Tag Archives: Movies

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.


2/2 Groundhog Day Quote

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When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

~ Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

1/26 Saturday Quote

Image result for The Normal Heart Movie Mickey Marcus

To what? I used to love my country. The Native received an anonymous letter describing top secret Defense Department experiments at Fort Detrick, Maryland, that have produced a virus that can destroy the immune system. Its code name is Firm Hand. They started testing in 1978 — on a group of gays. I never used to believe shit like this before. They are going to persecute us! Cancel our health insurance. Test our blood to see if we’re pure. Lock us up. Stone us in the streets. (to NED) And you think I am killing people?

~ Mickey Marcus, The Normal Heart

Reading Series #6 – The Normal Heart

Happy MLK Day readers!  We have frigid cold temperatures here in Massachusetts after yesterdays snowstorm.  What was supposed to be nearly a foot of snow ended up becoming a sleet and rain mix.  Halfway through January and the first snowstorm of 2019 finally arrived.

For the record, it has been very cold these past few weeks.  I have been hunkering down in warmer spots indoors to escape the brutal cold.  It definitely helped to have a riveting play in my hands, which is the topic for the latest Reading Series.

Today’s episode is about a play.  It revolves around a tragic health PR nightmare around New York City during the 1980s.  One man fights for his partners life, as well as his friends around him, in a time of darkness.  This is Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart.


The Normal Heart is an autobiographical play by Larry Kramer about the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City from 1981 to 1984.  It takes us through the mind of Ned Weeks, a writer/activist who established the prominent HIV activist group.  Weeks preferred the loud, public confrontations over the latter; this causes various memorable arguments among the characters.  One of those supporters is Felix Turner, who becomes Ned Weeks’s love life.


Reading The Normal Heart was truly an emotional journey.  Ned Weeks’s violent confrontations with both his enemies and friends truly showcased his passion throughout the play.  He wanted to solve the cure for AIDS so badly that he was willing to go any lengths to get to it.





It wasn’t just about finding the cure for AIDS – Ned Weeks was looking to become the true savior to all the gay men in the country.  He wanted all of them to keeping living the life they truly wanted.  This widespread germ warfare only dampened their lives even further.  Getting this information out to the public would be the first step in eradicating the disease.

Image result for The Normal Heart Movie

Image result for The Normal Heart Movie

Interestingly enough, I saw the film version of The Normal Heart by Ryan Murphy back in 2014.  The film starred Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Julia Roberts, Joe Mantello, Alfred Molina, and Jonathan Groff.  I thought the film version was amazing, even though I watched it BEFORE I read the play.


In the end, The Normal Heart was truly an emotional, yet amazing play.  Ned Weeks fought tooth and nail to solve the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City.  He couldn’t stand to see any more of his friends dies from this horrific disease.

Definitely check out The Normal Heart this year.


Cheech & Chong’s JOINT Oscars Venture

Image result for Kevin Hart Tweet

Image result for Kevin Hart Tweet

It has been weeks after Kevin Hart was booted from hosting the Academy Awards this year.  After his troubling stint with using gay slurs on social media, Kevin Hart resigned his position as host for show.  Ever since then, Hollywood has had a tough time finding their new replacement.

Image result for The Avengers

Multiple celebrities were up for discussion these past few weeks.  There was even talk that cast members of The Avengers would fill in as hosts.  But the best choice comes from the infamous comedic stoner duo Cheech and Chong (Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin).

Image result for Cheech and Chong Oscars

Cheech and Chong recently announced a plan that would say, ‘light up’ the Oscars this year.  Chong shared a short clip of him and Cheech Marin offering their services to be this year’s host for the Oscars.  Users took to Twitter with the best pot puns imaginable.  It certainly would bring much HIGHER quality to the 91st Academy Awards.

Image result for Cheech and Chong Oscars

Image result for Cheech and Chong Oscars

This is a great publicity stunt that took a tragic PR nightmare and recycled it into a humorous joke.  The award shows have gone ‘Up in Smoke’ these past few years, so Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin could be the hosts we needed in life.  With cannabis legalization looming around the nation, it wouldn’t hurt to have two infamous stoners host this year.  Better yet, it would push the legal agenda even further!

Image result for Cheech and Chong Oscars

Since we can’t find any trending stars to help host this year’s Academy Awards, Cheech and Chong could be our best bet.  They have already flipped a PR nightmare into a series of pot puns all around Twitter.  Since they generated positive buzz around social media, they would certainly keep the show ‘lit’ for the year.

Image result for Cheech and Chong Oscars

With that, here’s to hoping Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin become the fill-in for the 91st Academy Awards.  It’ s definitely HIGH time to make this happen.