Watch a clip from Jane

Jane, a 57 minute documentary from Sundance Doc Club, is about the young Jane Fonda. You can watch it in full at docclub.com, but here’s a clip to let you know more about what you’ll be seeing.

The doc shows Jane Fonda rehearsing for a starring role in a Broadway play. When the play opens to harsh critical notices, her reaction is shown.

Sometimes I’m amazed that anyone survives the devastations of youth to reach the wisdom of age. Or maybe it’s the blows we take as young people that lead to the wisdom of age. Either way, Jane Fonda has endured many a hard knock to become the woman she is today. Her journey reminds us that it’s worth the effort to keep on going, to keep on keeping on.

Docclub has numerous documentaries on a variety of topics, all of which can be streamed if you join and pay a monthly fee.

Watch This: Teachers

TV Land announced some new original half-hour comedies. I’m not a big fan of half-hour comedies, although I do love to watch TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland.

Among the new shows is one called Teachers which stars a whole improv group of women – The Katydids. The Katydids are Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien and Katie Thomas. These funny women also wrote and starred in the web series hit that the TV series is based on. In addition to writing for and starring in Teachers, they will also serve as executive producers.

With so many women at the top levels of Teachers, I’m going to give it a chance to convert me.

Check out the trailer or watch the teachers in action in the web series to see if you think you’ll be a fan. Here’s the trailer.

I don’t have any information about when the series will begin airing on TV Land.

Aquadettes: A Short Documentary

Aquadettes – On Life, Death and Synchronized Swimming is a short documentary about a group of elders on a synchronized swimming team in California. One particular swimmer, 76-year-old Margo Bauer, is featured. Margo has MS and is helped with her condition both by the swimming and by medical marijuana.

The women on this swim team are my kind of women. Recently I’ve joined a YMCA and have been following my doctors orders to get up off my lazy ass (she didn’t word it quite like that) and get more exercise. So the aquatics exercise program at the Y is now part of my weekly schedule and I’m loving it. Plus, I’m feeling stronger, better and less plagued with aches and pains.

This is the complete film. I hope you enjoy it.

The film is by Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari and is part of the California is a Place series of  documentaries about California. You can read more about Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari and their documentary series in this article at “Filmmaker.”

Indigo Tongues: Short Films Interview Women in Media

Indigo Tongues is a video interview series that showcases the voices of dynamic women from Africa and the diaspora. In the original releases, the films feature women in media. I hope you’ll take the time to watch all the films available so far in the series.

The films are produced by Iyàlódè Productions. It is a company that is committed to developing, promoting, exhibiting, producing and distributing films and art by and about minority and under-represented groups.

Nigerian American actress Adepero Oduye is one of the interviewees. She appeared in 12 Years a Slave, Steel Magnolias, Pariah and many other films.

This is her interview:

You can see all the interviews at Indigo Tongues. The other short films available at this time feature:

  • Leonie Forbes, described as Jamaica’s First Lady of Theater and Film
  • Filmmaker Mariette Monpierre, the first woman to shoot a feature length film on the island of Guadeloupe
  • Award winning Kenyan Filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu
  • Funmi Iyanda, Nigeria’s foremost TV Host

Watch This: Eliza Dushku Kicks Butt

Here’s a short film making the rounds right now. It’s called The Gable 5 and is apparently part of a larger plot and series about something I cannot discern. However, Eliza Dushku runs around in a tank top and kicks butt for the entire film, which is really all you need to know.

Watch This: Teaser for S3 of Blue

The WIGS series includes many wonderful films. One of the best is Blue starring Julia Stiles. Catch up on the first two seasons of Blue and the other WIGS series, if you haven’t seen them. You’ll be hooked quickly.

Season 3 of Blue will be released March 28. Some back story if this teaser is news to you: Julia Stiles plays a prostitute / office worker. She has a teen aged son played by Uriah Shelton. Blue is smart, guarded, and full of secrets. Secrets have a way of trying to come out, don’t they? That and trying to hide her secret life from her son make for a lot of tension in Blue’s life.

Julia Stiles is absolutely fantastic in this series.

Learn more about WIGS in this post.

Watch This: The Fosters Webisodes

Watch all 5 of the webisodes about the group home Girls United, where the character Callie from ABCFamily’s The Fosters is living.

In the cast of girls at the Girls United home are Maia Mitchell (Callie), Daffany McGaray Clark (Daphne), Annamarie Kenoyer (Becca), Cherinda Kincherlow (Kiara), and Hayley Kiyoko (Gabi). I can’t find the name of the woman playing the adult in charge or the man who played Gabi’s father.

WIGS: Diana Nyad documentary

The web series WIGS created a documentary about Diana Nyad. It seems a fitting tribute to post it today. Yesterday the 64 year old swimmer achieved her dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida. She did it in 52 hrs, 54 mins and 18.6 sec without the protection of a shark cage. She is the first person in history to accomplish this feat of endurance and determination.

Here’s to Diana Nyad!

Love it or Hate it? Funny or Die

Short. Hilarious. Posted on the web. That’s Funny or Die. The site offers a little bit of crazy in many formats, but I want to concentrate on the videos by showing you some and letting you decide for yourself if this web series is for you.

Be aware that much of what follows is off-color and disgusting. Well, okay, if you want something classy, just watch the Jennifer Beals one. Otherwise, things can get gross.

When Harry Met Sally 2

Cop-Puter

Oscar Buzz

What do you think? Funny or not?

WIGS: Web Series Extraordinaire

Triian Bellasario
Troian Bellasario in Lauren. Image via Frikarte

Some of the best stories you’ll find anywhere are now playing on your computer on a YouTube channel called WIGS. WIGS offers original series, short films, and documentaries, all starring female leads.

There are numerous offerings on WIGS. Some films are one episode, some 3, some 12, some with more than one season. All feature well-known female leads such as America Ferrera, Virginia Madsen, Maura Tierney, Julia Stiles, Jennifer Beals, Troian Bellasario, Anna Paquin, and more. The many male actors who populate these tales are well-known, too, but the purpose of the films is to feature the women. The documentaries feature women.

I’ll mention my favorite series. I hope you’ll explore them all, because they are all good.

Lauren

Lauren is a drama about rape in the military. It stars Troian Bellasario as Lauren, the soldier who is raped. Jennifer Beals is Major Stone, the officer to whom Lauren turns for justice.

If you’ve paid attention to the headlines recently, you know justice for crimes of sexual assault does not automatically happen in military culture. Lauren is not an easy series. It’s tense and full of unfairness that makes you want to scream.

Here is episode one.

There were 3 original episodes in Lauren. It was so well-received and so important a topic that 12 more episodes were shot as a second season. The story doesn’t end at the end of season 2. I’m hoping there will be a season 3 to bring closure to the story.

Jennifer Beals and Troian Bellasario are fabulous together in Lauren. There’s great chemistry and tension between the two, as you can see in the first episode.

Blue

Blue features Julia Stiles as a single mom who supplements her income as a call girl. There were 12 episodes in season 1. Season 2 had 26 episodes. There is room for a season 3 in the story, which was unresolved at the end of season 2. Blue may end up being a full blown movie. Here is the first episode.

Julia Stiles is remarkable in this role. Blue is so complex and has so much to hide (and so much to lose) that it’s fascinating to watch her life open up a little more to the viewer in each episode.

Julia Stiles wrote and directed a series of her own on WIGS, called Paloma, which features Grace Gummer. Yeah, it’s that kind of woman-power.

Ruth and Erica

Ruth and Erica features Maura Tierney and Lois Smith. Tierney is trying to get her parents out of the family home and into a facility where they can care for her father (Phillip Baker Hall) who has Alzheimer’s disease.

There are 13 episodes. Here is the first.

Ruth and Erica is told and acted and shot with great tenderness and love. The scenes between Lois Smith and Phillip Baker Hall as the loving old couple dealing with Alzheimer’s are beautiful and tender and heartbreaking. The two of them are exquisite together. I’d love Ruth and Erica for this couple alone, but Maura Tierney has her own storyline independent of her parents’ drama that is intriguing as well.

This series was resolved at the end of 13 episodes, so I don’t think another season is in the works for it. It would be wonderful if someone would write another series for Lois Smith and Phillip Baker Hall with a story to tell that was about elders living life fully.

Susanna

Susanna features Maggie Grace and Anna Paquin. The two play sisters. Anna Paquin is a new mother with postpartum depression. She is scary-wonderful in this role. She had me holding my breath during most of her early scenes. Maggie Grace is the sister who gets called in to help when things get impossible.

Here’s episode 1 of 12.

I’ve been watching Anna Paquin perform marvels on a screen ever since The Piano so I wasn’t that surprised by her wonderful performance. However, I’d never heard of Maggie Grace (I’ve never watched Lost or Californication or Taken – unbelievable, right?). Seeing Maggie Grace was an education. She’s really gifted and does some revelatory things with her part as Susanna.

A second season for this story is a must have. I don’t think one has been announced yet, however. Come on, WIGS, bring it.

Why WIGS is among my favorites

It’s all about the women. The women are the center and the source of all the interestingness.

WIGS has men, too. Unlike shows that are all about the men, where the women are just cardboard cutouts by the man’s side, the men in WIGS are developed characters. This kind of equality makes for a better set of stories. We need millions more stories like these just to catch up with all the stories about complex, real men.

It’s about life. Real life. It isn’t about explosions or saving the world by killing great swaths of people without ever thinking about the consequences. It’s about the way real people live.

Have you watched any of the WIGS web series? What were your favorites?

Get over to YouTube or Watchwigs.com and check out these great stories.