Netflix

Haunted Coconut Review: The OA (Netflix Original)

Mid-March, 2017 and Netflix has a brand-new original series out. It’s in the same vein as the incredibly popular and oh-so-delicious Stranger Things, in that The OA is a one-season wonder. An entire series of goodness packed into a single bingeable season (which may or may not have a sequel). And we are meant to greedily scarf it down, all the while in suspense of where this series is going and what on earth (or beyond?) the “OA” is.

The Safe, Nimbly-Pimbly Spoiler-Free Review

Let’s get one thing straight, fans of Stranger Things: This isn’t nearly as good. This will not be a cult classic and you will not be messaging your friends that they have just got to see this new amazing Netflix show. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching.

The Premise:

First, since you don’t want spoilers, let me tell you, it’s hard to even give you a basic show premise or even assign it a genre without signaling where it’s headed. Sufficed to say it ventures into sort of a sci-fi / fantasy / psychological thriller with a slight Biblical twist (though not so overtly that it made me blow chunks).

The OA stars little-known actress Brit Marling and her shiny blond hair that is never mussed, and her dimples that never sag. Once you understand what the show is trying to tell you, it’s perfectly clear why she was cast. Her character, Prairie, is a young 20-something who went missing years ago and mysteriously reappears with a story to tell. So right off the bat, Netflix hooks you with the “what has happened to Prairie that she’s so messed up?” mystery. And just to turn the screw, it turns out that when she disappeared, she was blind. And now? She’s NOT!

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What It Reminds Me Of:

The unraveling of the mystery in full is the entire season. And it keeps you wondering and guessing and really attached. The suspense, along with themes of kids riding bikes around a neighborhood and forming important misfit connections to serve a central purpose that eludes the logic of adults, heavily parallels Stranger Things. But the wee characters in The OA aren’t quite as precocious or likable. Maybe that’s because they’re supposed to be sad, even beaten down.

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Gilmore Girls: Every Episode Ranked

UPDATED! To include the new Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life episodes!

From the sick mind that ranked every episode of modern Doctor Who, comes the biggest, dopest, Stars Hollowy-ist ranking of every last freakin’ Gilmore Girls episode ever made–all 157.

This was no easy feat, mind you. Ranking these episodes required months of re-watching every season (for the upteenth time) and countless hours of careful thought, criticism, and plenty of coffee, my friends. Let me tell you right off the bat that I’m a Jess fan, and I thought Digger wasn’t so bad. There. Phew. I got that out there. And Christopher? King of the Ruiners. I hate him the way Taylor hates the long-haired town troubadour (I just start pulling at my hair and mumbling to myself about vegetable soup, carts, kiosks, and cart-kiosks.). But more than focusing on a single character, I did my best to weigh how much I enjoyed each episode, and how much they fit in with the show and characters that we know and love. Lorelai playing racquetball? No. Mrs. Kim serving tofurkey? Yes. Rory going to the gym? No. Taylor convincing the town to build a giant haybale maze? Yes.

If you’ve ever “been to” Stars Hollow, I really hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane as much as Kirk enjoys crinkle-cut carrots. So, sit back and turn up the BooZoo Barnes, and get ready to completely disagree with my heavily subjective (yet clearly perfect) list.

This list is dedicated to my little sister Meri, without whom I never would have traveled to Stars Hollow, and who sadly did not live long enough to see the “Year in the Life” episodes.

157. “Go Bulldogs!” (season 7, episode 6)

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This episode is so badly written that it’s really difficult to sit back and enjoy it. Christopher’s cheesy, Lorelai’s a giant petulant child, and Rory is self-important. Not feeling it. And all those creme brûlée “to die for” jokes? [gag] [blurp] are like something out of a corny 50s sitcom. Not one scene of this episode works, and the series would be better if it never existed. Awkward Suspension of Reality Moment: The idea that Rory would have “fans”, being an undergraduate student editing a student newspaper for one semester–especially not to the extent that other parents recognize their names. Nope. Lorelai’s Been Hit With the Stupid Stick Moment: She is practicing French without really trying and with a cartoonish accent. I’m sorry, hasn’t she already been to France and other francophone nations? Lorelai’s Been Hit With the Stupid Stick Moment #2: “Extra Provost on that, please!” Tons of points lost for: Having to watch Luke’s wretched date with the really horrible gross swim coach. Super points lost for: A cappella groups. They made me listen to fucking a cappella groups! My ears! They bleed!

156. “Santa’s Secret Stuff” (season 7, episode 11)

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This whole episode is a bunch of terrible about Lorelai trying to write a character reference for Luke. I’m not sure we needed a whole episode to do this–though I get that she’s supposed to be examining her feelings. But you know what that leaves us to do? Listen to Gigi be a moron. And re-live the nightmare that is holiday shopping at the mall. The only redeeming part was the talk Lane and Zack had about life. I never would’ve guessed that they’d end up being the all-star couple of the series, but that’s what it’s looking like. Awkward Suspension of Reality Moment: Wait, Lorelai and Chris actually suspended Christmas–tree, gifts, and all, until Rory got back from England? How incredibly unfair is that to Gigi??? She’s a little kid who had to go to bed on the 25th believing that Santa was visiting everyone but her. I would have sobbed and been deep-down genuinely hurt by the universe. I mean, that is traumatic shit! But they had to all because of fucking Rory and her boyfriend booty call plans. Awkward Suspension of Reality Moment #2: While I don’t mind that there’s no snow (it’s common, plus it’s symbolic of Lorelai’s unhappiness), all of those trees outside should not have green leaves. Go, go California foliage! Awkward Suspension of Reality Moment #3: I just realized that in the outdoor shots you can see that the Crap Shack has some pretty fancy basement windows. Hmmmm. Lorelai’s Been Hit With the Stupid Stick Moment: “Hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey, monkey, underpants.” Points lost for: “The redcoats are coming.” Gigi, you are NOT cute. Not even a little. Points awarded for: Michel: “You know what, I cannot do this, let us just stand here and let the awkwardness wash over us.”

155. “A Vineyard Valentine” (season 6, episode 15)

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Taking us out of Stars Hollow was always a really bad idea. Then add in a splash of Luke acting like a complete grumpy dickface, not to mention a social spazz (who brings food rations on a romantic weekend?). Seriously, everything about Luke in this episode is what I hate about this character. Complete insensitivity and rudeness. Buy her a present, asshole. Don’t you love her even a little? Then throw in a zippity-pow of Rory being so fake, playing “Look, I’m a fuckin’ Real Housewife” with Logan. Since when does Rory like to cook big dinners? Or go to the gym? The GYM?? No she doesn’t like to do any of those things, and, frankly, without Lorelai there to keep her company, what is it she does at the gym while Logan’s shooting hoops? I bet she sits in a corner nibbling the ends of her hair and praying she never gets poor. This episode makes me angry and depressed all at once. I’m smad. Points lost for: Lorelai’s really tacky and unfunny spermaceti jokes. Points awarded for: I would normally say Boozoo Barnes and his zydeco band, but fuck this episode and this season. No points awarded.

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