'Lady Dynamite' Soars with Earnest, Surreal Comedy

I watched Lady Dynamite, Maria Bamford's new comedy series streaming on Netflix, in something that wasn't quite a binge. I looped through it, sliding forward through it in an echo of our lead's hypomania, then circling back to re-watch scenes, episodes or bits. Sometimes I was so delighted I needed to re-visit an offering (the visual gags are aces, the guest star list will blow your mind), and sometimes I was utterly confused at the surreal notes and structure breaks (wait, was that the pug talking, why yes, it was). ...more

Melissa Ford's Writing Interactive Fiction for Twine

Twine is software used to construct interactive and non-linear stories. Remember falling in love with "Choose Your Own Adventure" books and text-based adventure video games?  That thrilling way a choice would open an entire new corridor of narrative — or would shockingly dead-end or send you back to the beginning to sculpt a new outcome? Twine is an easy-to-you open source software that allows authors to craft this type of story or game and then instantly publish via HTML without writing any code. ...more
Let me know if you have any questions as you guys get started!  I love making stories with my kids.more

Mourning the Loss of Prince When We Counted On Immortality

This one is viscerally painful, but nearly impossible to process. How can the immortal die? And yet, Prince has been confirmed dead at 57, and my generation is reaching across text and tweet and message to comfort each other, because we know, we know, this loss is more than can be captured in traditional obituaries.  Image: © PA Wire via ZUMA Press ...more
Yep, I cried for days. He reminded me of my late brother first (he died at 49) and then it is ...more

Let's Build Tiny Houses for Our Busted American Dreams

My favorite Trader Joe's cashier and I, like the rest of North America, are obsessed with Tiny House shows.  We were talking about how you can repurpose the plastic tubs from cookies, and after we invoked the magical word "storage" things naturally flowed to Tiny House Nation.  "Don't you adore Zack?!??!?!" he said. "I LOVE ZACK!" I shouted.  ...more
I love Tint House Nation. And I really LOVE Zach!!!more

'The Americans' and the Particular Pain of the Parentified Teen

This season of The Americans belongs to Paige, the elder child of our complex and conniving spy couple.  The Jennings were outed, but not through subterfuge by the Soviets and not through their own misdeeds or missteps on missions. Philip and Elizabeth are being brought down by the messy machinations of teen-aged Paige who rebelled by attending church where she sought the counsel of Pastor Tim. "They're not....Americans," she sobbed as she betrayed them while seeking help for herself.  ...more

How 'The People v. O.J. Simpson' Is About Today in 4 Crucial Ways

The first season of FX's American Crime Story gets the 90's right: the hair, the clothes, the omnipresent National Enquirer. It seems to get most of the O.J. Simpson trial events and players right, too. But even more than that, the deep success of this 10-episode focus on the 1995 trial is that it shines a light on today's issues by framing the Simpson trial as a crucible of four of our most pressing social concerns.   Image: FX ...more
This show is actually fairly decent. Much more interesting than days of trial that included 200 ...more

INTERVIEW: Nicole Blades On Writing 'The Thunder Beneath Us'

Are the events of our past forever fault lines in our future?  In Nicole Blades' new book, The Thunder Beneath Us (Kensington, Fall 2016),  she chronicles the life of Best Lightburn, a young woman with a charmed life who harbors a painful past that she has tried to deny. ...more

Oscars 2016: Will You Watch or Will You Boycott?

"What will Chris Rock say?" is one of the biggest questions this week. As the #OscarsSoWhite conversations lead up to Sunday night's upcoming telecast ceremony, moviegoers who typically enjoy seeing our big screen favs at the big tent circus of the Academy Awards (not to mention Tweeting along with gown and speech reactions from home)are facing an ethical quandary and a question of our own. Should I watch or should I boycott? ...more
Like you, Deb, I'm curious whether any actors will make a meaningful statement about diversity. ...more

Taylor Swift Gets the Last Word with Kanye In the Best Way Possible: Her Success

I wasn't sure who Taylor Swift was referencing when she levied her acceptance speech for Album of the Year at Monday night's Grammy Awards into a jab, but it was clear that she was pointing her words somewhere specific: ...more
She had all the rights to be mad at him, but stood classy all the waymore

Yay, 'Scandal' and HTGAWM Are Back

Good news, Gladiators! The grand Thursday night Shondaland #TGIT line-up is back in play, with Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder returning after a midseason's break. Fantastic! Pop some corn, aerate some wine, and get ready to pick up where we left of with Annalise's... um, hmm? I can't seem to remember what, but it was good.  And Olitz was hot and heavy with the...wait, or did that happen with Jake? Was there a cliffhanger? ...more
BLESS YOU. Wasn't Annalise shot in the chest? Because he was too excited? I've forgotten.more