Short Film You *Must* Watch: ‘Joe and Mary’s Kid’

Joe and Mary's Kid - short film by Dan Rosen

Have you got fifteen minutes?

Sure you do. For this, you do. This short film called Joe and Mary’s Kid is just shy of fifteen minutes, and you can watch it for FREE.

Joe & Mary’s Kid from Adrian Peckitt on Vimeo.

Wasn’t it great? It was written and directed by a college friend of mine, Dan Rosen. The guy is crazy talented, and my one true shot at one day being able to say that I’m friends with someone who’s famous. (Don’t worry, I have not stayed in touch with him just because I think he’ll win an Oscar one day. Dan’s a great, funny guy and always has the perfect movie or TV series recommendation for me.)

Back when Dan was making this short film, I tossed in a few bucks via Indie Go Go to help make Izak the robot as cool as possible. I can’t believe how wonderful it turned out!

What I love about this story is how much goes unspoken. In such a short amount of time, and with little dialogue, I feel like the audience really sees Joe and Mary’s relationships. Marley Hamilton, who plays Mary, has such a beautiful and expressive face. Geraint Hill, who plays Joe, is wonderful at conveying hopefulness and hopelessness at the same time. He shows so much love for his new robot child, but it’s too desperate. He is sweet and sad at the same time.

My favorite scene in the film is when Izak falls on his pet, “Affectionate Dog”, and kills him. Joe immediately rushes to Izak, hastily tinkering away to find out what’s wrong with his robot son. Mary rushes to the dog, checking for life. Even though Mary wanted to support Joe, she still placed more importance on the living, breathing pet than the son Joe had made of metal and wires. That scene said more than any conversation could have, and it was so well done.

I hope you enjoyed the film! I’m looking forward to seeing what Dan Rosen does next.

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The Mindy Project: Season Three

the mindy project season 3

The Mindy Project just completed a third season, and Fox has yet to renew it for a fourth. I really, really, REALLY hope they do. It’s my favorite sitcom currently on TV, and one of the few shows left that I feel I must watch the night it airs.

Though I still watch New Girl, I’ve steadily lost interest in it over the last couple years, getting bored as it recycles the same plot points over and over again. The characters on New Girl never grow, never change, never do anything different. They are all essentially in the same place they were four seasons ago.

The Mindy Project does not have that problem. Mindy Kaling has made bold choices for her show, she has never shied away from change or progress. The characters have grown and developed. Instead of dragging out a “will they or won’t they?” relationship for Mindy and Danny, they dove right into “they did”. The show got funnier and better because of it.

It should go without saying that a blog entitled “The Mindy Project: Season Three” will contain spoilers, but just to be clear, DO NOT KEEP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED SEASON THREE.

OK.

The biggest thing The Mindy Project did this season was write a pregnancy storyline for the titular character. People often say kids ruin sitcoms, but I think if anyone can pull it off, it’s this show. Mindy’s pregnancy has not only been a source of incredible humor, but it’s also given the show the opportunity to keep exploring Mindy and Danny’s fascinating relationship.

The season finale was just wonderful. It dove into some of the inherent differences between Mindy and Danny, but it never felt like the tension was forced or fabricated. These issues have been simmering all season, but the show has never made us question that these two characters love each other. The episode had some really sweet, tender moments but it was also laugh-out-loud funny.

I want to see Mindy find out that Danny went to India to meet her parents. I want to see Mindy be a mom, and Danny be a dad. I want to see Rhea Perlman more, as a first-time grandmother. I really want a fourth season.

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Survivor – Throwback Wednesday

Last week I wrote eight million words on Survivor and misogyny, so I’ll try to keep it shorter this week.

After last week’s vote, Shirin was worried that she might have an annoying personality. Oh, sweetie. That’s not a Survivor problem. That’s probably a LIFE problem. Her naivete was almost cute.

Over at the other camp, Rodney was making fun of Mike for being religious and, apparently, celibate for eight years. This guy. He wants all women to be chaste, but all men to be players. How exactly is that supposed to work? I guess he hasn’t run the math. As expected, Rodney developed a pretty hardcore bromance with Joaquin (Joaq? Guac?) because they’re both all about “girls” and “partying”. I hate these people.

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Girls – “I can’t guarantee perfection, but I can guarantee intrigue.”

HBO’s show Girls has concluded its fourth season, after ten episodes that spanned many places – both geographically and emotionally.

There was a lot going on this season, and at times I felt that the lines of the main characters – Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, Shoshanna, Adam and Ray – didn’t overlap enough. Other characters, Mimi-Rose, Ace, Elijah and Hannah’s parents, kind of floated in and out of the picture. Overall, it made the season feel a bit scattered and rushed. That said, it wasn’t as though the season didn’t have its strong moments. There were some episodes and storylines that I really enjoyed.

Hannah and Adam

Hannah was a pretty big mess this season, and often at her most unlikable. She truly botched the Iowa thing, acting like a child among grownups at the writers workshop. She quit, came back to Iowa, and discovered that Adam had already shacked up with another girl.

The fifth episode of the season was essentially a bottle episode, featuring a distraught Hannah essentially refusing to leave her old apartment, where Adam and Mimi-Rose were living. Gillian Jacobs was good as Mimi-Rose and fit in with the cast, but we spent a lot of time on her character, and she was quickly out of the picture. I think Mimi-Rose was meant to represent the kind of person Hannah would like to be: creative, mysterious, sexy and successful. I would have liked to explore that more.

Hannah’s attempt to become a teacher was even less successful than her attempt to attend grad school. She’s too emotionally stunted to even remotely pass as someone who would remain hired beyond the first day. I enjoyed Maude Apatow’s performance as Hannah’s student/friend, but come on. How does Hannah not get fired in that situation?

In the last couple episodes of the season, Hannah had to try and deal with the news that her father came out as gay. It was fascinating to watch proudly liberal Hannah deal with the shock of the change in her life, and to see her try to cover up the confusion and surprise that she was mistaking for homophobia. It was probably one of my favorite storylines from the season.

In last night’s season finale, Adam tried to get Hannah back after the two of them witnessed the truly horrifying botched home birth that Adam’s sister, Caroline, attempted. Adam’s offer felt genuine, and I was proud of Hannah for turning him down.

A lot happened to Hannah over these ten episodes, and I can’t help but think the story would have been better served if some of these ideas had either been cut, or saved for next season.

Marnie, Jessa, Shoshanna and Ray

My other favorite storyline from this season was Ray running for local council. Ray is older and more pessimistic than the other characters on this show, so I’ve always related to him best. He’s a smart guy who hasn’t achieved as much as he’d hoped so far in life. I loved the idea of Ray channeling some of his intelligence and his frustration with the world toward a very simple project: dealing with neighborhood traffic and noise.

I can totally picture a spin-off series, solely about Ray’s life in small time politics. He’s part Ron Swanson, part Leslie Knope, part April Ludgate. (But there isn’t an ounce of Tom Haverford there.)

Ray’s storylines mostly overlapped with Shoshanna and Marnie this season. I’ve always loved Shoshanna, and enjoyed seeing her get pushed into the real world. Sometimes, I thought Shoshanna’s behavior skewed a little too far towards the unbelievable side – I could believe botched interviews because of her intense personality, but straight-up telling a potential employer that your interview was essentially a trial run seemed too stupid a move for someone as ambitious as Shosh.

I enjoyed Jason Ritter as a love interest for Shoshanna, but since we saw so little of him it made her final dilemma seem like an easy decision. Shosh was offered her dream job in Tokyo, but should she leave a guy she’d gone out on a few dates with? Um, hells yes she should. Had Shoshanna been rekindling a romance with Ray, I would have understood her hesitation more. But this? Nope nope nope. It’s time for Shoshanna to lean in. Last year, Hannah decided to move to Iowa and we all thought “Well, that won’t last. She’s the star of the show.” I have the same concern about Shoshanna – is Zosia Mamet leaving the show, or will she be appearing less? I don’t love the idea of Shoshanna bailing on Tokyo after three episodes to return to Brooklyn, but I’ll save my concerns for next year.

Instead of rekindling his feelings for Shoshanna, Ray nursed a crush on Marnie this season. His small-time election win acceptance speech, which was 100% directed at a newly engaged Marnie, was a very well done scene (especially when Shoshanna realized what was going on.) I hate Desi, and I hate Marnie, but I had to root for her in the season finale when she had to perform without him. Hopefully that engagement will have been broken off when the show resumes next year.

As always, we probably saw the least of Jessa this season. I used to really hate Jessa, but in recent seasons she has climbed past Marnie on my list of “Girls Characters Ranked from Best to Worst”.* But, I rather liked her this season. She’s coming out of the whole train wreck thing, and I actually hope she follows through on her declaration to become a therapist.

All in all, I still really enjoy watching Girls. I just think this season could have benefited from a few less major plot lines, and a bit more focus on the ones that really worked. What did you guys think? Hit the comments.

*This list was purely in my head and not even fully formed, but here I am giving it a shot. This is based on my current feelings about the characters and, thus, is subject to change.

Girls Characters Ranked From Best To Worst

  1. Shoshanna
  2. Ray
  3. Adam
  4. Jessa
  5. Hannah
  6. Elijah
  7. Marnie

I included Elijah in there to create some distance between Hannah and Marnie, because I really can’t stand Marnie. I think Elijah is funny, but I also really think he’s an asshole. Usually I’d place Hannah above Jessa because Jessa has always been a manipulative psychopath, but not this year.

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Survivor – Bro Down

survivor worlds apart logo

This week we were treated to a Survivor double-header. Two hours of great challenges, blindsides, tribal shake-ups and… raging misogyny. Holy crap, people. Has there ever been such a group of sexist bozos? It seemed like every five minutes, someone was saying something that offended me to my core.

But first. First, I need to address the way Mike killed, skinned and cooked a snake. It was both disgusting, and really cool. I mean, you gotta eat, right? But still. The way the skin peeled off all at once, like a glove. Gross.

To the left, to the left…

This week, we had separate Reward and Immunity challenges in both episodes. The first Reward Challenge was a classic blindfolded obstacle course. This challenge always leads to a lot of bruises and scrapes, but nothing as bad as what Kelly experienced.

Partway through the challenge, Kelly got hit in the head and started bleeding right away. The challenge was paused so medical could check her out, but she had to keep her blindfold on. They bandaged her up, and the challenge resumed. What a trooper! Afterwards, Kelly got six stitches in her forehead.

The No Collars won the top prize, three hens and a rooster. The White Collars won second place and received ten eggs. Despite Kelly’s bloodshed, the Blue Collars went home empty-handed.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Most of the No Collars agreed that they’d cook one of the chickens right then and there, in honor of Will’s birthday. I’m onboard with the idea of eating one chicken. At this stage of the game, you don’t know when there could be a tribe shake-up, and you want to experience some of your reward. I’d argue to keep the others and hope for eggs, but I’d want to eat a little meat.

Jenn, a vegetarian, was totally against the plan. She went off into the woods to mope, and also poked around for the Hidden Immunity Idol. She found it. These things are not hard to find, huh?

Over at the Blue Collar camp, the drama was much more intense. It began with Rodney declaring “Girls need to hold themselves to a higher standard than guys.” Hey, you know the term “slut shaming”? THIS IS IT. Rodney was proudly arguing, over and over, that women should remain more chaste, more well behaved, more pure, than men. Lindsey and Sierra were furious, because they are women and this is offensive BS.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.17.49 AM

“I may not be an angel, but when I settle down I wanna find one,” Rodney said. He refused to acknowledge the sexism and disgusting double-standard in what he was saying, and he couldn’t have cared less that he was offending people on this tribe. Because Rodney was only offending the women on this tribe, and to him they do not matter. 

The drama over on the White Collar tribe was a little less controversial. Shirin is still getting under everyone’s skin, this time by announcing how she’d prepared for the possibility of winning live chickens in a reward. She’d watched a video, talked to a farmer, and actually slaughtered a rabbit.

I know, I know, Shirin is annoying. But come on! That’s kind of smart. Call me a psycho, but I respect it. (I just wouldn’t have, you know, advertised it.)

If I Were A Boy…

For the Immunity Challenge, tribe members had to move through a slanted obstacle course on a rope, then maneuver three balls through a maze. As always, Will was a huge drain on the No Collar tribe. On the Blue Collar tribe, Rodney lost a lot of time. Just out of pure stupidity, too. He genuinely did not seem to understand how to get through the obstacle course without becoming entangled in the rope.

No Collar crushed the second portion of the challenge and nabbed first place. White Collar finished second. Of course, Sierra pointed out, a big part of their loss was thanks to Rodney. Dan is obviously a weaker tribe member, but Rodney is hella offensive. The way he bungled the challenge looked like a good way for the ladies to try and oust him.

I was shocked at what little support Lindsey and Sierra got on their quest to vote out Rodney. First, Lindsey told Dan that she was voting Rodney. The condescending way in which Dan described how there’s “listening like a man” and “listening like a woman” made me want to wring his neck. Basically, “listening like a man” (in Dan’s eyes) is to assess a problem and come up with a solution. “Listening like a woman” is to feel lots of empathy, nod and smile, and just go along with whatever is said. Well, Dan. I have been listening to you and I have assessed the problem and I have the solution: YOU CAN CHOKE ON SOME RICE. Dan is the second worst. Because only Rodney is more despicable.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.19.07 AM

“These broads just don’t know what they’re doin’. Bye-bye, women.” Rodney has identified the women as the number one problem in his tribe. He’s working with Kelly, but only because a) he has to, and, b) she bites her tongue when he says offensive things. I get the sense that if Rodney could work with another man instead of Kelly, he would.

And now, here’s the ultimate, most offensive, most misogynistic quote from the episode:

“If we were back home I’d grab her [Lindsey] by the hair and spank her like a bad baby.”

I hit rewind a couple times to make sure I got that right. Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.20.28 AMRodney actually said that he would use physical violence on a woman for disagreeing with him, and NO ONE SAID ANYTHING. Hey, you know the term “rape culture”? THIS. THIS HERE. THIS IS IT. This man thinks of women as less-than. This man thinks it’s OK to lay hands on a woman. This man thinks women need to be put in their place, which is below him, using physical violence.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.20.39 AMI hate this man.

Rodney makes my blood boil. I’m not an even-tempered person, not when it comes to issues like this. I wish every pox, every curse, every STD, every misfortune upon him. I will never, ever understand why Kelly would want to work with someone like Rodney. Someone who is a clear misogynist, who will never truly be your alliance mate because he does not respect you, because you are a woman.

At Tribal Council, Rodney talked about how much he respects his mother, and reiterated that women need to hold themselves to a higher standard than men do. Statements like this give me so little hope for the world. How do we ever make change in the world when people like Rodney exist? You can’t reason with the utterly unreasonable.

Lindsey did a much better job at Tribal Council than Rodney. She spoke with passion, she spoke about keeping the team strong. And they voted her out anyway. (First, it was a tie between Rodney, Lindsey and Sierra. Then they voted out Lindsey.)

By the way, can I just point out how utterly ridiculous it was when Mike said that white collar workers live off the hard work of “real Americans”, the blue collar workers? Barf. Probst grinned and nodded, because he is unabashedly biased when it comes to this. I groaned.

Festivus For The Rest Of Us

Back at camp, Sierra was mad. Of course she was mad! She received votes. The vote did not go her way, and instead her best friend was eliminated. She is clearly next on the chopping block. Everyone knew that by voting out Lindsey they’d lose Sierra too, and yet they all acted surprised by it.

Mike wanted everyone to “air grievances” and move on. What was up next, the feats of strength? Instead of making Sierra feel included, Dan did everything he could to further alienate her. He listed everything he thought she’d done wrong so far, including specifics about her performance in challenges. DAN. DAN did this. Dan is the worst! Who is he to criticize a freaking GODDESS like Sierra when it comes to challenge performances?

When the tribes showed up for the next Reward Challenge and Probst told them to drop their buffs, I thought “Well this will be good for Sierra.” And then, it wasn’t.

RED TRIBE: Will, Hali, Jenn, Shirin, Max, Carolyn, Kelly
BLUE TRIBE: Sierra, Rodney, Mike, Dan, Tyler, Joaquin, Joe

The tribe switch was horrible for so many people, but especially for Sierra. She ended up with the three worst people from Blue Collar. She ended up with the two bro-iest dudes from White Collar. And she got beautiful, talented, strong Joe from No Collar. She is the only woman on a tribe of misogynists. (Remember, Joaquin likes “fast women and lots of champagne”.)

Joe also has cause for concern. If he’d been placed on a weaker tribe, he’d be secure until the merge because he wins challenges. But this tribe is entirely comprised of strong people, and he’s the only player from No Collar. They could decide to eliminate the biggest threat in the game before the merge.

Over on Red Tribe, Kelly and Carolyn seemed to make out worst. Carolyn got stuck with the two people she hated most from White Collar. And they were the two people I would have most expected to get along with the No Collars (though, I ended up being wrong there). And Kelly ended up being the only Blue Collar on her tribe. Furthermore, the tribe is just much physically weaker than Blue Tribe. Will and Shirin are definitely weak links, and there’s no one super physically powerful.

Apologies, Apologies

As soon as Blue Tribe arrived at camp, Mike was telling Dan “I told you so.” He’d wanted to smooth things over with Sierra and Dan made it So. Much. Worse. And now look! A woman has become important! She’s the swing vote! The first chance she got, Sierra told the other tribe members that the guys from Blue Collar were jerks, and she was ready to flip.

Mike said he wanted to make sure Sierra’s “mind doesn’t get mixed up”. Oh you know, those silly women – always getting their minds mixed up! WTF? Nothing is “mixed up” about turning your back on a bunch of jerks who betrayed you. Sierra has no reason to remain loyal to the likes of Rodney, Dan and Mike, yet they’ll label her a crazy bitch if she votes against them. I hate these people!

Mike tried to coach Dan on how to apologize to women. EVERYONE ON THIS SHOW IS SUCH A GODDAMN EXPERT ON WOMEN. Women, you see, don’t want a side of explanation with their apology. The way he said it was dripping with condescension. Basically, it doesn’t matter if you know you’re right when dealing with a woman. You just suck it up and apologize, because she isn’t smart enough to reason with. THIS IS SEXISM.

Dan was peeved that advice was even being offered. He’s twice Mike’s age! (Actually, Dan, you’re only nine years older.) He has way more experience “talking to girls”. WHO EVEN SAYS THAT. I hate Dan. I know I have him in the office pool (I was drawn last) but I want him to lose.

Obviously, Dan’s apology sucked.

Over on Red Tribe, Shirin and Max already rubbing her tribe the wrong way. Jenn hadn’t even learned Shirin’s name yet, but already hated her. (I’m going to be honest, I am not Jenn’s #1 fan.) I’ll admit, Shirin does seem annoying. The singing, the whistling, the incessant talking, the announcement of the intention to poop. It’s a lot.

Max also made enemies fast. He suffered some stingray related injuries on his feet, and Jenn told him to put his feet in the pot of hot water. Then, Hali noticed a planter’s wart on his foot and was VERY grossed out. I mean, isn’t this one kind of on Jenn, too? She told him to put his feet in there. Was there nothing else to use?

I Came In Like A Wrecking Ball

The Immunity Challenge required team members to move pots through an obstacle course, then break them using a wrecking ball. It was a physical challenge and given the unevenness of the tribes, it was an obliteration.

Or as Probst put it “Eskemaka (or whatever) is going to have a big advantage because they have a lot of men.”

THIS IS ALSO SEXISM. Men and strength are not synonymous. The most useless person on any tribe is Will, a man. Dan also sucks. He’s a man. There are women I’d pick for my team before Will, Dan or Max. Blue Tribe is strong, and has a lot of dudes. But they have the advantage because they got a lot of the fit men. Not because they got men in general.

Red Tribe had to go to Tribal Council. On paper, it looked like a very simple swing vote situation. Hali, Jenn and Will on one side, Shirin, Max and Carolyn on the other, and Kelly in the middle. Shirin and Max spent a lot of time wooing Kelly. But they forgot something. That Carolyn capital-H HATES them.

Kelly was not the swing vote, because Carolyn hates her old tribe mates enough to jump ship. That meant Kelly had no choice but to go along with the majority. The only task was to decide who was more annoying: Shirin or Max?

It was pretty funny to watch Max and Shirin stand around talking about how they feel good, they’re “finally playing Survivor“, etc., all while their fellow tribe members are discussing who should be sent home first. Those two might be smart, but they completely lack self-awareness.

I have to say, I thought Shirin would be deemed the most annoying. But in fact, it was Max who was voted out. It made his silly “Hey Jeff, hold up bro…. I just always wanted to say that” gag after Jeff asked for any Hidden Immunity Idols just that much more pathetic.

Alright, this was a long blog and I apologize for that. But a double episode is hard to cover briefly, especially when it’s overflowing with misogyny that leads me to rant. So, it’s your turn – hit the comments, tell me what you thought of the episode.

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Togetherness – Season One

This year, HBO premiered a new half-hour drama called Togetherness, made by Mark and Jay Duplass. The first season has finished, just eight episodes long, and I thought it was fantastic.

togetherness hbo posterThe show centers around four characters: Brett (Mark Duplass) and Michelle (the fantastic Melanie Lynskey) are a married couple with two young children. Amanda Peet plays Michelle’s sister Tina and Steve Zissis plays Brett’s best friend Alex. Tina and Alex are both kind of a mess, and both end up crashing at Michelle and Brett’s house for a while. When we meet them, Michelle and Brett are clearly going through a bit of a rough patch in their marriage, and welcome the distraction of having house guests.

This starts off as a very raw, painfully awkward depiction of married life. You can see Michelle and Brett both trying so hard to make things work, to rekindle the spark they once had. At first, Alex and Tina seem a bit like caricatures – Alex a heavy, balding, struggling actor and Tina a flirty and beautiful, but aging, woman who’s just moved to L.A. after ending a relationship.

As the episodes go on, the characters and the drama deepens. Tina and Alex become more fully developed characters, who have complex motivations and make interesting choices. And as we begin to get a closer look at Brett and Michelle’s marriage, we see that this is not a quintessential look at married life in one’s 30s or 40s. It’s something much more complicated.

As someone who’s been married for less than two years and doesn’t have kids, this show terrifies me. It’s way scarier than something like Walking Dead could ever be. I think, if you’re in a relationship, you can’t help but think “How do I avoid this?” I applaud the Duplass brothers for managing to write a fictional relationship that feels so real and so broken. As viewers, we never really see Brett and Michelle in their prime. We never see exactly why they got together in the first place, but I think I can imagine it. That’s rare.

If you’ve seen the whole season, scroll past the photo for more. If you haven’t yet watched Togetherness, stop now. I don’t want to ruin it for you. I want you to watch this show, even though some of it might be the most uncomfortable scenes you ever see. Yes, even worse at times than Girls.

togetherness photoOK. It’s just us now. So I can openly speak about how much I hate Brett.

Early on, I was able to sympathize with Brett. He seemed like a decent guy, trying to keep his life together despite a struggling sex life within his marriage and an unfulfilling job outside the home. But week by week, I would start to think “Man, this guy is a schmuck. He is the biggest obstacle in the way of his own happiness.”

Episode five, “Kick The Can”, was when I began to really hate him. He just couldn’t let go, couldn’t have fun, couldn’t see his wife the way everyone else does. Then came “Party Time”, when Brett bailed on Michelle’s fundraiser to go to some hippie-dippie drug party with strangers. By that episode, the penultimate episode, I was actively rooting for Michelle to leave Brett.

Instead, in the season finale, we got a very sad, painful look at what drives someone to cheat. Michelle has been so unhappy. She doesn’t feel loved or respected at home, Brett doesn’t make her feel smart or sexy or special. She went away for the charter school meeting, and she crushed it. And her friend, her sexy single dad friend, acknowledged it. He acknowledged what an awesome human being she is, and he acknowledged the troubling sexual tension between them. And poor, lonely, miserable Michelle let him into her hotel room.

She did it just as Brett, riding the first emotional high we’d ever seen him experience, was driving to see her in the middle of the night.

Ahhhhhhh! I did not want Michelle to cheat, I was not rooting for that. And yet, I could not blame her. I wanted her to leave Brett. I want to yell at Brett, “Too late, loser! You lost an amazing thing and it’s YOU’RE fault.” I don’t think this is a response influenced by gender, because I watch the show with my husband and he had basically the same reaction. So if anything, it’s a reaction influenced by personality. I’d like to know how universal this response is, though. Are there people out there who really, truly empathize with Brett? Are there people out there who think Michelle is the problem? I’m dying to know.

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

It’s been a long, brutal winter and most of my favorite TV shows have ended or will soon end. In particular, I’m still mourning the ending of Parks and Recreation. Even though I thought the final season was fantastic, and the show had a great run and went out on a high note, I felt the loss in my TV schedule. I don’t watch very many sitcoms anymore. In the last couple years I adopted a bit of a policy to stop wasting time on shows that I only feel lukewarm about, which meant cutting Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory, among others, from my DVR’s list of series recordings. I’m down to Brooklyn Nine Nine and The Mindy Project, which make me laugh out loud every week, and New Girl, which doesn’t.

Enter Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. The show was created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, originally for NBC, but to all our benefit, NBC dumped it for being too weird or dark or whatever, and it ended up on Netflix. That meant we all got to binge-watch the show. Have I mentioned that it’s been a long, brutal winter yet? This was EXACTLY what I needed.

Unbreakable-Kimmy-SchmidtEllie Kemper, of The Office, stars in the show. It’s about a woman who was kidnapped at age fifteen, and kept in an underground bunker with three other women by a man who claimed to be saving them from the apocalypse. It’s a dark premise for a surprisingly sunny, warm – but weird – show.

The titular Kimmy Schmidt decides not to return to her small town life, but to start anew in New York City. She approaches everything with the awe and wonder of a rural teenager in the big city, and someone who’s missed the last fifteen years of technological advances and pop culture.

Kimmy gets a job as a nanny to the children of a rich New York socialite, played by Jane Krakowski. She finds a roommate in a struggling wannabe Broadway star, played by Tituss Burgess. The cast is killer, and the writing is sharp and funny.

I never consistently watched 30 Rock, despite thinking the show was hilarious and had a great cast. The problem, for me, was Tracy Morgan. I found his character (which is, basically, him) annoying and couldn’t get past his presence on the show. I love that this show has the same sensibility as 30 Rock, but this time with a cast I can 100% enjoy.

I was completely onboard with the show after only watching a few episodes, and could not get the incredibly catchy theme song out of my head. My husband and I tried to space out watching the series a little, but the episodes are short and there’s only thirteen of them. There are some fantastic guest stars to look forward to. I’m really looking forward to seeing a second season of this show, and witnessing what Fey and Carlock do with the freedom of knowing the show won’t be on network TV.

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