Have you seen: “Grace and Frankie?”

Netflix has really been putting out compelling programming lately. We were already addicted to “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” Due to the fact that Netflix releases an entire season at once, Chris can be a binge watcher and wants to keep watching since it is all available right away. I am more of let the ice cream melt mentality. What does ice cream have to do with watching Netflix? As a kid we did not have desserts or sweets very often. Mostly just when we spent time with my grandma. On rare occasions when we would have ice cream, I would often eat it so slowly that the last half of my bowl was runny and soup-like. I was trying everything I could to let it last longer and longer — even to go to such lengths as using a smaller spoon to eat tiny bites. It was such a treat I wanted it to last longer.

I want the same for when I watch a good show. So while I do not want to wait a week to see the next episode, I might only want to watch 1-2 a night and then let it all soak in and start again the next night. Recently we happened across a new show called: “Grace and Frankie.” We watched it like I used to eat ice cream. Enjoying it along the way. We watched the last episode on Saturday and I have to say that I am a bit bummed that we are done with the first season. The show is about two couples, and well…I do not want to give away what happens with these couples, so you will have to watch. Just know that the two couples are played by Martin Sheen, Sam Waterson, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin. Having just finished watching “Newsroom” with Jane Fonda and Sam Waterson, and having loved West Wing, we were hooked. The first episode is a little slow, but it gets better. I also relate to one of the daughters, Brianna, as she is the sassy one.

The episodes are thirty minutes so it is a quick season to watch. I hope it does well for Netflix because I would like to see Season 2. This weekend, we get to start watching the next season of “Orange is the New Black.” Better make sure we have ice cream.

Are you into Orange?

We just finished Season 2 of “Orange is the New Black.” The show is clever, fascinating, complex, and while maybe you figure out the surprises, it still entertains. I remember after watching a few episodes of the first season, I point-blank say to Chris: “I never, ever want to go to prison.” What hell it must be. I am sure that every prison and jail is different, especially depending on its level of security. Regardless of whether it is maximum or lower, I want nothing of it.

“Orange is the New Black” showcases a women’s prison and I can only image what it is like to mix women and men that are locked up. Maybe that is not even possible, which tells you how much I know about prisons…but this blog is not about how much I know about the incarcerated. I did a stint in college for what we called “Community Service” with a local juvenile correctional facility. I facilitated poetry and writing courses with the young men that were in the facility. It was fine to me. I never really felt unsafe. I was definitely a minority, and most of us that frequented were white in a mostly black facility. These boys craved interaction, and having someone focus on them, and so most responded well and seemed quasi interested. Maybe they were just bored, or maybe they had never really been exposed to writing, poetry, and their feelings.

While I was at a fairly nice liberal arts college, the surrounding community was not as affluent, and mostly farming. I am not sure what access they had to literature or exposure to their own writing. Yet since they had plenty of time to themselves each day, writing might have been just what they needed to process their thoughts. And, maybe it was just a way to have interactions with individuals from outside the facility.

Back to the women’s only prison. “Orange is the New Black” was created by Jenji Kohan, the creator of “Weeds” and she is clever. She has taken a mostly unknown cast (with the exception of Jason Biggs, Michael Harney, Laura Prepon, and Pablo Schreiber). Taylor Schilling plays the main character and she has definitely made a name for herself.

If you have not seen it on Netflix, you will want to spend a weekend or two this summer watching both seasons. It will make you appreciate all that you have, your safety, and that being good is not without its benefits.

“I only want to hang with my wife”

You know when you hear something and you think, “Hell yeah, or right on!” We were watching a clip of Ellen with Seth Rogen and he discusses one of his recent tweets:

“I really only want to hang out with my wife. I just want to watch Game of Thrones with my wife.” -Seth Rogen

10:14 PM – 21 Apr 2014

Um, hell yeah. I am not a Game of Thrones fan, but really this could read anything along the lines of, “I really only want to hang out with my wife [or husband]. I just want to watch [Scandal] or [The Good Wife] or [24] or [insert your favorite TV show]. I love thinking about how diligent we are with specific shows. There are plenty of shows that I would never watch that Chris loves and others I cannot watch for the mere fact that I would never, EVER get the story line out of my mind. This is how the scenario would play out:

I would wake up in the middle of the night and shake Chris and say, “I cannot sleep because that episode of 24 was just too real and is something going to happen at 3:00 AM when Jack does [insert whatever mayhem you want here]?”

Chris would then think something like, “I cannot say, “No.” because Tami does not do so well in the middle of the night when she really is not coherent and when I tell her something is not possible and it does not make sense to her well a lot of expletives spew out of her mouth.” He would then say to me something like, “Jack is safe at home with Chloe. All is good.” I would believe him and then go back to sleep.

So instead of watching shows together that I cannot even fathom watching (because of my never-shutting-down brain) we watch Scandal, Parenthood, Modern Family, The Good Wife, Orange is the New Black, and House of Cards, and I can sleep at night and all is well.

The next morning we will wake up and brush our teeth and say, “Can you believe what happened on Scandal last night?” or “I cannot believe we only have one more episode left of House of Cards, how are we ever going to wait a year to see the next season (you know all in one weekend like the rest of the world).” Is it sad to say that while we are watching our favorite television shows together, curled up on the couch together, that we are in some ways connecting? Yes. We are home together. We discuss what happens. We reflect on the storyline in relation to our own lives. Somehow we feel in a better place and, maybe, the world is in a better place.

Although after all that, the gist of Seth Rogen’s quote is really this: “I just want to hang out with my wife [or husband].” At the end of the day it is not about Game of Thrones, or Scandal, or Orange is the New Black. It is the fact that hubby’s want to be with wives, and vice versa. It is about snuggling on the couch or in the bedroom, toes touching, or legs intertwined, for that moment in time where spouses hang together. Life is never the same. We are never the same.

#lovemyhusband

“Reach out and touch someone.”

I was talking to a colleague yesterday about “Orange is the New Black.” I had mentioned that scenes from the series kept coming back to my mind. She asked if there was a reason why, and I relayed a few ideas. One being that I NEVER want to ever go to prison. While you might have a simple response: “well then do not do anything stupid, Tami.” Easier said then done. We live in a culture that sues. You piss someone off, they sue you, and sometimes the law is not alway on your side. Maybe I have watched too much of “The Good Wife” but I am not optimistic about our legal system, and I do believe that innocent people often end of in prison. Sad but true.

I digress. One of the things I mentioned about Orange is the New Black that got me thinking was about being touched. They only subtly show you this in the show, but I picked up on it immediately. Inmates are not allowed to touch each other. When the main character gets her hair cut and is getting her hair washed (not sure how many real prisons have hair salons) she groans. Having her head touched by someone else is just so foreign, yet matters so much to her. They are starved and crave the human touch.

Yet, as the thought continued to spin around in my head yesterday I realized we ALL crave physical touch. Whether it is a gentle hand on our arm telling us we are going to be fine, or a hug, or maybe just a pat on the back. Touch grounds up in ways that words sometimes cannot. We are reminded that we are all right. We can make it through today, and tomorrow. So when I saw this  Chevrolet commercial “Maddie” (ugh I know another car company ad), the impact of this girl and her dog I thought to add that it is the snuggle of your pet, their sloppy, wet kiss, and the lifetime of comfort when we need it most. A dog always knows.

So not to jump back to the early ’80s but “reach out and touch someone.” [old AT&T slogan]