Dear White People Episode 5

As Reggie (Marque Richardson) loosened up and forgot his cause I always had a sneaky suspicion that it would be bitter sweet episode for him. Reggie had been encouraged to relax and let loose for a change instead of being the broody, angry black man. So it seems he partied for a change and even went to a white boy party. For a moment it was a feel good story with black and white college students having a blast. Until a white boy quoted the ‘N’ word from a hip hop song. Rightfully so Reggie told him it ain’t cool but the white boy’s fear of being called racist upped his defenses. What ensued was a handbag fight that was escalated when campus police was alerted. True to form when people of colour are the “perpetrators” – law enforcement (campus police) try to use lethal force. Once again it was familiar tale.

This episode reminded me of my own N word experience. A couple of years back I was at a party and I was one of the few people of colour. It was a cool party with great people. My buddy and I were chilling talking to this white girl and there was a moment when she used the N word to emphasize a point. It was a ” you feel me my nigga” moment. It didn’t seem malicious but I froze. There was an awkward silence where everyone knew what had happened but refused to acknowledge it. We simply believed the moment into non-existence. At the moment I didn’t know why I kept quiet. Maybe it was my fear of conflict. Maybe I didn’t want an incident where I come off second best even I may have been wronged. Watching episode 5 of Dear White People may have reinforced my silence approach or it may have confirmed my cowardice. I’ll probably never know but I’m glad this episode sparked my thinking on what to stand up for.

 

Sneaky Pete: TV Review

 

Giovanni Ribisi plays Marius Josipovic in the Bryan Cranston-David Shore Amazon drama Sneaky Pete. Marius is a con man whose incarceration ends at the commencement of the series. He befriends Pete Murphy whilst in prison and Pete always shared memories of the summers he spent with his grand parents and extended family in his childhood. You would think Marius would be excited get out of prison but he is on run from Vince (Bryan Cranston). Continue reading “Sneaky Pete: TV Review”

The Good Place

I love alternative realities and the reimagining of the world and our perception of it. Parks and Recreation creator Michael Shur’s the Good Place deals with the issue of the afterlife with an new angle. Kristin Bell stars as Eleanor Shellstrop, recently deceased and admitted into the Good Place (Heaven). As she awakens after her death she’s introduced to Ted Danson’s Michael, the architect (Not God) of the Good Place. Michael explains that Eleanor has made it to the Good Place due to complex algorithm that’s weighs all good vs. The bad. Unfortunately, well fortunately for Eleanor, Eleanor was a terrible person on earth and there has been a mistake.

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In the Good Place everyone is paired with their true soulmate and Eleanor is paired with William Jackson Harper’s Chidi. Knowing that the charade won’t last long Eleanor confides in the Chidi that she is a charlatan. Due to his inherent goodness, Chidi decides to rehabilitate and reorientate Eleanor in an effort to make her good. Chidi starts conducting ethics classes to help her. Eleanor is immature and isn’t willing to make an effort at the onset. However, through some form of osmosis her character starts developing some selflessness. Eleanor and Chidi’s neighbours are Jameela Jamil’s Ta-Hani and Manny Jacinto’s Jianyu AKA Jason Mendoza. Ta-Hani is pretentious women whose driven by wanting to be the centre of attention.  Jianyu is another case of mistaken identity. Michael thinks he’s Buddhist monk and that has a taken a vow of silence. However, Jianyu is pretending to avoid revealing himself.

 

Kristin Bell is absolutely amazing as Eleanor. She is a mean bully who doesn’t give a fuck. As the level of selflessness increaes you begin to feel for her as she allows herself to become vunerable. The flashbacks of her time on earth also provide some great context. Ted Danson is brilliant as always as the naive architect. His fascination with mankind is hilarious. Its great how Michael uses pop culture on earth as a point of reference. The show wouldn’t be brilliant without the supporting cast and helps tell a great story about this concept of the afterlife. The Good Place assertion of the afterlife is a realistic one and makes it easy for anyone to relate. The fact you get to the Good Place due to a weighting of your good deeds vs. bad deeds reinforces mankind’s belief of how to get to Paradise. I like the way people’s baggage is carried over into the Good Place. All their insecurities and life experience are part of who they’re. That’s great and smart. The writers also don’t shy away from the existence of the Bad Place (Hell). The episode when Trevor, the architect from the Bad Place, is awesome. There is a lot to be excited about this debut season of the Good Place.

Young Pope Review

The Young Pope stars Jude Law as the new appointed Pope Pius XIII. Born Lenny Belardo, an orphan who was raised in the church by Sister Mary (Diane Keaton) has risen to become the American pope. The series begins with a weird dream sequence which is consists of a dream within a dream. The second dream Pope Pius addresses a crowd in St. Peter’s Square and unleashes tirade of non-catholic beliefs. These dreams remind me Tony Sopranos dreams in the early seasons of the Sopranos. In the conscious world, Pope Pius deals with the privilege and protocols of the Vatican. He has a full staff available to all of his beck and calls. He has an interesting interaction with one of the staff who kisses him and pledges her undying devotion to him. Pope Pius responds with a monologue describing his preference for professional relationships as opposed to friendly ones. His devoted staff member is brought to tears by the unperturbed Pope.

 

We are introduced to the politics of the Vatican and the ambitions of the college of Cardinals. It’s interesting how these men of the clergy standing so stoicly, dressed clean and exude holiness while being so cunning and conniving. To them the new Pope is but a tool for their purposes and agenda. However, the Pope seems to have caught onto the politics of the Vatican and isn’t willing to partake to being the Cardinals puppet. He installs sister Mary as his special assistant and embarrasses one of the Cardinals.

 

The attention to detail of Young Pope is immense. The set design and costume gives it rare authenticity. Everything about Young Pope feels real and makes me optimistic about the series. Hopefully Young Pope may address some of the issues of the modern day Catholic Church. In the final scene of episode one of Young Pope, Pope Pius jokes that he doesn’t believe in God and sends one of his subordinates into frenzy. I’m excited to see more curve balls from Pope Pius.

Flea Bag Review

When we are introduced to Fleabag, she is waiting for a booty call in the passageway of her flat. She breaks the forth wall and explains all the effort she put into dolling herself up for this post midnight sexapade. She continues with her breakdown whilst being ravished by the booty call. Fleabag has no filters and describes how the guy is moving closer and closer to anal sex. Continue reading “Flea Bag Review”

Atlanta recap: Don’t mess with the Biebs.

Paper Boi’s star continues to rise albeit at a slow pace. He gets invited to celebrity basketball game but doesn’t revel and enjoy the moment. Instead he’s obsessed with matching up with the black Justin Bieber. He wants to prove he’s better whilst warranting the same amount of attention as Bieber.

Continue reading “Atlanta recap: Don’t mess with the Biebs.”

Chewing Gum Review

In the festive season down time it can be difficult to find something fresh and interesting. Fortunately I stumbled on the British show Chewing Gum. Writer-creator Michaela Coal stars as an early 20s women looking to explore the world of love (sex) and staging a late rebellion against her highly conservative,christian mother. This is a refreshing take on a black first generation immigrant dealing with the young adult issues. Continue reading “Chewing Gum Review”

Atlanta Recap: The Streisand Effect

You learn something every day even if its from TV. I didn’t know what the Streisand Effect was befote watching this episode of Atlanta. The Streisand effect is a phenomenon in which attempting to suppress an item of information attracts even more unwanted attention, thus furthering its dissemination.  And its a such an apt description of Paper Boi’s experience with the social media.

Continue reading “Atlanta Recap: The Streisand Effect”