?

The story lines about morality and greed and violence and self-preservation and self-sacrifice are still there, but in a tiny microcosm of all humanity. We presume that if the dome were lifted, life would again resemble the rest of the world outside the dome.

The people under the dome seem to feel that the dome is a living creature with intent, godlike. Is the metaphor in Under the Dome something about religion or faith? What about the two teens who seem to be receiving messages from the dome and whose touch can turn it from dangerous to benign? Do they represent some sort of savior? Is the fact that the dome is an invisible barrier important?

I’m not saying I don’t enjoy Under the Dome. I watch it, I’m engaged in it, I like the characters. There’s plenty of suspense and drama. However, I haven’t decided yet what I think the dome represents. Have you?

Zombie image ©AMC The Walking Dead

The L Word Opening Credits (Season Two)

season two

The regular cast for season 2, in each episode:

  • Jennifer Beals: Bette Porter
  • Leisha Hailey: Alice Pieszecki
  • Laurel Holloman: Tina Kennard
  • Mia Kirshner: Jenny Schecter
  • Katherine Moennig: Shane McCutcheon
  • Pam Grier: Kit Porter
  • Rachel Shelley: Helena Peabody
  • Erin Daniels: Dana Fairbanks
  • Eric Mabius: Tim Haspeth
  • Sarah Shahi: Carmen de la Pica Morales

Take a good look at this season 2 poster. Was there some other actress as Carmen who dropped out and they brought in Sarah Shahi? Because that just doesn’t look right.

Everything you need to know about The L Word can be learned from the opening credits. I take you from the first moments up to the director credit and leave you there. What more do you need to know? Continue reading “The L Word Opening Credits (Season Two)”