Author: Mint C.

I’m late! I know I’m late. But Black Mirror season 3 happened, and it was everything I feared and hoped for. Six episodes. Six, whopping, episodes. And can you believe I watched four and a half in one night? Let me tell you, it was stressful. But oh, was it worth it. Before Nosedive I didn’t know you could rate your uber driver. Let me tell you this has ruined my life. I tried to bump this lady that took me to work the other day down, like it would actually change her life. She was a 4.7 y’all and I don’t know how she got there but let me tell you I wasn’t having it. I’ve told everyone I know to watch San Junipero; who’d have thunk that the most depressing, unsettling show would have a wonderful and wholesome interracial women love women relationship- WITH a bisexual and a lesbian no less. This show is a blessing and a curse and by the time I finished episode six I didn’t know what to do with myself (and that one was so good guys, even Kat got caught up in the DRAMA of it all). If no one listened to my last nonsense post about this show, please listen to this one and watch. It’s great: well made, well written, well acted, and very very real considering the subject matter. I kind of want to watch it all again already.

Note: if you have a fear of spiders maybe skip Episode 2- Playtest, they play (get it??) a major part in it. It’s pretty gross. It changed me in a bad way.

Black Mirror is now a Netflix original, all three seasons and the Christmas episode are available now!

 

(Sob with me guys)

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I’m gonna take a moment here and expose myself. There are two fundamental truths about me: 1. I will watch anything for cute people, and 2. I’m scared of a loooot of stuff. The big three probably is manipulation of technology (AI, hacking, detrimental advances), space, and cults. Somehow I’m always watching stuff that will freak me out. So what happens when you put Fran Kranz in a trailer that features people in a cult-like environment screaming, “not a cult!”? You get Mint scrambling to watch Netflix’s Rebirth.

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I need y’all to know that I love me some Fran Kranz; Topher Brink will forever be my smart baby (Dollhouse is my FAVORITE show) so I was already sold seeing him in it. Watching the trailer, I kind of back tracked because cults really squick me out. I just don’t understand how people join them. I always fear I’m like secretly susceptible and will derail my life for some Elvis impersonator that wears sunglasses at night. Yet, I can’t escape cult stuff: there’s a cult episode of Dollhouse, I was intrigued by The Path, I watched most of The Following. It’s always vaguely interesting and you get some great acting out of it, but it does frighten me.

So Rebirth follows Kyle Madison (the ever adorable Fran Kranz), a “corporate drone” who falls into a monotonous rut. He’s the social media something or other for the bank he works at, has a pretty wife, and an adorable daughter. He lives in routine: go to work, come home, play games with his daughter, rinse repeat. Then, one day his college buddy Zack (Adam Goldberg) visits him at work to get him on board to a Bro’s Weekend at a seminar called Rebirth.

maskrebirthFrom the jump, getting access to the place is difficult. It immediately was more work than I personally would have put in, with lots of reading between the lines. Still, Kyle prevails and gets to the shuttle to the Rebirth center; this is where things get cult-y and weird. They have these half masks on the bus- I’ll just say now I’m not going anywhere that requires I put on a creepy mask, but Kyle’s a trooper. They get to the center and the plot thickens.

Now, this is a movie that plays on frustrations. You’re with Kyle on this journey so you get just as confused and angry as he does when characters deflect with vague questions or get brutally antagonizing. There’ a lot of weirdness and wondering what’s going on, and it’s excellent. It’s almost as if you’re going through the rebirth too and you vaguely hope that everyone’s right: at the end of the line it is worth it.

TADAM-GOLDBERG-featurehe movie probably won’t end the way you expect it to, which isn’t spoilery, just fact. You’ll have so many theories while watching that the end will be a surprise either way. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know if I think it’s a good one. But nonetheless, the acting is amazing. Adam Goldberg was phenomenal; every choice he made was effective. He made you feel what he wanted you to feel and it’s honestly amazing. Fran Kranz gives off a perfect frantic energy throughout keeping you in this wary, almost terrified space which really works for the thriller moments. Also, shout out to Andrew J West, his scene is stressful, he’s very convincing with this dark, mocking air (he was Gareth on The Walking Dead so are we really surprised here?).

Across the board, there were stellar performances, and the movie really does make you feel something. I think at the very least, it did what it set out to do in the best way it could. And, I’m definitely steering clear of bro weekends, so now that I know to beware I count that as a plus.

Rebirth is available on Netflix.

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Hey kids! It’s time for the next chronicle in “Mint’s Greatest Fears Realized.” This installment is about hacking. Specifically it’s about the show Mr. Robot. Now, I’ve always had a passing interest in hacking; it always seemed like a cool skill to try and learn (spoiler alert I didn’t learn, but the glee at watching/playing things that have to do with it is still there). Enter: Mr. Robot. What do you get when you combine hacking, Rami Malek, and Christian Slater? You get damn good television, is what you get.

Mr. Robot is a show about a hacker named Elliot (Rami Malek) who gets pulled into the whirlwind of hacker collective fsociety. Elliot is socially awkward, delusional, a “casual” morphine user, and a cyber security engineer at AllSafe; a company hired by E Corp, also known as Evil Corp. The show follows him through his life after he begins noticing a strange man around (Christian Slater). One night AllSafe gets hacked and it’s up to Elliot to fix the issue. This is how he finds out about fsociety, this is how he comes to know the strange man: Mr. Robot.

From the beginning you can tell that Elliot has some kind of a moral Mr-Robot-Cast-Quotes-About-Season-2
compass, he may question that, but it’s very clear that he has lines that should never be crossed. He has trouble connecting with other people, so he hacks their lives to find out pertinent information. It’s kind of creepy, but he tends to use the information to help the people he cares about. As the show proceeds, he kind of jumps into a downward spiral and you can’t help but root for him. You just want him to make it through it, to get his answers, to become more sure of himself and his surroundings. Elliot is a great character (and he will make you cry a lot).

This show is a roller coaster, every minute you’re trying to figure out what the character’s motivations are, who
the good guys truly are, and whether or not you’re one of them depending on who exactly you’re cheering for. The acting is phenomenal: you find yourself feeling something for every character at least once, and it’s shot wonderfully. I can honestly say it’s a show that needs to be watched at least twice, so you can pinpoint all the confusing moments. It’s riveting. So give it a try! I may have covered my laptop camera (which seems paranoid) but I learned a lot, especially about raspberry pi…

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Season 1 of Mr. Robot is available on Amazon Prime, and season 2 starts tonight at 10 p.m. on USA Network. Also check out the website www.whoismrrobot.com it’s interesting stuff, though be warned, it may be spoilery.

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Have you ever met a handsome stranger (a bouncer) in some shadowy place (a bar you frequent) and on one magical night he changes your life? I have, and the most wondrous part is that we still talk! “What’s this fantastic life change,” I hear you all wondering, but I have bad news: I still don’t know if the change was a good one. You see, he got me hooked on something. A little UK show called Black Mirror. So I’m gonna talk about it today, and I hope you all watch it and hate me a little bit for this thing I’ve done. You’re welcome.

So, Black Mirror. It’s a show with some downs, some ups, and a lot of WTF moments. It’s set up like a miniseries– three hour and a half episodes per season– but none of the episodes are directly related. Each has to do with the general theme of technology being the end of us all, which, isn’t that fabulous? Each episode falls into one of three categories: technological advances, the power of social media and the internet, or the downfall of viral fame. They all have a kind of creepy voyeuristic quality and is ultimately made worse by the fact that most of it seems to take place in a not so distant future.

I was going to try and go ahead and write out about each episode and….I guess review? But two things ended up happening: I, first off, realized that this show is something that has to be experienced. I could not, in good conscience, ruin some of the great thinking moments of the show because let me tell you, a lot of deep introspection happens. The other thing, is that I started screaming into a pillow because there’s literally no way to explain what happens on this show. I think about it all the time; it stresses me out. Sometimes I want to text the guy who told me about it and say “Look here, ya jerk,” and thank him for ruining my life. (Real talk though, we have conversations about it every few months because I literally am always thinking about it).

This show is a wild ride, and I need for the next season to happen immediately. Has it shaken my worldview? Yes. Do I not completely trust my own cell phone? Yes, of course. But am I also feening for this show? ABSOLUTELY. I’ve got the shakes y’all. I’m scratching. I need it in my life. Come over to the dark side, we know how technology will turn on you and we have bomb shelters.

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Two seasons and a Christmas episode are currently on Netflix. (I beg you, talk to me about this show if you go ahead and watch it, we can wear matching tinfoil hats!)

For more information on Black Mirror and show creator Charlie Brooker, check out Channel 4.

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Hey kiddos! It’s been a while but I’m back, annnnnd introducing a new Fandom City category: Playing Catch Up. I’ll set the foundation: a week ago I ended up in a youtube hole, watching the Civil War cast’s interviews. I ended up seeing one from The Late Show With James Corden, on the couch was Sharon Stone, Sebastian Stan, and Zach Woods. Sebastian Stan flirted with Sharon Stone, and bonded with Zach Woods over teen photographs and I was struck with a realization: Zach Woods is freakin’ adorable.

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Now is that a fair foundation to start watching something? Don’t ever tell me because it’s generally how I operate. I watched an interview with him on Jimmy Kimmel’s show and he discussed his show Silicon Valley. He said he played his character with the self-sacrifice of a parent (in particular a mother) and I was sold. I decided I was going to watch this show and embrace his timid little mom face…that sounded creepy, I swear, Zach Woods if you see this, I’m not creepy.

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Silicon Valley follows tech geek Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) and friends as they try to make it big with apps in…Silicon Valley. He lives in the “Incubator” of one Erlich Bachman (TJ Miller) a guy who made it big with his app Aviato, and makes it his business to serve as a mentor to the new generation of tech start ups. Also in the house are Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti (Josh Brener), Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani), Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), and Jian Yang (Jimmy O. Yang). The show starts with Richard trying to perfect his app Pied Piper, a music app designed to help with copyright infringement through compression of files. Other than working at the incubator he has a job at the big company in the Valley, Hooli, headed by Gavin Belson (Matt Ross).

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Richard doesn’t want to be one of those people that just spends their life behind a desk, revising code for people who are bigger and better, so he tries to get his name out there, even crashing a TED talk to try and get the attention of Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) and his assistant Monica (Amanda Crew). This is when we realize, despite whatever he wanted Pied Piper to be, the compression rate is the best known of (according to the Weissman scale) so everyone wants a piece. The conflict begins when Gavin Belson and Peter Gregory try to strike a deal with Richard, does he want ten million dollars or to have control over his own company?

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Now I’m gonna be honest here, I don’t know a gosh diddly darn about apps, coding, or even computers. Considering the show is about all this I was sure I would be completely lost, to the point that I wouldn’t enjoy. Let me tell y’all: I was absolutely wrong. I still don’t know jack about electronics, but this show is hilarious.From the obvious gag humor to ridiculousness being said with a straight face, I have laughed quite loudly at it all. My favorite character Jared (nee Donald, played by Zach Woods) is hired in the first episode, but his introduction to the Incubator sticks out to me. He was creeping in a window and apologized saying he had a ghost-like appearance, “my uncle says I look like someone starved a virgin to death.” Like c’mon. He’s great.

Apart from the laughter, you’ll actually get invested in these characters. Maybe it’s their timid nerdy frames, but even when Erlich is being supreme douche lord, I still find myself rooting for Team Piper. It’s a very quick watch, I hadn’t realized I’d basically watched the first two seasons in two days, and the episodes are only a half hour long. I didn’t notice that fact until the season two finale, because despite being short, it feels long; not in a detrimental manner mind you, it just gets its story across and tidily cleans up loose ends in a way that’s wholly satisfying. If you like to laugh and wanna feel a little bit better about being awkward, this may be the show for you. I’m excited to start the third season as soon as possible, but I don’t know what I’ll do when I catch up to the finale. Truly, it’s a pretty great show. I might just re-watch again.silicon tga

I watched on HBOGo but it comes on in real time on HBO Sundays at 10 pm.

**OH DUDE WAIT, I forgot to mention the theme animation which is amazing, it takes real companies and…you know what it’s fine I’ll just link, like it’s ok guys.

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“Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man”

Caution Ye Who Enter Here: Spoilers and Feelings Abound!

It’s coincidentally my favorite line of Mercutio’s: a hint of humor to a grave (ha, get it) situation. It’s light-hearted, yet you can tell something is truly off. So imagine how I felt when Alex tweeted it as his farewell to life.

About Alex_2Before I start this…er…article? I must say that I felt am immediate kinship with the lead character of “About Alex”. It’s…odd, wanting to kill yourself. At first I didn’t know the movie was gonna be about that. I saw Max Greenfield with a beard and was immediately in. But reading the synopsis, I realized there was going to be substance.

So the movie starts with a house, and a man, Alex (Jason Ritter), sorting his affairs. A bathtub is running in the background. It seems in movies slitting your writsts while in the tub is the Way To Go, it almost makes me curious how many people actually take that route, as morbid as that is. He gets in the tub, fully dressed, and sends out a tweet: “Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.”

This is when his friends are alerted to his suicide attempt. You first meet Ben (Nate Parker) looking stressed at work, who deflates at the news. He then calls Josh (Max Greenfield), who then calls Sarah (Aubrey Plaza), who calls Isaac (Max Minghella) in a standard “these are your characters, nice to meet you” scene; later on you also meet Siri (Maggie Grace) Ben’s longtime girlfriend and Kate (Jane Levy) Isaac’s “plus one”. They all fall into the categories “the ways people react to your almost death”

Ben is the one with his own issues, he can’t focus solely on helping his friend; Josh is the no-nonsense “suicide is ridiculous” character that is almost cruel in how he tries to get Alex to just admit it was a dumb idea; Sarah is the doting mother hen, a one woman Suicide Watch; Isaac is the one who doesn’t know what to do so he brings a plus one to further separate himself; Kate is an outcast, an outsider looking in; And Siri is the only person that treats Alex like a person.

When the friends arrive at Alex’s place they take it upon themselves to tidy up his living space. But they never touch the bathroom. I think that’s my favorite thing about the movie. They never clean it, they openly avoid it, and it’s very much how people react when someone they know tries or mentions wanting to kill themselves. So when everything goes bad, Alex takes it upon himself to finally take care of it. The scene is poignant, it reads as if he realizes everything is in shambles and he’s simply trying to regain control of his life because he’s the only one that can do it. It’s probably something that will always scratch against the back of his head but he’s making the moves to ignore it. Hearing Kate help someone on the suicide hotline, I think that made him take a step in the right direction and try to ignore the thoughts telling him things are too hard and to go ahead and do it.

While the scene with Josh attempting to force Alex to open up about what he was thinking is a tough one to get through, his ultimate point: that they were ignoring Alex, is profound. Considering Josh is a bit of a prick, recognizing that he was part of a larger problem is ultimately quite big. Alex’s admittance that he realized he didn’t truly want to die is also pretty big. Basically, even with him taking the steps –including actually slitting his wrists– it is ultimately always scary to feel like you want to be dead.

The film does a good job of showing that depressed and/or suicidal people are not solely concerned about their own personal issues, contrary to popular belief. Alex is such a sweet character, he always asks after his friends, and he openly cares what’s going on in their lives. Even after everyone is doting on him and “trying” to be extra careful he pays attention to their issues and tries to be a helpful ear. I like to think that Alex and Kate are at the center of this movie. They’re both dreadfully kind characters surrounded by a bunch of tools and they’re just trying to deal, given the circumstances. Their exchanges together, while they seem charged with negativity, are actually pure. Her assessment of his fragile mental state is taken gracefully.

At it’s core, this movie is about a bunch of people, and the different ways they try to deal with their situations, i.e. Alex trying to kill himself. They sleep with the wrong people, they dodge their friends, they try to put too much into one person, they lie by ommission to their significant others. I feel the point is, nobody’s issues are “unimportant” even in the wake of a friend trying to kill himself. In a way it’s missing the point of a character reaching his “end” but it’s also true to form because everyone always misses the point.

You can watch About Alex on Netflix.

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Premise:
Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the ’90s – 20 years later. BoJack Horseman was the star of the hit TV show “Horsin’ Around,” but today he’s washed up, living in Hollywood, complaining about everything, and wearing colorful sweaters.
This quirky Netflix show needs to be on everyone’s radar! Meet Bojack, the eponymous “horseman”, a burdgeoning alcoholic trying to get used to life outside of the spotlight. He was the star of a 90’s sitcom “Horsin’ Around” based on a horse character that adopts human children. This show is absolutely hilarious, filled with dark witty humour and kitschy 90s nostalgia. As you watch you’ll be taken through a journey on this broken man’s life and find yourself feeling a certain kind of way about your own. It’s a roundabout experience that will keep you feeling fulfilled throughout the two seasons. And the theme song is FIYAH. So get on it, punks!
 Specific episodes: Bojack Horseman: The Bojack Horseman Story: Book One, Bojack Hates the Troops, Our A-Story is a D Story, The Telescope, Downer Ending.
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