Happy Monday or not depending on where you are in your Orange is the New Black watch. I’m going to keep things on the spoiler free side as much as possible and as with previous seasons OITNB is another in contention for “Best Closing Credits” song choices. I’ve talked at length about songs that end an episode and how important this selection can be when dictating the emotional stakes of the action it plays over or that has preceded it.
The tone can be set in this moment and can leave you feeling uplifted, but that’s not what we’re doing this morning. Sorry.
This Music Monday selection is in a devastating vein harking back to the equally heartbreaking and amazing Dum Dum Girls “Coming Down” from season 3 and Sharon Van Etten’s “You Know Me Well” closes out episode 6. This is when the season really kicks into gear; bringing together old threads with the overall themes of this season. Themes which go deeper and darker than previous years and I don’t want to say too much more other than whoa this is an A+ pick.
Be right back, just gonna continue sobbing all over my keyboard thanks to this song/show.
While the main TV season is over there is still plenty to watch, obsess over and feel devastated about. While recovering from a particularly bleak and bloody Game of Thrones season finale (even by their bleak and bloody standards) we have a soothing song to start the new week. The third season of Orange is the New Black debuted on Netflix last Friday and I’m taking it at a relatively leisurely pace, which might be for the best as out of the first five episodes I’ve been emotionally broken by at least three of them. And this season was meant to be lighter.
Avoiding getting into too many storyline specifics because everyone is at a different place in their viewing schedule and offering up the vaguest of plot hints with this song choice. Orange is the New Black utilizes its credit music much in the same way as other Music Monday favorites such as Girls and Mad Men reflecting the tone of the final moments on screen.
“Coming Down” by Dum Dum Girls comes from the end of episode 3 “Empathy is a Boner Killer” and while some of the lyrics are a little on the nose for the action that is taking place on screen it is also a fitting track for the heartbreak several of the characters are expressing. The room definitely got a whole lot dustier as these scenes played out and hearing this track over the final credits meant that I didn’t just hit the menu button so I could dive into the next episode. Instead let this hypnotic track wash all over you.
Also getting a whole lot of Morello vibes from Dum Dum Girls lead singer Dee Dee Penny in the video for “Coming Down.”
Oh hey it is Monday and here is a bunch of delightful photos from the Night of Too Many Stars including Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, Jessica Williams and some of the Orange is the New Black ladies to kick things off.
Jon Stewart hosted the fifth Night of Too Many stars airing on Comedy Central last night with a live telethon. The event raises money for autism programs, schools and services; since its inception in 2006 the biannual show has raised over $18 million. Ilana and Abbi were just two of the many comedy stars on hand to take your call and here they are with Stewart. Perhaps they are showing him some Kirk Steele.
John Oliver returns to his old stomping ground.
While current Daily Show correspondents Jessica Williams and Aasif Mandvi do their part.
Uzo Aduba and Natasha Lyonne give good chatting on the phone face/gestures.
Of course Susan Sarandon is fucking fantastic.
And Aidy Bryant and Ilana Glazer are the most adorable. My love for Aidy’s outfit/lipstick color is strong.
To find out how you can donate to Night of Two Many Stars head here.
The Sundance Film Festival is in full swing and at the weekend this fascinating panel featuring Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Jenji Kohan and Kristen Wiig with New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum moderating took place and they discussed their work within the current television and film climate.
This is the kind of panel that I would love to see live or just go to a bar with these amazing women; this isn’t quite the dream hangout but hey I am so happy to see the Sundance Film Festival YouTube channel sharing the whole chat.
Topics covered include all the lazy gender specific questions that get thrown at them as writers who happen to be women, opportunities on TV, working with men who are feminists and using humor as a tool for debate. Likability vs. relatability – this is Emily Nussbaum’s essay on the topic – comes up as well as the idea that some viewers have trouble separating their character from who they actually are.
Romantic comedies and the recent attempts at this genre on film and TV including The Mindy Project get referenced and what kind of rom-coms they like. The all important “What next?” when a couple gets together is also mentioned and adding to ‘this panel is pretty much my everything’ feelings Jenji Kohan then cites You’re the Worst. This is further fueled by a sex scene question that stems from this episode of The Comeback.
And amazing Sundance style from all panelists. Jenji Kohan’s boots are next level. Excellent knitwear across the board. Plus Kristen Wiig further endears herself to me by revealing herself to be a spiller. Spiller solidarity.
The Orange is the New Black cast were out in full force on Sunday with floats at Pride parades in New York City and San Francisco. Laverne Cox was one of three grand marshals (Looking’s Jonathan Groff and Rea Carney were the other two) and she rode alongside Delores Nettles (her daughter Islan Nettles, a transgender woman was beaten to death last year).
Cox also visited the White House yesterday for their Pride reception and Michelle Obama is a big fan of the show as Cox revealed on Instagram “At the White House Pride luncheon earlier today. I met the President and First Lady. She hugged me and is a fan of @oitnb #oitnb #starstruck and #inspired.”
Escaping from Litchfield and riding the New York float in the incredible sunshine are Dascha Polanco, Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley, Matt McGorry, Yael Stone and Barbara Rosenblat.
Yael Stone worked the rainbow false eyelashes and here’s a closer look courtesy of her Instagram:
Representing the West Coast contingent is Big Boo herself, Lea DeLaria riding a float at the San Francisco parade with all the bubbles.
And here is Laverne Cox as one of the New York City grand marshals.
Followed by a trip to the White House yesterday (here is a transcript of President Obama’s remarks at this event including a reference to Cox’s Time cover) and Laverne Cox’s dress game is on top form as she looks stunning in this photo she posted on Instagram:
Laverne Cox didn’t make Time magazines ‘100 Influential People’ list in April despite dominating the reader poll (these votes don’t directly impact the final 100) and this omission caused outrage and surprise. Time magazine listened and the Orange is the New Black star is covering the magazine in a piece entitled “The Transgender Tipping” point. This is a really wonderful cover, free from the clutter of other bylines and Cox looks incredible in a midnight blue bandage dress.
The Q&A on the website (the full cover story is behind the paywall) covers past and present; Cox’s isolation as a child, the progress that has been made and the challenges that still exist. One important thing she underlines is that each experience isn’t an exact reflection of someone else’s and this isn’t a reason to deny a person’s rights:
“There’s not just one trans story. There’s not just one trans experience. And I think what they need to understand is that not everybody who is born feels that their gender identity is in alignment with what they’re assigned at birth, based on their genitalia. If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence. … That’s what people need to understand, that it’s okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.”
Cox also talks about social media and how it has had positive impact “where we’re able to have a voice in a way that we haven’t been able to before. We’re being able to write our stories and we’re being able to talk back to the media … We are the reason. And we are setting the agenda in a different way.”
For more from this Q&A and a behind the scenes look head here.
It’s an all new Orange is the New Black season 2 trailer and there is now less than two months before it comes to Netflix for all your marathon watching needs. Expect drama from new and familiar faces as Lorraine Toussaint joins the cast as Vee, an old enemy of Red’s and it doesn’t look like time apart has healed these old wounds.
Piper sums up her feelings rather eloquently “This place is bullshit.” Oh yeah this trailer is NSFW. John Bennett is still embroiled in his forbidden love affair with Dayanara and he’s not handling it very well; is this whole thing going to blow up in their faces? Plus a whole lot of dancing, minor electrocutions and plenty of other shenanigans. One person notably missing from this longer look at season 2 is Doggett.
For more watch the promo below and the track is “Jungle” by Jamie N Commons & X Ambassadors.