Hello all! Sorry for the lack of posting- again! I’ve been so busy this summer with work and everything, that I haven’t really been posting much- but I have been watching things. In fact I watch a lot, but never seem to write about everything I’ve seen- which I would really love to do. Since it’s the height of Summer, there are so many great TV shows and films coming out that I’ve been watching, but it’s hard to keep track, and process everything, and write about them too. Some things I have seen but have never posted about are: Get Out, Burning Sands, Baywatch, The Circle, Big Little Lies, the Titanic 20th, Ghost in the Shell, and so much more! And no, I have NOT seen Wonder Woman yet. I’m sorry. Usually by the time I think of some deep and thoughtful post to write, the hype has passed, and it’s a bit strange to write about it…or I get writer’s block and find myself stuck on the same sentence for ages, and finally give up out of frustration. It really sucks.
However, I finally gathered myself, and compiled some June highlights!
Orange is the New Black Season 5
I returned home for a week, and since my parents’ vehicles were down, my Mom and I stayed in and binged the new season of OITNB in a day- once going out to the store to buy an emergency stash of Cheetos! While not as great as Season 2, this season was pretty good and had an interesting and painful follow up to Poussey’s death. The entirety of the season takes place over 12 hours, where the inmates have taken over Litchfield and are holding the guards hostage. As in previous seasons, we get to see the compelling backstories of some of our characters (Rita’s and Janae’s being my favorites) and see some interesting interactions between the inmates. Once again, this season ended on a cliffhanger, so we’ll all have to wait another year to see what happens to the women of Litchfield! Ugh…
Question/Lost Post: The Sad Truth Behind Social Media Activism– One of the most heartbreaking parts of this season was Taystee’s failed attempts to bring awareness to Poussey’s death. After posting the video online, it barely gained any views and Black Cindy was merely turned into a meme. This highlights a sad trend within our society of injustice and a lack of seriousness. How many people have become overnight successes because of a stupid meme? How many times have you seen hashtags for a specific event, but after the hype has died down, barely anyone seems to care? Remember #BringBackOurGirls, the Flint Water Crisis, Kony 2012 and others that have been lost over time?
The Handmaid’s Tale
Easily the most though-provoking of the list, The Handmaid’s Tale blew me away with the acting, the story line, and the unfortunate parallels to what is going on in our country today. Every week, I would find myself angered over what was happening to the characters. Like the book, the show raises a lot of concerns about the state of affairs in our country, and puts a magnifying glass on its leaders who follow the ( far right-wing version) Christian faith. There’s just so much to dissect, I couldn’t really write about it all, because I had too many thoughts at once. I can’t wait for season 2 so some of my many, many questions will be answered.
Question/Lost Post: The Curious Case of Serena Joy (Mrs. Waterford)- Are Men Really the Biggest Villains in The Handmaid’s Tale? A controversial question, I pondered this as the season progressed. Serena Joy was an intelligent woman- who stood behind her husband- even stepping down a notch to elevate him. Serena Joy helped write the laws of Gilead, causing pain and suffering for millions, especially the Handmaids. While most of the men of Gilead are vile, it’s women like Serena Joy who helped put them into power.
As a lover of 80’s films, music, and pop culture, I couldn’t wait for GLOW. Since I have finished the first season, I really want to watch the documentary on Netflix with the real GLOW. The series is one of my favorite examples of period dramas that explore feminism. I loved that in this series, there was a diverse set of women- and that the show highlighted the fine line between empowerment and exploitation (exhibited in the set of women and on the fictional show). I also was excited that this show champions women gaining ownership of their bodies- and how it handles tough issues such as abortion in a progressive way. I’m really hoping that this show is picked up for a second season since it ended on a major cliffhanger. I don’t want it to meet the same fate as Good Girls Revolt.
Question/Lost Post: The Fine Line Between Exploitation and Empowerment– GLOW really hits on this topic. In their fictional show, the women really embrace their stereotypes and use them to pique interest in the characters. As displayed during the final episode of the season, some of the ideas succeeded (the America vs. Russia match), while others backfired (the Terrorist portrayal).
I love raunchy comedies! If you’ve been following me, I think you would notice the trend in many of the films I have reviewed. In Rough Night, a group of 5 friends go to Miami for a Bachelorette Weekend which quickly goes awry due to the accidental death of a Craigslist “escort”. I love the influx of raunchy female-driven comedies that prove that women are just as bad-behaved, and fun-loving as men are. I also enjoyed seeing a more comedic side to Scarlett Johansson. This film tops my list along with Bridesmaids, How to Be Single, Bad Moms, and Neighbors 2.
Question/Lost Post: N/A- Or thoughts about the female-driven summer box office.
After hearing about the streaming service debate about Okja‘s screening at Cannes, I became interested in seeing this film. I was not disappointed and agree that this is one of Bong Joon Ho’s greatest achievements. A great film for animal-lovers and general audiences alike, Okja humanizes the animals we eat and brings awareness to their mistreatment. Mija is friends with a genetically modified “super pig” who was raised on her farm in Korea. Mija was unaware of her friend’s fate- to be sold to the masses to be consumed.
Question/Lost Post: Extremist Activists- Do they really help the cause or detract from it? While I admired the efforts of the members of the Animal Liberation Front, they didn’t exactly help the cause. They exposed the Mirando Corporation, but it was Mija who managed to get Okja back. While the ALF weren’t bad guys and had a great cause, they didn’t seem to get anywhere with their efforts.
The Little Hours
I cheated a bit on this movie, since I saw it all the way back in January at Sundance…But still haven’t wrote about it. The Little Hours now has a limited release nationwide, and yes, I will be seeing it again. The film is loosely based on the 14th century book The Decameron, and according to director Jeff Baena and the cast, was merely an outline on paper. A medieval sex romp on the surface, The Little Hours explores human sexuality and the constructs of religion. It’s one of those movies that you have to appreciate by yourself, or find a very special group of friends to enjoy it with.
Question/Lost Post: Religion and Sexuality- Is religion a way to keep us from exploring our true human nature and desires? The cast of The Little Hours noted that the film is less of a mockery of the church and more of an exploration in sexual regression. In the Christian community especially, (women primarily) are made to feel guilty or sinful for their desires or for embracing their sexuality. The entirety of The Decameron explores subjects such as this as well.
Sorry about such a lazy post! I love writing, I just have been struggling with putting my thoughts into words here these days, but I hope to get some more content out soon when this horrible writer’s cramp evaporates. Anyway, here are some films I am going to be seeing soon! Hopefully will have some posts up!
Ingrid Goes West