Things I Noticed Last Week – 6.22.2015

After a week hiatus I’m trying to get together another set of solid pieces of entertainment news from the last fortnight. I apologize my personal obligations are getting in the way of continuing this column at the level you’re accustomed to. To further disappoint you, I did not see Jurassic World yet… I know, what good am I?

1. Nothing about Orange is the New Black is catching me like it did the first two seasons. After releasing the latest season of it’s increasingly popular, women in prison dramedy, Netflix found as much fanfare this time around if not more, than ever before. The problem: the real life Piper was only in prison for a year. Jenji Kohan and crew have run out of material so they are just making stuff up. The backstories of the ragtag group of Litchfield inmates were cute for a little while, but now they’re just boring. There is no direction or urgency in this season. It’s just all backstory and quirky plot lines that ultimately don’t seem to matter or go anywhere. It feels more like a reality show that’s been scripted (yes I know reality shows are scripted but you get the point). Perhaps worst of all, the focus has gone from being almost solely on Piper and her adjustment, to almost stereotypical tales explaining the incarceration of the correctional systems most wanted. The show went from feeling almost real, to becoming more of a parody. I hope they regain the focus that made this show a sensation or end it soon. But with everything, as long as people continue to watch, they will keep pumping it out.
2. In other Netflix news, word dropped of Jon Bernthal assuming the role of Frank Castle a.k.a The Punisher, in the next season of Daredevil. I think what might be more impressive than this announcement is the fact Marvel studios not only assembled one massively cool superhero squad on the big screen, they are building a really cool group in their own right in the streaming world. Do I think Bernthal will do a good job? Sure, why not? Does The Punisher elicit much emotional depth to begin with? I’m sure those of you who read the comics are shouting at me right now, but the film versions are more action than anything and Bernthal can do action. In fact, I think the biggest mistake the crew behind The Walking Dead ever made was (SPOILER ALERT) killing him off so early. The anti-Rick was perhaps the most interesting character on the show and he understood what it took to survive long before Rick came to that realization. Even if they want to explore the more emotional side of Castle, Bernthal has the chops to do so and add his involvement with the rest of The Defenders’ world, The Avengers might just have a pretty great little brother.
3. Some things need to start going right for the Pied Piper gang on HBO’s Silicon Valley. The constant disappointments are starting to get a little too depressing. Just a thought.
4. Have you seen the Rashida Jones produced documentary Hot Girls Wanted yet? If you haven’t, and you love porn, you should check it out. Now it’s not the best documentary in the world, nor is the content titillating, but what it does provide is a look at the exploitation of young women; drawn to the industry by the promise of a career and big money. With assurances they will be made into stars, young women find their way into seedy operations who use and abuse them as they see fit giving them little option to say no. Before they can even say superstar, they are thrown back out on the streets within months, like old news and yesterday’s trash. If your a fan of adult videos you might just reconsider what you’ve been watching. Don’t forget, these are real people with real lives, parents, siblings, and significant others. Like actors in Hollywood, very few make it in the adult industry but the system puts them through the ringer with degrading demands all for promises that will never be kept.
Thanks for reading!