Recommendation: Try Maria Bamford’s new show “Lady Dynamite” on Netflix

Lots of stuff isn’t usually “funny.” Dead pets, passive-aggressive friends, African war-children, compromising one’s ideals for work, breakups — oh, and getting committed to an asylum.


Maria Bamford has to deal with all that shit in “Lady Dynamite” (Netflix streaming). This somewhat-autobiographical show had me laughing, cringing, and nodding in equal measure. It’s uncomfortable to watch sometimes. It takes a few episodes to get rolling. But once it’s on its way, it’s addictive.

It’s not quite like anything I’ve ever seen before, which is hard to say.

Plus, the dogs talk.


The dogs’ plots are central to the main plot.

I respect that.


I recommend the Strain for people who like being grossed out and depressed.

I settled down to watch The Strain‘s Season 3 premiere last night, hoping to see Angel, my favorite vampire-fighting former luchador.


^ (not him specifically, just a general luchador)

When Angel didn’t appear, I couldn’t remember if he was dead. This is double-embarrassing because I’ve also read the books. 

I can never remember who’s dead on a TV show between seasons.

If a show has more than, say, 10 characters, I can’t keep track of them. I require very concise recaps before the credits every time, if possible.

Back to the Season 3 opener of The Strain, a show I mostly like because the vampires are not sparkly or sexy. During transformation, their noses and genitalia literally fall off. Their hair falls out. They develop giant attacking throat-tongues. In the books, a huge deal is made of the fact that they pee and poop from the same hole, and it smells like ammonia.

Oh, and the Nazis‘ Holocaust was their trial run for human-farming methods.

This show is so gross. Every time it comes on, I’m surprised anew at that FX will put this content on TV.

Every scene is sprinkled with viscera. Every character is flawed to the point of being hateful. The vampires are heinous. The child-acting is a disaster.

Which brings us back to Angel (who was not in this episode). He is an old Latino guy with a limp who can use his old, buff body to rip those genderless uni-pooping bodies to shreds. I don’t think he’s dead. I hope he isn’t. He my shimmering favorite in a world of sadness.

If you want to immerse yourself in The Strain‘s horrific, virulent misery, it’s on Hulu.

The Month in Media: March in One Sentence

I’ve distilled March’s entertainment choices — good and bad — into easy-peasy sentence-bites.

If you’re trying to decide whether to continue reading this post, keep in mind that I accidentally watched Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo this month.

If that’s not tempting, I don’t know what is.



Zootopia (4/5). Adorable CG animals tackle heavy-hitting topics like racism, innate abilities, and friendship.

Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo (2.5/5). This “film” is surprisingly heartfelt for something so trite.*

(*I have no control over what my father-in-law puts on the TV.)

The Good Dinosaur (4/5). This movie is freaky — including an acid-trip sequence, some drug-addled adrenaline-junkie pterodactyls, and a character biting a living insect’s head off.

The Martian (4/5). The movie’s better than the book!


Not Safe with Nikki Glaser (5/5). This show has a sparkling array of unique, funny, dirty features.

Samantha Bee (4/5). One of my top Canadians (a difficult feat!) is conquering the medium of television.

Daredevil, Season 2 (3/5). I’m not finished yet, but I find this season disappointing and muddled.


I hate-watched Fuller House so you didn’t have to.

I tested the strength of my marriage today.


Our trial under fire was the pilot of Fuller House.

I could not pass up an opportunity to watch this throwback trainwreck.

My husband collapsed into a puddle of sighs and despair at the suggestion.

We watched anyway.

Here are my top 5 Fuller House thoughts:

1. The women aged nicely. The men — not so much. Except Uncle Jesse, of course. HAVE MERCY. Is this because women have more societal pressure to wear makeup and maintain a certain size? Or is it that women on TV tend to be more attractive in the first place (even during the original run)?

2. This is the most white show I have ever seen. There’s one Latino character. He speaks with an exaggerated Spanish lisp and cheats on his wife. I get that the Tanners happen to be white — but the inclusion of the terrible, racist Latino character is worse than none at all.

3. The inclusion of a laugh track highlights where the jokes fail. And they fail at least 90% of the time. We’ve entered a more sophisticated age of comedy that relies less on sight gags, repetition, tropes, 20-year-old callbacks, and two-dimensional characters. I do not want to return to the pre-30 Rock era.

4. They haven’t updated the kitchen since the 90s. And you know how I feel about beige kitchens.

5. I can’t look away from Jodie Sweetin’s surgical choices. I know where her eyes are. I am not looking there.


You aren’t looking there, either.

I daresay they perked up the experience — but they weren’t enough to save the show from itself. I doubt many people will bother past the pilot, and that’s for the best.

Danny DeVito Brings Sunshine Into My Life

One of the greatest things about Danny DeVito — and there are a lot of great things about him — is how happy he is to get a little bit gross.

He keeps picking “ew” roles, like the Penguin in Batman Returns, the villainous car salesman father in Matilda, and, best of all, Frank in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Frank revels in filth. He’s unabashedly himself, as icky and depraved as that may be.


I think that we could all be a little more like Frank.

(But with showering.)

Out and about! Proud. Unashamed.

(But, I feel I must reiterate, please shower.)