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Orange Is The New Black Season 2 Trailer

Don’t forget: our ’90s Nickelodeon party featuring episodes of Clarissa Explains It All, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, All That, Kenan & Kel, Salute Your Shorts, etc. is THIS FRIDAY.  Drinking games + trivia + prizes + Pete & Pete music + orange soda. $5! Get your ticket before we sell out!

More info / Tickets / RSVP on Facebook to suggest shows & episodes!

April 18, 8:00pm
308 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY

Inside Amy Schumer, the most sneakily feminist show on TV.

In its second season, Inside Amy Schumer has become the most consistently feminist show on television, a sketch comedy series in which nearly every bit is devoted in some capacity to gender politics. But Schumer channels her perspective through an onscreen persona that is insecure, self-proclaimedly slutty, crass, selfish, glossy—onscreen, Amy Schumer thinks feminism is the ultimate F word. Thus a sketch like the focus group, in which Schumer, the writer, tackles her objectification, while Schumer, the character, takes comfort in it. This pairing is extremely canny. Schumer hides her intellect in artifice and lip gloss—that’s how she performs femininity. By wrapping her ideas in a ditzy, sexy, slutty, self-hating shtick, her message goes down easy—and only then, like the alien, sticks its opinionated teeth in you. (via)

APRIL 18: We’re throwing a Nickelodeon party with episodes of Clarissa Explains It All, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, All That, Kenan & Kel, Salute Your Shorts, Hey Dude— whatever you guys want to watch! Drinking games + trivia + prizes + Pete & Pete music + orange soda. You all know the drill by now. Don’t forget to dress up in your best Clarissa outfit or break out the red flannel like Pete! Only $5!

More info / Tickets / RSVP on Facebook to suggest shows & episodes!

April 18, 8:00pm
308 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY

So much of this season has focused on Hannah and Adam’s relationship and Hannah having to deal with her changing role in his life and, most importantly, whether or not this change was real or imagined, that going into last night’s finale I initially thought that it would seem unfair to see any of this unresolved. Yet it’s the understanding that we are all complex and strange and that hardly anything ever gets resolved in the way that we would like it to is what Lena Dunham has been so good at with Girls. Watching Hannah and Adam’s relationship progress and wondering how they’re going to make it work, or if they should even try at all, has been altogether satisfying when Hannah’s juvenile behavior wasn’t making me want to rip my hair out. There are also other relationships to tend to, however, and a return to a more lateral focus on the lives of our other protagonists was a satisfying way to close out the season.

Shoshanna’s self-proclaimed “year of freedom” has caught up to her and a failed glaciology class is prohibiting her from graduating. It’s a shock for Shoshanna, who has been so meticulous in setting a timeline of goals for her life, to see one of her plans go incomplete and being unable to control it. The weight of this is made even more unbearable by Marnie’s big dumb idiot butt waltzing in and deciding that this is a good time to tell Shoshanna that she slept with Ray – several times, but not before turning Shoshanna’s news about failing out into something about herself. I admit to standing up and clapping when Shoshanna pinned Marnie to her bed and screamed, “I hate you!” in her face. And this is maybe the least offensive thing that Marnie does all episode. Almost immediately after telling Hannah that she doesn’t respect other women’s “emotional property,” Marnie busts into Desi’s dressing room, gifts him with James Taylor’s guitar pick, and then makes out with him. She later says that she wasn’t expecting it even though we all know that she walked in there with that exact intention in mind. Marnie is unequivocally the worst. And so it is so, so, so sweet and beautiful when Marnie meets Clementine in the bathroom and Clementine delivers a verbal bitch smack worthy of another standing ovation. Someone is finally calling Marnie on her bullshit and there are few things I love more than an emphatic, “Shut the fuck up.” Clementine, a true classy lady, compliments Marnie’s dress on her way out as Marnie is left alone in tears. It’s perfect. But Marnie proves to be a fucking creep and later hovers outside a bar like a masturbating pervert as Desi and Clementine argue, presumably about her. This woman is a sociopath and likes to watch the havoc that she wreaks unfold. It is terrifying.

For Shoshanna, she’s left to consider what her options are and unfortunately believes that her first and best move is to try to get Ray back. It’s upsetting to watch because it’s clear that this is not necessarily about Ray, and Ray knows that. Shoshanna’s attempting to put back the pieces of her life she feels she lost this past year by returning to Ray, their relationship being the signifier of when her life made sense. But Shoshanna is a smart girl and my wish for her in season four is for her to use this as an opportunity to figure out what she really wants – to grow up, and to realize her worth.

In perhaps the most poignant and concise story line of season three, Jessa is asked to get drugs for her new employer Beattie, not for the anticipated high one typically expects from such requests, but to assist in her suicide. As the two unique but similar women sit and discuss this situation in a manner so casual they could be making lunch plans, Beattie tells Jessa, “You know I wake up everyday disappointed that I didn’t die in the night.” It’s an overwhelmingly sad moment and yet I saw it as an empowering one for Beattie – she’s lived the life she’s wanted to live and now she wants to be the one who controls how it ends. Jessa obliges because she understands this woman in ways so many people likely haven’t and because Beattie chose her for this very reason. Beattie lies in her bed looking fragile yet at peace with Jessa by her side and for a few moments we think that this is how she is going to die. When Beattie frantically changes her mind and tells Jessa to call 911 we realize that maybe even a woman so sure of herself as Beattie isn’t so sure – that we are each so very intricate and that life almost always has more to offer us than we are capable of seeing.

And that brings us back to Hannah, who has been accepted into the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop and whose reaction to the news is the most sincerely excited and proud that we have seen of her thus far. She calls her parents, unsure if she should take this opportunity because of the life that she has made for herself in New York, who tell her that of course the thing to do is to say yes, and then figure it out. It’s understandable why Hannah chose to tell Adam in his dressing room before opening night of Major Barbara, a moment that we know is so important to him – it’s exciting! – but it’s also frustrating to watch Hannah continue to ignore Adam’s boundaries. “It’s made me want to find a hole in the world in the shape of me and just fill it up,” she tells him after a heartfelt speech about how his artistic accomplishments have motivated her. Adam understands this and appears excited for her and a part of me believes that he truly is, but then Adam has to sit on this information immediately before one of the biggest days of his life and it gives him time to grow angry about how Hannah insists on disregarding his needs in favor of her own. She is difficult and now that Adam has his own life and career and wants and goals for the future it’s harder for him to give Hannah the attention that she requires to be happy in this relationship. They fight and Hannah returns to apartment that Adam has been absent from and clutches the acceptance letter from Iowa to her chest, leading us to believe that she’s saying yes. And she’s going to figure it out.

In a nice way to tie up the season we find out that Caroline has been living with Laird and delivers the news that she’s pregnant to Hannah as they both retrieve their mail. It’s a clever, awkward, brilliantly acted by Gaby Hoffmann scene and because it’s Caroline, I have no idea how much of it is true, but I kind of hope that all of it is. Those two would be wonderful together.

Guest Post: Elaine Paddock is a writer in Boston.

Showtime’s Masters of Sex has enlisted a Breaking Bad favorite. Betsy Brandt has boarded the second season of the Showtime drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Brandt will recur and play Barbara, new secretary to Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen). She fills the role previously held by Margo Martindale’s Miss Horchow, who guest-starred in the series premiere, and Caitlin Fitzgerald’s Libby, who temporarily filled in as his secretary in season one. (via)

Hannah isn’t handling the new arrangement in her relationship well and it’s made even worse by Adam’s wavering on how long it’s going to last. It’s both her insecurity and her self-centeredness that isn’t allowing her to understand why Adam needs this time away from her. He now has two roles that are new to him – literally as a character on Broadway and also as someone with a passion and career that he really cares about. He’s taking both very seriously in a way that we, Hannah included, haven’t seen before. She’s coming to terms with the fact that Adam doesn’t need her in the way that he used to and that his Hannah-focused life that we’ve come to know for the majority of this season has altered. He now has something else that fills him up and despite how little Adam’s need for solitude has to do with her specifically, him leaving the apartment they have shared so quickly post-orgasm makes it’s hard for Hannah not to take it personally. She shows up at Ray’s in a state of panic, “I feel like you’re leaving me but only in such slow motion I’m not even going to notice until it’s done,” she tells him, being among those who are very good at articulating themselves mid-panic attack. He meets her halfway by getting in a cab with her back to their apartment but leaving her alone on the doorstep, “You’re going to have something major going on and understand why I needed this time for myself right now.” It’s Adam being supportive, sounding so sure that Hannah will have something major going on, but hurtful to her because at this point she believes that she’s had a handful of something majors and has needed him by her side for each and every one.

One of those something majors was her job at GQ, which has seemed to be on the decline from the minute that she left that snack room on her very first day. A second interview session with Patti LuPone in an attempt to grab just one quote for the bone density advert only further encourages Hannah’s fear of a changing relationship with Adam, catching a glimpse at what could be as she learns that Patti’s writer-turned-professor husband’s artistic dreams had to take a back seat once his partner’s career soared. All of Hannah’s anxieties surface during a brainstorming session at work. “I just expect more from life,” she tells her colleagues as she word vomits philosophy all over a conference table. She’s terrified that she’s wasting her life and creativity away coming up with bullshit puns for menswear in a corporate office with other artists who are turning into former-artists right before her eyes. Her outburst gets her fired and she later convinces herself that she got herself fired only to collect unemployment, which she awkwardly declares while meeting Adam’s Broadway co-workers as she positions herself as the obnoxious and egotistical girlfriend with no boundaries who can’t stand for the conversation to not be about her.

Jessa is still coping with being sober by attempting to rid herself of her crazy energy in a rage dance session in the middle of Shoshanna’s apartment. It’s somewhat encouraging to see how quickly she is able to pull herself together, going from collapsed in a heap on the floor to landing a job in a matter of minutes with street photographer Beattie at SooJin’s gallery, being better at Marnie’s job than Marnie and managing to burst into her world and make a connection with someone Marnie admires after she herself had been trying to do so for days. It’s also sad because this is the cycle of Jessa. Complete and utter desperation to hope and optimism and right back around again. The previews for next week’s finale show Jessa asking Beattie if she only hired her because she knew that Jessa would be able to get her drugs, hinting at a continuation of this cycle and also painting a stark picture of how the vulnerability of Jessa allows for vultures to enter her life knowing exactly what they’re doing. 

Marnie’s still pretty aggressively pining for some sort of relationship with Desi and tells him this just as the two of them are about to go on stage during an open mic night. But he still has a girlfriend and he’s still not going to cheat on her. Marnie and Desi go on to perform what Lena Dunham describes as “the worst best folk song ever” (written by Dunham’s boyfriend, Jack Antonoff). The open mic’s a success and it’s all seeming to come together for Marnie here, prompting Shoshanna to look over at Hannah during the song to ask if she’s going to be OK standing by and watching both Adam and Marnie do so well creatively, telling her, “You’re supposed to be the famous artist in this group.” The high of the performance is only deterred by later meeting Clementine, the beautiful love of Desi’s life, who exudes a sexy confidence and is not at all threatened by Marnie, who seems so childlike in comparison. It makes sense then that Marnie immediately runs to Ray hoping to restore some of that confidence and Ray, who has tried and failed to maintain some of his own boundaries with Marnie, earlier declaring to Adam that he’s not going to compromise when it comes to getting what he wants out of a relationship, gives in once she’s naked in his bedroom.

The sequence is complete when upon returning to the apartment with Adam Hannah takes it upon herself to investigate the moans coming from Ray’s bedroom. It’s completely none of Hannah’s business and she has never shown any semblance of interest in Ray’s life before which only makes me think that she knew the moans belonged to Marnie and that’s why she was so confident in her decision to find out. Marnie is an asshole and says, “He made me,” as she’s hiding behind the bed in a scene that’s reminiscent of when Marnie showed up unexpectedly at Hannah’s apartment last season, only the roles have been reversed and this time it is Marnie who is ashamed about where she’s at. “You will never judge me again,” Hannah tells Marnie before shutting the door, perhaps half disgusted and half elated to finally have this big thing to hold over Marnie’s head.

There’s just one episode left and as our characters have grown more intricate and challenging with each episode this season, I’m anxious to see where we stand with them next week.  

Guest Post: Elaine Paddock is a writer in Boston.

Bros talking in the shower on The Real World.

Game of Thrones Season 4 Trailer ‘Secrets’

Premieres Sunday April 6 at 9pm.