American Horror Story Hotel is pushing the limits of TV gore and sex while it’s music-video style storytelling delves into a trove of American fiction, legends, and true stories surrounding vampires, serial killers, and spooky hotels.
The first episode of Fargo, Season 2 involves Kirsten Dunst as Peggy Blomquist, a butcher’s wife who lets her denial of reality wrap them both up in a dizzying coverup. Some of the details of this darkly comedic scenario are inspired by a true events from over a decade ago.
People who wish to control people absolutely must also control all the information. When Warren Jeffs went to prison four years ago to start his life sentence, the only way he could continue his immaculate reign over his religious group was to lock everything down. Marriages stopped, and people he found threatening were sent away to the outside, where they presumably could do no harm to the closed-in community.
“Don’t run. Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody dies. Now, come watch TV,” Morty tells his sister Summer, who’s having a bitter teenage meltdown over news that her birth was a mistake. Summer’s going through a world-shattering event, but thanks to Grandpa Rick’s universe-bending, Morty has seen some things that put everything into perspective. What he’s saying is stark, but comforting.
This episode of BoJack Horsemean heavily references an episode of The Larry Sanders show where Larry is caught on security tape knocking over a lady at a grocery store. In BoJack’s case, he just can’t resist being a jerk and denying “dibs” on some muffins a seal hid in the produce section while he went to the bathroom. BoJack doesn’t even want the muffins, he buys them out of spite, and then hate eats the entire box on the way home.
Maria Bamford made a hilarious video for Above Average’s Storytime series about her time in the psych ward. Of course Maria plays all the (speaking) characters as she takes us down the mental health rabbit hole.
Fresh off the heels of consuming Season 2 of Netflix’s Bojack Horseman, I’ve decided to go back to the beginning of the hit series about depression, alcoholism, and loneliness.
The fact that it’s a cartoon with the further absurdity of anthropomorphized animals helps the Raphael Bob-Waksberg-created series get deep into to the dark little heart of melancholia. Distance can give us sharp perspective, and helps us open up about things often kept hidden in the stark light of real humans in real human skin. Animation can help us be more honest sometimes, (and so can funny voices.)
The third season of Orange is The New Black gave us a beautiful thing: the evolution of Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett from a delusional, violent, racist, homophobic, bible-thumping caricature to a complicated person who had a traumatic and neglectful upbringing. Pennsatucky, for all of her self-righteous bravado, is capable of humor, reflectiveness and change. Humanizing Pennsatucky also helped shine a light prison sexual assault’s grim reality.
“You’re a very beautiful girl,” Don tells Sally. “It’s up to you to do more than that.” Like most of the best advice we give, Don’s talking to himself. He’s echoing an observation Mathis yelled at him earlier in the episode, “You don’t have character. You’re just handsome.”
Ken Cosgrove has in his reach the perfect setup for an aspiring author: thanks to his marriage situation, he could take of advantage of all the money and time needed to hammer out his first novel. He only toys with this dream briefly, though, this glimmering life not lived, before going back to tracing the same old circles with his hours, this time fueled by revenge. Is that all there is?