Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shows You Should Be Watching: Orange is the New Black

As a general rule to my well-being and sanity, I usually try to stay away from shows or movies about prison. Otherwise this happens......

And then I get clammy hands and get nervous that someone will frame me for something I didn't do and I'll be sent away to Shawshank where I won't make any friends because Morgan Freeman already got cut loose and because I can't do people's taxes.

My mind is a dangerous place.

As luck would have it though--I am slowly but surely becoming 100% obsessed with Netflix's latest original programming, Orange is the New Black. A show about a federal prison for women that really just speaks to me. But not because it's about prison. Because it's got heart, humor and style.

The show follows Piper Chapman, a woman recently sentenced to over a year in a federal prison for abetting drug smugglers a decade earlier, naturally that was before, when she was a lesbian and also naive and vulnerable to ex-that 70s show stars who wear nerdy glasses.

Piper seems to have come to terms with her sentence though, having been recently engaged--she uses the hope of her future paired with the belief that she is at her a core a good person-- to survive.

Each episode is portrayed in real prison time, coupled with flashbacks to how different inmates got where they are today. It's an interesting storytelling method--not too different from LOST now that I think about it--but in this case, the story-telling mode allows for some deep thinking in terms of the justice system, morality and pretty much just life in general.

What mostly leaves me singing about Orange is the New Black though is that it feels real. I feel like these are real characters, who go on living inside my TV even though I've turned it off. It's not this like crazy, whore-house full of lesbians, where fighting happens and people rip out each others hair over gang rivalry. It's actually fairly civil (being mostly a lower level security prison), and the 'drama' is restricted to misguided social cues, accidental utterings and the unfortunate reality that happens when our past catches up with our present.

Humor is top notch and the sentimentality is at just the right level so that it doesn't feel forced or cheesy. Piper is likable, funny and has some really small boobs (not important but I feel it IS important to note that those are the smallest boobs I've ever seen) (Incidentally, Jason Biggs' character does too when he mentions to Piper over the phone that he misses her small boobs). The other female inmates have intriguing story lines, that really tug at your heartstrings and make you remember those story lines as later episodes unfold.

Prison life may not be dramatic, but it's still difficult to digest at points--sexual encounters in the shower and abuse from mail prison guards to boot. The real heaviness however comes when dissecting the psychological feelings that affect Piper, most poignantly put when she is describing how she feels when she wakes up everyday:

In the morning, when I wake up there are these few seconds before I realize where I am and then I do realize and I can't breathe. And I want to cry.... and throw shit and...kill myself.

Above all else---pressing play on a new episode gives me that flutter of excitement that I love and have been missing ever since I finished the last Harry Potter book. It's pure anticipation of what will come next and how the show will evolve with each and every single episode. It's been a while since I've felt like that with a TV show.

I may only be 4 episodes in at this point, but I know a good thing when I see it. And this my friends---is a very, very good thing.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Random Movie Quotes To Use in Everyday Life

One of my best qualities is my uncanny ability to turn a regular old movie quote into an acceptable everyday saying. Well okay fine, most of the time it's not acceptable. In fact 80% of the time it doesn't even make sense..but that's what makes it great. It's almost exactly the same reason that people find Gary Busey amusing.

My post on How to Use Eccentric Poltergeist Quotes in Everyday Life is probably my favorite post of all time. It was delightfully fun to write and it was a perfect sample of the kind of everyday conversations I have--usually with my sister. In fact, I think I used the "She's just a bay-bee" line at least twice this week.

After I transformed my blog into a blanket 'I'm going to talk about random shit' blog, I immediately decided I would have to bring back the random movie quotes for everyday life post. Which brings me to the here and now where any movies are game for my awesome conversational skills (or talking out loud to myself skills) (which tends to happen a lot more these days the longer that I depend on my cat for stimulating conversations).

"A Man's Gotta Do Something to Keep Warm"
(Miracle on 34th Sreett) 

As of late, this has been my #1 random movie quote, usually because I get caught doing something I shouldn't be. Only in my case it's not drinking liquor moments before I have to be Santa Claus in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade---it's eating a giant sandwich, or buying more clothes when I don't have any money. Sometimes I even just say this when my sister is mad at me for not emptying the dishwasher. It pretty much works for any situation where you're justifying some kind of wrong doing.  Observe:

"Damn it Andre why did you use the last egg?!"
"A man's gotta do something to keep warm!"

See? Perfection. 

(Jurassic Park)

This one is just all around good for getting mad about something. It doesn't even have to do with can be literally anything. Often times my sister and I lament the fact that the T is too crowded at rush hour by saying we hate this hacker crap. I've also been known lambaste the heat OR the cold (hey, I don't discriminate!) by again saying that I hate this hacker crap. What does 100 degree weather have to do with hacker crap? Nothing. See!? That's why it's great!

"Who the Hell is John F. Kennedy?"
(Back to the Future)

Is this not one of the best lines in Back to the Future or what? It's hilarious. The comedic timing. The complete 'what the fuck' tone of Lorraine's father's voice. Man. But anyways--this is a perennial favorite to say in the Dumas household, usually when someone's name is spoken, I'll just throw it in there casually.  It really doesn't work at all.

"So then Donna Flugenheimer said.."
"Who the hell is John F. Kennedy?" 

See? It's terrible. I mean I guess if I really wanted to make this work I would say, 

"Who the hell is Donna Flugenheimer?" 

But clearly, my maturity isn't up to those standards.

Plus we love John F. Kennedy in my house. He's even taped to our front door!

Do we know how to party or what?

"Good For You and Your Father"
(Pee Wee's Big Adventure)

This is a truly great one to say anytime someone is boasting about something. Not even bragging maybe more if they're just telling you they did something. Like, 

"So today, I went to the grocery store!"
"Good for you and your father" 

As my sister found out recently, this quote is not great to use in situations where the other person has no clue what you're talking about. Well, I guess all of these would fit under that category but this one especially seems to catch people off guard. Look, I'll bring your father into this whether you like it or not PAL. What's that? You don't have a father? Yeah well......GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR FATHER. 

HA! see it works all the time. 

"We Ain't Found Shit!"

Anytime somebody needs an 'update' on something or wants to know how something's going--this is probably your go to movie quote. For instance, occasionally people ask me how the 'dating scene' is. Clearly the answer is always, "We ain't found shit!"

"But I was going into Tosche Station to Pick Up Some Power Converters!"
(Star Wars)

This is the best to use anytime you're feeling especially whinny. Is that how you spell whinny? It looks a little like Whinny Cooper. 

(Winnie Cooper)

Ahem, anyways. Often times my sister asks me to do something and I usually respond with this quote. I mean come on, I obviously have more important things to do like pick up some power converters at the Tosche Station....... let's get please. 

"I've had it with this dump! We got no FOOD. We got no JOBS. OUR PETS HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!!!"
(Dumb and Dumber)

Lately my sister and I have been saying this a lot. Probably because these past few months we've successfully realized that our futures consist of moping around while we lament the fact that we have no money and no food. Our pets heads aren't falling off (Puhlease, our cats heads are way too cute to fall off) so we're actually not looking too bad when you look at it that way. But ultimately, we've had it with this dump. 'This dump' being our lives. 

"Why Do You Do This To Me Dimmy?"
(The Exorcist)

I'm sure the better man would find a way to use, "Your mother sucks cocks in hell" in everyday life but I like to go for the unexpected which is why my go to Exorcist line is always this one. Typically used when someone does something really mean to me like...... says I can't eat a sandwich. Or if they forcefully suggest I empty the dishwasher. Hmm why are people always trying to make me empty the dishwasher? I HATE THIS HACKER CRAP! Oh sorry...wrong random quote for everyday life. I should mention also that it's important to say this quote like a sad old lady. Occasionally you can say it like a possessed young girl who has taken the form of a priest's old dead mother. It really makes a statement when you do it that way. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hey, It's Dexter!

I can't believe Dexter started again and no one told me. You guys are supposed to rouse me from my couch of solitude when something important happens. What's that? Some of you gave up on Dexter? Mmmmhmmm.  A likely story!

Well actually I suppose that's many people's story. As with most shows that center on some kind of giant secret and the importance of keeping that giant secret----Dexter seemed to run out of steam the moment that certain people were "In" on the secret. And more importantly, the plot lines began waning.

There's also some who believe the show 'jumped the shark' due to that whole messiness where Dexter decided he just liked killing people period. But this latest and last season suggests a different story--whether or not Dexter wants to admit it and this intrigues me.

But also mostly I just like seeing crack-whore Deb in action.

Luckily thanks to my best friend (my DVR) I'm 3 episodes into the season, I can now unveil my wisdom.

1. Everyone is terrifying.

Okay maybe not everyone, but lets just say for the sake of brevity and laziness that everyone is kind of terrifying. You've got Deb--who has spiraled down into a pit of alcoholism, drug use, and a strong reluctance to shower. Apparently shooting someone to prevent people from finding out that your brother is a serial killer really takes a toll on you--who knew?

You've got Dexter, who still hasn't realized that he has a son--getting blood on his stuffed animals and yelling because ugly vases get smashed.

You've got Harrison who is significantly older now and can house a whole box of red popsicles--no problem.

And finally you've got Dr. Vogel who continues to creep me out with her weird obsession with Dexter and her satisfaction at watching the boy she pruned grow up into a full fledged murdering bush. I mean, it's pretty obvious she was probably married to Dr. Hannibal Lecter right? If not, then they should totally date.

2. Quinn and Jamie have apparently been having so much sex that they've forgotten to eat anything.

Seriously these two look like they've both lost 30 pounds. It's very distracting--especially with Jamie who was once very cute in that Angel's little sister kind of way but now I just want to throw sandwiches at her.

3. I would like to frame Dexter's childhood artwork and put it somewhere strange like in the bathroom.

4. Why isn't anyone concerned that Harrison might turn into a mini-Dexter? Both were 'born in blood' and I can't help thinking that that popsicle massacre is foreshadowing something much sinister. OH ALSO---are there popsicles like that that are really all one flavor?!?! Show me the popsicle.

Ummmm I guess that's all the wisdom that I have so far. I thought I had more but now I'm too distracted by the popsicle conundrum. Hands up people that hate green popsicles.


Alright so ultimately I think this season is off to a nice start. Charlotte Rampling's Dr. Vogel is a very nice and unexpected addition. I love how she acts as a psuedo-mother figure but I'm also extremely suspicious of her. I'm still not convinced she doesn't have a kill room of her own somewhere.....or maybe her kill room is the way she 'kills' her psychopaths by unmasking them and committing them to a lifetime of suffering at the hands of an institution and shame. GASP!

The Brain Surgeon is interesting enough though I suppose I do miss the theatrics of the doomsday killer.  But then again once you get Edward James Olmos as Colin Hanks' hallucination everyone else just seems...... meh.

So what do you think? Have you given up on Dexter or will you be tuning in this season at least for the sake of seeing what other kinds of ugly faces Jennifer Carpenter can make?

Friday, July 5, 2013

DVR Your Face Or: Why I Am An Embarrassment to the World

Every now and then something amazing happens in your life that makes you suddenly realize how uncool you really are. For me that moment was when I made up a Men in Black variation of a tag game and made my gym class play it in 5th grade. 

And also when I finally got that little piece of magic called....a DVR. 

A DVR or "Digital Video Recorder" for all you un-trendy people (NOTE: I just Googled DVR to double check I was right) is God's gift to the lazy people of the world. Essentially it is a way to schedule your laziness in. It's not uncommon for me to go through the TV guide for the next few weeks, and pick out things that I know I'll want to be lazy with and watch at a later date. In short, the DVR is the cat's pajamas. 

Now because I never miss out on an opportunity to embarrass myself, I figured I'd let you all into the magical world of what my DVR currently holds. 

1. The Entire Series of Full House

For me, Full House was always the king of TGIF. Sure it was uncomfortably cheesy in its later years, but those beginning seasons are actually quite fantastic. Especially before Michelle could start talking and gained a sense of awareness about her acting. Incidentally a common downfall for all or many child actors. 

In case you don't already know and in case you're in the mood for feeling 'old'. Full House is currently in circulation on Nick at Night. Or is it Nick at Nite? Anyways. Nick at Night/Nite plays about 10 episodes of Full House a night. Before I became an expert at my DVR, I had only set my preferences to save 10 episodes of Full House at a time. What an amateur mistake. Due to this sad blunder, I kept missing out on some of the best episodes of all time. Including but not limited to: The one where Stephanie drives a car into the kitchen

When DJ is anorexic for a week and over does it on the stair master

 and also any number of awkward episodes where Joey Gladstone has a romantic relationship. 

Luckily I then realized that you can save EVERY episode and I now have about oh....200 episodes to work my way through. Isn't life great you guys?

2. Disney Original Movies

In middle school, Disney Original Movies were all the rage. My friends and I used to base our lives around the summer TV schedule of these movie. Also I don't like to brag or anything... but I did have at one time or another, a fake boyfriend from almost every movie. 

So far my nostalgia has reared its head with such classics as:


Pretty girls pretending to be boys= a lot of sexual confusion for everybody.

Zenon Girl of the 21st Century

Kristen Storms used to look like this

before she looked like this.

I prefer the futuristic version.

Zenon the Zequel

Also known as the movie where they replaced Zenon's black friend with a different black friend and expected no one to notice.

Johnny Tsunami

Snowboarding is apparently not like surfing at all, but if you're really good at surfing you'll be really good at snowboarding in like a few days.


Movies with exclamation points in the title are my favorite. 

Double Teamed

NOT a porno. And also---come on haven't you ever heard of split screens? These "identical twins" are worse than Danny and Arnold. 

3. Regular Disney Movies

Let's put aside the anti-feminist undertones and racism of many Disney movies and just bathe in the glory that was my childhood. I have no shame in admitting that I always care more about how sad it is that Nana can't fly off to Neverland with the Darlings than I do about how racist the Indian scenes are. Am I a bad person?

Yes probably.

But seriously that Nana scene is SO SAD. How hard is it to untie her rope MICHAEL. 


Alright I've given it some thought and I've decided that maybe it's better that Nana couldn't come. I'm not sure how she would have fared on the pirate ship. 

4. The Central Park Five

My sister made me record this because we watched a story about it on 60 Minutes. We still haven't watched it and every time we suggest it to ourselves, this happens.

I'm sure it's fantastic but right now, it's the snakes.