Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekly Buffet: Prison Folk

We can't all be criminals, so the rest of us will just have to pick up the ins and outs of that kind of life through watching a screen.

Since most will never do hard (or light) crime, finding themselves jaded behind a set of bars and leaning up against a bleak cement wall, it could make it difficult for anyone to relate to characters locked in this setting.

Nevertheless, this unknown curiosity could be exactly why there is continual interest in watching stories play out from a jail cell, spawning an increasing amount of popular shows. And, after all, as one television show that will be discussed does best, we may not be able to exactly relate, but felons are people too.

From Netflix, to walkers, to my jail of cuteness addictions, and the final eight episodes of an already revered classic, this week is all about spending time behind bars, or running away from it.

Breaking Bad Is Back

If you are a fan of Walt, Jesse, Skylar, Hank and the rest of the Albuquerque crew, than yesterday was all about building up to last night's beginning of the end of Breaking Bad.

Judging by the 5.9 million people that tuned in (the show's largest audience to date), this excitement is not an exaggeration. It also suggests that a ton of people have been cramming their Netflix marathon homework before the final season began.

While (spoiler alert?) Walt  has craftily avoided ending up in prison all series long, he is still the mightiest criminal on TV today. Prison scenes may not be the main focus, but as the show revolves around drugs and has a main character in the DEA, they are still hugely prevalent. Remember the outrageous killing spree in last summer's finale? Re-watching that yesterday (yes, I watched a couple ep's to get all psyched!) was still chilling.

Last night's episode was a definite pay off for a year long wait. That perfectly timed "you're the devil" line overheard by Hank as he walked out onto the patio! Genius.

Another snip-it of Walt's future was also revealed with even more left mysteriously vague. Still we are left with the question, will he end up not dead, but in prison after all?

Walking Dead: Season 4 Preview

October is still about two months away, but Walking Dead fans can keep their days full watching and re-watching on repeat this stunning preview of season four.

Not necessarily about criminals, as in the new world everyone is just trying to stay alive, but as the preview shows, our friends in the land dominated by the undead are still holding up in their version of home-sweet-home - a prison. Normally the place where people want to escape, is the place keeping (some of) them safe. For now.

If the entire series could play out like that trailer, I would watch nothing else.

Orange Is The New Black

(Another female heavyweight in the form of Regina Spektor laying down the theme song.)

I definitely judged a book by it's cover when Orange Is The New Black showed up as a little tile on my Netflix menu. What it looked like to me, just in a picture, was a cheesy bunch of women, only a few actors I recognized, in a prison comedy/drama - or in other words, no thank you.

Even with the triumphs of House Of Cards and Arrested Development I am still a little iffy about openly trusting these Netflix original series. Did anyone else try to complete Hemlock Grove?

Of course I ended up having a change of heart when all the news I read and podcasts I listened to were dominated by OITNB coverage. 

Many television critics are praising this show to the heights of mountaintops (just Google search the show's title and see the mass amounts of articles), and while I am glad this buzz lead to me checking out a show that is actually quite good, I also found some storyline problems that were distracting.

Without revealing too much, this guy they call "Pornstache", while mildly entertaining, has the most unbalanced unreal character development I've seen on a TV show. He's basically a cartoonish villian and should be twirling that mustache. Normally something like this would be teriffic, but it seems ridiculous when the rest of the cast is filled with excellent female characters.

That is where OITNB becomes worthwhile and interesting. There isn't any other show on TV with as many prolific female roles. From the Russian cook, to Yoga Jones (the voice of Patty Mayonaise! I knew she sounded familiar.), to a lady seriously nicknamed Crazy Eyes, each actress is spectacular in their vastly different roles. Every episode reveals little bits of how each woman ended up in prison - most of the stories are heartbreaking.

It has been renewed for a second season, and even with all my complaining, I will continue to watch. If you're interested even a little, you should too.

My Own Personal Minion Prison

As mentioned above, some of us (fingers crossed) will never go to jail. Yet, in the real world, we lock ourselves up in the cells of our own creation. Right now this relates to my finding great enjoyment out of an addictive game.

I have been known at times to be sort of kick ass at video games. None of those online RPG games are my style and they are not part of my daily routine by a long shot, but every once in awhile I'll get down with a little Donkey Kong or Mario. 

My blase relationship with video games ended when over the last month I officially discovered how people get so addicted to them. Whoever brought it to my attention that there was an App game called, "Minion Rush", has caused me to waste hours of time. Damn those adorable minions - I couldn't stay away from them in the movies and, wide eyed like a child, I couldn't ignore the fact there was a game dedicated to them entirely.

There are unicorns, lots of banana collecting, numerous different costumes for the minions to wear, and lot of cute minion sounds. I sound crazy and I love it so, but please someone take it away from me.

Hence, my own personal (lame) prison. Thank you.

All of these shows are currently streaming on Netflix, and if you love those minions, download the game for free in any App store at your own risk.

Until next time. 

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