With so much TV around, when a show like Gypsy gets a critical kicking, you tend to think it’s not going to be much good. Ha! What do critics know! This show is my new obsession right now. Dropping on Netflix on 30th June 2017, this 10 part drama starring Naomi Watts had a strange pedigree. Yes, Watts is the main draw, plus Sam Taylor-Johnson is an exec producer and directed the first two episodes. However the show is created and mostly written by a total newcomer, Lisa Rubin.
While Marvel seems to have taken over the blockbuster movie world, a common criticism is the lack of good female roles in the films (probably to do with many originating years ago in a time when most heroes were of course men!) However in 2015 a few are finally filtering through – to the TV world at least!
Orange is the New Black is THE BEST Netflix series! The streaming service ventured into original programming with House of Cards first – a US adaptation of the British black comedy political series from the 1980s (I think) that featured Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart, whose catchphrase, ‘you may think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment’ and his devilish asides to the camera were deliciously Machiavellian. The US version stars Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood and Robin Wright as his wife Claire. Produced by David Fincher, it was the sort of high profile, prestige drama that really put Netflix on the map. Very enjoyable and well made, House of Cards was a big hit, and the first of the Netflix model of releasing an entire season on the same day that made binge-watching a real trend.
Then in the summer of 2013, the first series of Orange is the New Black arrived. Based on the book of the same name by Piper Kerman, it stars Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman, a blonde yuppie whose past with a drug running girlfriend leads to her being sentenced to 10 months in a minimum security prison. OITNB came from producer Jenji Kohan, creator of Weeds starring Mary Louise Parker (not a show I ever watched) and had a few familiar faces. Kate Mulgrew from Star Trek Voyager as Russian cook Red, Jason Biggs from the American Pie films as Piper’s fiance Larry, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning and Laura Prepon plus a lot of new faces. The show can be hard to categorise – indeed, it’s moved from drama to comedy in award show categories as it really is a dramedy! Piper’s fish out of water story is the way in to a world peopled with so many fascinating and diverse characters.
Yeah, I know, no one but me is reading this so it really doesn’t matter how long it has been! I was interested to see the Breaking Bad mania here as I’ve had quite a few new TV obsessions since last posting. Coming soon (if I get the urge!)
Orange is the New Black (Netflix) – probably the best new show in years, prison dramady with a brilliant diverse cast
Transparent (Amazon) – the on demand revolution produces a groundbreaking comedy/drama classic
Once Upon a Time – since I discovered SwanQueen fan fiction, my Once interest has been reawakened.
Pretty Little Liars – another show I’ve been a casual fan of for a while but got more and more into
Orphan Black – fantastic sci-fi drama featuring a standout performance from Tatiana Maslaney as a bunch of clones
I’m also into:
Jane the Virgin, Major Crimes, Elementary, Haven, Game of Thrones, Covert Affairs, The Leftovers, Fargo, The Good Wife, Revenge, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, The Honourble Woman, Homeland, Borgen, Happy Valley, Line of Duty, Scott & Bailey, Broadchurch, Gracepoint, Faking It, Ugly Betty, Star Trek Voyager, Rizzoli & Isles, American Horror Story, Stalker, Arrow, Doctor Who and probably a whole lot more I can’t think of.