Several people whose opinion I trust(ed) have told to me to check out “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” because I like comedy so much. Oh my god, I could barely make it through the first episode. I hated it so much, words couldn’t describe it. Thank God, Emily Nussbaum, TV critic from the “New Yorker” did it for me.
The Cloying Fantasia of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
The production landed at an ideal moment, tapping into a desperation among women for something sweet. For me, it felt grating.
Everyone overacted in the episode I saw. Like “Madman”, its a reproduction of a reproduction. The creators appear to be modernizing the past as it should have been instead of portraying it the way it probably was. What’s next? A remake of “I Dream of Jeannie” with some stupid twist like a secret dominatrix lair in her bottle?
I wanted to like Mrs. Maisel because I wanted to find a show I liked period. It has a great cast and the premise (though I haven’t seen Tony Shaloub this cliched since “Wings”). To say it’s edgy is to misunderstand the term. Instead, it’s horribly precocious and pretentious. But that’s not the worst thing about it. It’s phony, sterile, and predictable like a Dan Brown book.
I remember when everyone was reading “The Da Vinci Code”. They talked about it like they had been reading some illuminated manuscript they discovered in the catacombs of the Vatican.
We were out to dinner with a bunch of friends who had all read it. Everyone was sharing parts they loved. I finally chimed in, and per my usual, ruined the moment, and said, “doesn’t it bother any of you that Langdon pretty much solves everything on the first try?” Pause, and everyone went back to gushing over the book like it wasn’t fiction “I had no idea Opus Dei existed.”
The Da Vinci Code and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel remind me of Michael Crichton’s books – a tired hero trope with a veneer of research. It’s like someone took some Elmer’s glue and stuck a hardcover version of a better book over a ratty pulp paperback.
I’m glad to see scripted television come back, but the glut of reality TV and user generated content on YouTube has lowered the bar that even mediocre and unoriginal are good enough to escape real criticism.
We’ve been binge watching HBO’s “Silicon Valley” since it became available on iTunes last week. I love this show. It’s so spot on in many ways, especially the characters.
Having lived out here off and on for the past 20 years, I’ve seen pretty much every archetype and lived through many of the scenarios depicted in the show. Some of those situations can only be funny if you’ve lived through them.
There are, and have been plenty of shows that try to capture what Silicon Valley is like, but this one gets it right because of Mike Judge not only pays attention to the details, but the right ones. He nailed “Office Space” 15 years ago, because the characters were stuck in the shitshow. They seem above it all, but they can’t, or won’t get out. That sounds like most of us.
Office life, like Silicon Valley, takes itself too way too seriously. It’s the people that buy into wholesale that seem to thrive even if they aren’t really getting ahead. Some asshole getting ahead while the rest of toil is universal theme a lot of us can relate to.
I thought about cutting cable and starting fresh with our recent move. Not so easy. First, I switched to the other guys for broadband (not interested in giving free pub). I only wanted Internet, but couldn’t find a fast enough package that didn’t include television, so I took it anyhow. Meantime, the hard part of giving up cable isn’t TV withdrawal, but a whole new set of issues I didn’t anticipate.
I bought an Apple TV, but it doesn’t get Amazon Video. I have to use a Playstation with its obnoxious controller to watch things like “Alpha House”. The Apple TV is pretty cool, watching movings from the iTunes store comes with a 20-40 minute download penalty while Amazon streams, but can choke on buffering.
I know, this sounds like First World Problems, but on-demand all the time is a pain in the ass. The beauty of TV is you plunk down on the couch, turn it on and someone else does the driving. The paradox of choice just makes me anxious and I revert back to a steady stream of infomercials.
Nothing is more frustrating than paying 3 bucks for a TV show episode, only to find it for free on one of the 50 different online media services.
Lastly, everybody pretty much has the same selection of shit movies. Sure, I can pay $14 for some recent stuff, but when you’re already paying $9 here and $70 bucks there, you’d like to see some decent selection. I’m in luck if I want to see “Step Brothers” because it’s always on Netflix, Amazon, and Comedy Central.