Orange is the New Black continues to insist that women make great protagonists, that sex and sexuality are important parts of our lives and should be talked about, that race matters, that people aren’t perfect but are still somehow redeemable.
You should check out Jen Kirkman’s new standup special on Netflix – 78 minutes that will have you laughing and saying “Yes, damn it, yes!” … Kirkman frames the program with staged bits that highlight themes she’ll explore during her act – I won’t spoil anything, except to say they’re concise, precisely observed bits that would fit in perfectly on Amy Schumer, or Louis C.K.
After the first season of Mad Men (2007), I thought the show was a brilliant, beguiling allegory of postwar America, with Jon Hamm’s Don Draper standing in for… all of us. The country itself. I thought the show had maybe four seasons in it, and none were likely to surpass the first 13 episodes. Somewhere during season three, I realized the individual stories creator Matthew Weiner was telling had become individually compelling – the character arcs had outgrown my simple allegory framework. As the show ended last night, after seven seasons and 92 episodes, I’m back to my original thesis. The collection of specific stories Weiner wrapped up still tell the story of the United States after World War II, as we struggled with identity, responsibility, and desire. And the last fourteen episodes were best of all, no small accomplishment.
The first day on set, Spielberg remembers that “everyone on the crew was in their 40’s and 50’s, and they weren’t about to listen to a 21 year-old kid.” Joan Crawford stood on a chair and told the crew she’d worked with Spielberg before, that he was an excellent director, and they should give him the same respect they gave her.
Amy Schumer keeps pushing boundaries and keeps getting better. I’m sure of this – no other mainstream performer is even close to where she’s working.
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