tv show review

Perfect Life is Perfect Lie [“Big Little Lies” review]

20th of May, 2017

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Life of parents is not as easy as it sounds. Especially when it’s about the race of rats between them about who has smarter kid. And it’s even harder when, during this race, there is a murder involved. Who is killed? How did it happen? Is everybody lying over and over? And most importantly – who’s the killer?

New mini TV series made by HBO, written by David E. Kelley and directed by amazing Jean-Marc Vallée surprises the viewers from the very beginning. That’s not weird, because the book which inspired the production is written the same way. We get the history of three friends – Madeline, Celeste and Jane along with their problems and struggles of the daily life. In the same time, we listen to testimony of the witnesses of the murder (murder happened on the integration evening, by the way). The past is mixing with the present, but don’t worry, you’ll not get lost. In contrary, actually. You will not want to stop watching it.

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Madeline Mackenzie is the bravest one. She will not pause to tell someone the truth. She gossips too, but somehow the viewers love her. In the same time, Madeline is extremely loyal to her two friends. There is neither jelousy nor rivalry betweem them three. They don’t fight over kids or husbands. In my opinion, Madeline is the portrayal of a little crazy, but very good female friend. As the culture, especially film and TV production suffer from lack of the true portrayals of female friendships, Big Little Lies will show amazing feminine bond. Madeline has two kids – Chloe and Abigail from the first marriage. Woman struggles with the hate towards new wife of her ex husband Nathan and the rebellion from her daughter. Episode after episode the viewers see how complex her character is. I think this is definitely merit of amazing Reese Whiterspoon who played her role.

Celeste is the quietest one.  She’s very beautiful, calm woman with two twins and loving husband everybody envies her. The viewer finds out she finished law studies, but she abandoned the career to have children. Her husband, Perry, supports the family. Wrigths are very rich, but hold very dark secret deep in the shades of their luxurious life. Perry abuses Celeste and she is very recluctant about leaving him. As an excuse, she picks raising twins, Max and Josh. Celeste doesn’t share the secret with her friends, because she doesn’t want them to know about that. Nicole Kidman, who played Celeste, was incroyable in the role and very authentic.

Jane is the mysterious one. No one knows where did she come from. Single mother with a son, Ziggy, moves to Monterey to sign him up to the school where all the kids go along with Madeline’s and Celeste’s. Jane is very young and extremely mysterous. She’s different from other mothers, too. She doesn’t care about beautiful clothes or newest gadgets. Madeline and Celeste take her under care, try to introduce to everyone. Jane slowly opens up to them and soon, they find out about horrible thing that happend in her past. She was raped. Shailene Woodley, known from The Fault in Our Stars was the perfect choice for Jane’s character.

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Everything happens quickly after the meeting at school. Amabella, daugher of very succesful Renata Klein (amazing Laura Dern) accuses Ziggy of choking her. In fact, she does have marks on the neck. Nothing is the same after. It’s as if young boy had been marked and no one can play with him anymore. But the true fight is not amongst children, it’s amongst parents. Madeline, trying to protect Jane, manifestly opens up the fire. The fight affects children who don’t even remember about previous events. But hurting young Amabella keeps happening. Ziggy seems to know who is that, but he doesn’t want to say. When all three fight with Renata and her supporters, all of them has their own stuff to solve. Madeline tries to reconcile with Abigail’s moving out to her father, Celeste fights with her husband who abuses her and Jane helps Ziggy in the same time trying to help herself with the past.

The viewers know from the beginning that someone has been killed. Creators show them the path leading to murder. Events are escalating episode by episode. Every next one is more intense and brutal. Jean-Marc Vallée showed the whole palette of characters’ feelings by proximity scenes and scenes of details. The huge part plays the ocean too – at its example, we can see how human’s personality works: sometimes it’s calmed as smooth waves, but next it can be very dangerous, very brutal as abusive partner. The director was the jackpot. Beautiful scenes composed with wisely selected music (e.g. Elvis Presley, Michael Kiwanuka, Jeffersons Airplane etc.) created brave, sometimes sad portrayal of modern parents, but also murder, abusive relationships, lies. And gossips.

Jackie: Not that there’s a right little girl to strangle, but [Ziggy] picked the wrong little girl to strangle.

Harper: Jane just didn’t fit here, kind of like a dirty old Prius parked outside of Barney’s.

Dr. Chang: There was a 4×3 full thickness scalp laceration located on the superior occipital portion of the scalp. We also discovered a full thickness scalp contusion and associated subgaleal hemorrhages and a putrified and liquified brain.
Stu: So it was a lot of blood.

Madeline: To be accused of something so horrible on your very first day at a new school. Can you imagine anything worse?

On the Big Little Lies we can see that gossips are not only teenagers’ thing to do. It’s getting worse with age. TV series presents how lies work. Everybody tries to create perfect life, in the same time talking about other known people, very often in a negative way. After a time, they start to believe in their own lies. And it’s dangerous.

Except mentioned trio plus amazing Laura Dern, fans can also see Zoë Kravitz as Bonnie, Alexander Skarsgård as Perry , James Tupper as Nathan, Adam Scott as Ed etc. As we can see, the cast was very wisely selected. And well, they were completely right to choose such talented actors. They made characters even more complex.

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The most amazing and shocking scene of Big Little Lies when Jane looks into her past’s eyes and Madeline slowly realizes what is going on… 

The last episode of Big Little Lies left me with cover of You Can’t Always Get What You Want  and mouth agape. I had million questions and even mote thoughts in my head. Is it really how adulthood looks like? Like mother/fatherhood is? Is really everybody lying, trying to create a fake life? Who do I truly know in my life?

One is sure. Big Little Lies and the cast deserves every applause. I did not expect such a good show (I guess blame the title), but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s only eight episodes, hopefully it will be more, but it leaves you with shock. I highly recommend.

10 Best TV Shows By Me Ranked

11th of March, 2017

Everybody has that kind of list whether it’s about movies, books, music or – as in my post – tv shows. I’m not gonna lie. I think it’s gonna be really hard to pick, because  I’m a huge tv show geek. But well, I’ll do my best and I will try to extract the best of what I’ve watched. All positions have different genre, style and length. But hey, maybe I will inspire someone to watch something awesome.

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10. Once Upon A Time

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I fell in love with this tv show about two years ago and I haven’t stopped loving it since then. Canadian production by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (the creators of Lost) surprises us with fresh vision of well known fairy tale characters – Snow White, Prince Charming or Evil Queen. Everything starts with Emma Swan – lost, 28 years old orphan, who works as a bounty hunter in Boston. One day on her birthday Emma comes back to her flat and she meets a boy who claims to know Emma. Henry (boy’s name) turns out to be her biological son whom she abandoned ten years ago. Henry claims to live in Storybrooke in Maine – the small town under the curse of time. All of the people there forgot they are the characters from fairy tales. Henry tells Emma that she’s the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming and she is the only one who can remove the spell thrown by Evil Queen (who, by the way, is the adoptive mother). Emma doesn’t believe him at first, but then, after coming to Storybrooke to take Henry back, weird things happen.

Amazing cast (such as Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parilla, Ginnifer Goodwin etc.) only make you watch it more. Reality and magic world seem to be connected in some way – I think this is the best way to explain a child how this works.

9. Full House

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TV show made by Jeff Franklin knows almost everybody. First episode of the classic already production aired in 1987. My mom loved that show. 22 years later I started watching it and well, it had to be on my list. Full House tells a story of a dad who recently lost his wife. Danny is forced to raise three daughters – DJ, Stephanie and little Michelle, by himself. The man asks for help from his best goofy friend Joey and his brother-in-law musician Jessie. All three of them try to be perfect parents for the girls who have typical girly problems.

What’s the best in this sitcom is the plot. Everybody has daily problems which seem to be huge in one day, but become past in the next one. Plus the cast – Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, John Stamos, Lori Loughlin, Olsen twins, Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin. And, of course, we can’t forget about Andrea Barber in the role of always annoying Kimmy Gibler.

8. The Fosters

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This is the freeform production everybody has to watch. At least one episode. I recommend it especially for people who have objections about homosexual people. TV show is about lesbian couple – Stef and Lena, who, except Stef’s biological son Brandon, raise four other children – Jesus, Marianna, Callie and Jude. All of the kids have their own problems along with their parents. All of them go to charter school in San Diego  where Lena is vice headmaster. And all of children come from different families so they all have different, usually very hard experiences.

In my opinion, The Fosters is for everybody. The best cast (Teri Polo, Maia Mitchell, Sheri Saum, Noah Centineo etc.) only makes you watch another episode.

7. Lost Girl

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Paranormal. Surprising. AWESOME. Lost Girl tells us the story of Bo Dennis – half human, half succubus (she needs to be fed by human energy), who struggles with her identity till she meets Kenzi – another lost although human  girl. At first scared, Kenzi starts to like Bo and they both decide to open detective agency for Fae (the kind of beings like Bo).  On the way, Bo needs to decide whether she joins Faes or constatly helps people. The woman tries to do both things. She and Kenzi meet Dyson (shapeshifter), Hale (siren), beuatiful doctor Lauren (human), Tamsin (Valkarie) and Trick – the owner of Dal, legendary Fae pub. All of them quickly become friends. In the same time, Bo falls in love with Dyson and Lauren on change. The team has to solve mysteries and save Faes and people.

I think I like this show, because it was amazing plot and it’s very very unexpecting and surprising.

6. X Company

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 X Company tells us the story of five people who are trained and prepared to serve during the World War II as secret agents for the Canadian  facility in Ontario. After the training they are supposed to be sent to the field and complete different missions. It is a spy thriller series, created by Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern. Aurora Luft. Alfred Graves. Neil Mackay. Harry James. Tom Cummings. Five people and they have one target – sabotage of as many Nazi’s plans of destroying the world as they all can do. Spies take the orders from Duncan Sinclair, the leader of Camp X in Ontario. They communicate each other by Morse code through the stations with iambic paddle. The master of it is Harry James, the youngest of all. The leader of the group is Aurora Luft – half Jewish half German young woman. She was journalist at the time when Germans took France. She immidiately organizes a group of Resistance fighters. She knows she’s not gonna let Germans take her land just like that.

To be honest, watching “X Company” was really personal for me. First thing is that I am Polish. As we all know, Poland was kicked down, beaten all the time, people from Poland were in concentration camps, they were executed. So watching this producion made me realize, made me appreaciate one more time what people from the past did for our future. You should definitely watch it!

5. House, M.D.

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Gregory House is, I think, the most famous doctor in the world. Even if someone didn’t watch it, probably heard about this cynical, mean to women and in general human beings doctor. I am feminist, but somehow this one guy still rocks for me. Dr.House (Hugh Laurie) works in Pricetown Plainsboro Teaching Hospital led by Lisa Cuddy (amazing Lisa Edelstein). Gregory creates a special team containing cynical Eric Foreman (Omar Epps), Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison). All of them try to solve the most horrible and dangerous cases.In the same time, every character struggles with their own problems. House has his old, best friend James Wilson who helps him with everything.

Even if you don’t like medical movies or tv shows, believe me – you will like this.

4. Charmed

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I have to confess – Charmed was my best tv show in my teenage years. I was obssesed with this show and I couldn’t stop watching it. I still like to come back to this and watch it from time to time, thinking about good old days.

Three sisters – Prue, Piper and Phoebe, live in their house in San Francisco, leading pretty stable life. The youngest, Phoebe, is coming back from her journey in New York, but Prue (the oldest) doesn’t like it too much. In the night Phoebe goes to the attic where she finds old book – The Book of Shadows. She reads the spell from the front page and forgets about it.

It turns out the next day that each sister got superpower – Prue can move things with her mind, Piper freezes time and Phoebe can  tell the future by touching someone. All of them are scared, but decide to go for it. They gain more and more power and become The Power of Three, the most powerful witches in the world. The girls fight with evil demons and protect the world. They always can count on the help of their ghost of grandma or mom.

Charmed always makes me smile, because this is this kind of show you watch when you have bad day and suddenly you are in completely different world.

3. Raising Hope

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You have a fight, you have a bad mood and you need something that’ll make you happy – Raising Hope! At first I thought it’s gonna be stupid show. And sure, it is silly sometimes, but hello, that’s how people are!

Jimmy, 23 years old man lives with their parents – Burt and Virgina (they became parents in the very early age) and his greatgrandma Maw Maw who struggles with Alzeiheimer. The family is poor – Virginia works as a maid and Burt along with his son clean pools and do gardening jobs. Everything changes when Jimmy rescues stranger girl Lucy and spends night with her. Lucy turns out to be a serial murderer, but it’s not a problem for Virginia who knocks her out with TV. The girl ends up in the jail, but that’s not the end – she is pregnant! Jimmy has to take care of a little girl, his baby, because Lucy is about to be executed.

Along with Hope (the name of the girl), Jimmy starts to learn how it’s like to be a parent. Virginia and Burt help his son as much as they can. Jimmy decides to work in the grocery store where he meets his friends – creepy Frank, Barney – his clumsy boss and Sabrina – the girl Jimmy falls in love with at the first sight. Producions tells us about normal daily struggles, but in the same time makes us laugh more than ever!

2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S

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Who knows me knows that I just love this production! The funny life stories of six friends – Rachel, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler and Ross, will make you laugh no matter what. Sure, sitcom is silly, but that’s how sitcoms are.

I think it’s the best show for students and people who just start their life on their own. Each character has problems like us – they try to find a job, they fall in love and then they break up, they fight among each other and then they have to face each other. All of them have fights with their parents or they don’t even talk to them. Who doesn’t have struggles like that? That’s why it’s so good. Because in the same time, Friends show you us in a funny, light way, that every problem has solution and after one bad day, another good one comes!

1.Orphan Black

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And we’re here with the best, in my opinion, show ever – Orphan Black! I need to say that, I have some personal reasons to like it so much because thanks to this show I met my love. But! Even without it, I think this Canadian production by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett deserves the first place. It’s sad that back in Poland it’s so underrated, I don’t even think it aired. Thank God it became a huge success in Canada and America.

I honestly don’t know how to explain the plot, because it’s complicated but I will do my best. Orphan Black begins with the arrival of Sarah back in Toronto. Sarah Manning is an orphan who was raised by Siobhan Sadler (Mrs. S) together with Felix, her foster brother. She is troublemaker, always leaves her daughter Kira and drinks a lot. Sarah waits on the train station and experiances the most awful thing – young woman  commits suicide in front of her. But the weirdest thing is that the stranger looks exactly like…Sarah!

It turns out that the girl along with others who look like her are the experiment of the Dyad Institute – powerful, very dangerous place led by dr. Aldous Leekie. Sarah meets Alison, Cosima, Katja, Rachel and other like her. In the same time they need to deal with the police, Dyad and someone who tries to kill them.

The plot is amazing and full of surprises, but I think for aplaus deserves Tatiana Maslany, Canadian actress who plays the role of ALL of the clones. Maslany won the Emmy for her roles, but I think she needs to be more appreciated. She created over 20 faces and all of them are different from another. Next to her we can see amazing Evelyne Brochu as Delphine (Cosima’s lover), Kristian Bruun, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jordan Gavaris and many many more. It’s amazing and you need to see that!

DNA doesn’t make a family. Love does. -“The Fosters” review

Oh, hello!

Today I finally got myself together and I decided to write review about amazing Freeform tv show, called “The Fosters”. I am freshly after S4E1 and I’m thrilled! But for now, no spoilers!

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From the left: Cierra Ramirez, Noah Centineo, Sherri Saum, Teri Polo, Maia Mitchell, David Lambert (top) and Hayden Byerly.

“The Fosters” is being created by Bredeweg and Peter Paige. Also, Jennifer Lopes (!!!) is producing the tv show. Production tells us a story of multiethnic, multicultural family. The family contains two moms – Stef (Terri Polo) and her wife Lena Adams Foster (Sherri Saum), one biological son, Brandon (David Lambert) and four adopted kids – siblings, Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Jude (Hayden Byerly) as well as  twins, Marianna (Cierra Ramires) together with Jesus (Noah Centineo).

I don’t want to focus on plot’s details, because I don’t want to spoil watching. TV show starts when Callie is taken from juvie by Lena. The girl had horrible childhood and after her mom’s death, she’s around foster families all the time, but she doesn’t stay in anyone for a long time. Lena is taking her to her own house. Being there, Callie meets Stef – Lena’s wife and other kids. – So you’re dykes? – she’s asking, after she figures there is no dad in Adams Foster family. – We prefer word human. – Marianna replies braverly.

Being in the family, Callie finds her place. After some time, Jude – her little brother, joins her. The boy was stucked in his foster family, where he was being hurt by his step father. Stefanie, who is a cop, rescues the boy. Jacobs siblings can finally have loving and caring family. – DNA doesn’t make a family. Love does. – Lena says to Callie after fight, when the girls thinks couple is gonna take her back.

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Interesting fact: At the first place, Jesus’ role was played by Jake T. Austin, but he left the show.

Callie and Jude starts being friends with other kids at home and soon, they are big family. All kids are attending to Anchor Beach school, where Lena is a vice principal. After being in amazing family, all they need is adoption paper, which is not gonna be so easy… But when someone loves the other, they can handle everything.

As in every family, there are some fights, bigger and smaller, little affairs and serious dramas. But don’t be affraid! It’s definitely not gonna be boring. In my opinion, “The Fosters” is the first tv show telling LGBT story, which is realistic. Family we see on the screen may really exist. There are no hyperboles, weird, fake characters and artificial situations. That’s why I think this tv show deserves to be watched.

While we’re watching family’s tradicions and smiles as they are together, we smile with them. We actually can feel the love, which proves amazing, stunning actors’ acting. All of them – Teri Polo, Sherri Saum, Hayden Byerly, David Lamber along with Noah Centineo, Cierra Ramirez and Maia Mitchell do excellent work on the set. There is no falsity. Actors go into the role and we can actually see each character’s personality.

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I also have to mention others, second role’s actors – Danny Nucci (who plays cop, ex-husband of Stef and Brandon’s father), Alex Saxon (he plays kids’ friend), stunning Rosie O’Donell (as Callie’s curator and the owner of place Girls United) and Alexandra Barreto (Jesus and Marianna’s biological mother).

I’m glad that after “The L Word”, “Queer As Folk”, “Orange Is The New Black” etc. (and don’t get me wrong, mentioned tv shows are amazing!), they finally created something family-ish. “The Fosters” really can help younger people, families, kids to understand that love is just love. Same sex’ partners can raise children and they can do excellent work, while kids’ biological parents are not always so great.

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I’m hoping that one day, “The Fosters” will air in my national channels in my country, Poland. It would help so much, but well… Maybe one day. From me, “The Foster”s gets 9/10 points. And I’m waiting for more, because I’m wondering what’s gonna happen next. New episode called “Safe” (S4E2) is gonna air on Monday, on Freeform.

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