Category Archives: Television

Lyonne/Polcanco Prison TV Criss-Cross


Image result for Winter Loop

Image result for Netflix Russian Doll

There has been a lot of time loops being discussed this week here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  First I had my own time loop when I was keeping warm from the cold this past month; then we looked at the new Netflix series Russian Doll.  Nadia and Alan (Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett) go through their own vicious time loops in this modernized Groundhog Day-themed story.  Throughout their loops, the dig deep into their traumatic past to find the real solutions.

Image result for Netflix Russian Doll

Image result for Netflix Russian Doll Beatrice

In the midst of discussing these two time loops, there was one other surprising event unfolding during the story.  You see, Natasha Lyonne wasn’t the only actress on the show after being on Orange is the New Black.  Alan’s girlfriend, the one he was going to propose to, is played by none other than Dascha Polanco a.k.a Dayanara “Daya” Diaz.

Lyonne and Polanco. two actresses, appearing in two similar shows.  This calls for a TV CRISS-CROSS!

Ah, yes – we have discovered our first TV criss-cross here in 2019.  Not only is this our first criss-cross of the year, but it goes a LOT deeper than the previous events.  Things are about to real twisted, real quickly.

Image result for netflix orange is the new black

Here we go.  Natasha Lyonne and Dascha Polanco first appeared in Orange is the New Black.  Lyonne was Nicky Nichols while Polanco was Dayanara “Daya” Diaz.  They both make up as the main characters of the show.  Ever since season one, Nichols and Polanco have been serving their times in prison for their own crimes.  Not only are they facing problems in prison, but they are wrestling with the prison in their minds as well.

Image result for netflix Russian Doll

Fast-forward almost six years later over to Russian Doll.  Natasha plays Nadia Vulvokov, a woman stuck in her own time loop while celebrating her 36th birthday.  She isn’t exactly in prison anymore, but she is trapped in another prison within her mind.

Image result for netflix Russian Doll Beatrice

In the meantime, Dascha Polanco plays Beatrice in the later episodes.  She isn’t stuck in a time loop of her own, but later becomes associated with Nadia during the series.  Nadia explains to her about the infinite time loop she has been raveling with the entire time.  It is then that Beatrice and Nadia fully understand the psychological torture happening.

Two actresses starring in two series about the same type of prison they face.  It’s that kind of content that makes this TV criss-cross truly unique among others.  This is the kind of criss-cross that is set on a much deeper level.

With that, our first TV criss-cross has been discovered for the year.  Who knows what other hidden criss-crosses will be discovered with the media?  Maybe the next criss-cross could go deeper down the spectrum.

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Russian Doll – Netflix


Image result for MA Winter

Image result for Winter in MA

Ok folks — we are just about one month away of winter left.  We are FINALLY at the last leg of snow, slush, and brutal cold temperatures here in Massachusetts.  Even though there hasn’t been as much snow as last year, this winter seemed too long to deal with.  It was like dealing with this Groundhog Day-themed loop where I kept waking up to cold temperatures and snow on the ground.

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For the record, I wasn’t the only one dealing with the psychological effects of this year’s Groundhog Day loop.  This past week, I checked out a series about someone dealing with a similar effect… but MUCH more bizarre.  It tells the tale of a woman who relives her 36th birthday over and over again, only to die each time at the end.  This is Russian Doll.

Image result for Russian Doll Netflix

Image result for Russian Doll Netflix

Image result for Russian Doll Netflix

Russian Doll stars Natasha Lyonne (Nicky Nichols in Orange is the New Black) as Nadia, a young woman celebrating her 36th birthday in New York City.  She gets caught in this vicious loop where she dies at the end of the night; after each death, she wakes up fully alive the next day.  Throughout her journey, she meets with a man named Alan Zaveri (Charlie Barnett) who is experiencing a similar time loop.  Alan and Nadia discover some shocking truths about how this is happening in their lives.

Image result for Groundhog Day Movie

Image result for Groundhog Day Movie

The show is a similar take to Harold Ramis’s film Groundhog Day.  This classic 90s movie stars Bill Murray as Phil Connors, a TV weatherman who gets caught in a time loop where he repeats the same day.  Connors relives the same day waking up on Groundhog Day after covering the event while in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  He works out all the kinks he can to try to escape the time loop.

Image result for Russian Doll show Fish Tank

Image result for Russian Doll show Horse

With Russian Doll, the themes about time loops become more philosophical.  Symbolic images and figures such as the fish swimming in their tanks or Horse utilize that kind of scientific knowledge to provides a deeper learning experience.  Nadia and Alan’s history become a main key in solving their continuous time loops.  That’s what separates Russian Doll from its counterpart Groundhog Day.

Image result for Russian Doll show Nadia and Beatrice

Image result for Orange is the New Black

It’s as if Natasha Lyonne escaped FCI Danbury prison from Orange is the New Black, only to be transported into her own psychological prison in Russian Doll.  Better yet, Dascha Polanco (Dayanara “Daya” Diaz in Orange is the New Black) makes an appearance as well.  Both ladies take part in the mind-boggling torture in the series.

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With that, Russian Doll was truly an amazing series. The Groundhog Day loop stretched to new boundaries while Nadia and Alan looked into the troublesome past to find the answers.  After the dreadful winter time loop, it was certainly entertaining to watch one that was more philosophical.

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Definitely check out Russian Doll on Netflix for the mind-blowing Groundhog Day loop experience.

Superbowl Touchdown Philosophy


Image result for New England Patriots Superbowl LIII Champions

Image result for New England Patriots Superbowl LIII Champions

This week we have seen some major wins as well as major losses.  First and foremost, the New England Patriots won the Superbowl this year.  Tom Brady won his SIXTH Superbowl in his career with the Patriots.

Image result for Massachusetts CBD Products

But that’s just one of few touchdowns scored this week.  CBD products have been stocked in shelves all across Massachusetts these days.  Smoke shops, gas stations, and even porn shops are carrying CBD-infused items for its customers.  Legalized recreational cannabis sparked the PR miracle of shifting the CBD market across different businesses.  With more dispensaries opening up this year, there will be much more CBD products to go around.

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It wasn’t all a win here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar this week.  John Barnaby replaced Tom in Midsomer Murders, which didn’t make for a good mix at all.  Tom was calm, intelligent, and dealt with real facts to conjure up the real story of the murders.  With Tom Barnaby gone, the flow is now completely different from its previous seasons.  No matter what the case may be, Tom Barnaby remains to me as the best detective in the show.

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There was also a major loss for restaurants and its patrons alike.  Full-service dining is expected to increase further this year.  Restaurant prices alike rose to .5% since December, the biggest gain since March 2011.  It may be a small percentage increase, but it makes for a BIG financial PR nightmare for future.  Many Americans may be thinking twice about eating out with their friends and family.

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When it comes to public relations, not everyone can be a winner.  Some will be the Patriots while others will be the LA Rams.  Every PR miracle and nightmare flows among the stream of buzz around the nation.  There is no such thing as bad publicity because even bad publicity will gets pushed into the mainstream media.  Its times like this where you can have both things happening in one week.  CBD products may be flying off of more shelves, but restaurant prices will be increasing this coming year.

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But that’s just the way life is sometimes.  There are always wins and losses just like there are always PR nightmares and miracles.  One thing has to give over the other.  What used to be so convenient is now becoming less convenient due to financial burdens and vice-versa.

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In the end, there were many winners and losers this week here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  The New England Patriots ring in another Superbowl win, yet the world still goes on.  Who knows what other wins and losses will happen in the future?

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We will just have to watch the web of PR miracles and nightmares streaming around the world every day.

 

Tom Barnaby > John Barnaby


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Image result for Midsomer Murders

Image result for Midsomer Murders

Lately I have been getting into some random British series on Netflix these past few months.  One of those is a mystery crime drama called Midsomer MurdersMidsomer Murders takes place in modern-day England, following Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) of Causton CID as he solves murders within the fictional county of Midsomer.  He works with other sergeants throughout the series such as Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), DS Dan Scott (John Hopkins), and even DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes).  The series is based off of Caroline Graham’s Chief Inspector Barnaby book series.

Image result for Midsomer Murders Episodes

Image result for Midsomer Murders Episodes

Each episode showcases a mysterious murder that happens in Midsomer.  During the beginning, the detectives search for clues and investigate anyone who could provide vital information.  Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby utilizes all of this information to come up with the correct story at the end, solving the murder once and for all.  Barnaby makes for an amazing detective as he keeps himself level-headed and grounded while he connects the clues all in his mind.

Image result for Midsomer Murders Episodes

Image result for Midsomer Murders

This past week, I got a taste of the new season featuring Tom Barnaby’s cousin John Barnaby.  John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) made his first appearance in season 13 episode 2 titled, ‘The Sword of Guillaume’.  He later took over as the main cast after Tom announced his retirement in the last episode of season 13.

Image result for Midsomer Murders Tom and John

After a mere eight episodes in with John Barnaby, I can only include with this: Tom Barnaby was the real OG detective.  There it is, I said it – Tom Barnaby was still better than John.

Image result for Midsomer Murders Tom

Image result for Midsomer Murders Tom

To be honest, Tom Barnaby made for a much more entertaining detective to watch.  He kept himself grounded in conflicting situations, solved the murders exactly as they were, and even had some witty sarcasm every now and then.  Whenever something was on Tom’s mind, he kept coming back to the idea, only to realize that it was part of the solution the entire time.

Image result for Midsomer Murders John Barnaby

With John, there is no sarcasm or big stories of how he finds out the murders.  If anything, they nab the suspect responsible and just take them away.  The revealing stories seem a bit rushed, snuffing out all of the details pertaining up to the event.

Image result for Midsomer Murders Tom

John Barnaby may be the new detective in charge, but no one could solve the mysteries well like Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby.  Tom revealed every meticulous detail of the murder, pointing out the small flaws he discovered in the story.  It was that kind of sophisticated crime story that made Midsomer Murders so amazing.

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In the end, John Barnaby will always remain as the better detective in Midsomer Murders.

 

Marie Kondo’s Surprising PR Miracle


Image result for Netflix Marie Kondo

Image result for Netflix Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo has made quite a splash this past week with her series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix.  The new reality series features Kondo helping all types of clients de-clutter their home, one item at a time.  Clients gathered all of their belongings and kept those that still ‘spark joy’ in their life.  This new method of cleaning focuses on items that are still valuable now rather than finding ones to throw away.

Image result for Netflix Marie Kondo

Image result for Netflix Marie Kondo

Ever since Tidying Up with Marie Kondo hit the digital library, many people took to tidying their own house or apartment.  They sorted out all of their belongings based on what still ‘spark joy’ in their lives.  Clothes are the most popular items that people are still holding onto years later.  But rather than throw away old clothes, audiences decided to put them to good use… and thus, a PR miracle began.

Image result for Thrift Shops

Image result for Thrift Shops

Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is responsible for a surge in thrift shop donations.  People from all across the country are donating their clothes to various thrift shops.  After piling all of their clothes into one mountain (as instructed by the 1st step of the KonMari method), people are organizing the clothes that don’t spark joy anymore that they will donate later on.  Shirts, socks, pants, underwear, and coats are a few of many clothing items being donated nationwide.

Image result for Thrift Shops

Image result for Thrift Shops

This a really interesting PR miracle we have here.  Not only are millennials completing the process of tidying up their home, but they are also giving back to their community.  Tidying Up with Marie Kondo teaches people about the true value of the products they own in their life.  Just because something isn’t of good use to them doesn’t mean that it isn’t good use to the world.  All of those shirts you haven’t worn in a while could be still be useful at your local thrift shop.  In the meantime, you will make room for the new shirts you’ll collect later on.

Image result for Marie Kondo

Image result for Marie Kondo

With that, Marie Kondo has taught us the importance of valuing your belongings by donating them to thrift shops rather than throwing them away.  That old t-shirt can still help spark joy for another person that would enjoy wearing it.  You should share the joy you receive from your products rather than keep to yourself.

It is then, and only then, that you can help the world spark joy in life.