TV Review: COOL GIRLS “HOW TO THROW A GIRLS NIGHT OUT”, Canada, TV WEB SERIES/Comedy

This sweet and comical eight-minute Canadian web series comes follows one Alpha female and her sweet shy friend Terri as they navigate a meet-cute gone awry. After utterly bombing trying to get a cute guy’s attention by “accidentally on purpose” stealing his hat, Amber convinces her friend that she needs to end her long distance relationship and join her for a girls’ Night.

 

What is most enjoyable about this comedy, is the character-chemistry that carries the show. The antics are just slightly over the top for the modern millennial and the result is like looking into a funhouse-mirror version of a 20-somethings Instagram account.

 

Big, bright, loud and awkward this piece is still relatable to all ages. Although this piece is certainly about millennials, every generation can relate to wanting to bust free of the “modern humans” rutt and break the mould of their own life. Join the ride with COOL GIRLS and watch them take on the world- one crazy hurdle at a time.

Review by Kierston Drier

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

COOL GIRLS “HOW TO THROW A GIRLS NIGHT OUT”, 8min., Canada, TV WEB SERIES/Comedy
Directed by Laura Commisso, Sarah Campbell

After a tragic “breakup” with her love interest, James, Amber convinces Terri to end her long distance relationship with Tom. In turn, the two decide to throw an emergency girls night. Amber preps Terri for the occasion.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

 

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TV Review: HEINOUS GIRLS, Canada, TV WEB SERIES/Comedy

This five-minute comic web series hailing out of Canada from director Eugene Smirch tells the stories of two underprepared adults who revile in their inability to handle their lives. After spending their paychecks on drugs and party hats, the girls team up for some quick cash and taking on a gig to kill a man- but they have no idea how to go about it.

 

Part glitter, part puke and part gleeful comic train-wreck, HEINOUS GIRLS boasts hilarious comic performances. Hold on to your hat and keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle, because these women are on a wild. The best part about HEINOUS GIRLS, is that, as a web series, the fun never has to stop.

Review by Kierston Drier

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

HEINOUS GIRLS, 5min., Canada, TV WEB SERIES/Comedy
Directed by Eugene SmirchTwo ladies join a gang to excuse their already erratic behaviour.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

TV Review: SOUNDS OF FREEDOM, USA, TV WEB SERIES

 

SOUNDS OF FREEDOM is an emotional film about two people, touched by war and violence, who both suffer from PTSD from their experiences. This USA web series is a strong reminder of the human cost of war- beyond the statistics of death and the tragedy of loss of life- SOUNDS OF FREEDOM will remind you that many battle scars cannot be seen. Director Holly Chadwick does an excellent job of utilizing both sound and silence as characters that act upon our heroes- bringing them right back to the horror they’ve experienced.

 

In only five minutes, we are taken on the painful roller coaster of what it means to be psychologically scarred by violence. The medium of film has been effectively used to create the sense of static panic and helplessness felt by sufferers of PTSD. Dramatic, thought-provoking and powerful, SOUNDS OF FREEDOM will rock you.  

Review by Kierston Drier

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

SOUNDS OF FREEDOM, 5min, USA, TV WEB SERIES/Drama
Directed by Holly ChadwickSounds of Freedom is a web series about Julia, a service woman who returns from the Iraq war, and Vietnam Veteran Charlie. Both suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. From their jobs at the local newspaper, and through a series of flashbacks and sessions with a common therapist, these two veterans are challenged to the max when a serial killer strikes at home.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

TV REVIEW: SOUTH PARK – SEASON 21 – EPISODE 01

 

White People Renovating Houses Poster
Randy comes to grips with what it means to be white in today’s society.

Director:

Trey Parker

Writers:

Brian Graden (developer), Trey Parker (creator) |1 more credit »

Stars:

Trey ParkerMatt StoneJennifer Howell

Review by Mary Cox

“White People Renovating Houses”

South Park is one of those cultural cornerstones that people have looked to for commentary on social and political issues over the past two decades. In a return to Season 8’s episode “Goobacks,” Darryl and South Park’s other xenophobic rednecks are rallying over being replaced by automation. This episode has several direct visual references to the recent Charlottesville protests, Tiki Torches and all.

It seems like class is very much going to be the thematic focus of this season. We start with the the anger of middle-class whites, like the Marsh family, upset about damage done to the “white brand” by conservative protesters. However, there’s some clear miscommunication regarding Randy’s take on the motives of the Confederate flag-waving horde who are hurting the “white image.”

In the “come to Jesus” speech Randy gives to Darryl, the tonal focus is more about morals, and less about economics. The implication is that a superficial change in lifestyle, such as that created by a home renovation, is symbolic of a massive shift in the foundation of someone’s beliefs. In other words, you can deal with the problems of conservative white Americans by providing them with the illusion of a bourgeois middle-class lifestyle.

This is highly emblematic of the fundamental cultural divide in the United States, whereas the issue splitting the country into two angry sides isn’t necessarily related to politics, but to class. Even if Darryl’s lifestyle and cultural perspective can be “rehabilitated,” how can the issue of economic displacement caused by automation be resolved?

Coal mining jobs are never coming back, truck driving jobs are on the way to irrelevancy with self-driving cars, and most basic retail and food service positions are on their way out as well. If the jobs AI is replacing are, as Darryl says, “degrading and menial,” and good jobs are exclusively restricted to university graduates, as is asserted by Randy, what options do working-class people like Darryl even have? It will be interesting to see the solutions provided by Matt Stone and Trey Parker over the course of this season.

 

south park season 21

******

“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”

TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 12

 

What Time Is It Right Now Poster
 Directed by:

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

by Mary Cox

“What Time is it Right Now?”

This season’s finale leaves us with a sense of conclusion, but not a sense of finality. Bojack and Hollyhock’s relationship has finally come to a point of mutual understanding, giving Bojack a sense of inner peace for the first time in the entire series. Princess Carolyn saves her career and successfully displaces her grief by channeling her emotional energy into a symbolic project. Todd’s dumb dentist clown venture ends up like every other single Todd scenario. The resolution we get between Bojack and Hollyhock is satisfying and ends the season on a positive note, but I’m more interested in the collapsing dynamic between Mr. Peanutbutter and Diane.

It’s profoundly obvious that Diane is suffering from the kind of slow-progressing, all-encompassing, weighty depression that sneaks into someone’s life like smoke under a door in a burning building. The question really comes down to how much of Diane’s pain is caused by unresolved internal issues, and how much of it is external and related to her failing relationship.

You have to commend Mr. Peanutbutter for at least trying to use all the power he has to give Diane what he thinks she wants to have. Mr. Peanutbutter is a textbook people-pleaser who can be goaded into almost anything if he feels his likability is at stake, and it seems like he only knows how to express himself in grand gestures, but that’s exactly his fundamental flaw. Mr. Peanutbutter can only really see and experience things from his own perspective, almost to the point where he lacks true empathy. Diane’s rejection of her “Belle Room” is complete evidence that Mr. Peanutbutter won’t ever be able to understand her worldview, and is another reason why this doomed couple is heading towards divorce.

The fifth season of Bojack Horseman has yet to be confirmed, although it would be highly surprising if this is where Netflix allows this series to end. How will a more emotionally-available Bojack handle the separation of his two best friends? We’ll have to wait until next year to find out.

*****
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 11

 

Time's Arrow Poster
In 1963, young socialite Beatrice Sugarman meets the rebellious Butterscotch Horseman at her debutante party.

Director:

Aaron Long

Writers:

Kate PurdyRaphael Bob-Waksberg (creator)

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

by Mary Cox

 “Time’s Arrow”

This episode finally gives us all of the missing pieces we’ve been looking for in understanding Beatrice’s backstory, which is also effectively Bojack’s origin story. I don’t know if dedicating the bulk of an entire episode to the tragedy of Beatrice’s life was the best choice they could have made, but for what it’s worth, the pacing and visual storytelling here works well.

It’s impossible to really know what experiencing dementia is like from an insider’s perspective, but the perpetual hell we see Beatrice living through is genuinely chilling. The astounding revelation that Hollyhock is Bojack’s sister, and not his daughter, hinges a little on the side of melodrama, but it’s not to the point of eye-rolling soap opera nonsense.

What makes this episode work is it’s final sequence where, after we’ve seen and heard everything, Bojack still makes the choice to show kindness to his mother. He’s given an open, consequence-free opportunity to punish Beatrice for a lifetime of cruelty, and he still makes the right decision. This is possibly the biggest moment ever in Bojack’s emotional growth across all four seasons of this series.

So much of Season Four has been centered on Bojack’s anxieties over how much his inner “sickness” has been inherited by Hollyhock. The end of “Time’s Arrow” shows us that trauma ends when we actively make the choice to break the cycle of abuse, and that people can surpass their circumstances with time and healing. The endless march of time is a major focal point of this season, and for Bojack at least, time does heal all wounds.

*****
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 10

 

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Peter Knight (as Peter A. Knight)

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

“Lovin’ that Cali Lifestyle!”

Structurally, I have to commend this episode for it’s detailed foreshadowing. Hollyhock’s enthusiasm about Beatrice’s coffee, the opening titles showing her not eating, all of the weight-based comments we get in the flashback sequences with Bojack’s grandparents. When combined with Hollyhock’s obsessive behaviors and her lack of interest in food, this totally, totally works.

It’s easy to not notice the subtle changes in Hollyhock’s physical appearance on your first watch through of this season, but if you actually go back and compare her appearance from episode to episode, the change in Hollyhock’s body is visible and incredibly obvious. It’s an excellent depiction of how dangerous drug use can sneak in, totally undetected, right under someone’s nose.

There are, however, some slight gaps in the logic of the big twist of this episode. Beatrice is home-bound and suffering from moderate-to-severe dementia, right? So how exactly did she manage to gain access to a large bottle of amphetamine-based diet pills? We’re not really meant to know Beatrice’s specific level of sentience, but it’s a little hard to suspend my disbelief to the point where I can see Beatrice gaining access to medical-grade amphetamines in her mental conditions.

Despite Hollyhock’s collapse being the main focus of this episode, the Mr. Peanutbutter gubernatorial campaign plot line finally meets it’s resolution. There are a few subtle references to the 2016 Presidential Election, such as petty factors like a distaste for avocado being monumentally important to public opinion. There’s also the darker note of Diane’s reaction to Mr. Peanutbutter assigning joint credit to her accomplishments, which is yet another moment pointing to their obvious impending separation. |az\

*****
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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