The First Cut is the Deepest

I know this is a tv blog, but I just have to take a minute and say the fire alarms at preschool are an absolute drain. When those little munchkins are supposed to down for naptime but instead are barefoot and shivering outside, wailing because a terrifyingly loud noise woke them up, that really puts a special kind of spin on the rest of your day. Especially when the whole time you’re out there, one little girl is clutching onto her crotch, desperate to pee. Thankfully we were let back inside before any accidents happened, but man. It is 6:30 and I am down for the count. I may have just had a day off yesterday, but I am already sorely in need of another.

I don’t know about you, but I spent my Veteran’s Day holed up in my house in my pjs with nothing around me but cocoa, soup, craft projects, and hulu. And it was awesome. I have finally started this season of Arrow. I have caught up with iZombie. And I’ve made my cuts for the season.

It turns out, I have a bit of a problem with letting go. I don’t do it very well. I really struggle with actually breaking up with a show. Half the time, I’ll quit a show halfway through its run – with real, legitimate reasons for not getting enjoyment out of the show – and then like half a season later, that show is back on my catch-up list. And new shows are no different. I make a list before the season starts of all the shows I’m interested in, and then even if I never watch them or watch and don’t like them, there’s this lingering feeling of wanting to try again.

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Jane the Virgin: Strong Enough to Bear the Children

I often think of television as being in two different categories. On the onevillanuevas hand, there are the shows that invite a lot of conversation, a lot of examination and analysis. There’s a depth and substance ti the stories and characters that just makes me want to talk about them. And on the other hand, I have what I refer to as my happy shows.

Just to be clear, this distinction is in no way an indication of the worth of a show. Plenty of shows that make me frantic to tear them apart and process every detail are far from what you’d call high brow entertainment. And plenty of the more fluffy, happiness laden shows that give me no deep thoughts but instead simply fill me with warm joy are television shows of the absolute highest caliber. There’s good an bad, quality and trash, on both sides. And both serve a pretty distinct and important purpose for me.

For most of its Season One run, Jane the Virgin was in that second category. It was frothy and funny, optimistic and sentimental, and I loved every minute of it. The narrator is hilariously witty, the characters are engaging and easy to root for (okay, with maybe the exception of the diabolical Petra), and the story lines are all equal parts hysterical, exciting, and heartwarming. At this point, Jane the Virgin is probably my Number One Happy TV tv show currently on the air.

And then last night’s episode made me think!

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AHS Hotel: Show Me Your Teeth

hotelOn Wednesday night, I made a mistake. I made a mistake and I decided to watch the new premiere of American Horror Story as it aired, right before going to bed. Mistake. I ended up having to watch an old episode of The Vicar of Dibly (the most delightfully inoffensive, weird little British show imaginable) in order to cleanse my palate and be able to close my eyes without seeing that one guy whose eyes and tongue had been cut out. Body mutilation like that is definitely not my thing and I had some trouble getting passed it.

There is a little part of me that’s cringing that I’m watching this season. Seeing as I’ve actually never seen any of the earlier seasons. I keep meaning to, but never get to it. And since it’s such an anthology series (and I’ve loved Matt Bomer since he was Bryce Larkin on Chuck) I finally decided to dive in in the middle and give it a go. But it still hurts my heart a little when I really think about it.

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HTGAWM: Can’t We Leave it All Behind

I was sick for most of last week. Like, get sent home sick from work and staydead rebecca home even without accrued sick time, sick. And let me tell you just how much that sucked. First off, no one likes being sick. Second, no one likes staying home when they’re not getting paid for it. And last, no one like having all their glorious plans totally and completely disrupted. By fevers and phlegm. No one.

Alas, that is what happened to me last week and I’m just now getting back to my usual speed. But last week was just such a bad week for this to happen! It was the first full week of the new tv season. I’ve done absolutely none of my pilot reviews. I haven’t even watched Empire or Quantico yet. I am just so, so behind. I guess this week I’ll be doing some major catch-up.

But let me just tell you. Come Hell or high water, I was gonna be there for the season premiere of How to Get Away With Murder. And it did not disappoint.

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Once Upon a Time: Dark Swan Rises

the dark oneSeason Four of Once Upon a Time was a low point for me. After absolutely loving the twists of Season Three – loving our time spent in both Neverland and Oz – I was pretty disappointed with how things continued. The Frozen arc was okay, but coming just so quickly on the heels of the movie – and adhering to so much of it when it came to characters and costumes – left it lacking in authenticity. So much of it just came across as forced and false and I could just never get over that. And then the whole Author things and the fact that everyone lost all of their agency and none of their actions were theirs anymore just…I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it and it left a bad taste in my mouth and I wasn’t all that excited for the start of the new season. There were a few things that were intriguing, I guess, and I was certainly going to keep watching, but I was far from excited.

And with just one episode, all that changed. Season Four has been forgotten and I’m pretty pumped.

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The Mindy Project: All You Need is Love

I have to admit that for me, The Mindy Project has never quite reached mindy and dannythe status of appointment tv. Instead, it’s usually one that kind of piles up in my Hulu queue or my DRV list until I have lazy day to binge. That’s not to say it’s a bad show or I don’t like it. It consistently makes me laugh and leaves me feeling contented and upbeat after a marathon. It’s just that it’s not something I necessarily can’t wait for more of. I don’t think that’s a bad thing to say about it, or a bad way to feel about it. It’s solid. It’s like that work colleague who’s not in your department so you don’t hang out too much, but is always up to go for a coffee run with you if you need it (does anyone else have people like that?) You know, I’m not inviting you to my wedding, but I’ll probably make you a cupcake on your birthday. That kind of friend. That’s me and Mindy.

Now that we’ve got that settled, I will say that yesterday’s Season Four premier was one of the better episodes of the series. And not just because of what happened at then end (if you know what I mean….).

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OITNB: Mama Who Bore Me

My first thought when I think about shows that predominantly oitnb-mothers-day-feature-still-27tell stories about women is that they generally fall pretty close together. They’re shows about friends living close together and experiencing the joys of life together. They’re mostly frothy and fun. Shows like Sex and the CityGirls, Gilmore Girls, The Golden Girls (a lot of titles with the world “girls” in them!). It’s not that they can’t showcase heartache and rage and fear, but there’s an element of privilege, of security to them.

Orange is the New Black, on the other hand, is different. It is still a show mostly about women, but it’s much deeper than just gal pals drinking wine together. The diverse array of women and stories that it’s telling – black women, white women, latina women, gay women, straight women, poor women, well educated women, young women, trans women, violent women, women who made mistakes, women who were careless, women who hurt others, women who hurt themselves, women with something to prove, women who don’t know who they are, women who fucked up, and women who never had a chance – are incredibly rich and real.

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