In these dark, uncertain times, who knew it’s Tim Gunn’s soothing voice that will ultimately calm. Things may be rough out there right now because of this global pandemic, but at least all is well as far as fashion competition shows are concerned. Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are back together in Amazon Prime’s ‘Making the Cut’ and I suddenly realized how much miss them. I think except for a problematic season or two, I have always been a fan of Project Runway, and although I still watch and enjoy its current iteration, I found myself looking at these like old old friends, And this is a much free and confident twosome now – they know their worth and they probably got it and all they needed to do was show up. But I am sure, they had a lot of production input here (Tim mentions that he and Heidi helped choose the contestants) and as veterans of this genre, they know exactly what works, and what they wanted to retool int heir old format. So this is a classier version of what they used to do and it shows – you can see the Amazon money of having the contestants jet immediately to Paris on everyone’s first day. They are not saddled by any kind of corporate sponsorship, and have free reign on everything. It works, and well. I found myself enthralled and by the end of the first episode I had my own favorites among the contestants (Sander, for sure) so you know the show is expertly produced (contrast that with Netflix’s ‘Next in Fashion’ where I only started to care about the contestants halfway through) And the show is clear that it is looking for the next big brand, so there is definitely some commerce with the art here. On the first two challenges anyway, the designers are to present an ‘accesssible’ look that can be bought on Amazon right away – you can really feel them wanting to get the money they are spending. But that’s fine, as I don’t think they are keeping that fact a secret. As for the judging panel, I love Naomi Campbell already – I love every side eye and purposeful bitchy face she gives whenever she sees a garment she doesn’t like. Carinne Rotrifield, I feel, should be bitchier, and I don’t really mind Nicole Ritchie, to be honest. So you know that I will be watching for every episode of this show so you better be ready to read about it.
It wasn’t quite a fast binge, but I did finish the whole first season of ‘Modern Love’ on Amazon Prime. Even if I wrote that the first half was uneven, I loved Episode 2 so much it gave me enough goodwill and hope that I will get something similar in the next for episodes. I liked the fourth episode, starring John Gallagher Jr and Sofia Boutella who go on a date, and ending up at the hospital after – the details are too juicy to spoil, and the plot, though a bit improbable, was effective in conveying the message. And the next episode, where a young girl has a relationship with a man old enough to be her father had some unexpected twists. The ‘gay episode’ int he series centers around a couple who wants to have a child, and it’s cute, but not really that relatable to me. The last one, about a couple finding love in late life, could have been better, though. But the best thing about the last episode for me, are the additional scenes about all the episodes. We get some code of coda about the characters in my beloved second episode, and that was so good for my catharsis. All in all, my view of the series became more positive after watching the second batch of episodes, and I haven;t checked, but it would be great to get a second season.
Amazon Prime’s new show ‘Modern Love’ seems to be this generation’s version of the 70s anthology ‘Love American Style,’ but the stories on this show are culled from The New York Times column of the same title, and these are stories about New Yorkers, and the way they live and love in these modern times. Sounds like a fantastic idea to me. I have seen the first four (out of a total of eight) episodes and there are great highs, and also some lows. The first two episodes are tops: it starts with one starrign Christine Millotti as a NewYorker who has a ‘special’ relationship with her doorman – as a father figure who guides her in her life choices. It’s nice and sweet, and sets the tone for the show. I liked that it was a little irreverent, and featured situations that are real, and obviously showcases the heart and humanity. And the second episode is my absolute favorite so far. Starring, Dev Patel and Catherine Keener, it shows a pair of parallel stories of following your heart in the midst of the turmoil of life. Keener is great here as an author who reconnects with the ‘man that got away’ who was supposed to meet her in Paris seventeen years ago. But the third episode was disappointing even as it starred the charismatic Anne Hathaway. As a bipolar young woman strugglign with life, Hathaway was game, but I felt the story went nowhere. And Tina Fey and John Slattery had chemistry for days in the fourth episode (written by Sharon Horgan) but the story abotu a couple trying to reconnect did not connect with me. Of course I am already hooked with this and will surely finish all the episodes shortly. For now, I’ll just say that the second episode is one of the best I have seen on any series so far.
I am still binging Catastrophe, and now I am up to Season Three, and for real, I feel like these characters are already my friends. Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney will always be married to me, and I feel like if I see them in other shows, I will not be able to separate these characters to whatever new ones they will be playing. The third season has a little more drama, all for the better. I couldn’t help but get mad at Sharon, for example, for holding the penis of that young guy when they were on their brief separation state, but at the same time, can you blame her? He was kind of cute. And when her father dies, I went along with that, too. I mean, I have been there, and of course there is that heartbreaking season ender, although I must say that I didn’t know Rob was sober – did I really miss that? And of course, it was very poignant to see Carrie Fisher, and I understand her scene here were the last ones she shot before dying. I am so emotionally invested with his now and have started watching Season Four, which I know is their final one.
I have just finished the last three episodes of the first season of ‘Catastrophe’ and I have to say I was very taken by the whole thing. The last three episodes were the strongest as I had already found myself fully invested with the couple, and with them with their ups and downs. On the last episode, when they finally got married, I was with them in their celebration, and the writing is smart enough not to make it syrupy sentimental by mixing it with just the right dose of oddball humour. Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney have great chemistry and both their comic timings match so well that you believe the intimacy between them. And I found myself wistful abut Carrie Fisher who plays Delaney’s mom. The last half of the last episode is intense, but real, and of course the cliffhanger….
So now on to season 2..
I know I’ve been ignoring Amazon Prime. I have a long log of saved shows on my watch list there, and I haven’t made a dent from it – I am a little more updated on Netflix, but “my list” there is staggering as well. For some reason the other day I decided to start watching ‘Catastrophe’ on Amazon Prime, and I knew next to nothing about it, except for the fact it was described as a rom-com, enough of a lure for me.
And I love this. I read that it was initially shown in Eng;and on BBC, and stars Sharon Horgan, a British comedienne (she is their Tina Fey, I read) and the premise is cute, but also mature. She meets an American man (Rob Delaney) and they have a wild whirlwind affair, and she gets pregnant. He lives in the States and moves to London for her, and now they have to navigate their situation. They want to be together, but should they? Everyone knows having a baby is not reason enough to get married, but I am on Episode Three, and he has proposed to her. Horgan is great, all dry English wit they way I like them, and I was surprised to find Delaney to be quite effective as well, a perfect ‘straight man’ for all the comedic set ups. I know that the seasons have now racked up, and I am lustily anticipating my enjoyment of all of them.