Amazon Pilot Season Wants Your Opinion

Amazon is asking viewers to vote for their favorite new shows. The most popular shows will get a full season. You can watch all these new pilots free even if you aren’t a member at Amazon Prime. The catch is, of course, if you completely love one and it gets made into a full series, you have to have Amazon Prime to watch the rest of it.

The ones that look interesting to me are a series about Zelda Fitzgerald called Z, an autobiographical look at Tig Notaro called One Mississippi, and one called Good Girls Revolt about young female researchers in the Newsweek newsroom in the 1960s.

If you watch any of these shows and rate them, your opinion gets figured into whether or not the show gets more episodes. It’s not always a sure bet that if you like the pilot, you will love the entire season, but why not watch the pilots and share your thoughts.

I watched Good Girls Revolt and gave it top marks. I plan to catch the other two soon.

Dark New Trailer for Jessica Jones

The new trailer for Marvel’s Jessica Jones is dark enough to give me goosebumps. Less than a month until it begins on Netflix. I will be watching. Will you?

Dark, twisted, haunted, troubled, as well as super strong are a few adjectives that come to mind in that preview. I think Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) may be the most interesting comic book spin off that has come out of the Marvel universe.

The preview introduces us to the villain Kilgrave (David Tennant), although we don’t see much but the back of his head and a demonstration of his ability to make people do whatever he wants.

If the music in the preview is an indication of the type of soundtrack that will accompany the series, I’m looking forward to that as well.

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Vulture ran a spoiler-filled article about episode one called Jessica Jones Has Hot Sex and Nuanced Sexuality (Especially for a Marvel Show) that may be of interest to you. It talks about Jessica and her relationship with Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor).

Images via Netflix

Feminist Frequency: The Straw Feminist

This is an old video from Feminist Frequency, but I just discovered it. It talks about ‘the straw feminist,’ a character in media that is actually meant to demonize and confuse real feminism. It’s about 10 minutes long and worth the time.

Here’s the description of the video:

The Straw Feminist trope is a deliberately created, exaggerated caricature of a feminist that is used to undermine and ridicule feminist movements. . . . The Straw Feminist trope has many more facets and MANY more examples but I hope I was able to provide a general overview.

Lately I’ve been reading the book Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, which is why I found this video so compelling at this particular time. After reading this book, I could name dozens of examples of straw feminists meant to undermine women coming out of reality shows. Anita Sarkeesian didn’t get to reality TV in this video, but the book makes it clear that reality TV is one of the most effective backlash tools against women in the culture now.

Review: Hit & Miss

I confess when I first heard about Hit & Miss, a British series about a transgender woman who works as a contract killer starring Chloë Sevigny, I thought it sounded awful. Really, every horrible idea you can imagine. A cis female playing transgender – and she’s a killer. And that title: too cutesy. But a Twitterverse conversation with @Tristen1960 and @Doccubus_Nat about the series convinced me to give it a try. I’m glad I did.

Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Review: Hit & Miss”

One More Reason to Like Longmire: An Age Appropriate Relationship

I’m a dedicated Longmire fan. I’ve previously mentioned several reasons why.

  1. Filmed in beautiful New Mexico
  2. Katee Sackhoff is in it
  3. Native American culture is treated with respect
  4. Very interesting complicated characters

After watching season 4 of Longmire on Netflix, I have another reason for loving the show.

Let’s back up a bit. Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is the sheriff of a mythical county in Wyoming where there is a new murder to investigate in almost every episode. In a long story arc starting in season 1 and stretching all the way into season 4 Walt is coming to terms with his wife’s murder. He tries to find her murderer. His best friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) is accused of killing the man who murdered Walt’s wife. It takes time to prove Henry innocent. They have to find the real killer. That someone was tied to people in his county. He tries to find who gave the orders. Who had his wife killed and who killed her murderer?

In season 4, episode 3 we finally get the answer to that question. It isn’t the answer anyone expected. At last, Walt gets the closure he’s needed. It’s a brilliant episode. Tense, beautifully shot, amazing acting. It reminded me of the scene in The Fall where Stella interrogates Paul Specter.

Walt, finally, is at a place where he can let go of his wife and his desire for revenge. He might be open to letting a woman into his life again.

Katee Sackhoff and Robert Taylor in Longmire

Deputy Vic Moretti (Sackhoff) has visions of it being Walt’s new woman. Walt is not of the same mind. She is his deputy. Full stop.

Ally Walker

That’s about the time Walt meets the gorgeous Dr. Donna Sue Monahan (Ally Walker). She’s an overworked psychiatrist who works with PTSD cases and victims of trauma.

Walt is smitten. She’s reluctant. She’s busy. He’s busy. It takes them a while to figure it out.

I’m very interested in the feminist issue of age appropriate relationships in the movies and on TV. Older men with younger women seems to be the norm. But not on Longmire. Robert Taylor and Ally Walker are both over 50. Katee Sackhoff is 35.

Reason number 5 to love Longmire: he picks the woman his own age to court. Go, Walt!

Walt and Donna are in each others arms in the last few seconds of episode 10 for the big season 4 cliffhanger, so I’m hoping Ally Walker will be back if there is a season 5. I enjoyed her character in season 4 and she would be good for the story. My fingers are crossed.

Here’s my review of season 5.

The Final Season

The 6th and final season begins on Netflix on November 17, 2017. Here’s my review of season 6.

Watch This: Premier Announcement of Marvel’s Jessica Jones

An arty and mysterious video for Marvel’s Jessica Jones was released by Netflix. It announces the premier date for the series: November 20, 2015. The first season contains 13 episodes.

The series synopsis is “Ever since her short-lived stint as a Super Hero ended in tragedy, Jessica Jones has been rebuilding her personal life and career as a hot-tempered, sardonic private detective in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. Plagued by self-loathing, and a wicked case of PTSD, Jessica battles demons from within and without, using her extraordinary abilities as an unlikely champion for those in need… especially if they’re willing to cut her a check.”

Krysten Ritter will play Jessica Jones. In all 13 episodes with her will be David Tennant, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, Carrie-Anne Moss, Eka Darville, and Erin Moriarty.

See also: Marvel’s AKA Jessica Jones Set for Netflix.

Review: Mississippi Damned

Mississippi Damned is an examination of what keeps people trapped in a cycle of poverty and abuse, and how some of them manage to escape.

If you watched the excellent documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? you know that Nina Simone wanted to be a concert pianist. And you probably already knew that Nina Simone wrote the song “Mississippi Goddam” which inspired the title of this movie. The most accessible character in the film, the one we root for the most, is young Kari Peterson. She’s played as a young adult by Tessa Thompson and as a child by Kylee Russell. Like Nina Simone, Kari wants to go to college to develop her talent as a pianist and composer.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Mississippi Damned”

Watch This: Season 4 Preview and Sneak Peek for Longmire

Longmire was dropped by its old network after 3 seasons and was picked up amid a great fan outburst by Netflix. Season 4 will be starting on Netflix on September 10. In the meantime, you can watch all of the first 3 seasons on Netflix. To quote Longmire, “It’s not that you come back, it’s how you come back that matters.” This comeback was 100% fan driven.

I know Longmire isn’t the type of show I usually promote here. But it is filmed near me and I started watching to see if I could recognize any of the locations. It’s gorgeous scenery – supposedly set in Wyoming but actually filmed near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

And there is the fact that I like Katee Sackhoff, so I was watching to see her. However, it took almost no time before I was hooked on all the characters and their stories.

Katee Sackhoff plays Deputy Vic Moretti
Katee Sackhoff plays Deputy Vic Moretti

Robert Taylor is Sheriff Longmire. His deputies are played by Katee Sackhoff as Vic, Bailey Chase as Branch and Adam Bartley as The Ferg. Lou Diamond Phillips is Henry Standing Bear, one of many Native American characters in the show. If you’ve ever read anything by Tony Hillerman, you know how his books treated Native American culture. The mostly Cheyenne people and culture in Longmire are treated with the same kind of respect.

Other cast includes Cassidy Freeman, Louanne Stephens, Gerald McRaney and Ally Walker.

None of the characters are wholly pure, all have demons of their own, including the main characters in the sheriff’s department of this small town. It makes for great story arcs that go on for many episodes. Which is all the more reason to go back and catch up on seasons 1–3 before you start season 4.

One of the multi-episode stories involves the murder of Longmire’s wife, which is what I think the scene in the preview below relates to.

The following teaser is for season 4. You see glimpses of many characters and some of the beautiful Western scenery.

If you’ve never watched Longmire, give it a try. And if you are already a fan of this complex character-driven drama, come celebrate with me on September 10 when we can start watching the 10 new episodes of season 4.

Review: Catastrophe Season 1

Catastrophe is an Amazon original series. The first 6 episodes are available now on Amazon Prime.

Rob (Rob Delaney), an American, and Sharon (Sharon Horgan), an Irish teacher working in London, meet in a pub. They have sex as often as possible while Rob is in London. Then he goes home, only to be called back by a catastrophe – she’s pregnant.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Catastrophe Season 1”

A Closer Look at Mille Dinesen, Star of ‘Rita’

A very popular post on this blog is about the Danish show Rita, which is a hit on Netflix. Mille Dinesen is the star of Rita. I thought readers would appreciate learning more about her, seeing some photos and some video, and finding out how to keep track of her.

She was born in 1974, which makes her 41 years old. She’s only been acting for the last 10 years or so, if IMDB is reliable. (It generally is skimpy for European actors, but it’s all the info we’ve got.) Before she stepped in front of the camera, she was a production assistant. She completed her acting training at State Theatre School in 2004. Her first credit is for the Danish Bridget Jones, Nynne, which turned out to be a huge success and made her very well known in Denmark.

the poster for Nynne
Mille Dinesen started off with a starring role in Nynne.

She’s been consistently busy since that beginning. She’s done a TV series on Nynne, several movies and was in a few episodes of a favorite of mine, Borgen, as Birgitte Nyborg’s ex husband’s new girlfriend.

You can find her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. On Twitter she’s @milledin.

Here are a couple of photos from her Instagram account. Remember when her Rita co-star Lise Baastrup dressed up like Rita in one episode? Here’s a photo of that look-alike situation.

Ikke alt er som det plejer i aftenens afsnit af RITA 👊 @ritatv2 #tv2play #tv2danmark #netflix #ritaseason3

A photo posted by Mille Dinesen (@milledin) on

I don’t know about you, but I simply loved Rita’s closet with its endless supply of plaid shirts. I want that closet for my own.

Tøjkrise…ALDRIG! …på med RITAuniformen 👊 @ritatv2 @tv2danmark #netflix #ritaseason3 A photo posted by Mille Dinesen (@milledin) on

The translations of Danish articles by Google from Danish to English are almost unintelligible, so it’s a bit hard to tell much about her personal life. I managed to figure out that she’s interested in her health and in eating right. For a time, she was not very well, and she strives to maintain good health now.

She lives in Copenhagen, near where she was born and near her family. She was married, but is now single. She told one interviewer, “I could not have made ‘Rita’ if I had had so much as a hamster to take care of.” She commented that she’d been on Nynne for so long she was typecast as that. She’s very happy that her character on Rita is so different. In this interview, she described Rita as being politically incorrect with a masculine energy.

I’m hoping for a 4th season of Rita, but I’m also hoping that whatever Mille Dinesen does next will be brought to American audiences.

See also: My interview with Christian Torpe, the creator of Rita.