After having it recommended to me by multiple people, I finally gave in and started watching “The Crown” on Netflix. It was interesting seeing John Lithgow, an American actor (and a very talented one at that) playing Winston Churchill. On an interview with Graham Norton, he explained how difficult it was to speak and sound like Churchill, but he seems to have nailed it (and won an Emmy for his portrayal).
We’re currently streaming Season 2 of “Orange is the New Black.” This is based on the true story of Piper Kerwin who was arrested after helping her girlfriend smuggle drugs. Some time had passed between the deed and when the FBI finally caught up to her (I think it was 5 years), and she was originally sentenced to 18 months in a prison in upstate New York. I find the characters absolutely fascinating, even if many (most actually) of the prisoners have a checkered past, a glimpse of which we occasionally get to see via flashback. This certainly humanizes the prisoners and helps us sympathize with them. How many of us would have done the same thing in their predicaments? For instance, in the opening episode of Season 2 we learn that Piper was definitely a rule-follower as a child, refusing to jump out of the back of the bus when all her peers did (even when the bus driver told her it was okay to follow them). That describes my childhood to a ‘T.’ I doubt I could have been talked into helping smuggle drugs, but I can see how vulnerable and easily influenced some people are, especially depending on who your role models were (if you had any). I look forward to getting to know many more of these characters week to week.
Just after Thanksgiving last fall, Amazon.com started airing “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” We didn’t have time to watch it until recently. If the pilot is anything to go by, I hope the rest of the episodes are equally captivating. It’s 1950s New York (which is just amazing to gawk at) and Midge Maisel is the ever supportive housewife going to great lengths (hand delivering a homemade brisket to the club owner) to ensure her husband has the prime 10pm spot at a local comedy club where he does stand-up several evenings a week. She even takes notes and makes suggestions for his nightly routine. Without giving too much away, things happen in the first episode where suddenly Midge finds herself in the spotlight, and rather likes it, and discovers she has a talent for it. Anyone who is a fan of period dramas, NYC or stand-up comedy should enjoy this. I look forward to spending more time in the past (that I definitely glamorize) cheering on another strong woman. By the way, this series is written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino of “Gilmore Girls” fame (which I am also streaming; season 3 presently).