How I Spent My Women’s Prison Vacation: The First Season of Orange is the New Black


Few “pilot” episodes of a TV show have ever made me cry. The problem with pilots is that they are supposed to cram a whole pile of information into 22 minutes or 42 minutes and don’t usually do a very good job of developing characters. I can think of three shows where the pilot made me weep: Freaks and Geeks, Enlightened and now Orange is the New Black. These three shows actually have quite a bit in common, but their biggest common element is that the pilot episode spends a lot of time introducing and then developing their central character: a nice, young, white woman who seems to have her shit together but doesn’t. I have to say after watching the whole season, I feel like I was duped in that first episode, and I’m all the happier for it.

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Growing in Circles: Why Enlightened is a lot like high school


The problem with having so much good television on at the same time is that we are all bound to miss something truly special, something that seems made just for us and our personal tastes. True, we all have PVRs and television on Netflix and DVD but there are still plenty of shows that need our help to survive by watching them as they air.

I missed Enlightened while it was airing, and it seems that everyone else did too, because the show is now cancelled. But, if you have the chance to catch up with it, I promise you will not be disappointed unless you don’t like slow-moving character studies with bits of “magic realism” and poetic monologues thrown in sporadically. I suspect many people don’t so that’s why I want to tell you what Enlightened really is (and what I think many more people will care for): a high school drama in disguise. Continue reading

Email Roundtable #21 – No One Likes the Monkey


Kerri: In your estimation has there ever been a good use of pets/animals on TV? Most of the TV pets that I can think of are used strictly as comic relief. Who is your favourite TV pet?

Katie: I can’t think of a pet that has been used for plot purposes, other than teaching kids about death (and teaching parents not to try to replace their child’s dead hamster. They always know.) My favourite TV pet is a pretty obvious choice, but it has to be Eddie from Frasier. That was just such an all around good dog.

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