Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What I've Been Watching, iii

April and May have seen the releases of some highly anticipated new shows, most of which I haven't yet seen because I'm eternally behind on all television shows. I have, however, watched two of Netflix's newest, as well as Bryan Fuller's new world-building venture and an old Showtime favorite.

I've watched the real life rise and fall of Sophia Amoruso with mild interest over the years, so I was intrigued when I heard Netflix was making a series about her rise in the business world. It's an easily watchable/bingeable series with some humorous moments and an amazing soundtrack, but I had a tough time getting into it because Sophia is portrayed as an incredibly bratty, self-absorbed, bordering on emotionally abusive character, and I had a hard time rooting for her. I understand the desire to have more confident female characters on the small screen, but there is nothing redeeming about this portrayal of Sophia.

Dear White People
I never saw the film of the same name so I went into this show with no preconceived ideas of what it would be (other than knowing it made The Blaze very upset). Like Girlboss, Dear White People is made up of ten, thirty-minute episodes so it's easily bingeable, but this one has more of an edge. The show aims to highlight many of the nuanced injustices people of color face and covers a diverse range of topics including being light-skin, saying the N-word, being part of an interracial couple, acting in a leadership role as a minority, and  being subjected to police brutality. Dear White People doesn't shy away from heavy topics and creates more needed dialogue about racial issues that reaches beyond the world onscreen.

American Gods
Well over a year ago I heard that Bryan Fuller - my favorite television creator and producer - was adapting American Gods - my favorite Neil Gaiman novel - into a TV show, and I've been impatiently waiting for it ever since. Watching American Gods feels like seeing a dream unfold in all of its beautifully shot, fantasy-filled glory; the primary storyline of Shadow Moon and Wednesday gathering the old gods to fight the new gods is interspersed with snapshots of the world's other gods in a way that feels as chaotic as it does grand. While it's unlikely to be my favorite of Fuller's creations, it is still everything I hoped it would be. 

I've seen the boxsets of this older Showtime dramedy on Target's shelves for years now, and started watching it to settle some curiosity. Mary-Louise Parker stars as a California suburban mom who sells weed to support her family after her husband dies unexpectedly. I'm surprised I enjoy it as much as I do as many of the characters act like adult children (and that's often the reason I stop watching shows), but it's highly entertaining. I've watched through season 3 and for now I'm content to continue working my way through the whole series, though I have heard it stops being good from season 4 onward.

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