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[Series] Strong Female Leads to Follow on Streaming Giants: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

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The next few entries on the blog will explore streaming shows that center their stories around strong female characters. This week, we’ll start with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-) on Amazon Prime Video.

IMBD Score: 8.7

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

When God granted me a free Amazon Prime Video account, I took it without hesitation. I have not watched anything else on the platform other than The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-) since. Probably because nothing seems to catch my eye on Amazon and the company is weak on the advertising front. Nonetheless, here is why The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is different than your average streaming production—You cannot binge it. I can hear some of you disbelievers already; Believe me when I say I tried, but the content is too rich to shovel it down your brain that quickly.

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The show is set in the 60s and it follows the loving housewife (Midge Maisel) who finds out her husband has been cheating on her with his empty-headed secretary, and the rest of the plot easily peels away. While Midge tries to navigate being single in the world, her life changes completely: She moves in with her wealthy parents, starts working low-paying jobs on top of her occasional comedy performances. Season 1 is a testimony that it is faith that brings her to the stage; Midge holds the reigns and stays to succeed.

Season 2 (the best season in my opinion) is about the theme of change; Midge happily juggles between her old life and the new one, while the audience visits not one, but two scenic locations. Rose (Midge’s mother) realizes she might not be as happy as she put out to the world and moves to… France! These episodes provide the audience with an opportunity that shows them a different side of the stone-cold Weissman Family. It turns out that they are funny and lovable, too. Season 2 takes a small step back from Midge and shows the audience the people who influence her shows, and in return, she influences them (as observed in Rose’s sudden move to France in S-2, and Abe’s career decisions in S-3).

After a few episodes in France, The Weismann Family (Midge’s parents) take their annual trip to the Catskills, a popular American-Jew destination between the 1920s to 1970s. In a way, the episodes show Midge in her comfort zone, but she is forced to move on by a new love interest played by Zachary Levi (who most definitely stole my heart), and Midge’s agent on the clock to get her career on track. The plot is always striking and unpredictable; it does not follow your typical protagonist arc.

Another reason to praise this show is for its Creator’s (Amy Sherman-Palladino) ability to organically pay her respects and lift the communities who have long been disregarded on TV. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a breakthrough for the Jewish presence on screen. In both seasons 1 and 2, Sherman-Palladino comically describes to the viewer what Jewish weddings should look like and shows them the tragic turnouts, too. In season 3, the viewers experience a typical circumcision ceremony gone unappreciated by other family problems; the result is very funny as expected. Finally, the Rabbi might be the most popular character whom we don’t get to see enough on screen. The Jewish jokes are definitely the highlight of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Moreover, Sherman-Palladino does not think it is only Jews who can showcase their talent in the series. Season 3 distracts the audience with Shy Baldwin (played by Leroy McClain) who almost steals the light with his charisma. McClain portrays an African American male singer with an angelic voice. Midge nails a job to open for Baldwin and they become close friends. The plot twist reveals that Baldwin was gay all along, and the audience gets to imagine the hardships of Baldwin’s inner trauma as a gay man of color in the 60s. Again, Sherman-Palladino so gracefully blends an intimate topic with the rest of the feminist agenda of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and gets an A+.

Charisma is the word that defines this show. Rachel Brosnan is a charming actor who can have chemistry with a garbage can on the screen—just like her character Midge Maisel. And luckily, it runs on the family! Abe and Rose Weismann are equally fun to watch on screen and the audience might involuntarily find themselves wondering about what the Weismann’s do while the audience is busy watching Midge perform (I could happily watch a show solely based on the pair).

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a must-watch for many reasons, but for the sake of narrowing down the long list I talked about a few above: It is not a binge-worthy show. It requires your full attention to appreciate the blend of its advocacy driven platform with comedy. Plus, it has a charismatic ensemble.

The Ultimate COVID-19 Resource List (FREE)

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Credits: DanarArt on DevianArt.com

Dear habitants of earth,

Unless you are a space cowboy, you should be aware of the latest pandemic that we are all affected by equally—Well, that is a first. I hope you are all staying safe from the COVID-19 virus by staying in and battling with creeping diabetes at the same time. I know, I am. Kudos to those who work out and avoid baked goods at home; please do share your secret. I was home for a total of 7 days, self-quarantining (and, I mean who is counting?).

Here is how it went:

Day 1 – Workout done, cooking done, cleaning done, reading done

Day 2 – workout nada, cooking nada, cleaning nada, reading yes, watching tv YES, laying down like a sloth YES.

Rest of the week – same as before. I am sure I was more productive during the occasional times that I felt depressed in university.

While I can talk about the hardships that people of the earth suffer daily and I think we never hear enough of that, I will try to lure the left side of your brain today. If you are home today, you are an awesome individual who cares about the people around you; I want to thank you, friend. I also want to help you with unleashing your creative energy during this unusual time (for some of us). I will try my best to write a couple articles for the next while to keep us, the privileged folk sane.

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Credits: MET

The internet has been a great place this week with overflowing resources. It is awesome to access free and quality classes, workshops, articles, and even music. Without further ado, here is the Ultimate COVID- 19 FREE Resource List to help you take advantage of the free stuff on the internet.

  1. Take 500 free IVY LEAGUE courses – There are 500 courses offered by the Ivy League universities, which you can take FOR FREE. Some of these universities include Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and Cornell. Classes range from Art History, and Religious Studies, to Economics and Science. So, there are a lot of options. Click here to see the full list of courses.
  2. Read 300,000+ Free eBooks by NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARYDownload NYPL’s free reader application simplyE here. The system is like any other e-Library system. You borrow the e-book, and when your time is up the next person gets the book. Do not fret, you can always put the book on hold. But hurry, because some of the popular titles like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter are already taken! (PS. Do check whether this service is available in your region.)
  3. Reach Free Content on JSTOR – If you are a university student, you have already been to JSTOR many times. Well, the academic resource site now offers 6,000 e-books and over 150 journals for free to fulfill your research needs. Click here to visit JSTOR.
  4. Watch Nightly Opera Stream at the Metropolitan Opera “MET”– You can now stream MET shows at the comfort of your home. As the official statement writes, “During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark. Every day a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being released for free, on-demand streaming, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT.” Click here to stream.
  5. Stream Live Channels on Pluto TV— Stream Channels on Pluto TV – The service offers 250+ live channels free to stream for the US (including Puerto Rico), the UK, Germany, and Austria. You can download the app or simply stream online.
  6. Stream Sling TV (Available in the US) – Sling TV made a selection of its content free to the US viewers, which includes ABC News Live, family-friendly movies and series, and other lifestyle programs. Click here to view Sling TV.
  7. Receive News from FAIR.org—I was tipped by a mentor of mine about this service a while ago. While there is various news floating about the coronavirus, I’d suggest subscribing to a reliable news source like FAIR “National Media Watch Group” to get your facts right. Click here to read FAIR. Click here to subscribe to their newsletter.
  8. @SaveWithStories AKA Celebs Read for Kids – All of our favorite celebrities decided it was a good idea to read for kids who are likely bored every 5 minutes at home. So, here’s a little something to entertain the little ones. Start listening the stories OR read about the premise.
  9. Consult Youtube for Your Fitness and Health Needs – There are a million fitness influencers out there who already started at-home fitness challenges on Youtube. If bodyweight workouts are not your thing, try searching ‘Walk at home’ or ‘dance cardio workout’ for other options. I know it is hard to get up from your seats (!) but it is recommended to literally move for 20 minutes every day. I believe in you; you can do this.
  10. Listen to NEW MUSIC – To name my favorites, The Weeknd and Childish Gambino recently released new albums—And, you can listen to them FOR FREE. I am sure there are other awesome artists out there who have made their music available for all.
  11. Take care of yourself, it is FREE – Yes, while we can entertain and educate ourselves, we almost always forget about self-care. Make a facemask and watch Brené Brown (God, I love her!), practice meditation, talk to your flowers, wash your hands, and do whatever fills your cup and love yourself. After all, you finally have time for yourself!

BONUS: Pay attention to your elderly neighbors who may need assistance with getting their pills, groceries, books, etc. Make sure you do not contact them directly but call them or leave goods outside their doors, and do the best you can to help them in this difficult time.

I hope this list is helpful to some of you. Comment below if you can help me expand it. Stay home, stay safe and be kind, folks. Sending everyone patience and love today.

Hi all, I recently contributed to “Yeni Döngü – Bilim-Sanat-Yaşam” (“The New Cycle Blog”). Since it is Monday, and Sully (2016) is a film that is definitely not underrated, it does not fit into the new section on the blog. So, here’s a new tag called High Rated Mondays for the movies that receive good reviews alongside doubling their budgets. Click here or see below to read the full review.

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Sully (2016) is another phenomenal film directed by Clint Eastwood; it is based on Captain Sullenberger’s (or ‘Sully’) emergency landing on the Hudson river in 2009. The US Airways Flight 1549 gets hit by a flock of geese shortly upon its leave from LaGuardia Airport, NY. Both engines break down due to the unfortunate event, and as a result, the airplane loses altitude rapidly. The airport suggests returning to LaGuardia, which would eventually result in a brutal crash. Sullenberger is able to compute the inevitable and makes the decision to land on the Hudson. Thus, the event as well as the movie are referred to as “the miracle on Hudson”—In 2009, Captain Sullenberger’s decision saved every single one of the 155 people in the flight with little to no injuries, and he became a national hero.

While the film finds its origins in the book, Highest Duty(2009) by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow, it most certainly lets the audience experience more than the events itself. The film starts the event’s investigation in New York and Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) plays back the incident in his mind. There is a dual image present throughout the film: The investigation of the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) symbolizes the machinery function of the government whereas the pain that Sully experiences during the investigation process shows his humanity. Hanks performs one of his best acting, which creates a sharp contrast and highlights this duality alongside the partially negative portrayal of the NTSB officials.

The mentioned portrayal of the NTSB created some controversy upon the release of the film. While the film claims to be based on real events, Captain Sullenberger himself mentioned the audience might get the wrong impression about the NTSB investigators. He said, “These are people who are not prosecutors”, and according to Hanks, the script eliminated the real names of the investigators immediately. In conclusion, it may be true to say that the dramatic duality effect provided an intense viewer experience while confirming that the script may simply be “loosely based” on the events itself. Or, it may be proof for Sullenberger’s humble personality as shown in Sully.

Sully is emotionally triggering, real, and intense—It will surely keep you on the edge your seat.

Sully (2016) Review: The Impossible Return to LaGuardia — taken from “Bilim-Sanat-Yaşam Blog”

[Photoblog] 2018 in Review: I did all this?

2018 was my ride or die. It was full of moments that left me in awe, put my capabilities in a trial, overwhelmed me with joy and with its last bit, challenged me with deep sadness as well.

I love the photoblogs because it has always been hard for me to see the small successes. As I looked through these moments, I said to myself, “I did all this?“. Believe me, there were a lot of question marks, not just one.

As always, thanks to the many friends I made along the way.

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