Archive | March, 2015

Them Females is Strong as Hell- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015)

30 Mar
Yaaaasss queen!

Yaaaasss queens!

When I first watched Broad City, it made me realize that up until that show, there was this big gap in television programming that I didn’t even notice before. I am still struggling for the words to explain what that gap actually is, but Broad City helped to fill it. Once I realized that television could be that wonderful, I also realized that it would probably be a long time before another show would even come close to the female-powered comedic majesty of Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson.

unbreakable-kimmy-schmidt-600And then, lo an behold, came the Netflix series out of left field, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which I will admit to have finished in a few days’ time, and have already started a second round. This show is catching onto the trend of naive Indiana girls trying to make it in the Big Apple (a lá Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt 23– which doesn’t hold a candle to Kimmy, but is still enjoyable). But Unbreakable has the added plot twist of Kimmy joining the real world after being locked away for 15 years in the underground bunker of a religious cult. Hard to picture, at first, quite how this can be spun into comedic gold, but trust me, it has been.

I have noticed many people have jumped aboard the Kimmy Schmidt train, albeit with reservations at first. I have read a lot of apprehension in people’s evaluations of the show, statements along the lines of, “I’m not entirely sure if I love this show, but I am binge-watching it just the same.” (Psst.. I think that means you might love it.) I think there is a part of every one of us that finds it easier to be wary of a show with a strong female cast and an underlying feminist message (more on that later). But watch a couple of episodes and believe me, you will be hooked. You might not even be annoyed by the opening title sequence, something that usually gets old real fast.

kimmy titus mrs voorhees

Titus Andromedon (Kimmy’s roommate), Jacqueline Voorhees (Kimmy’s boss), and Miss Kimmy Schmidt herself! (Along with robot Yuko)

You will like this show…

  • …if you liked 30 Rock. This is not just because Jane Krakowski (30 Rock‘s Jenna Maroney) is one of the leading ladies of the show, or because all of the background music is identical to the jazzy ensembles played in 30 Rock, but more likely because Tina Fey is executive producer. And we all know that Tina Fey can do no wrong. (Same goes for Amy Poehler, obviously, who also produced Broad City. Are we seeing a pattern here?)
  • …if you liked The Office, as Ellie Kemper (Kimmy), also played Erin on that show. (In a Bust magazine interview with Kemper, we learn that “she parlayed what was originally a four-episode arc into a recurring character”).
  • …if you liked Strangers with Candy or Arrested Development, due to the show’s “invisible humor,” as this article in Esquire magazine so aptly put it. The meticulous attention to detail for subtle comedic gems is what has me immediately returning to re-watch the series.

Case in point: this show is intelligent, y’all. And it’s perhaps a clandestinely feminist as well, which is wonderful for those people who couldn’t handle a more direct feminist approach. Tina Fey’s comic wit with a feminist twist shines in subtle moments, such as Matt Lauer’s line in a scene in which the Indiana mole women (aka bunker cult prisoners) visit The Today Show: “I’m always amazed at what women will do because they’re afraid of being rude.” This was in direct response to one mole woman’s explanation that “one night, [Cult leader Wayne Gary Wayne] invited me out to his car to see some baby rabbits and I didn’t want to be rude…so… here we are.”

Troll the respawn, Jeremy. (That means goodbye).

Peeno Noir- an ode to black penis:

Advertisements

The Idiots Are Taking Over… The Revisionaries (2012)

1 Mar

If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention. Even if you are paying attention and you are pissed off, you may find yourself helpless to stop this bullet in progress.

Revisioonaries_poster_smallwave.inddI didn’t really know how Boards of Education worked until I saw Revisionaries (2012), the documentary about the Texas Board of Education and their attempts to undermine public education and textbook content in order to conform to theological and specifically Christian biblical beliefs. This doc mainly follows Don McLeroy, Creationist/Dentist who serves as chairman on the Texas State Board of Education. As you will see in the trailer, he wants to change practically everything in the world of science and social studies in public education, from ensuring that Barack Obama is always referred to including his middle name, Hussein, to removing the term “hip hop” and replacing it with “country” when referring to popular music.

Why should we care about what Texas does with their educational system, at least we who do not live in that reputably conservative state? Because Texas is the home of a great deal of our big textbook companies, the ones who write standards and curriculum for schools all over the country. What this little board decides for Texas often goes for the rest of us. Now, I don’t teach the subjects under attack in this doc, but as a Spanish teacher I can be easily affected by this conservative mindset. These are the same people who tout “Speak American!” and confuse Latin with Spanish, as many people showed in their ignorant displays of protest regarding a Vermont state motto here. I am clearly biased here, but I think foreign languages should be offered right along with math and science from the beginning, especially considering that studies show we learn language best in our formative years.

Although this movie makes my blood boil, I have to give it an A based on its importance of bringing to light an issue that affects us all.

Trailer for the film: