"Evil" Season 2 on Paramount Plus.

ENTERTAINMENT – “Evil” Season 2 is the Provocative TV Show You May Not Be Watching

Michelle and Robert King’s seductive successor, “The Good Fight“, is a necessary “Evil.”

One of television’s strangest, most beguiling shows returned for a second season on Paramount+, June 2021; it was pushed off of network television and left to languish—or maybe flourish—in the recesses of streaming. “Evil”, from creators Michelle and Robert King, takes the knowing, literate, hyper-contemporary tone of those creators’ “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight” and grafts it onto a story about the Catholic church, possession, and the Devil himself. It’s a creepy and bleakly funny series, a lament about our times that would never be so insincere as to suggest the supposed good can win in the fight against the dark.

 

“Life Means I Kiss Ass. -Vela Kurv” new calendar released today on Amazon.

 

Dave (Mike Colter) and Kristen (Katja Herbers) star in “Evil” on Paramount Plus.

In the Kings’ nimble hands, all of this demonry becomes a metaphor for the sickness of the American present day…

The first season, which aired on CBS, followed a case-of-the-week structure while also attending to a larger mystery. Forensic psychologist Kristen (Katja Herbers) is enlisted by the church to look into matters of demons and other supernatural phenomena, a skeptic Scully to balance the show’s dreamy, furtive, priest-in-training Mulder, Dave (Mike Colter). With an even more skeptical tech guy, Ben (Aasif Mandvi), to aid them, Kristen and Dave investigate lots of eerie occurrences, all while stalked, taunted, and accosted by another psychologist, Leland (Michael Emerson), who is either Satan incarnate or a loyal lieutenant.

MORE:

In the Kings’ nimble hands, all of this demonry becomes a metaphor for the sickness of the American present day, particularly the ways in which the internet has smuggled horrible things past lax defenses and into our daily lives. The show’s most alarming suggestion is not that something bad is coming for us, but that we are all already terribly infected with it; there is an arch hopelessness to the series that may sound off-putting in theory, but in practice is oddly soothing, cathartic. It’s fun to wallow around with a show that makes such a gallows humor joke of how well and truly fucked we are.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Do you storyboard your story ideas? That’s exactly what this storyboard book is for.

Sketch out your story layout and track your story visually as a writer, a director, a creator…

Kristen (Katja Herbers) stars in “Evil” on Paramount Plus.

Evil’s nerviest sustained trick in season one is keeping us guessing whether any of the spooky stuff we see—particularly a goat-headed man-beast who appears in dreams, and maybe in waking life—is actually real.

Evil’s nerviest sustained trick in season one is keeping us guessing whether any of the spooky stuff we see—particularly a goat-headed man-beast who appears in dreams, and maybe in waking life—is actually real. Maybe the show is entirely allegory: Leland is a sociopath rather than an emissary of Lucifer, possessions are caused by physiological or environmental factors and not spirits from Hell. That ambiguity lets Evil really toss around its ideas; there is room to debate and theorize without anything smacking up against hard fact.

Ben (Aasif Mandvi) , Kristen (Katja Herbers), and Dave (Mike Colter) star in “Evil” on Paramount Plus.

The show’s relocation to Paramount+ also poses some intriguing possibilities.

What I’ve seen of season two (only a pair of episodes) changes that structure a bit. (Some spoilers to follow.) The first season’s cliffhanger—did Kristen actually kill the serial killer who has been threatening her family?—is answered; so too, sort of, maybe, is the bigger question of the supernatural. The first two episodes dive deep into the core mythology of the series—though there is a standalone case to be considered in the second hour. I’m not sure I love this heavy focus on the show’s internal lore. I prefer the series when it’s using its clever devices to peer outward, examining the varied trends and oddities of our digitized, atomized lives.

Still, I have faith (heh) that the second season will find its best course. Evil season one is too good to be a fluke, the Kings’ minds too sharp and whirring to putter out after just a short run of episodes. The show’s relocation to Paramount+ also poses some intriguing possibilities. It is, so far, a satisfying jolt to hear these characters drop a few cutting curse words, as if they are suddenly unbound—or, perhaps more appropriately, that much more steeped in the profane.

Cheery “Evil” is not. But it remains riveting television, mordant and sinister with a faint sadness hanging around its edges.

The show’s humor is still intact, particularly as evidenced in a nasty bit of physical comedy involving one of Kristen’s daughters. Kristen has begun to worry—just a faint flicker, a gnawing little thing; we in the audience are of course much more concerned—that there is something wrong with the girl, maybe something demonic lying dormant in her since the womb that is just now revealing itself. That’s a familiar, but pleasingly grim, narrative possibility, and a strangely poignant manifestation of the fear that children born into the horror of today are inherently poisoned and doomed.

Cheery “Evil” is not. But it remains riveting television, mordant and sinister with a faint sadness hanging around its edges. Which is what a lot of life in the world can feel like these days, our ironically commented-upon descent into the murk of late-stage everything. It’s nice to have Evil trotting along as a fellow traveler, perhaps even leading the way with a wicked and welcoming smirk.

Where to Watch “Evil”: Netflix, Amazon, Google Play, Paramount Plus,

Source: IMDB, CBS/Paramount+, Variety

SHOP RELATED ITEMS

Disclosure: Riley Rose Author is an Amazon Influencer and a promotional brand affiliate.

 

 

A Curvy Chick Production for Riley Rose superhero Vela Kurv books and graphic novels.

 

 

Sandra Oh in "The Chair" on Netflix.

ENTERTAINMENT – Netflix Presents “The Chair” Starring the Illuminant Sandra Oh

Set in a college English department, this funny and well-observed miniseries explores campus culture wars.

The Chair” from Netflix, Sandra Oh stars in this well-observed comedy-drama miniseries about the new head of a college English department, covering workplace conflicts, midlife crises, and political rifts on campus.

 

“Life Means I Kiss Ass. -Vela Kurv” new calendar released today on Amazon.

In the Beginning

Impressively well-cast, “The Chair” is anchored by Sandra Oh and Jay Duplass. Warm and sympathetic, Oh is a skilled physical comedian who thrives when playing characters at the end of their tether. Meanwhile, Duplass’ scruffy charm is essential to making Bill Dobson (Jay Duplass) anything other than infuriating. In the narrative at hand, Bill is an avatar of white male privilege, hanging onto a top-tier job despite erratic behavior and public scandal. Objectively speaking he should face repercussions, but we understand why Ji-Yoon (Sandra Oh) is rooting for him to pull through. Despite his many faults, he’s a likable guy.

Warm and sympathetic, Oh is a skilled physical comedian who thrives when playing characters at the end of their tether.

Sandra Oh stars in “The Chair” on Netflix.

MORE:

Rise To Fame

Yaz (Nana Mensah) and Ji-Yoon are clearly the most competent people in the English department, and the ones who work hardest to make the college a better place. But from a storytelling perspective this means that actress Nana Mensah arguably gets the short end of the stick, because Yaz is the one character who doesn’t get to be funny. Her entire role revolves around the frustrations of being overlooked as a talented Black woman in a racist workplace, without the zaniness offered to Sandra Oh and the others.

But from a storytelling perspective this means that actress Nana Mensah arguably gets the short end of the stick, because Yaz is the one character who doesn’t get to be funny.

Holland Taylor, Yaz McKay, and Sandra Oh star in “The Chair” on Netflix.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Do you storyboard your story ideas? That’s exactly what this storyboard book is for.

Sketch out your story layout and track your story visually as a writer, a director, a creator…

Set in a college English department, The Chair offers a funny and nuanced look at campus culture wars. As the first woman and the first person of color to lead the department, Professor Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh) plans to shake up her college’s old-fashioned image. But she soon learns that her dream job is actually a nightmare, torn between clashing factions at work and at home.

College Campus Learning Takes a Turn

David Morse and Sandra Oh in “The Chair” on Netflix.

Pembroke College’s dean (David Morse) sees the school as a business, ignoring Ji-Yoon’s expertise and scuppering her plans to shake things up. And within the English department itself, we have an awkward divide between elderly white professors who are set in their ways (Holland Taylor and Bob Balaban) and the young Black academic superstar Yaz McKay (Nana Mensah). Our final main character is Ji-Yoon’s love-interest Bill Dobson (Jay Duplass), a popular professor in the midst of a chaotic midlife crisis. Everyone aside from Yaz is a total mess, with Ji-Yoon struggling to keep the peace while raising her troublesome daughter (Everly Carganilla) as a single mom.

Life Means I Kick Ass! -Vela Kurv Blank Comic Book for lovers of creating their own anime and comics.

Perhaps you like to create your own anime or comic books, this book is here to support your best creating habit…!

The Chair is the first Netflix producer credit from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who signed a $200 million deal with the streaming service in 2019. It’s an unexpected project for them, but things make more sense when you learn that they’re co-producers rather than showrunners, with actress Amanda Peet (married to Benioff) as the lead writer.

Complications Grow and Wrangle

Sandra Oh in “The Chair” on Netflix.

Fueled by toe-curlingly effective cringe comedy, The Chair understands how to combine the personal and political. On paper, you might assume that Ji-Yoon would agree with the dean’s request to fire some of the old, white professors, who are definitely not pulling their weight. But Ji-Yoon views these cantankerous old scholars as her academic family—an emotional barrier to moving the department in a more progressive direction. These complex relationships feel messily authentic, but when it comes to more directly political topics, the show isn’t quite as smart.

One subplot involves Bill Dobson getting canceled for making an offensive joke in class. Unlike some of his colleagues, Bill isn’t a bigot, and this scandal could easily have been avoided. But he’s fundamentally incapable of taking the backlash seriously, spawning campus-wide protests. This is where the show’s lack of student perspectives becomes an issue. The Chair generally provides a down-to-earth view of the way personal motives intersect with political biases. But compared to the well-rounded roles for old white professors, the students are tertiary characters. Their complaints about campus racism are valid, but their reaction to Bill Dobson feels more like Twitter backlash than real student activism: a mob who turn on a dime and refuse to listen to reason. It’s the one point where the showrunner’s Hollywood background shines through, in a show that otherwise feels sly and well-observed.

Source: IMDB, Netflix and The Daily Dot

SHOP RELATED ITEMS

Disclosure: Riley Rose Author is an Amazon Influencer and a promotional brand affiliate.

 

 

A Curvy Chick Production for Riley Rose superhero Vela Kurv books and graphic novels.

 

ENTERTAINMENT – “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” Documentary Premiere on Apple TV

“And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts…” – William Shakespeare

From Apple TV: “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” offers an enlightening — and sometimes uncomfortable — look behind the scenes of a young star’s ascension.

“Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry” tells the true coming-of-age story of the singer-songwriter and her rise to global superstardom. From award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler, the documentary offers a deeply intimate look at this extraordinary teenager’s journey, at just 17 years old, navigating life on the road, on stage, and at home with her family, while writing, recording and releasing her debut album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

Singer/songwriter Billie Eilish’s ethereal voice and penchant for ruminative, hip-hop-flavored alt-pop songs made her a chart-topping music artist with her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019), all while still in her teens.

 

“Life Means I Kiss Ass. -Vela Kurv” new calendar released today on Amazon.

HBO Explains Eilish’s Backstory

In this film, we indeed see the world through Eilish’s eyes. Cutler foregrounds the intimate footage that uncovers her one-of-a-kind creative processes of home recordings with her brother and producer Finneas, and heated family meetings with their homeschooling parents about her career and marketing decisions. In turn, this footage brings out the film’s recurrent inquiries into the disorienting effects of overnight fame on Eilish’s self-image in the digital age of streaming moguls and social media celebrity.

Finneas O’Connell (brother of) and Billie Eilish perform.

Born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell on December 18, 2001 in Los Angeles, California, she and her older brother and frequent collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, were raised by their parents, actors Patrick O’Connell and Maggie Baird, in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood.

MORE:

Rise To Fame

The film proceeds to pick up its pace of editing in accordance with Eilish’s real-time ascension to the rank of global pop icon – switching back and forth between a series of adrenaline-infused, core-shaken live performances, and the fly-on-the-wall revelations of her sombre downtime to recover from injuries and heartbreaks. Here, Cutler shrewdly times her seemingly fleeting moments of angst and insecurities into the hazy layout of her all-consuming tour life.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Do you storyboard your story ideas? That’s exactly what this storyboard book is for.

Sketch out your story layout and track your story visually as a writer, a director, a creator…

During these moments, it dawns upon us that Eilish is still a wide-eyed teenager prematurely bombarded by public attention and scrutinization. Though what keeps her grounded – and what echoes this film’s zeitgeist – is her innately immediate connection with her fans and peers. Together, they find solace in each other while stumbling along the path to adulthood in this increasingly unpredictable world.

What Makes Eilish

Singer/songwriter Billie Eilish’s ethereal voice and penchant for ruminative, hip-hop-flavored alt-pop songs made her a chart-topping music artist with her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019), all while still in her teens. Born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell on December 18, 2001 in Los Angeles, California, she and her older brother and frequent collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, were raised by their parents, actors Patrick O’Connell and Maggie Baird, in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood. Both siblings were homeschooled by their mother, who taught them rudimentary songwriting as part of their curriculum.

Life Means I Kick Ass! -Vela Kurv Blank Comic Book for lovers of creating their own anime and comics.

Perhaps you like to create your own anime or comic books, this book is here to support your best creating habit…!

Dance was Eilish’s first outlet, by at the age of eight, she began singing with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. Finneas was the first of the pair to show musical aptitude by writing and producing his own original material at the age of 12. But in 2015, he recruited his sister, then 13, to provide vocals for a track he’d written titled “Ocean Eyes.” They then uploaded the song to SoundCloud with the intent of having Eilish’s dance teacher choreograph a dance routine for it. But the song began to make the rounds on the music streaming service, and with the help of word of mouth and some unofficial remixes, “Ocean Eyes” became an online sensation with 14 million streams. The popularity of the track led to a recording contract with Darkroom, a marketing company turned independent music label, in partnership with Interscope Records; the two companies reissued “Ocean Eyes” to overwhelming critical acclaim in 2016, and encouraged Eilish and her brother, who was now her permanent collaborator, to write more music.

An Icon Emerges

The incubator approach yielded impressive results: a new single, “Bellyache,” was released in 2017, and swiftly followed by “Bored,” which found its way to the soundtrack for the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” (2017- ), and then “Watch” and “Copycat,” all of which would be featured on Eilish’s debut EP, Don’t Smile at Me in the summer of 2017. Momentum built slowly but steadily for the record, which rose from No. 185 on the Billboard 200 to the Top 100 a year later and finally peaking at No. 14 in the first quarter of 2019.

Regular media coverage of Eilish’s career and unique fashion, as well as some unsettling videos for the singles, which featured the singer in various states of surreal distress, helped to boost album sales and Eilish’s profile as an up-and-coming artist and tastemaker to watch. She also continued her breakneck pace of songwriting and recording, issuing a 7″ single featuring an acoustic take on her song “Party Favor” with a cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” for 2018’s Record Store Day releases.

All The World’s A Stage With Eilish

A subsequent collaboration with the singer Khalid called “Lovely” was featured in the second season of “13 Reasons Why,” and again, preceded a flurry of songs, including “When the Party’s Over,” “Bury a Friend” and “You Should See Me in a Crown.” All tracks were included on her debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which solidified her status as ascending star by debut at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart.

A subsequent collaboration with Billie Eilish and the singer Khalid called “Lovely” was featured in the second season of “13 Reasons Why.”

“The world’s a little blurry. Or maybe it’s my eyes.” This line from Billie Eilish’s record-breaking debut album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? turns into the apt title of director R.J. Cutler’s well-rounded documentary, looking at how the Gen-Z pop sensation rose to superstardom. With a risky runtime of 140 minutes, the film never feels overlong, as it strikes a skilled balance between a fulfilling fan service and a verité epitome of the contemporary music industry as experienced by its prodigy in the spotlight.

Source:  HBO, One Room With a View & IMDB

SHOP RELATED ITEMS

Disclosure: Riley Rose Author is an Amazon Influencer and a promotional brand affiliate.

 

 

A Curvy Chick Production for Riley Rose superhero Vela Kurv books and graphic novels.

 

"Poms" on Netflix.

ENTERTAINMENT – “Poms” Movie Puts a Cheer on Aging Appropriately on Netflix!

Netflix features “Poms,” about Martha (Diane Keaton) moves into a retirement community and starts a cheerleading squad with her fellow residents, proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. This is an uplifting comedy, starring Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Celia Weston and Rhea Perlman.

The Beginning Of The End

Diane Keaton plays Martha, a loose-shouldered, cynical retiree whose attitude towards life is painted across the lines in her face and in animated eye-rolls when met with the slightest inconvenience. She’s a trooper; the kind of grandma who would decline the assistance of a passer-by offering to carry her groceries, just out of pride.

 

“Life Means I Kiss Ass. -Vela Kurv” new calendar released today on Amazon.

We meet Martha at a point of crisis in her life, when she decides to cease ongoing treatment for her terminal illness, sells all her belongings, and sets out to find a change of scenery; a fresh start for the approaching end…and so the journey begins! To the appropriately fitting lyrics of Carol King’s ‘Bitter with the Sweet’, we travel cross-country with Martha to begin her new life at the Sun Springs retirement village.

 

MORE:

 

Despite the conservative mindset of Vicki and her gang of Southern Belles, Martha decides to start up her own cheerleading club with the assistance of Sheryl and her grandson, Ben…

On arrival, Martha is greeted by the village’s overbearing president, Vicki (Celia Weston), who’s in control of the community’s activities and encourages Martha to join a social club. At this point, we already know that the last thing Martha wants to do is socialize, regardless of how lonely she might appear, but after meeting her persistent neighbor, Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), she’s inspired to rekindle her teenage dream of becoming a cheerleader. Despite the conservative mindset of Vicki and her gang of Southern Belles, Martha decides to start up her own cheerleading club with the assistance of Sheryl and her grandson, Ben (Charlie Tan).

 

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Do you storyboard your story ideas? That’s exactly what this storyboard book is for.

Sketch out your story layout and track your story visually as a writer, a director, a creator…

From here on, we get everything one would expect a movie of this nature to deliver: the auditions, the rivalry, an array of obstacles the team face in order to perform their big act – including an unplanned public performance which leads to disaster.

Another One Bites The Dust

Despite the adherence to a cookie-cutter formula, the bold choice to address the more serious themes surrounding old age is precisely what makes Poms stand out. That’s not to say it isn’t a comedy, but its unexpected earnestness is so jarring up against the moments of farce humor, it somehow grounds the farfetched situation within a more concrete sense of reality.

 

Life Means I Kick Ass! -Vela Kurv Blank Comic Book for lovers of creating their own anime and comics.

Perhaps you like to create your own anime or comic books, this book is here to support your best creating habit…!

Martha is a real woman dealing with a common issue surrounding old age – that unforeseeable ‘something’ we could all face one day at the luck of a draw. There’s nothing more real than facing death, which is why her resistance towards forced optimism is so relatable. We admire her choices to rebel, because it’s so easy to give up, especially when reaching a ripe old age where one’s physical or even mental wellbeing is beginning to disintegrate.

Director, Zara Hayes, delivers a salty kind of comedy about death that feels dark, but never pitch-black. I would be lying if I said all of the jokes landed, some even come off as gratingly distasteful, but being the professional actresses that they are, Keaton and Weaver do an outstanding job of elevating the frequently sordid dialogue; Keaton with her witty outbursts and Weaver with her wide-eyed promiscuity.

Low On Moves, High In Spirit

Admittedly, the rehearsal and dance sequences feel edited together as if to mask the physical limitations of its ageing cast, which can be distracting at times, and more specifically during the anticipated climax when Martha and her squad go up against a variety of younger, fitter cheerleaders. However, this minor tumble is forgiven when the electro-pop beats of Galantis’ ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’ kicks in, and Martha’s addictively goofy dance move spreads its love into the live audience and across social media, inspiring a signature dancing tsunami of mixed cultures and demographics from around the world. It’s just too cute and well-meaning to dismiss.

Anyone expecting a senior-charged version of “Bring It On” will walk away from “Poms” disgruntled, because isn’t about mind-blowing athleticism or choreography, it’s about giving life a second chance before deciding to give up entirely and learning that the risk involved with taking that chance is much less than the regret of not acting on it at all.

Wrap-up

A group of spunky seniors defy ageist assumptions in this affable, featherlight farce from director Zara Hayes. Diagnosed with incurable cancer, Diane Keaton plays a former teacher that moves into a retirement village in Georgia. After she befriends her poker-playing neighbor (Jacki Weaver), she starts up a cheerleading club, with Rhea Perlman and Pam Grier among the recruits. Although critiques denote “Poms” as cheapened somewhat by its overly bright aesthetic and sentimental score, but I don’t agree. The witty script includes shots of dark humor and fun touches, most involving the community’s overzealous security detail.

The film credibly explores the ways in which older women are marginalized and belittled, with particular focus on the controlling behavior of spouses and family members. Keaton and Weaver bring plenty of personality to their characters, and while the narrative is rattled through rather hastily, “Poms” transcends the cheesiness of its premise. This is the B movie, you want to laugh with, examine the seriousness of the issues it reveals about aging and be dazzled by the heroines that overcome how they are treated by a belittling society.

Let’s be real for a second, movies about getting old aren’t often taken too seriously by Hollywood studios, ‘Hollywood’ being the emphasis here. They tend to acquire a sense of breeziness; an easy-watching style that avoids catching viewers’ off-guard with anything too deep or intense, which is fair considering the market they are generally aiming for.

Keaton with her witty outbursts and Weaver with her wide-eyed promiscuity.

Connotations associated with the phrase ‘getting old’ are unfortunately linked to the thought of one’s life coming to an end, and although inevitably accurate, it somehow creates the misconception that life is less desirable once you’ve reached a certain age. Sure, the thought of narrowing down our daily activities to pot-planting and croquet isn’t exactly appealing, but that’s not to say there aren’t exceptions to the rule.

Thankfully to the wonderful world of cinema, there’s an opportunity to deconstruct these kinds of misconceptions, and while not perfect, “Poms” is an adequate example of Hollywood escapism taking a slight detour from its expected path. It’s not all smooth sailing, but it’s a trip worth taking for the experience.

 

Showdown

Regardless of Shane Atkinson’s thinly written script and Hayes’ occasionally clumsy direction, there’s nothing more smile-inducing than watching a troupe of golden oldies relive their teenage years through the joys of dance. Yes, it’s predictable, and yes, the jokes don’t always work, but its heart is in the right place, and it delivers a really poignant message about the power of friendship and believing that we all deserve happiness, even when the unfortunate events of life threaten to bring us down.

“Poms” is on Netflix and it’s a watch you wouldn’t want to miss! We could all use an endearing laugh with topical issues. This one to be viewed.

Source: Netflix, Film Inquiry, and Radio Times

SHOP RELATED ITEMS

Disclosure: Riley Rose Author is an Amazon Influencer and a promotional brand affiliate.

 

 

A Curvy Chick Production for Riley Rose superhero Vela Kurv books and graphic novels.

 

"My Unorthodox Life" on Netflix.

ENTERTAINMENT – “My Unorthodox Life” Takes a Page of Fascinating Reality in this Reality Show

She’s sexually free and has vowed to treat the models at her agency as peers rather than bodies.

I was persuaded by a very good friend (@linda.mccullough.33 on Instagram) with ultra-discerning taste to stream and review “My Unorthodox Life” on Netflix. What a welcome surprise of originality to the most amazing and unusual story. Despite being a reality show, I enjoyed watching this series, it was a lesson in learning about the orthodox Jewish community.

 

“Life Means I Kiss Ass. -Vela Kurv” new calendar released today on Amazon.

“My Unorthodox Life” is a reality series about Julia Haart, who left an insulated orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, NY in 2013 and has not only skyrocketed to the CEO position of Elite World Group, one of the top modeling agencies, but has broken through the sheltered life she was forced to live in Monsey. She’s sexually free and has vowed to treat the models at her agency as peers rather than bodies. Her family has mostly progressed with her, but to varying degrees. Read on for more.

Julia is now married to Silvio Scaglia Haart (he took the last name she gave herself after they got married); together they bought Elite in 2019.

Opening Shot: A shot of lower Manhattan, then the inside of the “Haart Family Penthouse” in Tribeca. The Gist: Like most women in her ultra-orthodox community, Julia married her first husband, whom she barely knew, when she was 19 and was expected to be a homemaker and a baby maker. Women in most ultra-orthodox sects are supposed to exist to serve their husbands, and dress very modestly to not “tempt” adult men who somehow can’t control themselves. Julia couldn’t abide by that, so she secretly sold life insurance and annuities to save up some money, and finally left her husband in 2013.

 

MORE:

Three of her kids left the community with her: Batsheva, who was 19 and newly married to her husband Ben; Miriam, who was happy to leave because she wasn’t religious and wanted to explore her sexuality; and Shlomo, who has yet to kiss someone at 25 because back in Monsey, dating was for marriage (her now-teenage son Aron lives with his father). Julia is now married to Silvio Scaglia Haart (he took the last name she gave herself after they got married); together they bought Elite in 2019.

Now that Keeping Up With The Kardashians is kaput, a new reality TV family has arrived just in time to step into the spotlight and become our latest binge-watching obsession. We are, of course, referring to the Netflix hit, My Unorthodox Life, a fascinating look into the glossy, glamorous world of the Haart family after stepping away from their strict religious community.

“My Unorthodox Life” has the feel of reality shows that center around families from cultures that Americans don’t often understand…

In the first episode, Julia is putting together her first show for Elite’s first fashion label, with the help of COO Robert Brotherton, and her key model has to bail due to illness. Meanwhile, Bat has a continual argument with Ben about wearing pants (a no-no in ultra-orthodox communities), and Miriam tells her if Ben can’t follow her exploration of the non-orthodox world at her pace, then he’s not good for her. Miriam goes on a blind date with a woman who also led a restrictive life, and Shlomo talks to Julia about his first kiss with a woman.

 

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Do you storyboard your story ideas? That’s exactly what this storyboard book is for.

Sketch out your story layout and track your story visually as a writer, a director, a creator…

According to The Decider, there are other shows that it takes some similarities to; My Unorthodox Life has the feel of reality shows that center around families from cultures that Americans don’t often understand well, like “Family Karma “or “House of Ho.” But in there are wedged in some fights that don’t quite feel authentic, like on the show “Bling Empire.”

Haart had a wild, sudden success with her shoe line, where she designed high heels that were comfortable, going with the theme that women shouldn’t sacrifice for fashion.

The Decider has an interested take from someone who is Jewish but not religious; stories of people who came out of ultra-orthodox sects in places like Williamsburg, Brooklyn or Monsey, NY is fascinating to watch and take note of. The Decider explains further: “I know a lot about the “rules” that those sects have and how women are ground down under the heel of tradition in those communities, but some things still surprise me. What surprised me is that some of the reasons given for the repression Julia talks about in the first episode is batshit crazy. But what also surprised me is that her meteoric rise to the top of the fashion heap isn’t explained very well.”

 

Life Means I Kick Ass! -Vela Kurv Blank Comic Book for lovers of creating their own anime and comics.

Perhaps you like to create your own anime or comic books, this book is here to support your best creating habit…!

Yes, Haart had a wild, sudden success with her shoe line, where she designed high heels that were comfortable, going with the theme that women shouldn’t sacrifice for fashion. Scaglia was the CEO of La Perla, the company that bought her shoe line in 2016. When they fell in love, that charged her rocket to the top even more, because the holding company they created bought Elite 2 years ago.

You have to realize how sheltered things are in the communities like the one Haart left. So the fact that she left the community in 2013 and became the CEO of Elite by 2019 is remarkable. I would have wanted to hear more of that story, but it feels like the producers left some details out, leaving viewers to wonder how she got to the top so fast. Even someone with the creativity, design skills, and determination of Haart wouldn’t go from nowhere to CEO in six years without meeting the right person at the right time, so a little more of that would have helped our confusion.

Three of four of Julia Haart’s children in “My Unorthodox Life” on Netflix.

… Julia is charming as hell, and full of piss and vinegar, a good trait for a reality show star.

All that being said, Julia is charming as hell, and full of piss and vinegar, a good trait for a reality show star. Her family’s various struggles with “coming out” into general society are interesting to watch, especially Batsheva, who clings to some old-fashioned beliefs — she thinks Miriam’s bisexuality is just a phase — while expressing her new self in other ways.

Some of that, though, feels more “reality-real” than “real-real.” Bat’s fight with Ben about wearing jeans seems to be ginned up for the cameras, for a couple of reasons: 1) Bat’s wardrobe, even in the scene where she’s wearing jeans, wouldn’t have passed the modesty test in her old community, and b) In the scene at the fashion show where she’s trying to get everyone to stop chiming in on the fight, she’s wearing pants. The show’s producers need to tighten that up in future episodes to pass the sniff test from savvy reality audiences. The Decider’s take on Sex and Skin: “Julia talks openly about sex with her kids which, well, good for her, but, ewwww. Also, after a romantic dinner conversation between Julia and Silvio at a restaurant, the two of them make out like their plane is going down.”

“…reality audiences know when something is real or is staged for the cameras…”

Parting Shot: Right before the fashion show starts, Julia learns that one of her models is sitting in a holding cell at a New York police precinct. Eeek! Sleeper Star: We’ll make this a tie, between the shy and awkward Shlomo, who we identified with the most, and the boisterous and romantic Silvio. Most Pilot-y Line: Again, reality audiences know when something is real or is staged for the cameras, and the whole jeans episode feels staged.

The Decider’s Call that I wholeheartedly agree with is to: “STREAM IT.” “My Unorthodox Life” is going to ride on Julia Haart’s personality, and this force of nature has personality to spare. Let’s hope further episodes — like when Aron stays with her — go over the culture shock she still faces so soon after leaving the life she always knew.

Source: IMDB, Netflix & The Decider

SHOP RELATED ITEMS

Disclosure: Riley Rose Author is an Amazon Influencer and a promotional brand affiliate.

 

 

A Curvy Chick Production for Riley Rose superhero Vela Kurv books and graphic novels.