Tag Archives: Hulu

Difficult People- Perhaps a Reference to YOU?

25 Aug

Difficult People Banner

Difficult People is a new Hulu exclusive, and as such, I didn’t expect anything racy or controversial. That is until someone posted this humorless article (or one like it) about one of the show’s jokes.

Billy and Julie (Image Source: Entertainment Weekly)

Billy and Julie (Image Source: Entertainment Weekly)

In the show, Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner star as themselves: crass, snarky, gossipy actor/comedians living in NYC. So if you expect people of the aforementioned qualities to make wholesome, non-offensive jokes…well, I can’t help you there. So here’s the deal with the joke, as you no doubt already heard about: Julie’s character is at times despicable, but THAT is what makes her also lovable, don’t you see?! She says ridiculous things with no filter, but not in that asshat Donald Trump way that everyone is talking about these days. At one point, Julie’s character posts on Twitter: “I can’t wait for Blue Ivy to be old enough for R. Kelly to piss on her,” which is followed by such a major backlash that she has to go back and delete the tweet out of existence. As they are wont to do, Julie and Billy encounter many “garbage people” along their daily journey, and one such person, a real piece of work, continues to berate Julie for posting such an offensive tweet.

When I heard the joke, sure, my jaw dropped, and a little gasp came right afterward…followed by a pretty sizeable guffaw.  Because that is what this sort of humor is supposed to do! “Oh NO she didn’t!” you are supposed to profess. And I am pretty sure that in the backlash that Julie’s character received in the show, we were supposed to also see that yeah, she was crossing the line a little bit. I think what is happening here is that the joke has a few too many layers for some fly-by-night viewer to quite fully grasp. The person spreading this article on FB, by the way, most certainly did not watch the show herself, further removing the context of the joke within the show and tearing it to shreds while simultaneously declaring “I hate Julie Klausner anyway.” (Sounds like you should avoid the show anyway then, amirite?).

Amy Schumer has also been slammed for being racist, insensitive, slutty, the list goes on.... (Image  source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/)

Amy Schumer has also been slammed for being racist, insensitive, slutty, the list goes on…. (Image source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/)

I am seeing a death of comedy, and it makes me sad. Luckily, my often-offensive humor is mostly hidden, and reserved for those whom I know can take a joke. I am a feminist, I have advocated for people of color, immigrants, victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence, and other marginalized populations since I became aware of the world around me. I’m fucking 21st-century-civil-rights-aware, motherfuckers, and the fact that I can see through the punchline of this joke is a testament to just how easily-offended we are becoming. And I am scared for the future of comedy. How can we be humorous if we are no longer allowed to push the envelope a little? It’s snowballing out of control at this point, with commentary such as, “This is disgusting, there’s no way a tasteless joke like that would be made about baby Apple or Suri Cruise.” (from this “Bossip” article). Ri-diculous, you guys… If you wanna defend your Bey squad so hard, I will happily write off your illuminati-scum friendship. (Another tongue-in-cheek joke that you probably didn’t get).

I must get off my rage soap box now, but it’s worth mentioning that people are attacking Amy Poehler, the show’s

producer, for the joke, and not so much Julie Klausner even. I guess she’s just not a big enough target for these people.

I am loving Difficult People, and I will continue to be a staunch supporter. I am hoping that this most recent press that the show has received will be more of a blessing than a curse.

A New Era for Smart Women in Comedy- Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck

24 Jul

Trainwreck_posterI don’t know about you, but I am quite enjoying this renaissance of women in comedy. Realistically, I guess it has been in the works for over a decade, with the rise to fame of Kristen Wiig,  Amy Poehler, and of course, Tina Fey. But the SNL greats don’t take it quite to the level that Amy Schumer does when it comes to revolutionarily feminist content in comedy that is somehow accessible to men and women alike. Take the intelligence of Fey, add a dash of Sarah Silverman’s raunchiness, and finish it off with Amy’s own specialty which is the no-shame-sex-talk, and you can see why Amy is the spokeswoman of my generation.

While Trainwreck is not a must-see-on-the-big-screen-because-it’s-so-visually-stunning feature, I knew I had to go see it at the theater. If Amy Schumer were the leader of a cult, I would let her talk me into joining it and proceed to give her all of my money and worldly possessions. The second-best thing I can do is pay to see her movie when it is in the theater, and hope to add to the week 1 statistics. (Unfortunately, another thing that was added to the movie’s week 1 statistics was the unfortunate shooting in Louisiana theater during its screening).

The week before, I binge-watched all unseen episodes of Inside Amy Schumer (her hilarious sketch comedy show that airs on Comedy Central). I proceeded to laugh myself to tears, and even repeat view some of the best sketches with other people (see “Football Town Nights” below, especially Amy and her ever-growing wine glass).

So now on to Trainwreck… While I didn’t laugh until I cried like I do with her show, Amy still had me loling quite a bit.

Mary Cybulski/Universal Pictures AP

Schumer and Jamea Photo by Mary Cybulski/Universal Pictures AP

From the awkward way she interacts with her nerdy nephew, to the way she condescends sports culture, Amy Schumer gets me in a way no other screenwriter/comedienne can. And the perspective on the normalization of casual sex from the female perspective is something that is severely lacking in most mainstream movies. And who can hate a movie with Bill Hader and Lebron James? I know this Ohio native can’t. And while I hate to fit a criticism into this review, it was a little too “rom-com” and not enough “raunch-com” for me. But I’ll take that with a grain of salt, considering she had to appeal to a wider audience (and I clearly prefer pushing the boundaries beyond mainstream comfort levels). Nevertheless, Schumer’s true gold still lies in her show, which, if you haven’t seen it yet, or even just the most recent season, do yourself a favor and check it out on Hulu ASAP. Just like I did with Broad City and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I am going to be seeking people out who have not seen it yet, just so I can have an excuse to watch it again.

Trainwreck is an absolute A in my book. Please, everyone, go see it. Give Amy your money. Show her that we want more. And Amy, if you’re reading this, I love you. *mouthed silently with eyes closed*

Is Trophy Wife Destined to Be Better than its Name Implies?

2 Oct

When I heard that one of my favorite funny women, Sarah Haskins, was about to start a new sitcom series on ABC, I jumped for joy. Sarah Haskins was one of the many pleasures that came from watching infoMania on the sadly now-defunct CurrentTV. When infoMania would feature her segment, Target Women, it was going to be a good week for me. She picked up on the, “Why do women love yogurt so much?” hypothesis wayyy before it had reached mainstream consciousness:

I see Sarah Haskins as a feminist, a woman who sees the ways gender and sexuality manipulate, and are manipulated by society. But say what now? Her new show is called Trophy Wife? Hmmm…my applause meter dipped, just slightly, until I listened to Neda Ulaby’s NPR interview on NPR with Ms. Haskins about her personal inspiration for the series. As it turns out, Sarah Haskins is a trophy wife, too! But not in the conventional sense, I suppose. This interview piqued my interest once again.

By name, this series seems like another dumb reality show. Unfortunately, this will detract from an intelligent audience that I think a Haskins project is capable of pulling. However, it might capture more idiots, and maybe they’ll like it just the same. It is nice to see that this series (so far) is not really what it appears on the surface level due to this name. If you listen to the interview, you’ll learn a little more about it, but in a nut shell, this show is about how when you marry a divorcé, you marry his ex-wife -or in this case, ex-wives- too. So far in the series, the husband, Pete, is the least interesting character of the bunch, which begs the question: Why did all these women marry him in the first place? Kate, the trophy wife, is a close second in the not-as-interesting race.

So far, I’m still on the fence about this new series. But I will continue to watch, because sometimes these things take time. So far it appears to be a little less edgy than Target Women was, but I can always supplement this more family-friendly show with the Target Women clips on Youtube. Either way, I want Trophy Wife to be a success, if only because I want to support Sarah Haskins. I’m going to keep watching.

The first two episodes are available to watch streaming on Hulu or the ABC website. See the Trophy Wife Pilot here

By: Melissa Myers

American Horror Story (2011)

4 Nov

I’m going to start writing on this again. Spoooooky! Scary!

For how much I write about horror and thriller movies, you would think that I love those genres even more than I actually do. It obviously seems to inspire me to write an awful lot. I am never the person at the movie theater nagging my neighbors for the answers to such questions as, “who is that?”, “what is he doing?”, “wait, so she has been sleeping with her fiance’s twin brother this whole time?!” But horror and thriller movies often push me to ask some questions, even long after the credits have rolled. In any case, hopefully this will kick-start me back into writing again, along with the long, cold winter months ahead.

American Horror Story is a new series on FX, meaning that I watch it on Hulu as I do not have cable. It is my belief that the internet should not be held to the stringent censorship laws of cable television, and I wish that it made this series even more grotesque, profane and horrifying. We still get TV-MA, though. Yeah, buddy.

The image at the top of this entry was what caught my interest in the show. Freaky BDSM shit and a half-naked redhead in some kind of tiny red room? I’m there! I’m already feeling a Lynchian vibe coming out of that. (Speaking of, please note that David Lynch has a new album out for your creepy soundscape pleasures- Crazy Clown Time). The opening credits reminisce of a Nine Inch Nails electro-industrial grinding of gears and pulsing of machinery, while a stockpile of unsettling old-timey photos and blurry camera shots of dusty mason jars full of body parts go in and out of focus on the screen. I am a sucker for opening and closing credit sequences (think Breaking Bad or The Sopranos), and this is one that gets me in the right head-space for the story that is about to unfold.

American Horror Story could not have come out at a better time, that is to say, Halloween. It follows the lives of the Harmon family who recently moved into a house with an unsavory past of homicides, suicides, arson and more. Each episode showcases a previous grotesque experience that has befallen its previous occupants (or trespassers), but mostly focuses on the lives of Vivien, Ben, and Violet Harmon; their maid, and a few unsavory and creepy neighbors (including Jessica Lange) who seem to know a little bit more about what is going on than the Harmons (but then again, perhaps not)?

I have to say that my expectations were low, and perhaps it is because of this that I have not been disappointed. I am not saying to get your hopes up if you are craving anything akin to the spectrum of Lynch classics, but I guarantee you that you will at least feel the touch of a Lynch fan-boy trying to reach out to a broader audience. American Horror Story  adds its own bizarre and unsettling events and characters we have come to know in Lynch’s work to a town that is similarly quaint and storybook on the surface, much like those in Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, and so forth.

American Horror Story is a little easier to swallow than Lynch’s work for most people, but still offers an array of unsettling characters whose sanity and motives are constantly questioned. These twisted personas are the dark underbelly of a candy-coated society, but the deeper we go into the rabbit hole we discover that no one is as saccharine as we might think, including ourselves.

At this point I would give the show an A-, and I hope that things do not go downhill as the show progresses. With Lynch meets Rosemary’s Baby meets Nip/Tuck, only time will tell.