Television Show Review: BoJack Horseman: Season 5

BoJack Horseman Season 5

BoJack Horseman: Season 5 created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg (Tornante Company, ShadowMachine, and Netflix) Starring Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, and Paul F. Tompkins. A Matter of Change Can we really change? And, if not, what does that mean for society? Almost everything we do in the modern world operates under the assumption of change. We study, and our knowledge base grows; we practice, and our skills refine. If these external indicators point toward a changing state, doesn’t it stand to reason that our inner lives change too? And yet, certain schools of behavioral psychology argue differently. These theories posit that most elements comprising our internal selves are innate, hard-wired and incapable of change. We are who we… Read More →

Television Show Review: The Night Of

The Night Of

The Night Of created by Richard Price and Steven Zallian (BBC Worldwide Productions, HBO, Film Rites) Starring Riz Ahmed, Peyman Moaadi, Poorna Jagannathan, John Turturro, Jeannie Berlin, Paul Sparks, Amara Karan, Bill Camp, and Michael Kenneth Williams. Put the Kettle On Surprise! The systems around which you operate influence you. Example: I work with a British expatriate. My lexicon now skews toward sayings like “Put the kettle on” instead of “Boil water” and “Two weeks’ time” instead of “Two weeks from now.” It’s a small example but it goes to show how external influences alter who we are, how we act, and what we believe. When it comes to murder mysteries, most narrative arcs focus on the “whodunnit” aspect of… Read More →

Book Review: State of Wonder

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

State of Wonder: A Novel by Ann Patchett (New York: First Harper Perennial Olive Edition, 2014; originally published in 2012. 448 pp) Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three books of nonfiction. Notably, she has won the Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the co-owner of Parnassus Books. The Power of Story Classically, the power of story resides in its ability to present a character that overcomes the odds. It might be the lowly knight that slays the dragon, the outcast in high school that gets the girl, the hard-working genius that pulls herself out of the standard stereotypes to be a… Read More →

Book Review: Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (New York: Anchor Books, 1994; originally published in 1959. 209 pp) Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. He is a graduate of University College, Ibadan. He left an early career in radio and become a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Achebe was a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts and at the University of Connecticut. Achebe has won the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize, The New Statesman-Jock Campell Award, the Nigerian National Merit Award, and the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction. He was awarded more than twenty honorary doctorates and received the Honorary Fellowship of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He died… Read More →

Book Review: Middlesex

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002.  544 pp) Born in Detroit, Michigan on March 8, 1960, Jeffrey Eugenides is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer. As an undergraduate, he attended Brown University and later earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from Stanford University. Eugenides received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Fellowship for a short story he wrote in 1986. In 2002, his novel, Middlesex, won the Pulitzer Prize and the Ambassador Book Award. Eugenides works on faculty at Princeton University’s Program in Creative writing and lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter. Drawn to the Outsider Are you drawn to the outsider? Maybe it’s just me,… Read More →

Television Show Review: Girls: Season 2

Girls Season 2

Girls: Season 2 created by Lena Dunham (Apatow Productions) Starring Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, and Zosia Mamet. Spoilers for Season 1 apply. Halcyon Days Are you ok with change? For many, change is the devil. We all wish for halcyon days, a verdant time where everything exists in a perfected state. When a life altering circumstance occurs, we often long for the days of yore, for a period when things were less stressful or easier. With the second season of Girls, I am beginning to see changes—ones I’m not certain are good for the show. I don’t think I’m ok with change. Girls and Their Boys Season 2 begins shortly after the concluding events of Season 1. Hannah… Read More →