Out this week is season one of Netflix’s outstanding new television series based on Piper Kerman’s women’s prison memoir, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison. OITNB – get with the acronym already – broke a lot of records over at Netflix before the DVD release. From techcrunch.com,
Orange is the New Black has been a tremendous success for us. It will end the year as our most watched original series ever and, as with each of our other previously launched originals, enjoys an audience comparable with successful shows on cable and broadcast TV.
OITNB follows the life of a privileged young white woman who after laundering drug money gets sent to federal prison for a year. Mixing intense drama with hysterical comedy and revolving the show almost completely around a female cast (refreshingly for once the male characters are either vehicles, fluff or eye candy), Orange raises the stakes for binge watching television. We warn you once you start, you may need to cancel what you’re doing for the next few hours. One episode of this wonderful show is just not enough.
Find Orange is the New Black: Season 1 DVD and the Kerman’s memoir in various formats in our catalog.
From 2000 – 2005 HBO graced the world with the darkly funny and excruciatingly well-written drama Six Feet Under. Based on The Fishers – a family in the funeral business, each week someone would die in the opening credits and the family would busy themselves preparing the final tribute as well as learn hard and serious life lessons and manage to play and have fun. Created by Alan Ball who wrote the script for American Beauty and went on to helm True Blood, Six Feet Under captured a certain kind of family dynamic previously not explored on American television. The Fishers spent the five years trying desperately to break through their buttoned-up way of living life. We watched them each week experience triumphs and heartbreaks as they stumbled through life searching and often finding beauty and wonder. Featuring a stellar cast including Michael C. Hall, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Krause, Frances Conroy, Rachel Griffiths, Matthew St. Patrick, Freedy Rodriguez, Jeremy Sisto, Justina Machado, James Cromwell, Lili Taylor, and Richard Jenkins, Six Feet Under taught us how to grieve as well as live each moment out loud. Six Feet Under also ushered in a new renaissance of American television along with The Sopranos and The Wire.
Check out all five seasons of Alan Ball’s award-winning Six Feet Under in the library’s catalog.
from Matt Zoller Seitz at Vulture,
Joe Weisberg, creator of The Americans, worked at the CIA for four years in the early nineties. There are just enough real-world spycraft details woven into the action to sell the show’s more ludicrous conceits, chiefly that the former Soviet Union would breed certain men and women from adolescence onward to pass for Americans, then plant them among us to wreak havoc. But make no mistake: This is a dark fantasy, not just of espionage but of domestic life; it operates as much by dream logic as actual logic, placing its main characters — married spies-assassins-seducers Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) — in suspenseful situations, then having them switch gears and deal with the house or the kids.
Read the entire review at Vulture.
Check out the first season of The Americans in our catalog.
Will Don ever grow up? Will Jackie finally get sober? Will Don’s daughter Sally and Jackie’s daughter Grace time travel and become best friends? As brand new seasons of Mad Men and Nurse Jackie gear up this week on AMC and HBO, you may want to start at the beginning or refresh yourself with a couple of teaser episodes from last season. Either way, we’ve got both series up-to-date in our DVD collection.
Find Mad Men in our catalog.
Discover Nurse Jackie in our catalog.
YA Librarian Nicole Scherer couldn’t wait to tell you about her favorite new television obsession,
I know, I know…after four books and four movies (some of which were not very good) you are done with Hannibal Lecter. Maybe that’s why you missed the amazing first season of Hannibal on NBC. Take it from this horror-phobic librarian: it’s not so much scary as it is chilling. It takes a different approach than you might think: The show is set long before the famous cannibal is behind bars. Instead, its attention is on Will Graham, a criminal profiler with the gift (or curse) of perfect empathy. He can read a crime scene and practically see through the killer’s eyes. In order to cope with the intensity of his work, he seeks out the help of a certain psychiatrist, who happens to be moonlighting as a serial killer. This presents a whole new angle on the familiar story: We get to see Hannibal in practice, not as a prisoner or fugitive. Anchored by sublime performances from Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, this is one of the most visually striking shows on TV. And it’s not too late to catch up on the story before Season 2 begins at the end of February – you can borrow Season 1 from the library!
Find Hannibal in our catalog.
In honor of the release of Armistead Maupin’s 9th book in the Tales of the City series today The Days of Anna Madrigal, we’ve got the re-release of his ground-breaking PBS adaptation of the first novel on DVD for you to watch. This sweet story about San Francisco in the 1970’s was banned on several TV stations in the South. 20 years later that idea seems more quaint than shocking. Maupin’s group of friends at 28 Barbary Lane join together and create their logical family (his phrase for the family we choose). For Hitchcock fans, there’s definitely more than a few nods in the mini-series. As the cover suggests, this is truly one of the best mini-series ever made.
Read the new book The Days of Anna Madrigal.
Watch the original mini-series Tales of the City on DVD.
New Year’s is a great time to catch up on your favorite television shows or find a new favorite to start watching. Many critics believe we are currently living in a new Golden Age of Television. Here are some of the series that make that statement a reality. DVDs make for great binge watching (viewing episode after episode after episode). Stop by today and check out some television from our collection:
The Big C
The Good Wife
Enjoy PBS dramas from the U.K.? Shadow Dancer is an Irish production starring Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Clive Owen (Second Sight):
When single mother Collette McVeigh is arrested for her part in an aborted IRA plot in London, an MI5 officer (Owen) offers her a choice: lose everything and go to prison or return to Belfast to spy on her own family. With her son’s life in her hands, Collette chooses to place her trust in the MI5 and return home. When her brothers’ secret operation is ambushed, suspicions of an informant are raised and Collette finds both herself and her family in grave danger.