September has been a pretty good month for me. I’ve watched all the shows I had on my TBW (To Be Watched) list. Although, now that I think about it, that might be a bad thing, depending on your perspective. I mean, it’s a LOT of TV. Maybe I have a problem. Anyway, my potential addiction issues aside, here’s what I watched:
This show was very controversial from the outset, as it featured a main character who was considered beautiful and popular after she lost a lot of weight. Naturally, the internet had plenty to say about this. I decided to give it a go anyway, because controversial shows often make up for their sensitive subject matter by being genuinely funny and clever. Insatiable was neither.
Apparently it’s based on a New York Times article written by Jeff Chu called ‘The Pageant King of Alabama’. It tells the true story of a lawyer who moonlights as a successful pageant coach. Very interesting, right? It seems like it has all the pieces for a great TV show character, but it just didn’t work. I hated him, and maybe you’re meant to, but it wasn’t a love-hate like with Snape or Walter White. The only thing I thought every time I saw his face was how punchable it is.
It’s black comedy, which I usually enjoy, but I couldn’t even get through the first episode. I usually give a show at least two episodes before I give my judgement, but I value my time too much to try and get through this crap for the third time. It’s just not good. The characters are awful (and yes, I mean every single one of them), particularly the main character, played by Debby Ryan, who’s about as likeable as a pair of crocs. The show should be called Insufferable.
Verdict: BIN IT!
I heard a lot about Glow from loads of people before I started watching it, so my expectations were fairly high. I hate going into something when it’s been hyped up because it almost ALWAYS leads to disappointment. This wasn’t the case here, but it definitely wasn’t as ground breaking and amazing as everyone made it out to be. It’s a good show and you’ll like it if you’re a fan of cheesiness, glam and majority female ensembles, but don’t expect it to be on the same level as Breaking Bad or Mad Men.
Glow is inspired by the fictionalised characters and gimmicks of the 80s syndicated women’s professional wrestling circuit, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW). I can’t imagine that our Irish mammies were watching anything like that (I think it was mainly an American thing) but it’s still enjoyable regardless. It stars the brilliant Alison Brie (who is good in EVERYTHING) as well as Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron, Britney Young and Kate Nash.
If you like Orange is the New Black, you’ll probably like this, as both shows feature a large cast of female characters whose varied and often difficult stories all get the chance to be told.
Verdict: BINGE IT!
Dear White People
This is another show that had its fair share of controversy. When it premiered last year, Twitter exploded with claims of “racism against white people” and called for Netflix to cancel the show. Ironically, those calling for its cancellation are the same kind of people who champion problematic shows and films. These same people will angrily say that censorship is bad and wrong (which it is), yet in the same breath they’ll try to censor a show like Dear White People. Gotta love a hypocrite.
The show is based on a successful movie of the same name, which I haven’t seen, and follows several black students at an Ivy League university as they navigate life while battling issues such as race, bigotry, romantic expectations, and their own internalised prejudices. It boasts a stellar cast, including Logan Browning in the title role as Sam White, and it’s beautifully filmed, with a gorgeous retro yellow-green feel to the setting.
The characters are all really interesting, with Lionel and Joelle being personal favourites. Sometimes a show with multiple POVs can be jarring and a little boring depending on who is narrating each episode, but this isn’t the case with Dear White People. It’s always interesting, it always challenges your thinking and, most importantly I think, it allows you to see that nobody is perfect. It makes you see that those who have the moral high ground in one area may not have the moral high ground in another. Somebody can be 100% right about something (like racism) and be completely ignorant and clueless about another important topic. It’s well worth the watch!
Verdict: BINGE IT!
What are you watching this week? Let us know in the comments!