Brilliant Interview with Transparent’s Jill Soloway

Watch this brilliant and wide-ranging discussion between Transparent creator Jill Soloway and HuffPostLive host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. There is much in the questions and answers that is culturally important. Listening can help even the most slow to change individuals understand what the T in LGBT is about.

The conversation, of course, takes in season 2 of Transparent, but it is bigger than that. There’s talk about secrets and families and feminism and playing and many infrequently discussed transgender issues.

Regarding Transparent, Jill Soloway said, “Now that the bubble wrap is off, it’s time for the whole family to transition.” You get an idea of what that means to Soloway as the child of a transgender parent, and to the people creating and playing in the TV series Transparent.

I thought Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani did an excellent job with her questions. With help from Transparent, Jill Soloway, Laverne Cox, Janet Mock and many others, we’ve come a long way in a short time in learning how to talk about transgender issues.

It’s worth your 30 minutes.

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Review: Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks stars Gena Rowlands. That was all I needed to know about the 2014 film to pick it out of a dismal collection of male-dominated newly added films on Amazon Prime.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks”

Watch This: Teaser for Season 2 of Transparent

“Did he call me sir?”

Yes, it’s almost time for Transparent season 2 on Amazon.

Amazon released a tiny clip to let you know that the characters you learned to love in season 1, are going to remain true to themselves. It’s a bit hard to tell in all the confusion, but it looks like Sarah (Amy Landecker) and Tammy (Melora Hardin) are the ones getting married.

Maura (Jeffrey Tambor), of course, is concerned about looking her best. Josh (Jay Duplass) brought his girl, the rabbi (Kathryn Hahn), and his newly discovered son to the wedding. Ali (Gaby Hoffmann) seems to be alone. We don’t see Syd (Carrie Brownstein) in this clip, but Ali and Syd are scheduled for a romance in season 2.

Based on the expression on Judith Light’s face in this very brief teaser, I’d say she is going to continue killing it as Shelly Pfefferman in season 2. New guest stars for season 2 include Cherry Jones, Anjelica Huston and Tig Notaro. Returning guest stars include Bradley Whitford and Alexandra Billings, among many others.

The series creator Jill Soloway described the new season by saying, “Season two is wild! Now that the bubble wrap is off, it’s time for the whole family to transition.”

And pronouns are still at issue. We live in a time when your choice of pronoun is a symbol of your enlightenment.

“We’re done here.”

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”