Remember When?: Growing Up on Playing House

WARNING: If this opening sequence makes you cringe, if it’s too sweet for you, you should probably stop reading now.

Playing House (one of USA Network’s surprisingly great shows, along with this summer’s breakout, Mr. Robot) is in its second season and stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair (both of whom you may have seen recently on Review) as two long-time best friends. St. Clair plays Emma, who left her childhood hometown of Pinebrook for China to become a super successful business-woman. Maggie, played by Parham, stuck around Pinebrook her whole adult life, got married and got pregnant. Maggie lives in her childhood home, too, the one she inherited after her parents died. The little playhouse is still in the backyard, now infested with a family of deranged raccoons – things are the same, with an added air of anxiety. When Emma returns to Pinebrook, she finds Maggie distraught. Maggie’s bumbling husband has been cheating on her with a woman online. And so, with Emma’s help, Maggie drums up enough courage to leave her husband. Emma then quits her job overseas, move back to Pinebrook and moves in with Maggie to help her through the pregnancy and, once the baby is born, raise the child with her. The world hasn’t changed so much in Pinebrook in the time Emma was gone but the clock kept ticking.

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Awful Americans and Great Americans

Before I go into the very nub of my gist; I believe I have found a new program that vies for the title of worst show on TV. I do love me some awful TV. I wrap myself in the world of the show, pitying those who are involved and celebrating their effort to purposefully make a terrible product. These shows basically just take the best/worst parts of Melrose Place and make a reality show from them. Melrose Place was soapy fun. Pretty, wealthy people scheming and backstabbing each other. The reality shows that follow this model just take out the pulpy enjoyable dialogue and semi-likeability of the characters and go for decadence and backstabbing. Continue reading

Crackle in the Shield

Many people that I chat with have taken to the act of “cord cutting”. Getting rid of one’s cable service, and relying entirely on online streaming. I see the benefits, but the act of television viewing goes beyond the watching. Flipping is a main cog in the TV experience. I really enjoy aimless wandering around the dial. Often getting lost during shows I’m watching to meander around my vast cable package. I really couldn’t tell you how many channels I have. It’s in the 300 range, but some of those are just music feeds and/or Greek news. Continue reading

Email Roundtable #51: TV in Fits and Spurts, or what we watch when we are busy

Kerri and Jane attempt to discuss how they fill their down-time during busy times.

Jane: So, full disclosure, Kerri and I are both fully immersed and crazily busy with the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Obviously, we still have time for TV; meaning we have some things to say this week. We’ve discovered that both of us turn to cooking shows during those hectic, busy days when we have a bit of time to ourselves. Kerri, why are cooking shows so important to your down-time and what are the favourites that you rely on? Continue reading

A Great Little “Catastrophe”: Channel 4’s charming show about life’s best mistakes

“Fully Formed Human Beings”. That’s what my co-worker Sandra calls them. You might know them better as adults. Those people who have lived long enough to know that they really don’t know anything and ask the right questions and probably worked a shitty job dealing with the public at some point in their lives. People who know when they are feeling like crap and why they are feeling like crap (probably because they haven’t eaten) and when they are happy and why they are happy (probably because they have eaten). When I was a kid adults always seemed like they had a script and knew exactly the right lines to say at all times. But, of course, they didn’t. They were messing up just like I was. Because, really, when can we say we are fully formed? When can we say we’ve stopped growing and changing and learning and fucking up? Sometimes it feels like adulthood is just a series of awful mistakes. Continue reading

Dropped The Ball

ballers-hbo-new-trailer

When word came that Ballers was coming to HBO, I was pretty damn stoked. Game of Thrones isn’t for me. It’s about wizards, right? – Just not my bag. The Newsroom was so ham-handed that I lost interest. Those other HBO offerings never got me excited, But Ballers! I mean – its Ballers! Let’s throw together things I really like and produce it slickly. Good job, HBO. Continue reading