Tag Archives: series

‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Will Be Your New Obsession

Since everyone is stuck in their homes for the foreseeable future, Hulu decided to be the real MVPs, releasing the hotly anticipated limited series “Little Fires Everywhere” early. The limited series, based on the novel by Celeste Ng, follows the intertwined stories of two polar-opposite families in Shaker Heights. Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) lives a picture-perfect life. Her husband, Bill (Joshua Jackson) is a prominent lawyer. The couple lives in a large, picturesque home with their children, all four of whom look like they could be models. That is, before their youngest and most troublesome child, Izzy (Megan Stott) decides to set her hair on fire. Elena’s relationship with Izzy is her one wrinkle in an otherwise Stepford-like life. 

One day, Elena shows one of her family’s rental properties to Mia Warren (Kerry Washington) and her daughter, Pearl (Lexi Underwood). Elena, a rich white woman, sees Mia, a Black single mother, and takes pity on her, offering her the duplex for an extremely discounted rate. Elena tells Pearl all about Shaker Heights and remarks that her son, Moody (Gavin Lewis), is in the same grade as Pearl. Mia is a mystery to Elena – why would someone choose to live a nomadic, paycheck to paycheck life? 

As Pearl and Moody grow closer, their mothers grow wary of each other. The tension between them is palpable as they continue to show just how opposite they are. This is where Witherspoon and Washington shine – the silent, tense undertone of every meeting keeps viewers wondering just how long these two can interact with each other in this powder keg. 

Witherspoon and Washington are obviously two powerhouses, but the performances that were the most intriguing in the pilot episode were those of Stott and Underwood. Stott’s eyes pierce through the screen as Izzy seethes at her mother’s need for perfection, while Underwood’s emotion spills out during a fight between Pearl and Mia. 

The series may seem like a simple juxtaposition of the two opposite families from the pilot, but anyone who has read Ng’s smash hit novel knows that this is just the beginning…and things are about to get a lot more complicated. 

You can stream the first three episodes of ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ on Hulu. 

Happy Streaming (and social distancing)! Stay safe out there. 

-Katie

‘Set It Up’ is Netflix’s Best Kept Secret

Everyone loves a good romantic comedy, and for a while, it seemed like the industry had shied away from them. That is, until the last couple of years, where Netflix has been churning out some Original romantic comedies that have gained mainstream attention, like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Someone Great”. But, there’s a lesser-known Netflix rom-com that deserves your attention. “Set It Up” follows two New York-based assistants, Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell), as they try to set up their bosses in an effort to ease their workloads.

Harper works for Kirsten (Lucy Liu), a fiery ESPN reporter who is passionate and intimidating. Harper dreams to write sports articles, but with all the demands of being Kirsten’s assistant, she feels like she doesn’t have the time to write.

Charlie works for hotshot Rick (Taye Diggs), who treats Charlie (and everyone else) like garbage. He’s your typical rich guy – inconsiderate, demanding, and egotistical. He makes insane demands of Charlie and rarely treats him positively.

After a chance meeting in the lobby of their building, Charlie and Harper begin comparing their bosses and who has the worse assistant job. They joke together that if Rick and Kirsten were to get out of the office more, their lives would be much easier. The next day, Harper tracks Charlie down and suggests they play matchmaker – if Rick and Kirsten are preoccupied falling in love with each other, they won’t have as much time to make Harper and Charlie’s lives so hard.

Thus begins their mission – use their extensive knowledge of their bosses to manufacture a relationship between Rick and Kirsten. As Harper and Charlie work together to help their bosses find love, they discover that not everything works out as planned.

Deutch and Powell’s chemistry is palpable, and it feels as if the audience is just watching a pair of old friends throughout the movie. Their humor plays off of each other almost effortlessly.

“Set It Up” was written by Katie Silberman, who is also responsible for one of the best films of last year, “Booksmart”. From Harper to Amy and Molly in “Booksmart”, Silberman creates incredibly relatable female characters. “Set It Up” features not just one, but two females who have deep knowledge about and love for sports, which is a rare representation for us tomboys out there.

If you haven’t seen “Set It Up”, stream it on Netflix. Prepare to laugh, smile, and maybe even cry. I promise this movie is worth your time.

Happy streaming!

-Katie

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Returns for Season 7

One of television’s best comedies returned for its seventh season last week. Brooklyn Nine-Nine burst back onto NBC’s Thursday Night slate with two classic episodes that managed to encapsulate what B99 is all about. The rag-tag group of detectives is back, still reeling from Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher) being demoted to a street cop in season six’s finale. In the first episode of the new season, Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) takes the lead on a manhunt after an assassination attempt, but he can’t seem to keep Holt in line as his subordinate. Meanwhile, Amy (Melissa Fumero) worries that she may be pregnant, and enlists Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) to help her acquire and take a pregnancy test in the midst of the manhunt. The episode brings back the laughs in all the right places, especially when fan-favorites Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) enter the case with a certain expertise that only they can offer. 

In the last few minutes of the episode, Amy lets Jake know that her pregnancy test was negative, which surprisingly disappoints both of them. This leads the couple to decide to start trying to have a baby! 

One of the best aspects of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is that the writers are not afraid to shake up their routine, evidenced by Holt’s demotion and Jake and Amy’s decision to try to have kids. Granted, the latter could have been more convenient since actress Melissa Fumero (who plays Amy) is currently expecting a child in real life, but alas. The show always finds ways to switch up the narrative and place its characters in new situations.

The second episode of the season seven debut builds off of just that – our beloved detectives tackling new situations and uncharted territory. The new captain of the 99, Captain Kim (Nicole Bilderback) has arrived on the scene. Jake is sure the new captain will be evil, but everyone else takes to Captain Kim very quickly. Jake is still suspicious, though, and lets that suspicion get the better of him when Captain Kim invites everyone over to her home for a party. The cherry on top of this episode, though, is Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio), who has decided to reinvent himself for the new Captain by becoming a more badass version of himself (thanks to a “magical” leather jacket Rosa loaned him). By the end of the episode, Jake uncovers the truth – that Captain Kim really was a good person after all, and wasn’t up to any evil at the 99. Unfortunately, Jake and Holt’s antics push Captain Kim to decide the 99 isn’t for her after all. 

So, after two episodes, the detectives are still without a Captain, Charles is back to his normal, nerdy self, and Jake and Amy have decided to have try for a baby. Whew. I can’t wait to see what season seven has in store for my favorite detectives. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back, baby! 

Happy Viewing! 

-Katie

Almost Family Leaves Us with Two Major Cliffhangers

If you haven’t been keeping up with FOX’s new series Almost Family, you should be. The show, adapted from an Australian version of the same moniker, follows Julia Bechley (Brittany Snow), a young woman who finds out her father, Dr. Leon Bechley (Timothy Hutton), went rogue at his Fertility clinic. For years, he used his own…specimen to impregnate his clients. The scenario is a bit far-fetched (and honestly, kind of creepy), but the show brings enough heart to overcome the unsavory plotline.

Soon after learning about her father’s choices, Julia starts the search for her siblings and bonds with her new sisters: childhood friend Edie (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and former Olympic gymnast, Roxy (Emily Osment). Throughout the last few episodes, each girl has been dealing with her own life chaos, until a midseason finale where some shocking twists were revealed. Spoiler alert: don’t keep reading if you want to start binging from the beginning (all episodes are available on Hulu!).

In the last few episodes, viewers were glad to see that Roxy entered rehab for her addiction to pills and came out with a newfound strength that propelled her to publicly accuse her past gymnastics coach, Nick (Jeff Hephner) of sexual assault. We’ve also seen Edie struggling with her decision to leave her husband, Tim (Mo McRae), for her rival lawyer, Amanda (Victoria Cartagena). But Julia takes the cake here, dealing with the newfound revelation that Leon is not her father. Whew.

The newest episode brought even more drama into the mix, leaving viewers with the Julia and Edie cliffhangers. Edie randomly hooks up with Tim again, which will no doubt have immense repercussions in her continuing to DTR with Amanda. Julia visits the dance studio her mom used to frequent and gets lost in the music. The episode ends with a shot of a man’s feet strolling into the studio watching Julia dance, but the audience does not get a clue as to who it may be.

Some viewers may think the mystery man is Donovan (Michael Stahl-David), who Julia had just amicably broken up with, but some are skeptical. The mystery man was wearing slacks and dress shoes, a look that Donovan never sported.

Although this show may seem like a soap-opera, with far-fetched storylines and high stakes, the performances are anything but cheesy. As someone who grew up watching Emily Osment and Brittany Snow, it’s nice to see them gracing the television screen once again. The writing of the show never seems too on the nose, and the show has pleasantly surprised viewers. If you’re looking for an easy watch, Almost Family provides the drama and just enough laughs to keep you hanging on for the next twist in the girls’ chaotic lives. At the forefront, the show is about family….however that may look. You can catch Almost Family on Wednesdays at 9/8c on FOX, or on next day streaming with Hulu.

~Katie

Introduction to the Series: Dating Safely

When I recently joined a dating site I became concerned over how in the heck other women are able to safely navigate the risk infested waters of online dating.  I don’t want to talk about all of the bad, horrible things I’ve seen so far or the statistics of what happens or could happen.  It’s more important to me to provide the reader with suggestions and tools to immensely increase your level of safety and reduce the risk of something happening to you, so that you can safely get through the remaining madness of the online dating experience.

First and most important is the foundation of anything you can do to keep yourself safe: make the decision to put your safety first.  You are responsible for picking your priorities; no one else can do it for you.  You get to decide whether or not you make your safety negotiable.  You currently may not know better, but I’m hoping that after reading this series you will not only know better but be willing to do better, too.  The cold hard facts are that making safe choices is uncomfortable, unpopular and almost always inconvenient.  But it’s worth it because whether or not you believe it: You are worth it and deserve to be safe.

You are worthy and deserving of a safe and respectful dating experience and relationship.  If that statement is something that doesn’t sit well with you, please stop dating and invest in yourself until you are able to accept that fact. It doesn’t matter what route you take; there are many.  You can use therapy, yoga, meditation, inspirational speakers, mantras, affirmations – to name a few.  The method is irrelevant.  You will not decide to make your safety a priority unless you accept that you have value and deserve to be safe.

In this short series, we are going to address a few different types of concerns relating to online dating.  The first is having a safe online presence and ensuring we aren’t providing identifying information that allows unwanted followers.  Next, we are going to talk about qualifying the people we find of interest to ensure we aren’t picking unsafe or abusive partners.  Then we will discuss staying physically safe while meeting on a first date or dates thereafter, and lastly we will cover leaving carefully.  Keep in mind, the foundation for everything covered and addressed, is making that decision that your safety is not negotiable.

Stay Safe!

 

Carrie Conrad

***

Carrie Conrad is a single mom and self defense specialist in Detroit.  To support her daughter and her special needs she took her decades of martial arts training and lifetime of experience with violence to begin an evolving journey with Beating Disaster, a business offering specialized self defense training.  From Basic Self Defense to coaching for parents with violent children, she invests her time in high level training in order to provide relatable guidance to women and children.  You can find out more at www.BeatingDisaster.com or follow for safety tips and tricks at www.facebook.com/BeatingDisaster.