It’s time for you to start watching Lovesick. There are only two seasons, with 14 episodes, and each one’s around 25-30 minutes. Get it on it now. Here’s the deal:
The dumbest way to describe Lovesick is How I Met Your Mother, but British.
Smarter way to describe it: It’s a show with a more sophisticated conceit than that—one that’s dedicated less to a cloying plot device (meant to extend the show into perpetuity forever and drive viewers insane), and instead one with a hilarious (but believable) plot device designed to elucidate poignancy where the agony and ecstasy of trying to negotiate a life between romanticism and reality is concerned. While also understanding all of the various ways your past relationships impact your present. And letting all of your exes know you might’ve given them an STD.
Here’s the second season trailer:
It’s a phenomenally funny, wonderful, warmhearted show. And it’s got a funny little past: At one point, the show was called Scrotal Recall—thankfully, showrunners decided to rename it for the second season, and (shocker) it gained a following.
The plot, in its most basic form:
– Dylan (Johnny Flynn) goes for an STD test in the pilot, and finds out he’s got chlamydia.
– Each episode, named for one of Dylan’s exes, generally begins with Dylan informing an ex that they might want to get checked out, too.
– From there, the majority of the episode runs as a flashback of a significant moment in that past relationship.
– But the flashbacks aren’t about Dylan’s past girlfriends so much as how each one represented a significant moment in his current life, involving him, his friends, and his current relationship, and how they’re affecting his life now.
– Those people are Dylan’s cad best friend Luke (Daniel Ings) a walking, talking lad-mag/ticking time bomb of an existential crisis, who once introduced Dylan to his best lady friend, Evie (Antonio Thomas). Evie’s been secretly in love with Dylan for quite a bit. Dylan’s been in love with Evie. The timing’s always been just one minute south of right.
– That timing is complicated in the pilot by the arrival of Dylan’s newest girlfriend, and the first woman he told about the chlamydia, Abigail (Hannah Britland). Also, there’s Angus (Joshua McGwire), the one with an ostensibly picture-perfect marriage and future which, of course, goes hilariously, wonderfully wrong. And forces him to reinvent his entire life.
If this sounds a little too toploaded with Nick Hornby for you, well, (A) disdain for Nick Hornby is cliche and myopic and (B) we’re living in the golden age of mature romantic comedies for adults (see: Insecure)that we haven’t had since the days of Frasier or Living Single. This is something we should deeply embrace because it’s been long overdue.
Moreover: The structure’s brilliant. The characters are funny without descending into caricature. You’re forced to root for everyone on the show. There aren’t great people or terrible people or right decisions or wrong decisions in the world of Lovesick—it’s a show about the way feelings of love evolve through the lens of our own lives, and how that can affect our choice of romantic partners, for better or worse, no matter how wise or dumb or selfish or cynical or prudent that might be.
And if you don’t take our word for it: Slate loves it. The AV Club loves it. Paste loves it. The Guardian loves it. And yet: Lovesick is one of those shows TV critics don’t spend too much time kvelling over. Instead, so many of the stories about it are like this one, in which someone writes a personal ode to a wonderful little show with a dedicated audience.
That’s fine. Not every show needs to be the epic conquerer of day-after Slacks and podcasts and Woke Olympian Twitter Fights.
And all the better: In 2018, here’s hoping we get a more diverse range of television shows that don’t force overanalysis, or superfandom, or those absurd “Are you kidding me?!” reactions some people give others when they admit they’ve never seen Game Of Thrones. At the end of 2017, television that’s great and a small hit and not a cultural force is also television that hasn’t had the fun sapped out of it by overindulged saturation point internet bullshit. How refreshing does that sound? (So very refreshing, is the correct answer.)
Lovesick is so many of the things we should aspire to be in 2018: Warm, empathetic, grounded in reality without being overly cynical, and funny. It’s also just a great, easy watch. And it’s something you’ve been missing. It’s not that your life will be incomplete without it, or that you’ll miss out on some important conversation/moment in pop culture history if you don’t watch it. But again: All the better for those of us who do tune in.
What that new ‘Jessica Jones’ character means for the season and the series
Friend or foe?
Warning: This post contains spoilers for Jessica Jones Season 2.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones has been a revelation for women ever since it premiered in 2015. Not only did it present us with a deeply flawed and traumatized protagonist, it dealt with her history and insecurities head-on.
In Season 2, we still have a host of varied, complicated women; from Carrie Ann Moss’s struggling Jeri Hogarth to Rachael Taylor’s unraveling Trish to our newest character, played by Janet McTeer. It’s a pivotal role with DEEP complexity and physicality, the likes of which is rare for women in action shows – especially women of a certain age.
McTeer is first introduced as Dr. Leslie Hansen, a scientist linked to the ominous IGH, but we quickly learn that there’s far more to her. She has abilities like Jessica’s, but dialed up to 11; with her super strength comes a rampant rage – a dissociative disorder that’s a side effect of the experiments IGH actually conducted on her.
When that switch flips, she becomes incredibly volatile, but with an almost childlike fixation on the source of her distress. McTeer communicates all this with a clenched jaw and unwavering gaze – and that’s before all the stunt work.
“That was fun, you know, the idea of being someone who works really hard to control her emotions, control herself,” McTeer told Mashable at the Season 2 premiere in New York. “She doesn’t know how to do that particularly but she tries very hard in all kinds of different ways and doesn’t always succeed.”
And then there’s that Episode 6 reveal, the shaky word a disbelieving Jessica says after tracking her quarry back to the house where she lives: “Mom?”
At first, turning this new character into Alisa Jones feels like a bit of a MacGuffin for Jessica’s quest to figure out exactly who or what she is. The tragic loss of her family is one of Jessica’s most formative experiences, like so many other superheroes. It’s infuriating to think her mother was alive this long and that their paths never crossed. Alisa didn’t even seek her out.
Episode 7 addresses all of that in flashbacks, but it’s still maddening. Especially with an ostensibly retconned dead boyfriend plot for Jessica that ends up being her mother’s fault (that jacket reveal though…:crying emoji:).
As the season builds to a climax, it’s hard to reconcile those revelations with a forced mother-daughter vigilante bonding subplot. Sure, there’s a tenderness to Alisa tending her daughter’s bullet wound that we haven’t seen Jessica experience before, but Mama Jones is a ticking time bomb and combustion is all but inevitable.
By now, we know how this ends: Alisa goes rogue (Jessica with her, for a time) and there’s no reeling her back in. By the final episode, she’s lost the only person who could help her scientifically and joined Jessica in the dead boyfriends’ club – she also murders a detective in a surge of violent energy reminiscent of Kilgrave himself.
“I’ve never seen a woman play a part like this,” McTeer said. “I’ve seen men do it very often but you know, I’m a middle-aged woman, so that was fun. Hard, harder than playing it when you’re 25 because it’s very physical, but still great.”
“You do something like this and you hope someone will go ‘Oh, that’s a good idea, let’s do another one!'” she added. “‘Does an FBI agent have to be a man? Let’s make it a woman. Does that person really have to be a man? Let’s make it a woman.’ I’d like that to happen more.”
If any show was going to do it, it’s this one.
Jessica Jones Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
Offred is 1000% over it in new ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ teaser
The Handmaid’s Tale just served up an International Women’s Day teaser of Offred and her sisters fighting back. After a first season that explored women losing all their agency, Season 2 shows shows the women of Gilead refusing to be oppressed any longer.
The teaser is mostly a few flashes of footage and imagery – including Offred in front of a noose and a weeping Moira (Samira Wiley) – narrated with the emotionless cadence Elisabeth Moss perfected as Offred. She lists the requirements of the handmaid like commandments: “Wear the red dress, wear the wings,” and eventually, “Shut your mouth, be a good girl, roll over and spread your legs, yes ma’am, may the lord open.”
And then the teaser ends with a burst of frustration: “Seriously, what the actual f–”
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 premieres April 25 on Hulu.
Obamas in talks with Netflix about original shows, report says
Netflix Originals from the Obamas may be coming.
You could soon be watching Netflix Originals commissioned by Barack and Michelle Obama.
According to a report by The New York Times, the former president and first lady are in “advanced negotiations” with the streaming giant to produce a series of shows.
The proposed deal, the Times reports, would see Netflix paying the Obamas to commission exclusive content, which would “highlight inspirational stories.” Exactly how many shows and episodes we can expect, whether these will be documentaries, mini-series or otherwise, has not yet been confirmed.
How much the Obamas will be paid is also still unclear.
Netflix currently boasts 117 million members in over 190 countries — quite the robust platform for the already social media-dominant Obamas to potentially leverage.
But the Times surmised that Obama wouldn’t be using the platform as “a direct answer to Fox News or Breitbart.com,” writing:
Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics, according to people familiar with discussions about the programming.
Netflix isn’t the only streaming service interested in content commissioned by the Obamas it seems, with the Times reporting that executives from Amazon and Apple had also “expressed interest in talking with Mr. Obama about content deals.”
Mashable has reached out to Netflix for comment.
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