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Glorious Gilfoyle

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Firstly, could we give the wonderful female writer of the latest episode of Silicon Valley, Meghan Pleticha, just the biggest excitable clap. What a dream – and an inspiration for us female writers. Ok gush over.  Thanks to her sharp and punchy writing this episode was all time. Season 4 is really busting out some oratorical gems. It was full of the most nonsensical but apt phrases and insults. I won’t go into all of them but here’s the top lines:

Jared mentions that Gilfoyle said that he reminded him of  “Frankenstein’s bulimic daughter”

“Until we are dick-up and flat-broke, get to your life.” – Erlich

“I’ll kill them with knives, I’ll kill them with guns. I’ll kill them with my hands. I’ll convince them to commit suicide. It doesn’t matter.” – Jared’s mental break

Whilst there were many moments of comedic brilliance peppered throughout the episode, like the not hotdog app or Jared’s descent into a mental mayhem, apparent separation anxiety and extreme FOMO, it really was Gilfoyle for me that gave me the most giggles and I find his character immensely gratifying. Here’s just a little sampler of the acerbic Gilfoyle doing what he does best x

The relentless bickering between Dinesh and Gifoyle is an ongoing theme within the series. In this episode Gilfoyle delights in letting Dinesh know that he is “sexually disappointing” his current hacker girlfriend.

His comments continue to be cutting when Richard tries to explain why he’s been MIA from the hacker hostel  and Gilfoyle points out that “We all leave the house during the day, Richard. That’s not weird.”

As Richard pursues new employees for his new project, we see a disgruntled Gilfoyle hijacking the list of candidates. Upon first sighting the list he remarks ” this entire list is a shit show of shit heads” and “If Richard wants to saddle himself with mediocrity then go ahead”.  Next to a potential candidate his insights continue on the notes that Richard and Jared take into a meeting with Gavin Belson, the phrase ‘pig faced fucknose’ has been scribbled. Whilst I believe that he doesn’t really want to work for Pied Piper again, he knows he is the best fit and that his skill sets are superior.

If you haven’t watched this show you absolutely must. You may even pick up a handful of useful phrases when you fire out some insults next time.

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Noteworthy Nelson

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” Do you think wearing the name of the college you’re going to to class is the same thing as wearing the name of the band you’re going to to a concert?”

SUCH AN IMPORTANT QUESTION!

YES.YES, I DO.

To some Nelson “Bighead” (Bag head) Bighetti may be an unemployable programmer in the Valley who made an app called nip alert … but to me he has the highest level of EQ out there.  I also have a soft spot for him because of his Big Gulp appreciation. Not everybody has the emotional insight or scope to ask those big life questions. It’s one of the things that irritates me the most. You’re at a Nine Inch Nails concert and half the crowd are wearing NIN T shirts… I was taught my brother who is 9 years older than me and I am an 80s baby – that is a big no no. Social suicide I believe may have been used! My general rule is wear another band t shirt that screams – “look at my other awesome musical tastes ” as well or go completely neutral (black)!

He may be vague AF or so he would have you believe…probably an Aquarian – a little eccentric, off on another planet but let’s take a look at his alleged “bumbling and stumbling”  through life. Erich nearly invested in his App over Pied Piepr,  he became a VP at Hooli and then became an accidental millionaire via redundancy, managed to appear on the cover of Wired magazine and now he is a guest lecturer at  Stanford University but thought he was going to be a student. He ain’t no fool!  Over the years we have seen a consistency with his blatant honesty ” I kinda suck” and ” I really don’t know what I am doing” – being the key theme. Maybe it is all part of his modesty tactic. Who knows! Some people would thoroughly embrace such transparency and awareness of their own flaws!

Some may question his intelligence and place within the Valley… but he had me once he was involved in the potato cannon project at Hooli. Head Co Dreamer and a man after my own heart who has anything to do with potato…this was his response to tackle Pied Piper… creating for the sake of creating and why not! You know what…maybe he is just a really, really nice guy that we can take on face value – he is what he is and you get what you see. AMEN XUntitled

 

Piperchat, prepositions and pant wetting

*spoilers*

coderag_s4_banners_piperchat.jpgOh golly!  Here’s my nonsensical adoration rant for this show. So here is just a little slice of my takeouts I loved from this episode. You know you have watched some quality comedy when the following happen; ( and in no particular order) laughing out loud, snorting(that embarrassing laugh) , beverages consumed whilst watching the show spurting out of your nose, laughing so hard that at 35 you pee yourself a little…and realise that your light bladder control pads now need to be worn whilst watching tv and not just at adult gymnastics classes. I LOVE THIS show. I have written about it all over this blog and did my first spec script on it and it has been a constant source of hilarity. All elements of this show and amazing. Direction, acting, writing – please watch it!  I haven’t laughed so much since the episode where they annihilate and are rude to the VC’s in season 2.

It may seem trivial – but prepositions are important. This is stressed by Richard who explains to Dinesh that he once threw up IN his pants… that’s right, IN not ON. The description of this made me cry with laughter. The nightmarish manifestations of Richard’s anxiety know no limits and it is relatable to those of us who embody some of these nervous traits. The snappy comments that Richard and Dinesh fire at each other is so childishly funny…

An ongoing tScreen Shot 2017-05-01 at 9.45.37 PMheme is the continual hope of success that sticks in the valley. It is fleeting, short lived and seemingly unattainable. The episode largely focuses on Piperchat – the only workable component of Pied Piper that remains. And so ensues the rise and fall of the CEO – and whilst I won’t ruin the enjoyment of this playing out it is interesting to see similar situations that happened to Ricahrd being mirrored with Dinesh. I often wonder how many new start up CEO’s crawl into a bathtub and want to cry! (or even script writer wannabes..or anyone for that matter!)

The living room has been the stage for a lot of funny moments in the show. I will sum up another fave scene with this picture :

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A final visual. This shot is fantastic – Mike Judge is a dream director.

Marnie’s Meltdown

Untitled.pngOh, Marnie. My heart just burst with/for you during that episode. No doubt others globally were empathising with that meltdown.  And what an important one to have.  Am I right? Sometimes you have to go there…yikes , and haven’t we been there in one way or another …at least once. What’s growing up without a little detour to all those places and parts we don’t like.?! That’s what I love about Girls and always have.  Say what you will about the show and Lena Denham – you won’t get any negativity here. It’s so authentic to its characters and the situations they go through or are presented with. There is an element surrounding all the  cringe worthy moments that exudes a very raw and honest truth.  I think it’s important to get to the place where Marnie was – be it collapsed on the floor after a weird weekend getaway turned hostage situation in Poughkeepsie or folded up on your bed or breaking down in the shopping center, or work or anywhere really– it happens and when it does it’s spectacularly intense. That instant surge of emotion bursting uncontrollably out in all the most  unattractive ways.  Everyone has their breaking point followed by the clarity of “ I can’t do this anymore and a change needs to happen” . We do some strange things in the weirdness of space and time that is a relationship split or separation.

And then we calm the crazy.

Picking herself back off the floor, one foot forward, we have to keep moving, the show must go on.  Hooray to some of the girls having some self awareness if only a shred. The entire journey to this last season has seen the character arcs grow and expand and not necessarily how we want – but it’s their path not that of the audience. Hannah summises this best by her saying  “It can be pretty hard to have observations about other people when you’re only thinking about yourself,”.

The revelation of the truth for Marnie (and even Desai about his oxy addiction) is such a necessary and powerful step. Through the myriad of emotions there comes a time when the fog finally lifts and  it’s time to sit with it. The painful experience of feeling it all, digesting, dissecting and then repairing or as I like to call it a “re glue” instead of a redo. Time to disentangle yourself Marnie and start the upward climb (and sometimes stumble)  into all the awesome that is you. I can’t wait to see where the journey takes her.  Perhaps the most important takeaway is the support of those who help you get out of this hole. As the song goes… “I get by with a little help from my friends. ” x

Wondrous Westworld

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I was bursting for Westworld to start .  I am certain I drove most of my closest circle crazy in the lead up to the air date. I am still hoping my parents will watch it after I broke them down and they watched The Night Of AND OBVIOUSLY they liked it – I mean, what do I have to do to explain that HBO simply don’t produce anything that’s not quality…I digress.

As an avid TV watcher you reach a certain point where you crave something that stimulates the brain, that makes you think. Sure, there are TV shows where I want to tune out to like Scandal and get lost in the romantic dilemmas of Fitz vs Jake and then there are other shows that I want to be a part of it, get lost in the world and piece together the complexities and intricacies of the world and what’s going on.

There is so much to say about this show, the episode,  MANY questions – but there are loads of articles, with paid writers, who can do that articulately for you. I have already argued about the scalp and the maze, and a multitude of theories in the office today!  This is just a bit of dribble…

The second episode excited me somewhat because the fantastic  James Raymond “Jimmi” Simpson was introduced as William. Let’s be honest , I love James Marsden and now another James…well Jimmi, is gracing our screens. (Just in case you needed a purely VISUAL reason to watch Westworld  if the dramatic setting and insanely good looking hosts weren’t doing it for you …)

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Jimmi’s  roles thus far, casted to perfection, he is in interesting shows and plays fascinating characters.. If he seems familiar to you, no you aren’t in a loop or narrative,…he is in a lot of things but notably and in more recent times, The Newsroom and House of Cards in recent times.  I am yet to watch Hap and Leonard but will. Underrated and just a dream – perfect for the James Brolin equivalent character casting.

When we meet William he is rather hesitant and timid in front of his stunning host.  He is told “How far you go is entirely up to you.” aren’t we all immediately wondering what he is capable of? We haven’t had this insight  or privilege with any character to start the park journey with them from the beginning.

Then we are taken to the final detail – a cowboy hat.

A striking and deliberate visual of picking up the white hat?! I hope this hints at his core nature.  The show is intriguing me on this psychological level – I suppose I am waiting to see a characters journey unfold of seeing just how far they will go.

Then we realise we are in a train carriage…. A clever introduction to propel the story forward and reveal more to the viewer and starts to answer the questions we had from episode one –  how do you get there? how do you get the clothes? Do they get any information or an induction package?

So far, he is the only character, where as a viewer, we feel like he is experiencing it from the same POV. We experience the park how he might – taking it all in, asking questions, being curious by the stories the hosts start to tell  – unfortunately his friend Logan, played by another dream boat, Ben Barnes, squashes most of his natural curiosities – a familiar and frequent visitor to the park who has his own agenda.

I have enjoyed the dialogue that hints to reveal more of William’s personality – we are told he works too hard, we see his tender moment with Dolores (the new Teddy) . I can’t help but think he is in the park for the magic and wonderment of it as opposed to the violence and sex like Logan.

If you haven’t famliarised yourself with Jimmi you should! Check out this article… see, he get’s as excited as we would by Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood… humble…normal…. worth watching  🙂

Parenting Pigeons

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By now I hope you have discovered Animals., a wonderfully chucklesome animated series.

I tried to explain to someone why it is so funny and concluded that this show captures the significance of the insignificant. Similarly to that of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. It is discussing the everyday in a nonsensical fashion and yet at its core there are some (and I can’t help but smirk) deeper meanings to the topics discussed by the various Animals. Through the device of humour and the animals perspective, they are able to shine a light on the more serious topics. I think it is so fantastically written and executed that it provides a platform for the guest voices to launch off and play with it. The writing is so legendary in my opinion that you can’t help laugh out loud at each animal segment.

You probably have to be in the mood per say to watch it though. I am always in this type of headspace but some people require a bit more assistance when it comes to a more quirky type of comedy show. I suppose it is like Broad City as well, that can really rub you the wrong way dependent on mood.

So to assist you, I have found the ideal time to watch this series and that is immediately after The Walking Dead or perhaps another stressful show (think Mr Robot, Homeland etc). It is hard to calm down from the fear induced state that these shows create – I also am developing TMJ  from clenching my jaw so tightly from such stressful scenes. It reminds me of playing the video game Doom – I am in a constant state of anxiety! We need to ensure we live balanced lives even in our TV viewing realms. The best way to attain this balance is by laughing. In this case, laughter really is the best medicine to relieve my jaw pain and Animals. certainly provides this . I embrace the silliness and welcome it with open arms after the many murders and high tension of The Walking Dead.

Anyway back to last night’s episode. Parenting pigeons. A wonderful dialogue about how hopeless some parents can be. Enter the uncensored, slack Shady Larry Matarese in all his neglectful parenting glory. Animals-Season-1-Episode-6-32-a63b

Shady Larry has been absent for the most part of Phil’s life. On being reacquainted he appears to to be inattentive, scheming and unconcerned with Phil in any capacity. Ultimately he ends up using Phil in a money making attempt which is hilarious to watch unfold. Unfortunately Shady Larry gets them involved in a dangerous situation . I particularly enjoyed the dismissive comments made by Shady Larry – especially when they are in a life threatening situation. Not even a nice word can escape his mouth with death on the cards. He really does appear quite callous. Just lurking beneath the surface is the very fascinating and all too real relationship between some parents and children. So many parent-child dynamics are so strained and this episode shines a very funny light on this. We often see a child who has eternal hope that their parent loves them, believes in them and can change and a parent who is indifferent and just takes what they can when they chose – they flit in and out of their children’s lives.  Some parents simply never wanted children and see them as a burden (haha get it-  BIRD en – I amuse myself) – this is just spectacularly shown on screen and cleverly crafted by the creators.

If you haven’t watched it yet – give it a go. Wildly funny and out there – it will definitely crack a smile.

Vomit, Valium & Values

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Vomiting is a deeply personal experience in my opinion. I really don’t like anyone to witness me in that highly vulnerable state. However emotional trauma, shock and stress will cause your body to react without your permission – much like it did with Brett at the end of last week’s episode upon hearing Michelle’s news.

Nothing says “I’m here for you” more than cleaning up bodily fluids that are not your own.  This episode shows a redemptive Tina who takes care of her sister, starting with cleaning up the vomit soaked bed sheets whilst asking “What did he eat? Did he eat vomit and then vomit up the vomit?”

poop.jpgGoing above and beyond, Tina continues her sisterly duties by extending this to changing a nappy – which is a poonami  type of situation. Not everyone is going to literally sort your shit out.  She even  offers a valium to calm Michelle down in an attempt to get some sleep. Who doesn’t love to self medicate!? Everybody loves a friend with calmatives/sedatives right?

What really resonated with me in regards to Tina and the above examples in this episode, is that little gem we are taught – actions speak louder than words. Didn’t they just speak volumes in this episode! ( We will get to Alex and Brett shortly) Tina is clearly not a natural with children and we see a much softer side to her when she is in bed with Michelle comforting her.

This concept is becoming more and more important to me. People show you who they are. People can talk and talk and talk but when words are backed up with action then you know you  really have something concrete, sincere and genuine. Perhaps it is as simple as actions show you – we have some type of proof with them. The smallest gesture can mean so much and so often we forget this. The scene that got me teary was Alex and Brett embraced outside of the plane toilets. Brett finally has a moment and they embrace. That shot was beautiful (below) and powerful.  The whole episode touched on being supported which is why this visual was so moving to me.  It also highlighted to me that genuine people are consistent in their behaviours and actions regardless of the emotional roller coaster the person they are looking out for is going through. They are simply there, present and that’s enough.

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There is so much we could say (and so much that has been said on the internet in reviews) about the bond, the bromance the BFF relationship that is Brett and Alex. I just wanted to touch on a few things. I like Alex…a lot. We probably need more characters like him in real life! Perhaps it struck such a deep chord within me because I feel this is lacking in my life.  He doesn’t take himself too seriously so he is a perfect balance for Brett and coping with his frenetic reaction. This episode demonstrated how solid and substantial he is towards Brett and the situation. I find it rather rare these days to have really deep connections with people. I have a few friends/family members that mean the world to me. They know my quirks and weird behaviours, my light and dark. For me a residual thought after the episode was – you have to have people in your life that completely get you. That really know who you are. We see this between these two and that’s why they are able to provide emotional support without judgement to one another. They create space for the temporary crazy.  They tell you how it is. Alex supports Brett but doesn’t feel compelled to support the situation. Maybe it’s even a little lesson in mindfulness – allowing the person to express a multitude of emotions and just be with them without judgement. There is a lot to be said about just being present for someone.

Tina and Alex really demonstrate the types of values and traits you want in a friend/relative  at their core nature in the best way they know how throughout this episode.

It’s a timely reminder that a kind gesture to a friend or anyone in need can really lift their mood. Ask yourself this – are your friends/family willing to deal with your bodily fluids and manic behaviours? Here’s hoping!

P.S how amazing was the ping pong scene – killer! Not gonna lie… maybe my favourite episode THUS far!

Riotus Rats

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I have just surfaced from the depths of spec script writing.   I wondered how on earth I was going to find time to  keep on top of my TV viewing habits – and then I glanced to my desk and saw the multitude of diet coke bottles piled up. Ah. caffeine, where would writers be without you. Anyway…

Animals. What a riot!

I love the perspective shift.

I needed something to keep me going until Silicon Valley returns and my oh my have I found it!

I laughed so hard that I actually sustained a laughing injury – a diet coke carbonation nose burn situation. That’s a real thing. That transpires form laughing so hard that a gasp of air goes awry. Diet coke (insert other carbonated beverage here) travels upwards into the nasal cavity and burns. The things I do for HBO – seriously…

I felt compelled to address this article in Variety. If this article had it’s own theme song it would be  “Burn” by Nine Inch Nails.

“Animals is the worst HBO comedy in some time”

OUCH!  Firstly, I can guarantee you that HBO’s worst would still be in the elitist category. I also don’t think HBO know the meaning of worst because none of their shows ever peter out.

“The animated HBO show has a lot in common with programs like “Girls,” -“Louie” and “Baskets,” and like “Togetherness,” it boasts Mark and Jay Duplass as executive producers. But the extraordinarily tedious “Animals,” unlike those shows, fails to hit any of its chosen targets. It is unfunny, its animation is unexceptional and the studied banality of its dialogue is excruciating.

Wow. Harsh. I will dissect what’s wrong with the above quote:

  1. Yes it does have a lot in common with the above shows. The above shows are incredible, award nominated and winning shows.
  2. Girls is sensational. It touched on a much needed voice in the TV landscape. There was a strong need for a show like this. Female writing and directing at it’s best. Raw, uncensored and relevant.
  3. Louie and Baskets are funny – not necessarily my go to comedy fix, but there is definitely merit in those shows and I still enjoy them.
  4. Togetherness – see previous post. This show is so deeply personal and intimate in a sense. A wonderful hybrid and blending of light and dark. It’s currently in my top 3.
  5. The Duplass Brothers – yeah they are boastworthy alright. They are EP’s because they watch, make, create, act and therefore are able to discern and gauge spaces in the TV viewing world that may be untapped or where a potential opening is. Probably why they attached themselves to this quirky little show. Smart cookies those guys. (As a side note – they are both total intellectual dreamboats and wouldn’t you just get their coffee, and do any menial task they wanted, manage those diaries – yes. yes you would. I digress.)
  6. This article bothers me so immensely  and I know it shouldn’t but sometimes I wonder why there is a reluctance to embrace a show that tries something different. Embrace the silly. It might do you some good.
  7. I realise everyone can have their opinion just like this is mine. I suppose I take comfort in the idea that like attracts like – so hopefully these creative, witty, intelligent people continue to gravitate  towards each other and let their creativity spill out into the world on many formats. Sigh. One day I will be a part of that world.

Back to Animals. Elements reminded me of more twisted and perverse  episode of Seinfeld. Everyday banter bought up to date and explored a little more.  The fantastic thing with animations is you can often push those topics that are always a tad risqué (even for HBO) through this medium. It certainly works in  their favour.

Maybe it is as simple as a rat referring to her vagina as her “ downstairs area”  because I do that. I took delight in knowing that someone else in the world calls it that in order to write about it.

Perhaps it is the hilarious descriptions such as the Statue of Liberty being referred to as     “ the green lady with the ice cream thingy”.

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I love the level of involvement the show creators have these days. Phil and Mike are the voices of characters in each show. I love this element of playing in your own work – how fun and rewarding at the same time.

It definitely caters to a particular type of audience no doubt …the best kind, the ones who love a good giggle.

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” I’m gonna fuck the feathers off you”

See for yourself! They made my day.

Astounding Amanda & the Dynamic Duplass Duo

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Right, before I talk about the season 2 return let me just say this : Togetherness is a remarkable show. I urge you to add it to your TV spreadsheet…if you have one of those like I do. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is that resonates with me so deeply in each episode but the key take away I am left with is the word impact. When my yoga teacher tells me to feel more and think less I suppose that’s the approach I take with this show. It is more about how it makes me feel quite deeply.I have been trying for a few weeks to convey it in words and failing miserably. I also had the same viewing experience with The Leftovers – it just left me in some profound, deep, contemplative states which is welcomed in a world where we are so distracted from ourselves.ff_duplass_1_grass-1200x630-e1437510748887.jpg

Introverted and introspective. Their style forces viewers/me to pause for moment and touch on questions about connecting and relating. It taps into those emotional places in my moments of stillness.  I can’t give it the credit deserves because words and phrases are failing me – just watch it and see! The Duplass brothers really are just the all rounders of the TV world skill set; writing, producing, acting and direction. You name it they have it or can do it. Thoughtful approaches to every aspect of the process means their work is quality. I actually just caught myself mid day dream wishing I could take an “eat me”  treat from Alice in Wonderland that would shrink me so I could crawl around their brains for just a brief interim and take some of their essence and apply it to my script writing (attempting!) …

So back to the episode. I wanted to focus on just one small but impressive element. I have always thoroughly enjoyed Amanda Peet. She is a visual delight and I freaking love what she brings to the screen. Yaaaaaaas girl crush. Somewhat underrated and incredibly grounded and earthy. Just a dream! I particularly wanted to mention her nonverbal acting. I found her facial expressions and body language to speak volumes in her interactions between Tina and Alex. She does this effortlessly. Everyone is engaged, connecting and empathising. The delicate balance of not saying much – as the saying goes it was written all over her face. I found this super powerful and captured beautifully and succinctly.  Very moving. Not to mention how hot her outfit was and how scrumptious she looked in it!? Really enjoying the top skirt combo that looks like a dress from a distance. Great work wardrobe/style team.

I am eagerly awaiting the next episode.

That is all.

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