Divasoria

Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

What I’m Watching

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Ex Machina

I first heard about Ex Machina while listening to Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast. As an aside, I love Culture Gabfest! It’s a great way to find out about good books, music, tv shows and movies. I find that the three hosts and I have the same taste so I tend to trust them and go with their recommendations. Ex Machina is a film the podcast greatly recommended.

Ex Machina is the new movie of writer/director Alex Garland, this film is about a robot and a tech employee assigned by his boss to conduct the Turing test on the artificial intelligence project called “Ava”.

What is the Turing test, you ask? It is a series of tests to determine whether a robot can pass for a human through conversations which in itself is a conundrum. Is a robot’s ability to speak like a human equate to a person’s intelligence? What Ex Machina delves into instead is the Turing Test’s inability to test for emotions.

Probably the best movie I’ve seen so far in 2015, Ex Machina‘s actors were superb especially Alicia Vikander who played Ava, the robot. She was graceful and fluid and cold and emotional all rolled into one. Amazing performance! I also love the look of the film – crystal clear and vibrant and modern. If you like unique, quirky and thoughtful movies, go watch Ex Machina.

Mad Men – Early Seasons

It was a moment of SEPANX – separation anxiety – from Mad Men after watching the series finale. The last episode was amazing, BTW, I loved how unexpected it was yet very natural with its pacing and conclusion. I also think the finale was satisfying and life-affirming, feelings I would have never expected from the very last show of a celebrated drama series. It then left a gaping hole in my life. To soothe my aching Mad Men missing heart, I started watching Seasons 1 through 4 and it reinforced my belief that it is one of the best shows of our time.

Silicon Valley

During the whole brouhaha that was the Game of Thrones season opener social media debacle, I decided to skip the GOT mania and go watch something from the opposite end of the spectrum.

Silicon Valley is an HBO series about a group of young millenials pursuing the millenial dream – a billion-dollar Startup. I found it funny, current, if not ironic but who knows if it’s a true depiction. I’m sure it is as realistic as “The Social Network” (BTW, the Winklevoss twins make a cameo). I like it because it’s a wake up call to all the younguns – not all tech startups end up like Facebook or Snapchat. You cannot just quit school or your job and the next thing you know, you’re a CEO of a billion-dollar company. HA! One in a billion chance, hijo.

I also found a lot of the IP(Intellectual Property) talk very educational, one can take up notes especially for future entrepreneurial projects. seriously!

Transparent

I finally decided to renew my subscription to a paid VPN(Virtual Private Network) which I quit after marathoning the third season of House of Cards months ago. What is a VPN? It basically masks your connection and changes your Internet Protocal or IP as if you were in North America or Europe. This is particularly handy if you want to access Hulu, open a NetFlix account and take advantage of your Amazon Prime perks which includes this new show called Transparent.

Transparent is about this Los Angeles based Jewish family headed by Jeffrey Tambor, a political science professor Mort who decides to completely transition from a once-a-year crossdresser to a Transgender woman. Supported by a talented cast including Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass as Mort’s kids, they navigate their ever-changing lives in the midst of the sheen of life in LA.


Chef’s Table

if you enjoy dining and food as much as I do, you will love Netflix’s Chef’s Table. This Netflix docu-series features a single world-renowned chef on each episode and discovers their world and tries to give us a clear and magical peek into their careers and food. It is a voyeuristic view of a chef’s life punctuated by his philosophy, thoughts, background, taste and adventure. A masterpiece in each episode.

Written by divasoria

August 17th, 2015 at 9:23 am

Scandal

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I’m a late adopter when it comes to Scandal. I tried to watch the very first episode earlier this year but I found it boring that I couldn’t even finish the Pilot. And then a few months ago, I was listening to one of my podcasts and the hosts were all giddy about Scandal and that was when I decided to give it a second shot.

Scandal revolves around Olivia Pope who heads a crisis managemt firm in Washington DC handling different scandals in the US Capital. Olivia also is a political player who has strong connections within the current administration of Republican President Fitzgerald GranT III.

I can describe this show as The West Wing meets Melrose Place meets Law and Order meets Homeland – I know TWW fans will balk at the idea because Shonda Rhimes is so NOT Aaron Sorkin but Scandal fairly is inspired by the pace and fervor of the supposed activities in the White House… yah, just consider Scandal as the Paris Hilton version of The West Wing. LOL!

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I had gone through the first “mini” season fairly quickly and got hooked. But I do have to admit, after watching shows in more “progressive”(read: better writing/production) cable networks for the most part, Scandal’s less thought out storyline got me a little annoyed.

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The plot twists can be shallow and side stories a little too “WTF”, and just like daytime soap operas, without the proper build up or editing. It ticked me off so much that as I went through the second season, I can only watch an episode at a time as opposed to binge-viewing it for the weekend. I went through the same phase when I first started watching Grey’s Anatomy, another Shonda Rhimes show which I quit on after the third season

That and I could only stand Kerry Washington’s one-face acting for a short period of time.

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Yes, Kerry is one of the hottest actresses right now and she has such a pretty face – but what irks me the most is Kerry/Olivia Pope has that lip-twitch in almost every scene of the damn show!

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Olivia works her gladiators? Lip-twitch. Olivia tries a political maneuver, lip-twitch. Olivia hears shocking news, lip-twitch. Olivia has wild sex, lip-twitch. Yes, Kerry Washington lip-twitch is this year’s Claire Danes cry-face!

I youtube-d the lip-twitch and found this hilarious parody/make-up tutorial. LOLOL!

I know, I sound like I’m hate-watching Scandal – but seriously, it is addictive to a certain degree and it more than makes up for the “emptiness” I feel during the hiatus in between some of my favorite series like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Homeland.

AND SPEAKING OF HOMELAND – Carrie and Brody in Vogue!

Homeland

Homeland

Homeland

Ugh. September 29th can’t get here fast enough(click the link for a season 3 sneak peek).

Written by divasoria

July 22nd, 2013 at 5:52 am

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Tony Soprano is Dead

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Yes, James Gandolfini, the actor who played Tony, is dead.

I am a HUGE fan of The Sopranos. A few months before I started watching the show, my father passed away unexpectedly. I, like most young adults, never really could deal with grief properly and one of the ways I recovered from my loss was to watch the series. And boy, did I love that show.

James Gandolfini played Tony Soprano, this larger than life mob boss who is physically intimidating yet with all his bravado and his tough exterior, James played Tony with so much heart and vulnerability. Tony was like this big teddy bear who loved his family, first and foremost, and despite having “whacked” a character or two in every episode, he was just endearing and you can’t help but root for him.

And honestly? I really thought Tony Soprano reminded me of my own father.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! I miss you everyday! Guys, please hug your dads for me on their special day. ❤ #fathersday #dads

Take out the mob/crazy parts and all that “whacking”, my dad was a larger-than-life person in my life who was a big man with an even bigger heart very much like Tony. And this was why whenever I missed my dad during those first few years without him, I put on the Sopranos DVDs and I would feel like he was right there in front of me.

I know James Gandolfini is not Tony Soprano but for us crazy fans? He was and we loved him for that.

RIP James Gandolfini. You shall be missed.

Written by divasoria

June 20th, 2013 at 10:33 pm

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The Fighter 2013: The Battle vs. Human Trafficking in the Philippines

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I met my friend Andrew a few years ago when he was living in Manila for a few months to work for an anti- human trafficking organization named Visayan Forum and I am glad to hear lots of things about the group and what they’ve been doing to stop modern-day slavery here in the Philippines.

Visayan Forum’s good work with the leadership of Cecilia Flores-Oebanda has made major strides to protect children from the sex trade and convince the country’s biggest star, Manny Pacquiao, to join Cecilia as a fighter in the battle against modern-day slavery. Since 1991, she has helped more than 70,000 victims or potential victims of human trafficking.

CNN has taken notice of their efforts and has produced “The Fighter”, a film that represents the very core of the CNN Freedom Project. Here is a preview of this remarkable project:

Airing on CNN International on two consecutive nights beginning in May 17th(part 1) and 18th(part 2), The Fighters provides a unique glimpse into the world of combating human trafficking through the eyes of those risking their lives so that others may live theirs in freedom. It explores themes of social justice and globalization, as well as offering insight into both the benefits and drawbacks inherent in governmental-charity-celebrity partnerships.

Here are the times of the airing:
Friday 5/17/2013
US: 7am ET, 4pm ET, 10pm ET
Hong Kong: 7pm, 4am, 10am
London: 12pm, 9pm, 3am
Abu Dhabi: 3pm, 12am, 6am
Johannesburg: 1pm, 10pm, 4am

Saturday 5/18/13
US: 7am ET, 4pm ET, 10pm ET
Hong Kong: 7pm, 4am, 10am
London: 12pm, 9pm, 3am
Abu Dhabi: 3pm, 12am, 6am
Johannesburg: 1pm, 10pm, 4am

Written by divasoria

May 17th, 2013 at 8:17 pm

The “Homeland” support group

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I need a support group every time I finish watching an episode of Homeland.

I’ve been a fan of Homeland for almost a year now. I’d like to believe I started the whole Claire Danes’ cry face phenomenon(LOLOL!!) – yup, there’s already a tumblr and a mash-up because of my first Homeland post in December 2011(wink wink). In fact, I even received an email from the production staff of the show as they found the cry face photos quite amusing. 😀

ANYWAY.

None of my close friends are into the show as much as I am and I find myself kind of gasping for air every episode! I need to have a gaggle of fellow Homeland fans to virtually hold each other’s hands and to discuss the crazy mindf*ck going on!

Season 1 was a nailbiter but season 2? We’re only on episode 3 and seriously?!?! WTF. S02E02 kept me jittery, S02E03 made me uneasy and tense. Yes, I get a little too emotionally attached to shows I love(don’t get me started with Mad Men..heck, even Gossip Girl during their first few seasons!)

Sure, for fellow CIA geeks, there might be some questionable things (SPOILER ALERT) like:

1. Who freaking sends texts in the middle of a ssession with the joint chief of staff?
2. How can you even bring a cellphone to that session?!?
3. In fact, how can you even send a text inside the pentagon?!?!? I heard walls are 8 meters thick or something.
4. I highly doubt the CIA uses skype as their form of communication overseas. HELLO SATELLITE PHONE.

I can go on and on about these inconsistencies but I will suspend my disbelief further because the show is AMAZING.

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Supremely well-written and IMHO, well-paced. And like I said before, I know a lot of people including myself dislike Claire Danes..but guys, we cannot take this from her – her acting is mindblowingly good. No matter what you say, she brings it every episode and she deserved that Emmy.

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yes, no Homeland entry is complete without some of this season’s early “Claire Danes Cry Face”

Although I would love to see my Jon Hamm win the Best Actor award for Mad Men, Damien Lewis is also something else.

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BUT the emmys totally missed Mandy Patinkin. HOLLA MANDY! You are the Best Supporting Actor in our hearts.

And yah, as I type this entry, we have approximately 48 hours until Episode 4. CAN’T WAIT.

Written by divasoria

October 20th, 2012 at 7:54 am

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