Girls, Season 3, Episode 1, “Female Only” Written by Lena …
It’s another full week in television, giving us plenty to discuss on the podcast. First we kick things off with a look at a few of the notable comedies this week as well as some memorable reality, then we talk genre, including the 50th Anniversary Special for Doctor Who, and we finish up with drama, including the Boardwalk Empire finale. Next it’s over to the DVD Shelf, as SoS’s own Deepayan Sengupta joins us once again to discuss the short-lived sitcom delight, Ben and Kate.
After the critical blessing that his indoctrinating debut Martha Marcy May Marlene generated on the festival circuit back in 2011, Sean Durkin’s sophomore feature was awarded a big screen projection at the Special Presentation strand of the Toronto Film Festival this week, an unusual upgrade as this four-part TV funded saga has already been aired on the UK’s Channel 4 network.
It may have taken seven episodes to get us there, but Ray Donovan finally convinced its lead character to do something interesting. Watching Ray put himself repeatedly in harm’s way (to the absolute bafflement of those he’s trying to get through) almost approaches the level of charming. Especially with the overall, off-kilter weirdness of Sully’s Boston surroundings.
Four episodes into Ray Donovan and already a regular viewing pattern emerges. When Ray appears onscreen, the natural reaction is to tense up. These are the moments when the show is at its bleakest; when it truly tries to be a crime drama and not some mishmash of family interludes and semi-comedic relationships that might actually be intended for comedic effect.