TV Series Review: After Life

After LifeI’ve been lucky with TV shows for a while now. Another gem I’ve found on Netflix is called “After Life” and it’s a British comedy series starring Ricky Gervais. Just like “The Russian Doll” I reviewed for you last week it’s sweet and short. In other words, perfect for binging!

The main character of “After Life”, Tony, loses his wife to cancer. From the recordings she made for him it would seem that he used to be a rather cheerful chap before her death. However, what we see on the screen is not only a grief-stricken fellow but also an angry, mean guy who’s more than happy to end his life. He’s a terribly funny douchebag but still someone you’d never want to have around. His friends and family are more resilient than the audience but keep failing at cheering him. Will Tony stop being a sour puss or will he eventually kill himself? I won’t tell you, you’ll have to watch “After Life” to find out for yourself.

The biggest advantage of the series is, of course, the sense of humour. It’s British and it’s dark but most importantly, it’s hilarious. Ricky Gervais is very convincing as Tony who’s lost his will to live. There’s a number of other characters who are also pleasant enough but he’s an undeniable star of the show. The horrible comments he makes are really funny in this kind of way that makes you feel a bit bad about laughing at them. At the same time, the series manages to lighten things up a bit towards the end, which is not much of a spoiler because TV shows usually do. From a more subjective point of view I love the main character’s unapologetic atheism. (Pssst, you can find out more about why an atheist should not date a team-God member from our Short Guide to Dating and Religion.)

Perhaps more importantly, the series talks about grief after the loss of a loved one. I’m sure that anyone reading it who’s married or in a long-term committed relationship and actually cares about their partner, will be able to empathise with the main character. Of course,  your significant other should not be your everything because it’s just not healthy. However, at the end of the day they’re the person who matters to you the most and the mere thought of losing them can bring tears to your eyes. Watching a character going through such loss unavoidably makes you appreciate what you have more. It also shows you how much a person who’s lost their partner is going through and how unhelpful people who want you to “just snap out of it” are, even if they’re well-meaning.

If I was to criticise anything it’s the very quick ending. It feels almost like it’s been thrown at us when for a number of episodes we see one thing happening and then seemingly out of the blue everything changes… All in all, it’s a very good series. It makes you feel a bit happy and a bit sad, giving you just the right amount of both kinds of emotions. I will certainly give the season 2 a go.

Are you sold or not yet? Here’s the trailer to give you a sample of what to expect:

Have you seen the series? If yes, what do you think about it? If not, are you a fan of British humour? Does “After Life” sound like something you’d like to watch?

 

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TV Series Review: The Russian Doll

russian doll netflix

“The Russian Doll” has caught my eye on Netflix because:
1) I love Russian dolls/matrioshkas, meaning the dolls with a number of smaller versions of themselves inside
2) It has Natasha Lyonne in it, who I haven’t seen since “American Pie” but whose character Jessica is my favourite one in the movie

Instinctual series choice, in my experience, has almost the same success rate in not being shit as the choice made after an extensive research. Besides, what better to do after walking over 20,000 steps up and down on your holiday than binge on a TV series? (Pssst some self-promotion here. Read my first post about my holiday in Baku, Azerbaijan on my new blog). Brief, we decided to watch “The Russian Doll” and I didn’t regret it.

The series starts in a way that seems to be suggesting a typical comedy series. The twist is that the almost 40 year-old protagonist who’s a commitment phoebe and a casual sex enthusiast is a woman. Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) swears, smokes, drinks and in general doesn’t give a f**k. Nothing new under the sun, you’re thinking? Well, you’re up for a surprise because Nadia dies after her birthday party and then comes back to life. Is the Universe punishing her for something? Does she have a mission to complete? What??? You’ll find out when watching this sweet and short series. It’s really worth it!

The show doesn’t follow a predictable script. It’s also funny but there are elements to it, which feel very raw. I really enjoyed this emotional roller-coaster as well as the acting. Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett stand out but other cast members have also been carefully chosen, which adds up to the general pleasure of the watching experience. The series has a very nice pacing, surprising you just when you think you know what’s going to happen next. You’re also given clues to the mystery throughout the series so you can see for yourself whether you’ll figure out the solution before the protagonist…

Does the series have any drawbacks? Duh. Nothing and nobody’s perfect. I think that the ending should have been a bit more dragged out to match the pacing of the rest of the series. I also think that the makers certainly haven’t done any favour to Harry Nilsson whose catchy song “Gotta Get Up” appears in the series so many times that anyone who has watched it would refuse to listen to it ever again. Still, the repetitiveness adds up to the audience being able to relate to the characters so sorry, but no sorry, Harry. Otherwise, the series is a strong 8/10 for me. There are rumours of season 2 but I think that it isn’t necessary as the series has a nice ending and it would be better of without a sequel.

The series is definitely worth watching but if you don’t believe me, have a look at the trailer:

Have you heard about “The Russian Doll”? What do you think about time loop stories? Last but not least, does a bit of fantasy ruin a story for you or do you think it can still make for a compelling narrative? Let me know in the comments’ section. If you’ve watched the series, I’m also curious to hear what you think about it.

Review: The Erotic Playbook of a Top Earning Sex Worker

tim-ferris-showI’ve prepared something different for you today; a review of an episode of the podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show. I’m a big fan of the show and I listen to it regularly. This is why I managed not to miss the recently released episode, an interview with an exclusive sex worker, Alice Little.

If you’ve ever watched American movies or series like The Deuce, you’re probably aware of the fact that sex work is illegal in the United States and it can get you in trouble. However, in Nevada and more specifically in one part of the state it is legal to provide sex work. The industry is also regulated and sex workers need to be tested and pay taxes on their earnings. The guest of the podcast works on The Moonlite Bunny Ranch as an independent contractor. She didn’t go in too much details but I’m assuming it works like with Virgin Active personal trainers, meaning that both pay a monthly fee for the use of the premises.

Such arrangement of course has its perks. Alice talks about safety on the ranch in terms of personal safety of a sex worker but also of the clients. They know they’re using services of a professional who’s free of STDs and STIs and the service is safe for credit card use as the transaction is named something different than “sex worker services”. The ranch has also a very good reputation, which can help the contractors with finding clients. Alice, however, does not seem to struggle with it. She’s a highly rated and popular sex worker with her own website, where you can learn all about her services. I obviously checked it out and was a bit surprised by the nudity right out there (no, are you 18? questions) but the website is tasteful and Alice looks exactly how I imagined when listening to the podcast.

Miss Little is a strong advocate of legalization of sex work. She believes that sex is a need and not a want and this fact should be recognized officially. In the interview audibly excited Tim Ferriss asks her a lot of questions. It turns out, for instance, that the most popular service is the girlfriend experience. She also speaks about virgins she works with, teaching them not only how to have sex but more importantly how to treat and touch a woman. Another service in high demand are threesomes, which Alice really enjoys as a bisexual individual.

Little also gives very detailed instructions on how to have sex and in particular oral sex better. She tells you about sex toys, explains what’s important during an intimate encounter in terms of touch and technique. Perhaps more importantly she talks about the human connection that’s crucial during intercourse. She stresses that she’s trying to know her clients as people, before she starts knowing them as sexual partners.

Alice seems to be a real professional and is very self-aware. She sounds honestly passionate about her job and has a good sense of humor. The podcast is very light and interesting to listen to. It’s also absolutely not safe for work. I may not agree with all she says (like for instance, how she finds threesomes beneficial for couples) but I certainly have a lot of respect for her after listening to the podcast, as you would have for any professional who’s passionate about their job and has high work ethics. I’d recommend this episode especially to those who think that sex workers are always people somehow forced into the profession. I think it would be fun and interesting for anyone, though. You can find the episode of the podcast here.

Enjoy, Dear Rinser, and don’t forget to let me know your thought about it in the comment section, when you’re done listening to it.

 

The Deuce: Sex, Sex, Sex and James Franco

the deuceI haven’t seen such a sexed up series in a while. Game of Thrones or Spartacus are truly romance stories for teenage girls by comparison! In this review you’ll learn what #zlotybaby thinks about this series about prostitution and porn in New York of the fabulous 70s.

The first season of the series focuses on quite a number of main(ish) characters. Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a disillusioned prostitute who refuses to be pimped and aspires to direct sexy movies. Abby (Margarita Levieva) comes from a rich family but doesn’t feel like she belongs to the overly proper world so she tries to make ends meet as a bartender. There’s also James Franco in a double role of twins, Vincent and Frankie Martino. The former is the more level-headed business owner, the latter your typical trouble maker. The series also follows a number of secondary characters: the main pimps played by Gbenga Akinnagbe and Gary Carr and their protegees, Darlene (Dominique Fishback), Lori (Emily Maede) and Ruby (Pernell Walker). Let’s not forget about a nosy and beautiful journalist Sandra (Natalie Paul) who wants to write an article about it all with the help of a slightly corrupted police officer (Lawrence Gilliard Jr).

The big number of characters may be initially confusing but they’re all quite memorable. The cast is very well chosen and it also facilitates remembering who is who. There are some weak points in the choice of actors, though. Abby, a 20 year old girl, is played by a woman quite close to her 40s and it hinders the character’s credibility (and yes, I’d also be protesting if it was the case of a male character). Another weird choice was James Franco x 2. The characters of the twins are not different enough (or perhaps it’s Franco’s acting fault?) and I often felt confused about which one is which. I get that many women could watch Franco in all the roles but alternative movies like “Being John Malkovich” or “Adaptation” are a better fit for such questionable cast choices. Having said that, I was really impressed by great costumes, make-up and acting in the TV show in general and in particular on the side of the pimps and the prostitutes. You almost could forget that this isn’t what they do in their every day life!

Partially thanks to the actors, it’s very easy to get into the world presented on the screen. You feel for the girls and just like them you have a hate and love relationship with their pimps. Sex in this series is just a commodity that can be bought and in general is rather deprived of romanticism. What do you want? The world of prostitution and porn is cruel. The women are abused not only by their pimps who are supposed to be protecting them but also by their clients. The business is dangerous and it doesn’t pay that well after “your man” takes his cut. The idea that it’s easy money seems to be far from the truth.

The sad, depressing world of “The Deuce” is in some twisted way entertaining. I compulsively wanted to learn more about the characters, even if a lot of the time I wasn’t expecting anything good happening to them (GOT fans surely get it). There are no easy fixes in the depicted world. How to escape the business? Especially if there’s a video out there on which you’re having sex? Even if it’s possible, can you forget about all the penises you had to suck? I’ve never worked as a prostitute but as a teenager I made money sex texting in my first post matric job. I felt dirty for a long long time after I quit. I was also very doubtful about the nature of men in general for years to come. Of course, they’re not all the same but when you’re constantly exposed to one kind it does become your perception of the whole. Still, I’m quite interested to see what the future holds for the women of the night in this series.

“The Deuce”  is a bitter-sweet tale that shows us a world which doesn’t exist anymore. And yet, 50 years later just like 200 hundred years earlier, both prostitution and porn prosper. Perhaps it’s time to get off our high horse and recognise that interest in sex, including paid sex in reality and on the screen is a part of the human nature? Legalisation would bring safety to men and women involved in the industry but also to their clients. Brutal assaults, killings, spreading of STDs – all these issues could be avoided if only more governments had the balls to address the situation.

Last but not least, “The Deuce” really has a good soundtrack mostly suited for the presented period (I wouldn’t know any better but my husband did occasionally voice his doubts about the music truly being from the 70s). I really recommend this series to anyone who likes a TV show that takes them to a completely different place. I also can promise you that if you look at the problems of people on the screen, you will almost immediately feel so much better about your own.

What’s your opinion about legalisation of prostitution and pornography, Dear Reader? Any secrets to share? Have you already watched the series?

 

 

Review: Lovesick

lovesickYay, a Netflix comedy series about love! And a British one! Seeing that in my Netflix suggestions I immediately thought about Monty Python, Peepshow, Fawlty Towers… Unfortunately, “Lovesick” turned out to be a bitter disappointment.

Let’s have a look at the premise first. Dylan is a 20 something young and mostly single gentleman who learns that he has an STD. Now, he has to contact all his former sexual partners. The main narrative of the present is mixed with the recollections of the numerous women he slept with. In both the past and the present, he’s supported on his quest to find a true love by his two best friends and flat mates, Evie and Luke. Sounds like a reasonable idea, non?

Not quite. “Lovesick” is crap. I chuckled a few times when watching the first season but the series has a big disadvantage for a comedy: it’s not funny. It’s also not a good drama, even if it seems to make the audience emotional too. The characters are just not convincing. Luke is a woman eater with issues about which we learn nothing. Dylan and Evie has feelings for one another but handle them immaturely, choosing to jump into different relationships rather than discussing them. In general, it’s just this kind of series about a bunch of adults behaving like teenagers. I guess it’d be fine, if the series was meant to be purely comedic (after all, no one was taking the characters of “Peepshow” seriously). It’s fine to have cartoon like characters if the style of the show encourages that. You can’t, however, oversimplifies characters and then make them have “serious” problems. It does come off as fake.

I guess the series does address a few important issues. STDs are a threat in the modern, more sexually liberated world. The show doesn’t go on sending any message about responsible sex life, though. Everyone just keeps having sex in the circumstances suggesting that they didn’t use any protection. I mean if you’re a bad series you could at least teach people something about the magic of rubber? Then of course, there’s the quest for true love that Dylan is supposedly on, by sticking his penis without a condom into a lot of women. Last but not least, there’s a question of men and women being “just friends”. Don’t look for depth, though. The series is just bad. I’m not sure why people enjoyed it and why there’s season 2. What can I say, Brits are weird. They voted for Brexit, love their royals and call dessert pudding.

The big advantage of the series is that it consists of only a few 20 minute episodes. I don’t feel like I wasted too much of my lifetime watching it. Besides, anything to protect my Dear Rinsers from watching something that is just not worth it.

Have you watched the series, Dear Rinser? Do you like British comedies in general? Which one is your favorite?

Review: Grace and Frankie

Grace_and_FrankieI must say that new TV shows have been positively surprising me with their diversity (thanks, Netflix!). The choice of what to watch is no longer between series about financially secure 30 somethings looking for love and male lawyers series. It’s an oversimplification, of course, but let’s just say that a lot of shows deviate from the “safe” formulas and explore new areas. A good example of such a show is “Grace and Frankie”

Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) fiercely dislike each other. They have to spend time together as a part of the same Coupleverse. Their relationship changes drastically when at the age of 70, they learn that their husbands are in love with one another and they’ve been cheating on the ladies for the last twenty years. The gentlemen want to get married and the two very different women are forced by circumstances to share a house. Grace is a well-groomed former business woman who enjoys her Martinis a bit too much. She’s rather detached in her behavior and appearances are of utmost importance to her. Frankie, on the other hand, is an unsuccessful artist with a soft spot for weed and a keen interest in spirituality. Their characters naturally clash, but shared misery (just think about your coworkers ;)) can bring people closer together.

The husbands are present in the story, but the plot focuses primarily on the experiences of their (ex-)wives. It’s a bitter-sweet journey for the audience too! Do you think that dating at 30 is difficult? Try doing it at 70! Grace and Frankie experience many ups and downs in their rather mature single life. There’s no beating around the bush about sexuality in this show, in particular, about mature sexuality. I really liked the lack of prudishness! As we know there’s a lot of ageism in dating and a TV show that speaks specifically about sexual needs and problems of older women is a novelty. Society loves to put breaks on female sexuality. Too young isn’t good (just watch 13 Reasons Why to learn about differences between parents’ ideas about their kids innocence and reality) and too old isn’t good either. According to many, women should only have sex in their reproductive years and that, preferably with one man they’re married to and with not too much pleasure. Well, Grace and Frankie are getting some well-deserved cock and mostly without much fear of “sex in the vagina” (you’ll have to watch the series to really get the joke). These women feel they deserve sex, love and professional satisfaction regardless of their age. It’s not Girl Power, it’s Granny Power, here.

“Grace and Frankie” is a series about the right to pursue happiness, regardless of everything. The husbands, Saul (Sam Waterston) and Robert (Martin Sheen), make a difficult decision of being together, disregarding the expectations of others. It’s not because they’re assholes and it’s an easy decision for them to make, it’s because they want to be true to themselves, even if it means unpleasant consequences. Grace and Frankie fight for their well-being, regardless of how many doors close in front of them. Last but not least, there are children of both couples, who make similarly difficult decisions.

“Frankie and Grace” isn’t a hahaha and hihihi show that laughs everything off. The characters seem to be real people with human problems, even if there’s a lot of lightness in the series. I think this is the main reason why I enjoyed it so much. I may not be 70, but who hasn’t been disregarded in their life because of their gender, age or other quality that people can be prejudiced against? Who doesn’t want to be loved? Who hasn’t faced the difficult choice between pleasing others and doing what they feel is right? At the bottom of all of our experiences and troubles, lays our need to simply be happy.

The only thing that’s wrong with the series is the opening song, which is a butchered version of “Stuck in the Middle With You”. Let me remind you how it should sound like, before you start watching the series that I really recommend.

 

Emmys 2017: Reviews of The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies

TVI’d been planning to write about two great series “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Big Little Lies” for so long that they received Emmy Awards before I managed to do so. Better late than never I guess!

The Handmaid’s Tale

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a drama series. It’s based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel about a sexist theocracy in a world struggling with fertility. Women who can get pregnant are captured and serve as incubators to the ruling class of theocrats. They’re referred to as handmaids and the series focuses on the story of one of them, Offred (Elisabeth Moss). After her training in obedience and servitude, she is placed with an infertile marriage to whom she’s supposed to provide an offspring. You’ll have to watch the series to find out more!

The show is very heavy and depressing, especially for mainstream TV. However, it is very good and it does address important issues such as the emancipation of women, contraception, reproductive rights, feminism and sexism. I think especially given the worrying extreme right wing behaviors around the world, it is crucial to think about such issues. The message of the series is clear: it’s easy to ignore warning signs but the consequences of not reacting in time may be tragic. After all, Gilead is a country which replaced the USA.

The series is also worth watching due to convincing acting and interesting characters. The protagonist seems to be created in a way, which doesn’t make it easy for the audience to like her. And yet, the inhumane treatment she has to endure makes us relate to her on an empathic level, as we would to any human being in pain. It’s not only Elisabeth Moss (Drama Actress, Winner) whose acting should be praised. The other handmaidens, including Samira Wiley (Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, nominee), Alexis Bledel and Madeline Brewer give unforgivable performances. Ann Dowd (Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, winner) in the role of the ruthless superior of handmaids is excellent. Last but not least, Yvonne Strahovski as a seemingly emotionless Madame of the ruling class is a scary, yet pitiable character. You may like or dislike the series, but watching it will certainly be an unforgettable experience.

Apart from the above-mentioned Emmy awards and nominations, the Handmaid’s Tale received and award for the best Writing for a Drama Series and for the best Drama Series.

Under His Eye.

Big Little Lies

“Big Little Lies” is a series contained in one season, a so-called limited series. The story has a defined opening and an end. It is a rather uncommon format these days, as the makers try to usually squeeze as many season out of a series as they can. I’m a proponent of ending things when they’re still good, so I was very happy with this solution for the excellent show.

Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) comes to Monterey with her son Ziggy to start a new life. She hopes a small town will give her the peace she’s been looking for. She quickly makes friends with Madeline (Reese Whiterspoon) and Celeste (Nicole Kidman), who are happy to have some “fresh blood” in their circle. Unfortunately, the alleged aggressive behavior of her son towards one of the other school kids causes her to also quickly gain new enemies. Renata (Laura Dern) is an overprotective mother and she starts a personal vendetta against Jane. On the top of this background, we learn that someone’s going to die. But who and why? Yet again, watch the series to find out, I’m not taking responsibility for spoiling your fun.

“Big Little Lies” looks like a predictable series about life in a small town, where seemingly perfect aren’t truly flawless. It’s much more than that, though. The series addresses important issues such as domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, infidelity but also female solidarity and forgiveness. Similarly like “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “Big Little Lies” is a feast for the audience missing good female performances. Nicole Kidman received an Award for Limited Series Actress, while her co-cast Reese Witherspoon was a runner-up. Laura Dern won the Award for the best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and Shaileen Woodley was a nominee in this category. Let’s not forget about Alexander Skarsgard who was chosen the best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

Last but not least, the music in the series is just magical. I could listen to the theme song “Cold Little Heart” by Michael Kiwanuka over and over again, but the whole soundtrack is remarkable. Zoe Kravitz, who appears in the series in the role of Bonnie, may not be an amazing actress but she has a beautiful voice and I was mesmerised by her version of “Don’t”. Please don’t miss this series. It’s really worth your time! If you don’t believe me, you should know that the series also received the Emmy awards for Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special as well as for the best Limited Series and was nominated for Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama.

Review: 13 Reasons Why

13 reasons why“13 Reasons Why” is a high school themed drama/crime series which tells a story of a suicide of a teenage girl, Hannah Baker. Perhaps it was my recent 30th bday that encouraged my to indulge my inner teenager and binge on this series, but I have no regrets about watching it.

The series has an interesting narrative structure. Hannah leaves behind a loooong suicide note in the form of tapes. The recordings explain why she killed herself, giving 13 reasons for her deed. Each reason is a different person she encountered in high school who hurt and failed her in some way. I guess it’s questionable whether someone on the verge of taking their own life would have so much integrity to devise such a sophisticated tool of postmortem revenge, but it watches well…

The protagonist of “13 Reasons Why” is bullied and sexually harassed and she’s very much on her own with her problems. She struggles to make friends because of a reputation she got for something she didn’t do. Her parents are facing some financial trouble and they’re mostly focused on making the ends meet. Hannah is just surviving, going every day to a place that horrible things happen to her and she can tell no one about her suffering. Every time she attempts to improve her situation it backfires and she seemed to be deemed to eventually give up. Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective, but have you ever been a bullied teenager? It does feel like tomorrow doesn’t bring anything but pain and lots of kids more or less seriously contemplate suicide.

To tell exactly what the kids do to a protagonist, would be too much of a spoiler. I can only say that unfortunately after very believable high school story till mid season, the plot starts to escalate and at some point you just watch it being like “Right, well, I wonder what else is going to happen to her now”. As truly EVERYTHING happens to Hannah,  her suicide almost seems logical. The creators (or rather the writer as the series is a faithful adaptation of a novel) should have made a life story of a teenager who’s bullied and so overwhelmed by her reality that she stops to believe there’s anything else out there. It’s an American mainstream product after all, so perhaps my expectations are unrealistically high.

The series is too dramatic but it talks about important issues. Apart from the obvious main theme of suicide, the show emphasizes that parents and teachers of teenagers have no idea who the children are. Teenagers drink, have sex, take drugs, are horrible to one another and none of this is known to adults. Unless a kid ends up being knocked up, addicted or fails at school such things usually remain hidden. Of course teenagers prefer to keep their secrets to themselves, but it’s partially because parents and teachers are rather willing not to know too much. Often if children try to open up, they’re shouted at and end up in trouble, which discourages their further honesty.

To sum up, “13 Reasons Why” is an interesting series and an attempt to talk about serious issues. I’m not sure whether it’s a great show for a troubled teenager who may get wrong ideas, but it could certainly serve a parent or a teacher. Also, anyone who was ever bullied could watch it as a reminder of how far they’ve gone from there.

 

 

 

Review: Master of None

mon“Master of None” is Aziz Ansari’s series which is loosely based on his own life experiences. Two seasons are already available on Netflix even in South Africa (I’m referring here to the poor catalogue we have) and definitely worth a watch.

“Master of None” is more than just comedy. The story of a struggling New York actor Dev is so close to the bone it’s sometimes uncomfortable to watch. Ansari’s insight about relationships, immigration, sexism and life in general is a huge advantage of the series. It’s nice to watch a TV show that manages to speak about complexities of life in a light way. The series focuses mostly on the main character and his diverse group of friends. Dev is an Indian-American, his African-American female friend Denise is a lesbian, Brian is Taiwanese-American and Arthur is white. Such diversity allows us to see more than lives of straight white 30 somethings as we do in “Friends” or “How I Met Your Mother”. I think this is part of the reason why “Master of None” is such a good series. It’s very clear from it that it’s not all cool in the US and issues such as race and gender are still there. At the same time, Ansari manages not to be deadly serious about them. Perhaps it’s precisely the mostly sweet  and only occasionally bitter tone of the narration that gets to the audience and critics (the show got an Emmy award).

It’s the first time in a while I’ve seen such a good series. Ansari makes brilliant observations and it’d be nice if the success of this show paved a way for a new wave of comedy TV. Series ideally should be a bit more than just a ha ha entertainment that doesn’t make you think twice about the content and makes you forget about them as soon as you switch your TV off.

The short episode format makes the series quite addictive. I’ve finished season 1 in just about a week and I was very glad that season 2 was out already. I’m not sure how the show would work for me if I only watched one episode per week. I feel like the little snippets of the main character’s story, even if very entertaining, wouldn’t necessarily manage to keep up my interest. Perhaps it’s just better for binge watching, but with two full seasons out you’ll get a chance to do it.

To sum up, if you’re looking for a good quality entertainment that will give a sneak peek into (what I believe is) the modern American life, you should definitely give “Master of None” a go.

 

Why The Pursuit of ‘Mr Big’ Just Ends in Tears

carrie-bradshaw-mr-big-satc-nsmbl-nl-151

Yes, I know SATC ended over a decade ago now. But hey, I am officially an elder who owns all six seasons plus two movies on DVD. Sure, the series was made in the days before Tinder and the like. And of course life would be so much better if writing blogs about dating could afford us a nice little apartment in Manhattan, we got to totter around in Jimmy Choos everyday looking fabulous and have mind-blowing sex the whole time. As unrealistic as SATC may have been it did not only provide years of entertainment and inspiration for millions of woman (and gay men!) but also influenced the way many view/shape our own dating lives.

One such aspect of the SATC phenomenon that has definitely infiltrated our sad little lives is what I’ll refer to as ‘The Pursuit of Mr Big’. I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself or seen friends chasing THAT guy that does more or less everything wrong but still somehow manages to get under your skin and keeps you going back for more. Almost every girl has their ‘Mr Big’ and some us even openly refer to them as such (guilty!). And of course, just like Carrie, us girls keep chasing after these emotionally-unavailable fucktards. But you see the thing is, while Mr Big types really do exist the chances of ever finding happily ever after with such a person is very unlikely. Even the brains behind SATC, author Candice Bushnell, recently said in an interview with the Guardian that in real life Carrie would never actually end up marrying Mr Big.

And as much as we all conjure up this idealistic image of our own ‘Mr Big’ and pine for him as we try to recover from yet another douchey thing he has done, there really is no logical reason why we could ever expect to find stability or real happiness with him. Here are some of the reasons why SATC was just wrong and why the pursuit of ‘Mr Big’ will end in disaster:

Commitment issues

Probably the biggest issue with this ‘Mr Big’ type guy is that they can’t commit. It’s like they want to keep their options open. Whether it’s about pursuing job opportunities in Paris or trying out other women in the hopes of perhaps finding a better fit (read: more subservient) they just have an inability to stick to anything.

Of course, in the series Mr Big finally ‘sees sense’ realises that the girl that waited around for him for so long was actually ‘the one’ and chases her down  and eventually marries her but lets be real we’ve all met real life commitment phobes and most of them remain single, still ‘playing the field’, well into their 40s, 50s and 60s.

Baggage

Of course, having a few divorces under one’s belt isn’t a deal breaker for everyone and the older we get the more baggage we all accumulate. And by the time her a woman hits her 30s it’s a bit like beggar’s can’t be chooser’s, right?

Well…take it on a case by case basis if you want but believing you will be the girl who’ll manage to hold down a guy with multiple divorces to his name might be a bit delusional. If there is a bit of a pattern I think it’s fair to say he is the common denominator?

Cheating Scumbag

Can a leopard ever really change his spots? Sure, people can change but there is a reason why people say ‘if he cheats with you, he’ll cheat on you’. It may have been a bit of fun and games being the Other Woman when Mr Big was married to Natasha. But a real life ‘Mr Big’ would have probably cheated on Carrie too! Would you really want to be looking over you should forever more?

Brings out the worst in you

Yes, I understand that there needs to be some compromise for any relationship to work. But neglecting the good things in your life and picking up bad habits – such as binge drinking, smoking and constantly flaking on your friends – because of a guy you want to impress…well we’ve all been there but it doesn’t usually lay a good foundation for happily ever after, does it now?

Surely, a healthy relationship isn’t simply about finding a person that keeps you on your toes but also about being someone who brings our the best in you and promotes a positive change in your life?

And at the end of the day ‘Mr Big’ is a somewhat overrated guy named JOHN and Carrie should have married Aiden!  

We’ve all had those ‘what the hell was I thinking?’ moments when we look back at our dating history.  Personally, I don’t think the ‘Mr Big’ characters in our lives are all bad. If nothing else, they teach us something about ourselves and what we want/don’t want from a relationship. They also often give us good stories. However this doesn’t mean we need to hold out in hope that one day this guy may get down on one knee and propose to us with a our own sparkly shoe.

And of course, some would argue that Aiden too boring and predictable. But think about it. Doesn’t there just come a point in your life when you are too busy to play games constantly trying to figure out what a person wants from you? Let’s be honest, Aiden may not have been quite as exciting as ‘Mr Big’ but he actually knew what he wanted and treated Carrie better than just a BackPocket Girl and in my old age I guess I see something nice in that.

Rinser, Do you have (or had) your version of ‘Mr Big’? Do you think it is possible to be truly happy with such a person? Share your thoughts in the comments below.