TV

Thoughts on… “The Affair”

*Just an FYI, there are some spoilers if you have not watched all the way through!*

the-affair

From the get-go, I’d done nothing but talk shit about the show The Affair. Before it was even on, I just couldn’t say enough about how sick I am of the romanticizing and glorification of something that is so morally wrong. I am not as prude as this sounds, but was brought up in Catholic school and I just don’t think infidelity should be this glamorized. From Scandal, to nearly every other drama on TV, sex sells and it seems like AFFAIRS really sell. So for the entire premise of a show to be focused on the *very exciting and romantic* betrayal and ruining of a marriage, I just couldn’t have been more disgusted.

Then I found out Joshua Jackson was in it. And I quite literally can’t resist Pacey Witter, affair or not. So, since it was coming on after Homeland anyway, I decided to give it a shot.

joshua-jackson-the-affair-main

I have to admit I was very intrigued, even though I didn’t like what I knew what would happen (hello, it’s in the name). Each episode plays out the same event – in the story, and in their relationship – but the first half from Noah Solloway, the male’s perspective, then the second 25 minutes from Allison Lockhart, the female’s perspective. This is something I’d never seen before in a TV show, and I loved the concept, so I hung on. The writing was just too cool – how they made the stories overlap, how their clothes changed, how what they said and who did what changed based on who’s point of view we were seeing. There were also True Detective-type interviews happening with each main character – they are recounting the events of the story as they remember them to a detective, so this implied there was some sort of criminal storyline that we don’t know about, in play as well.

One other thing to mention is the theme song/intro is IN-CREDIBLE. Just, fucking, awesome. It’s a new original song written and performed by Fiona Apple specifically for the show, called “Container,” and I wish to God it was longer than a minute! It starts out a cappella, and then a drum beat comes in… It’s haunting, and beautiful and just totally perfect for the show. Take a listen here

 

THE AFFAIRAnyway, despite the opening theme that truly kept me hanging on, by the fourth episode of the show, I was over it. That episode surrounded ONLY the two leads, those having the affair… and when it was just the two of them, I just couldn’t keep watching it.

I felt dirty, guilty; like I was the one having the affair, or something.

 

Much later, “The Affair” won two Golden Globes. I didn’t really understand why, (other than it’s salacious nature, and because it’s a new show), but a friend told me she caught the season finale without watching the others and it was VERY entertaining. I decided to give it another go, and I’m glad I did… sort of.

the-affair-golden-globes-win

The first season, at only 10 episodes long, definitely packs a lot of nail biting drama. After the episode I quit on, several other interesting characters and plot points came into play that somewhat made me feel okay about the dirtiness of the adultery – drug dealing, a murder case, Noah’s crazy teenage daughter, Allison’s crazy mother, small town family feuds, a lost child, and in general the deep roots of the character’s personalities and motives (which are perfectly executed by the actors). Plus, more Joshua Jackson (albeit a sad, angry Joshua Jackson).

TheAffairShowtime

The last two episodes especially were so entertaining I found myself yelling at the TV. It’s really rare that a show (or film) is satisfyingly, totally put together and feeling complete, in terms of continuity, storylines, character motives, all really coming together, and it’s even rarer when you’re seeing it from two points of view the entire time. But as well written, well directed, and well produced the show is, there’s a few plot holes I am so disappointed about and can’t ignore, so I’d like to put this out there and maybe some other fans can enlighten me:

  • What exactly happened around episode 6 or 7, where Noah goes from realizing pursuing anything else with Allison is “completely crazy,” he goes back to having sex with his wife (a fantastic Maura Tierney), he goes through marital therapy with her, and seems to be completely regretful of his actions and confident in his marriage – to telling Allison he loves her?? Part of me thought this was something that only happened in her POV, but then later it’s said in his too. This seemed like sort of a 180 that just didn’t add up. Noah was believable in his attempts at apologizing and searching for forgiveness for an episode or two. But suddenly he’s thrown into a situation where he sees Allison again, and that is a time that the L-word is realized? I can’t wrap my mind around this. There wasn’t a lead up where he was thinking about her, or having issues with his wife regularly, or anything. Even if the idea is “he’s around her again, he sees her again after some time, and they can’t deny their love for each other” their actions before saying these words did not really indicate their sudden profession of love. Maybe it’s a move to keep the audience on their toes, but I found it frustrating and just did not at all add up.
  • How could there possibly be two interpretations of the events of the last episode? This involves a gun, a lot of yelling, and some very angry Solloways and Lockharts. It just seems to me that when there is a gun in play and it’s pointed at you, you aren’t forgetting what exactly played out in this scene, but somehow Noah and Allison’s memory of these events are very 
  • In general, much of Allison’s side seems to be slightly more in “love” in “The Affair” than Noah is. Noah seems very  much in lust, and then in guilt. Yet suddenly in the last two episodes, Noah is the first to tell his wife he is “in love” with someone else, and makes the moves to leave and be with her (this might actually just harken back to my first point).
  • Chemistry – I didn’t feel it beyond the intimate scenes. It seemed like they had chemistry when it came to sex and being physical, etc. but that’s not hard to do – everyone looks sexy and connected when they’re having sex. In the scenes where they are just spending time together or talking, or Noah is trying to make Allison feel better about something… I just didn’t see it. I didn’t buy that they had this crazy, deep connection, or “love” that would absolutely have to lead to them ruining their marriage and lives.

 

What did anyone else think?? Did I completely miss something or did you have the questions? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Tracey Wigfield of GLITTERATOR fame

30 Rock and The Mindy Project are two of my favorite shows, partly because of my fandom for Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling and all they do, and partly because they are genuinely hilarious and well-written shows. One lucky woman who’s been able to be involved with both of these shows, who may or may not be my life spirit animal, is Tracey Wigfield.

nrm_1414200885-tracey_wigfield--12

Tracey was a member of the writing staff on 30 Rock and now The Mindy Project, a feat she chronicles in her new interview in Cosmopolitan. As much as I hate Cosmo, lately, they have really been publishing some on-point and interesting features for young women, and this is no exception. I’ve been following (see: stalking via social media) Tracey since before she won that Emmy for the finale of 30 Rock, but when she did my reaction was akin to probably her mother’s. Her career path, sense of humor, and just general COOLNESS, in a sort-of male dominated profession makes me feel like anything is possible, and I hope one day I can have the kind of success she’s had.

However, one major take away from this article for me was the fact that she was in the commercial for the Glitterator. Now, if you’re of my age (which I THINK is a Millennial?) you have to remember this toy. As she describes it, it’s a machine that you put various items covered in glue into, and the Glitterator blows glitter on it, INSTANTLY transforming your super boring barrette into a beautiful, sticky, sparkly work of art. I owned one, and boy do I look back fondly on hours of Glitterating everything I could find, my clear initiation into a life of sparkly fabulousness. Unfortunately, I still remember the commercial and the jingle so clearly it’s like I was Glitterating this morning – “Glitterator with us, GLITTERATOR! Glitter it a little bit, glitter it a lot… Glitter it cool, Glitter it hot!”

Hope you’re ready for this Jelly

Now that I know this information, where my professional hero and favorite childhood toy come together, I’m not sure my life will ever come anymore full circle than this.

Emmy Noms 2014!!

I may have mentioned this before but I LOVE TV. In the past few years, TV shows have surpassed movies for me in terms of what is most entertaining and worth spending my time watching. I love all award shows as I know I’ve talked about, but I especially love the (Primetime) Emmy’s. And the fact that they aren’t the same time of year as the other major award shows is like a big mid-year bonus!

Apparently there were tons of gripes and jeers from various press outlets on this year’s nominations and snubs, but I’ll recap my own thoughts on the matter.

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations

First of all, can we please acknowledge Mindy Kaling? For anyone who saw the Emmy nom announcements as they cut in to whatever ridiculous thing Lara Spencer was talking about on Good Morning America, you know that Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly were the ones bringing us the big news. And Mindy, read both categories that snubbed her and her show – best actress in a comedy and best comedy series. THEY COULDN’T HAVE WORKED THAT OUT BETTER?? I mean she wasn’t visibly angry or anything, but what poise in acting like she was not phased.

orange-new-black-season-2-casting-rumors

Second, I’m going to make a controversial statement – Orange is the New Black isn’t that good. DON’T GET ME WRONG, it’s entertaining enough, and the plethora of characters and personalities brings so much material and interesting plot lines to the table for the viewer. However, it’s just not THAT good. Taylor Schilling as Piper is so boring and sad to me, I almost stopped watching the show. It just felt like most of the first season was spent watching her staring in to the camera with dead eyes, or looking half asleep, or looking fake angry, or just generally STARING. I prayed for times when she wasn’t on screen but those are few and far between. I love all of the other characters around her (except Pensultucky, who as a character has passed just being the antagonist, and instead becomes comical in how irritating she is. It’s just TOO much). I haven’t watched a ton of the second season, but I know that I was not in any way chomping at the bit to see what happens next at the end of the first (like I was with House of Cards). At the end of the first season, I just couldn’t get over the deep hole of shit that Piper had dug for herself, so much that I just stopped caring. If they could make the show with her as a minor character, it would be great. But I feel like it gets all of this support and all of this praise because it’s another product of Netflix, when that alone does not make it good. I mean, certainly not House of Cards good, anyway.

Also, why does this continue to be categorized as a comedy? I understand that there is not a “dramedy” category and it has comedic elements. But Taylor Schilling is in no way a comedic actress in this show, and the show itself is not consistently funny enough to be calling a comedy. For god’s sake its an hour format! Are there any other hour long comedies? No, because they don’t exist and this shouldn’t either. This show should be listed for sure in dramas, and Piper above all is much more drama character than she is comedy character. And again, the fact the Mindy was snubbed for this category but Taylor Schilling gets nominated just makes no sense. Great for Kate Mulgrew though, Red is awesome and she really owns that character, so good for her! But, why are the other very central characters like Nicky, Sofia, nominated as “guest actors in a comedy” ? I mean the way these nominations are organized is just all over the place.

MOVING ON…

imgres

Why is anyone up in arms about Brooklyn Nine-Nine not getting more nominations? The fact that it won any Golden Globes had to be a fluke, or an attempt at Fox trying to boost it’s ratings. I’ve loved and adored Andy Samberg since his pre-SNL Lonely Island days and I can still quote all of their very early videos to you right now, but I do not think he really deserved that Globe for a show that at that point in time had JUST started 4 months before. And then for the whole cast to win, it was even more bizarre. We hadn’t even seen them really BE a cast for a whole season yet! So it seems like the fact that BK99 didn’t get that much attention from the Emmy voters is what actually makes more sense. Again, don’t get me wrong, I like the show and it’s funny and all. But Andy is basically playing himself and every other character he’s been, not really breaking any molds, and the first season felt like it still needed a little bit of tweaking and improvements before being given nominations. IMHO, anyway.

images

I normally love Girls, and Lena Dunham, but this past season was painful. I mean it took me a month after it aired to watch the finale, so when a big fan of the show feels that way it’s saying something. I understand that after Charlie up and left when they were about to start shooting the third season, that probably threw a few wrenches in to things. But this past season was pretty solely about Hannah and her self-centered idiocy. There were very few actual girlS, in the show Girls. It was mostly “Girl,” and it was torturous, with the exception of the Beach House episode which reached practically unheard of levels of perfection (that episode made me cry and laugh and cry again and so beautifully and wonderfully portrayed the experiences of young women and our relationships. It was just simply flawless in every way). But I do think Adam Driver really deserved some props finally and I am glad he got them. However, why no supporting guest actor whatever to Andrew Rannels?? Or Gaby Hoffman as Caroline? And why no mention whatsoever of Zosia Mamet? She was beyond a scene-stealer this season, I was basically only watching the show in the hopes that either of the three of them would have a larger part.

Instead, Joan Cusak who’s been on Shameless as a very central character for four full seasons, is given a “Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” nomination? IT MAKES NO SENSE, and on top of that that show is DEFINITELY a drama.

Other random thoughts – So happy for Anna Chlumsky in VEEP, Reg E. Cathey as Freddy in House Of Cards, and Silicon Valley!!

What did you guys think? Favorites or mad about what was left out? I could clearly go on all day.

Thanks for reading!

SAG and Golden Globes 2014

As a frequent watcher and lover of Television and Movies, I love love love award shows. The dresses, the glitz, but especially the rooting-for-my-favorite actors, actresses, shows and films that year.

Admittedly I have not yet seen many of the films nominated for the 2014 Golden Globes or Screen Actors Guild awards, but I am definitely up on my awesome TV shows. And I have to agree with many other fans (and entertainment writers), in my shock at the Golden Globes snubs this year.

Homeland has been one of the best shows on TV the last few years (which I just recently realized), but I have to say I’m not only perplexed by their snubbing it, but very confused at which season this Golden Globes is deciding to snub. If it’s current season, which will end this Sunday 12/15, it’s even more outrageous. The performances by Claire Danes and Damian Lewis this season were pretty extreme and I would say, elevated from the past seasons. Perhaps the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were sick of giving them Golden Globes and wanted to spread the nominations, and yet, they’re not for Modern Family?? Which consistently wins everything and is funny, but is certainly not the funniest or best comedy on television for the last 5 years it’s  been winning awards.

Speaking of comedies, am I correct in that they also snubbed both the final season of 30 Rock AND Veep?? I am a fan and consistent watcher of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (and Andy Samberg for about 12 years running) but there is no way in hell that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is funnier, or better written than Veep and 30 Rock. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who was nominated, thankfully and rightfully so) is fantastic in Veep as always, but so is the rest of that cast and the show as a whole.

I have been looking for the criteria in terms of timing of a show that gets nominated, in hopes that the “snubbing” is simply a misunderstanding, in which the cut off date for the shows nominated were earlier than Homeland could qualify for (although this wouldn’t explain 30 Rock, and considering Tina is the host, even more WTF).  Although I guess if last years Oscars are any indicator, the award shows I’ve always loved and counted on to honor the right people, are more and more often getting it wrong.

But if you have never seen any of these shows, I certainly encourage you to give all of them a try, they’re all great entertainment!