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This What to Watch Wednesday, I’d like to take a moment for the anthology, which is having a moment of its own right now.

Now the modern anthology has taken a variety of forms. Some would, for instance, make a case for everything Ryan Murphy is working on right now, “American Horror Story” and “American Crime Story” and “Feud,” not to mention “Fargo” and “True Detective” too.

Each of those shows starts with a new story each season, with some crossover and connections, a repertory cast in some cases, but no story arc continuation. These shows are all great in their own way, but they’re not my favorite kind of anthology. Read the rest of this entry


…be marvelous

When Mrs. Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) discovers that her husband, Joel (Michael Zegen) has cheated on her, she doesn’t mope, she doesn’t cry, she goes straight down to the club where her husband has been failing as a stand-up comic for months, and absolutely kills it…you know as any 1960s  housewife would.

From the very start of, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” as Midge delivers a series of zingers at her own wedding, it’s pretty clear that Midge is no ordinary housewife. And if it’s not love at first punchline, well then frankly…

Mrs. Maisel aka Midge is a fabulous, fierce, opinionated woman, who up until this point has spent her life focused on what she thought she was supposed to—getting married, having children, and making a comfortable home for her family. And she’s pretty good at it.

But when the floor drops out from under her life, that’s when she truly shines, and when this story soars. Not only because of her stand-up ambitions, championed by her manager, Susie (Alex Borstein), but because Midge continues being the same curious outgoing person that she always was, but even more so. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn (and not just about some truly bogus laws that existed at the time).

It will probably come as no surprise that this gloriously feminist piece of television was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the woman who brought us “Gilmore Girls.” But before you back away from what has (infuriatingly so) become a four-letter word, let me finish…

Yes, there is clearly a message here about the ridiculous double standards and limitations that woman faced and, in many ways, still face, and Midge’s stand-up provides the perfect platform (literally) to pick those inequalities apart. For instance, the extraordinary efforts that Midge (pre-breakup) goes to maintain an illusion of perfection are utterly soul-crushing to watch (when did she sleep?).

However, seeing as this is the work of Amy Sherman-Palladino, it’s no surprise that what makes this show truly shine is its depth (Just the Gilmore Girls did not a Stars Hollow make). That includes both a stellar ensemble (Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle, Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron, and I could be here for days, because it’s a parade of excellence) but also in its deep respect for each of its characters and the stories they have to tell together.

No one is written off as one-dimensional. No one. Even the cheating husband is a redeemable character. Everyone has value, no one is treated as a less than. And although Midge is undeniably a superhero, even she isn’t perfect, and I’m not just talking about the times she bombs on stage. She’s learning about stand-up and about standing up on her own, something that she has clearly always excelled at.

If you were drawn in with the promise of “Gilmore Girls” glory, you will not be disappointed, and that includes some familiar faces and the whip-smart, lightning-fast dialogue we all know and love with some new faces and new places to enjoy. Top it off with some truly well-chosen music, and I cannot put into words how joyful this show is. You’ll just have to see for yourself…

…bi-daily smile…

…Find Middle Ground

It’s official, Middle-earth is coming to the small screen. Apologies for the lack of exclamation point, but at this point there’s too many unknowns to determine if more flamboyant punctuation is needed.

What is known is that Amazon has acquired the television rights for the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings.” I’ll give you a moment to let the sheer poetry of that sink in. The online retailer responsible for killing the brick and mortar bookstore just bought the television rights for one of the most popular book series of all time.  Read the rest of this entry

…Play The Fool

Happy April Fools’ Day! This holiday beloved by pranksters and those with a sense of humor has come a long way from its humble beginnings of personal practical jokes.

Today, everyone is getting in on the jokes, at least when it comes to the corporate world. If you’re not familiar with the April Fools’ corporate take over by many a company looking to top their previous year’s pranks, I’ve got some bad news. Read the rest of this entry

…tune in

Happy Emmys Sunday!

In this golden age of television, we’re all faced with an endless source of incredible programming (and some not-so-incredible…but there’s more good than bad). Yet, several times a year, we’re forced to pick the best (it’s a rough life).

So, per tradition, we’re celebrating by sharing our personal picks…as difficult as it may be. Nevertheless, we’ll venture a try. And with that, we’ll leave you to our choices, take ’em or leave ’em.

Happy Sunday to all, and happy viewing! Read the rest of this entry