Category Archives: Series

Orange Is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black. I had followed the series since it launched on Netflix in 2013. I finished the final season about two weeks ago. I wanted to write something about the series, but wasn’t sure how to go at it. Then my sister told me Saturday night that she’d just gotten home from the women’s prison in Ohio, where she’d gone with members of her church to deliver the gospel. That sparked some inspiration for me.

Based on Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange Is the New Black is a comedy-drama about women in prison. Though the show is a comedy, it touches on the dark truths of prison life.

There’s the drugs and violence, sure. But it’s more than that. In one episode, Piper explained to a girl what prison is. Facing who you really are and not having anywhere to run. She delivered that speech cold.

Many characters were mothers who wanted to finish out their sentences so they could get back to their kids. That is a reality about women in prison. There are also those with mental impairments who really should not be in prison, but in an institution where they can get the proper care.

In far too many cases, the only difference between the guard and the inmate is the guard is in uniform. This is true of prisons across the country. Prison guards are often not properly trained, they can be abusive and they can partake in criminal activity.

My sister said that one of the things the women at the Ohio prison wanted was guidance for when they get out of prison. A lot of women (and men) released from prison are unable to get their lives straightened out. They’ll need an income, a place to live, and there are expenses they’ll need to cover. Restrictions and curfews can make it difficult for them to find work.

Because of that, they might turn to crime to get by, and that eventually leads them back to prison. The Poussey Washington Fund was created to help these women.

Six Feet Under

I made it to the end of Six Feet Under the other night. There are five seasons, sold separately on Amazon Video. I used to watch Six Feet Under on HBO. It’s a show I got into during my first year of living on my own. That was 2001, the year I moved out of my mom and dad’s house and into the apartment in town. I remember being in a chat thing online where Freddy Rodriguez was answering questions from fans. I had a question for him, but the questions were being fed to him by a moderator. My question must have been deemed not-interesting-enough because it never appeared.

I loved Six Feet Under, but I didn’t make it to the end of the series. I was staying at a girlfriend’s house so much that I decided to cancel my cable service. When I got cable back on, I didn’t feel like adding HBO or any of those extra channels. So, Season 3 was the last season I had seen of Six Feet Under.

Until now.

I’m going to put a spoiler alert here. I’m not one who worries about spoilers for books, movies or shows that I plan to read or watch. I don’t care if I see spoilers or not, I’ll still read or watch it and I’ll probably enjoy it. But some people don’t like spoilers. So, below this paragraph, there are spoilers.

Six Feet Under is a powerful show, and heartbreaking in places. Right at the beginning of the first episode, Nathaniel Fisher is killed in a car accident. His family never quite gets over their loss. Nathaniel was the owner of Fisher & Sons, a funeral home. Now the business is left to his sons, Nate and David.

The show has a lot to do with death, loss and grief. There’s a new death in every episode, usually at the start. Some of those deaths got to me, like the one where the newborn baby died in his crib.

Keith is my hero, especially in the first couple seasons. Keith is a cop and David’s boyfriend. I really liked how Keith was there for Claire after Gabriel took a shot at someone while riding in her car. Nate was being an asshole to Claire, but Keith stuck up for her. Keith explained to Nate that the reason Claire still cares about Gabriel is “because she loves him.” I know it’s hard for the willfully ignorant to understand, but sometimes it really is that simple.

Keith tells Claire that she has to go to the police department and talk to the detectives about what happened. Claire asks Keith if he’ll be there with her, because she doesn’t want to deal with the detectives alone. Keith says he’ll be there.

Life for the Fishers is a struggle. Ruth goes through a series of boyfriends and then marries George. But after they’re married, Ruth finds out that life with George isn’t exactly the picnic she thought it would be.

Claire is an artist, but she feels that she’s not getting anywhere and she’s not sure what to do with her life. Art school isn’t working out for her and she quits  While working in an office building, she meets Ted, a young lawyer, and they hit it off.

David is trying to keep the business afloat while butting heads with Nate and Rico. His relationship with Keith has its ups and downs. Eventually David and Keith adopt Anthony and Durrell.

I knew Nate was going to die at some point. I had thought it would be in Season 4, but he made it most of the way through Season 5, and then AVM struck again. They thought he was going to recover. He was awake and talking, but then he died, unexpectedly. David was with him.

At the end of the last episode, Claire is leaving for New York where she hopes to pursue an art career. Before she drives off, she inserts the CD Ted gave her, that he made her promise not to listen to until she was leaving. The first song on Ted’s Deeply Unhip Mix is Breathe Me, by Sia. The song plays slow and soft at first, and then “Ouch.”

Generation War

imageshol0lpq5Recently, I watched Generation War again. It’s German-made series about World War II. There are three episodes, each one lasts an hour and thirty minutes.

I think it’s a good picture, but there are a couple things that I don’t feel are accurate, most notably are the partisans in Poland being anti-Semitic. That put me off. I looked into it and found out that, yep, the Polish partisans were most definitely not anti-Semitic. They are credited for rescuing many Jews from the Holocaust.

But otherwise, I really enjoyed this series. First time I watched it was about a year ago. I watched it again a month ago.

Generation War is about five friends from Berlin. Two are brothers and they’re in the German army. One is a nurse, one becomes a singer. One is a Jewish man who attempts to flee Germany, but finds himself swept up in the Holocaust.

So, each of the five have their own story. They thought the war would be over by Christmas and they would all reunite at their bar in Berlin. But the war dragged on much longer.