#CurrentlyWatching: One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time is the perfect embodiment of this week’s them on #CurrentlyWatching – sitcoms with depth. As I’ve mentioned quite a lot now, I am not really the type to watch sitcoms and after posting this, there is really only one left that I haven’t talked about on here and that’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Anyway, that’s not why we are here today.

One Day at a Time is technically a remake of a TV show from the 70s, but I have never seen it. According to others, the show pays homage to the original sometimes, but I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about it. At this point in time, there are two seasons available for streaming on Netflix!

The show revolves around three generations of a Cuban-American family who lives in the same apartment together.

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I don’t even know where to start, because there is nothing not to love about this show. From what I’ve seen around social media, everyone is talking about the show and rightly so! One Day at a Time is fast paced, with SO much heart. While it may only follow the everyday life of the family, it manages to integrate so many different and very important topics, I am still amazed this show is real.

Penelope, divorced mother of two teens, seems like an actual superwoman. She is ex-military and now a hard-working nurse who handles the stress of raising two kids, having an old-school diva as a mother and battling with PTSD and mental health issues like a champ. Nothing she goes through is ever discarded, it is talked about and therefore easier to understand for people who might not have to deal with the same stuff. It is so very important to normalise things like therapy or needing medication to help with mental health as to make it less of a stigma.

Elena, Penelope’s daughter, is a feminist badass who has one of the best coming out stories I have ever watched. Seen as she is from a pretty conservative and religious family, it was interesting to watch how each of the other family members reacted to her revealing that part of herself.

Also, Ariela Barer plays her best friend and I love that girl (you may recognise her as Gert from Runaways). They face way more than teens should when immigration, deportation and long-distance friendship comes into play.

Alex, Penelope’s son, has traits that might be categorised as seeming feminine, but he is never made fun of for that. Also, I adore his relationship with his grandmother, Lydia. She is such a strong personality and together they are super sassy. Lydia in general is a dream come true. She shows that you can be religious and still accept the LGBT+ community in their entirety.

Lastly, there is Schneider, their landlord and friend. He adds the goofy element to the story and often helps to educate on topics such as “mansplaining” or white (male) privilege. In all of this, he never comes off as the bad guy. He genuinely wants to learn and just be part of the family. One of my favourite parts of the show is his friendship with Penelope. While a lot of shows would have tried to pair them off, it hasn’t happened yet and I am so glad about it! I personally only see them as being in a platonic friendship. I’d even go so far as to say that she sees him as a brotherly kind of figure in her life.

I am still amazed that the show managed to pack so much in those short 13 episodes per season. The second season was just as intense as the first one, but still had moments where you could simply laugh out loud. I can only recommend it to everyone out there!

Do you watch One Day at a Time? What are your thoughts on it?

 

#CurrentlyWatching: The Good Place

By some miracle, I am able to keep having a theme for each week of #CurrentlyWatching posts and this week is all about sitcoms with depth. I can’t exactly say what it is with sitcoms, but usually they are terrible at holding my attention. It’s not so much that I don’t enjoy watching them, but they rarely have a compelling overarching theme or storyline that compels me to watch every single episode. Well, until the shows came around that I am going to present to you now, starting with The Good Place.

The Good Place airs on NBC, has currently 2 seasons available and is already renewed for a third one (Major YAAAS! for that). As I mentioned, it’s a sitcom, so episodes are usually about 20 minutes long.

Eleanor died and made it to the Good Place. Or has she? A seemingly small mix-up that Eleanor refuses to clear up in fear of having to go to the bad place, leads to consequences for all the inhabitants of her new neighborhood.

Is everything really fine? No, it is not and it’s hilarious. Surprisingly enough, I keep meeting people who haven’t even heard of The Good Place yet, but for me it was such a breakout star when it premiered at the end of 2016. While it is funny at all times, it also manages to carry a life message or get an ethical point across without ever turning really heavy. I can appreciate that, because there are days you don’t want the heavy stuff on your screen.

Also, while the concept may seem formulaic, I can promise you that there are tons of twists and turns that you won’t be expecting. Obviously I am not going to give anything away here, but let’s just say it’s big and very good!

During the past two season, I’d say we’ve gotten a pretty good look at the main characters, without having seen ALL there is to them. With flashbacks (that are thankfully not overused) we discover more about the humans, but also Michael – the architect of the this particular neighborhood in the Good Place.

I like that there is such variation in the personalities. You are bound to recognize both, good and bad, traits in each of them that you are probably also able to find in yourself. Eleanor, for example, may be rude and selfish, but it’s mostly because she had to fend for herself from a young age on and therefore knows the world doesn’t hand out freebies. Or Chidi, the ethics and moral professor, who is so flustered by the idea of making the right choice that he sometimes fails to make any choice at all. I’d like to go more into detail, because these characters are absolutely fantastic, but I just realised how many spoilers are potentially in their description, so I’d rather have you discover them yourselves.

There is so much to love about this show. Janet, who can’t technically be classified as a person, is definitely among the favourite parts of the show. However, there was always something about Eleanor and Chidi’s relationship that fascinated me the most. Actually, all relationships Eleanor has are interesting, because they don’t just make her but the other person a better being as well. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that there are several main characters, with Kristen Bell’s Eleanor kind of being the main main character among them.

So, that’s it for today. I hope I could pique your interest for this show a little bit. Again, it is funny, explores some moral issues but never fails to surprise and stay interesting as it continues on the long run (seriously, the season finales are the bomb!).

Have you watched The Good Place? Do you like it as much as me? Who else is pumped for Season 3?

Summer Sitcoms You Might Have Missed

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I was thinking about what kept me upbeat during the TV hole that is summer and I came up with a couple of sitcoms. Some of them are still running others were during the summer only. However, here they are!

Clipped

Channel: TBS
Cast: Ashley Tisdale, Mike Castle, Lauren Lapkus, Ryan Pinkston, Matt Cook and George Wendt

I have to admit that I started watching Clipped purely out of boredom, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It’s a workplace comedy that almost exclusively takes place at the barbershop. The characters are all quirky in their own way and you can’t help but like them. Maybe it didn’t stand out next to brilliantly scripted shows like UnREAL, but it’s fun in its own way. It definitely helped me through some boring and hot days where I didn’t feel like leaving the house.

Significant Mother

Channel: CW
Cast: Josh Zuckerman, Krista Allen, Nathaniel Buzolic, Emma Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Silverman, Jay Ali, …

Significant Mother takes place in Portland, Oregon – one of my favourite places on the planet. Portland is weird and so is this show, which is only one of the reasons why I like it so much. It’s just really fun and plays with stereotypes a lot. If you haven’t given it a try yet, you definitely should!

Kevin From Work

Channel: ABC Family
Cast: Noah Reid, Paige Spara, Jordan Hinson, Matt Murray, Punam Patel, Jason Rogel, Amy Sedaris, …

I was sort of dubious about it at first, but it had Matt Murray from Rookie Blue in it, so I checked it out. Man this is so much cuter and weirder than I thought it would be. Noah Reid as Kevin is adorably dorky and very relatable in my opinion. Many of the characters are way over the top and I think you kind of have to be into that sort of thing. However, I like it.

Fried

Channel: BBC Three
Cast: Mandeep Dhillon, William Melling, Katy Wix, Imran Yusuf, Matthew Cottle, Lorna Gayle, …

I had to get some diversity into this list, which is why I also included a British comedy. I still can’t believe how long it took me to realise that Joe (played by William Melling) is little Nigel from Harry Potter all grown up now. Fried is definitely an oddball as well, but I like that sort of British humour. The show is often really ridiculous, but in a good way.

Have you missed out on some of those shows? Or have you actually watched them? If so, did you like them?

Fall Review: Manhattan Love Story & Happyland

I’ve reviewed a lot of shows for this Fall Season and I am finally about to see an end on the horizon. Today I’m talking about MTV‘s Happyland and ABC‘s Manhattan Love Story! After that I’m only planning on reviewing Jane the Virgin and (the show I am most looking forward to) The Flash. If you still want my opinion on anything else, let me know in the comments below!

Happyland

Have you ever read Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler? Because this show reminds me so much of the book! It’s basically also about teens that work in an amusement park or theme park that is very similar to Disney’s and about falling in love, the illusion of fairy tales and happy endings. The show definitely diverges on some other topics, because parents are barely involved in the story in the book, but are really important to what’s happening in the series.

I have to admit, that I’ve seen stronger pilots this season. Happyland, while interesting on some level, didn’t grab my attention like other shows managed to do. The actors are alright (and include: Camille Guaty, Shane Harper, Katherine McNamara, Cameron Moulène, Ryan Rottman, Bianca A. Santos, Chris Sheffield, …), but the premise is nothing I haven’t seen before in multiple soap operas. It’s difficult to relate to the fact that your crush seems to be your brother and other than that they are just building on a lot of more love triangle-related drama. I can’t really tell where the show intends to go, but I think I won’t follow it for too long.

Manhattan Love Story

Analeigh Tipton seems to be everywhere these days and I certainly don’t mind it. There really isn’t much to say about Manhattan Love Story; it is a fun sitcom that takes on the difficulties of dating and relationships in New York City. If you’ve watched the Trailer above, you’ve pretty much seen the entire first episode. The main cast isn’t that huge and consists of the aforementioned Analeigh Tipton as well as Jake McDorman, Jade Catta-Preta, Nicholas Wright, Kurt Fuller and Chloe Wepper.

So, this isn’t the smartest of shows or something like that, but people like Romantic Comedies and this one is a pretty standard example of one. Besides the extensive thought voice-overs (which are just too much for me), I really don’t find a flaw in it. The show is sweet and fun and that might just be enough.

What are your thoughts? Talk to me in the comments!

TV’s Fall Season has started!

First off I want to apologize for not posting anything for such a long time. I was very lucky to get an internship for September that took up a lot more time than I thought it would and therefore also didn’t allow me to post anything. But I am back now and will continue to write about two new posts every week as I did before the internship.

Now to the actual topic. Fall season has officially started and a ton of new TV shows started airing. I try to take a look at as many of them as possible and here are some examples of what I managed to watch thus far.

Super Fun Night

This show was created by Rebel Wilson, who also plays the main character, and is a sitcom that airs on ABC. It is about three women who decide to spice up their lifes by introducing a “Friday Fun Night”. It gets especially funny after Kimmie Boubier (played by Rebel Wilson) befriends a fellow attorney. Other cast members include: Lauren Ash, Liza Lapira, Kevin Bishop, Kate Jenkinson, Ashley Tisdale, …

I guess, this show’s (and therefore Rebel Wilson’s) humour isn’t for everybody’s taste, but I thought it was quite funny. We will see how it continues since the pilot of sitcoms doesn’t always indicate how the rest of the show will go. I think that it’s definitely worth checking out though!

Betrayal

Betrayal is a new ABC drama show that revolves around Sara and Jack who fall in love but are both married to other people. As if that weren’t complicated enough the side plot deals with a murder trial. The actors/actresses include: Hannah Ware, Stuart Townsend, Chris Johnson, Wendy Moniz, Henry Thomas, James Cromwell and many more.

I generally think the show has a beautiful aesthetic and likable characters, but I can’t see how the story stretches over several seasons without getting dull. The actors and actresses are doing a great job and I feel with the main characters as they fall in love with each other and have to deal with the betrayal and the other complications that get thrown in their way. In my opinion the storyline would have sufficed for a TV-movie, but I am looking forward to how the show develops. I could be wrong and it might turn into the next Revenge or so.

 

So, that’s it for today. I plan to write about BBC’s Atlantis, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Wrong Mans, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and many others. Are there any shows you would like me to write about? And have you seen something you really liked?