Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Mindy Project Moves to Hulu

The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project
Mindy Kaling's The Mindy Project moves to Hulu for its next season, following cancellation at FOX. The Mindy Project remained "on the bubble" for most of the three seasons it was there, never quite finding its way despite several retoolings and countless cast changes and additions. It even went through a confusing series of set changes, splitting the extended cast amongst three or four cities across the nation, with Mindy running two successful offices on either coast - the same Mindy who sleeps with a stash of candy in her pillow to fend-off night-cravings.

Not much is known yet as to what will change, which castmembers will stick with the show, or anything else, but the initial order is for 26 episodes. Mindy and Danny's relationship will probably be the focus of the new season, especially given Mindy's pregnancy. All episodes from all seasons of The Mindy Project that have aired so far are available for viewing now on Hulu.

© The Weirding, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Reviews Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie
Grace and Frankie
I really wanted to like Grace and Frankie but the truth is that it's usually a controlled car crash. When it's fun, it can be exhilarating but it's mostly just awaiting impact.
Grace and Frankie has so many characters with so many issues, it never knows which ones to focus on and which ones to leave behind - everything's always happening to everyone all the time! Along the way, numerous plotlines are revealed that go nowhere (so far, anyway - this is only the first season), most of which involve Frankie's drug addict son whose character keeps growing more complicated without ever really taking off.

[SPOILER ALERT]
 

Grace and Frankie
introduces a lot of players and while it's good to see so many older actors together and working, the show itself asks too much of the audience for too little in return. The meatier elements are passed-over in order to twaddle about the average, daily affairs of ordinary people and the cast is so diverse that it comes off as preachy. For example, the titular leads despise one another in the pilot yet apparently solve all differences within the silence of a deadpan at the very end - while they continue to bicker, their friendship is all but cemented in that single shot.

The series gets a little steam off the Odd Couple relationship but it's largely lost in a mire of other, mostly hot-button issues including Grace's dating habits, Grace's daughter's dating habits, their ex-husbands' wedding plans, Frankie's interracial step-sons' relationship, Grace's other daughter's pregnancy - did I mention the drug addict son? He's hopelessly in love with the pregnant daughter. Oh, and the entire premise of the show is that Frankie and Grace's husbands, law partners for some 20+ years, have recently come out as gay lovers... of about 20+ years.

Like I said: There's a lot going on.

Which is exactly the problem.
Far from being deep, the whole situation is just overly-complicated. 
 
Like the wayward, adopted, drug-addicted, star-crossed son who decides to look for his biological mom in a storyline developed and dropped in the span of about a single minute in one episode,
Grace and Frankie starts twice as many ideas as it finishes, leaving really big questions unanswered. It also indulges in the bittersweet without committing to a resolution, making many situations feel even more forced than all of the overly-Liberal, incredibly diverse characters.

It has a loving spirit and an undeniable chemistry amongst the cast, and Netflix grants it a few extra minutes and all the swearing network TV wouldn't, but that may not be enough to save
Grace and Frankie. The show needs stronger writing that doesn't feign boldness with a cavalier attitude it conveniently drops when it wishes to wrench emotion from the audience. If you're going to tackle such large, hot-button issues - and so many! - you better have something more to say about them than, "Good things are good," and "Bad things are bad."

At its best, it's two-parts Thelma & Louise and one-part 9 to 5 but it's only at its best every few episodes - the rest of the time,
Grace and Frankie plays like an afterschool special, and a disappointing one at that. Diversity is great and everyone has their issues, but I have no idea who can relate to anyone in this family. Expanding Grace and Frankie into a full hour dramedy would be a step in the right direction but there are an awful lot of (generally stock) characters and (overly-sensitive and overly-politicized) issues vying for the spotlight in this directionless romp.

© The Weirding, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Archie Kills Kickstarter

Archie Comics had created a Kickstarter to solicit donations for as many as three new Archie titles but has since pulled the plug due to questions raised by would-be donators who asked why such a successful company would need to raise funds.

A spokesperson for the company said the decision was due to the fact that the Kickstarter campaign, originally meant to expedite these new titles, "[had become] another conversation" overshadowing the original purpose. At the time, nearly 65 contributors had helped raise over $34,000 for the project. Archie Comics said those contributors would receive thank you gifts.

© The Weirding, 2015

Leonard Accessories

Sometimes, accessories designed for a specific usage can be used for other things and this is the case with several leonard accessories. For example, their Grand Stand was designed to be used to hold sheet music but doubles quite nicely as a book stand in case you should need your hands free to do something other than read. The most immediate such thing which springs to my mind includes choir recitals incorporating dance moves but oratory recitals are yet another example. I am sure enterprising performers can think of others, as well.