Updated: Dec 29, 2022
On this day many many many moons ago, my dear friend Bryley graced us with her presence. (Apologies to Bryley’s mom for making her seem old. That was not my intent.)
To people outside “the know”, Bryley is, in a word, great. And one of our common interests is storytelling; while Bryley’s go-to is usually the written word, she does love the occasional television series. Her streaming library is mostly dedicated to Netflix and the infrequent Prime Video or HBO Max appearance (if she has enough emails to make a new account on a free trial basis.) So today, on Bryley’s 22nd birthday I will review my takes on Bryley’s opinions of her favorite shows.
A League of Their Own (2022, Prime)
Most recently, I haven’t been able to get Bryley to shut up about A League of Their Own. But that’s mostly because I would never try. The love Bryley has for this show has set me up for failure, as her birthday wish was the renewal of the series, and I couldn’t succeed.
Beyond this, the quality of the storytelling is superb, as the series allows for an in-depth exploration of the characters. The series focuses on the first professional women’s baseball league, specifically the Peaches, and their progression throughout the season. The women have a complex relationship with baseball, as the politics are shaped by the patriarchy. Moreover, the majority of the women battle the world’s treatment of their intersectional identity.
So now that you know the overarching gist, with some of the reasons I loved it. What are my takes on Bryley’s opinion?
My take on Bryley’s opinion: Well. The surplus of queer love in the series is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, draw. The series shows a racial spectrum of queerness as well as show a broad definition of the gender expression. REPRESENTATION MATTERS!
Faith’s Take: I agree with Bryley. We’ve also talked about the series so much that our opinions have also blended together. But I want to add the addition of racial component, showing the parallel lives of black and white women in the 1940s and the innate privilege or limitations that comes with race.
If you haven’t already seen it, shame on you, watch it!
One Day at a Time (2017, Netflix)
Both Bryley and I have watched this Latino family enough times that we can’t think “one day at a time” without placing the upbeat theme song to the words. And I’m not just talking about when that phrase is the title of the series, but just in general.
Unlike most sitcoms, the show tackles serious issues within our general nation, but especially within the Latino community. My favorite moments are when we see Penelope (Justina Machado), a single mom, tackle dating with children. Or just living with her kids and Lydia, aka her mother (Rita Moreno). And any show with Rita Moreno deserves everyone's attention.
My take on Bryley’s opinion: Rita Moreno. Justina Machado.
Faith’s Take: RITA MORENO. JUSTINA MACHADO.
Schitt’s Creek (2015, Netflix)
After the Rose family fortune dries up, they leave for their last remaining asset: a small town named Schitt’s Creek. The family, is quite literally, up Schitt’s Creek. And we all know it.
The comic relief built around this formerly wealthy family is the same exaggerated humor us non-rich folk tease our family with. The adult children fight about “their side of the room,” the parents display uncomfortable levels of PDA in front of said children, and the characters have perfected the snappy one-liners that belittle their family members.
But ontop of that, they have the added component that they are learning how to live with everyday people. Their butlers, cleaning service, and limos are all gone, and they have been left to their own devices.
My take on Bryley’s opinion: The characters are authentically themselves. David (Dan Levy) is David. Alexis is a little bit Alexis (Annie Murphy). And Moira (Catherine O’Hara) and Johnny are stable in their own identity. But despite their structures, they have amazing character growth, showing how nature and nurture play into creating one whole being. Between the first and last episodes, they are drastically different, mostly because their entitlement dissipates, but at the same time, they are the same at heart.
Faith’s Take: In addition to the incredibly well written nature of the show, they perfect melodramatic acting. Most melodramas are in dramatic 45 minute tv shows or full-length movies, but by reformulating it into a sitcom, melodrama adds a whole new level of comedy and expands the genre.
Hacks (2021, HBO MAX)
At the beginning of the series, 70 year old, Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) develops a mentorship with 25 year old Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder). Despite their unique relationship, they begin to form a positive bond. But like any drama-comedy, the characters’ actions ruin their own chance of happiness, creating a vicious cycle of embarrassing and hilarious misfortunes for the duo.
The show highlights the differences of the generations, by creating a storyworld where “the good ole days” had serious negative aspects for women, but modern times also create a new level of hardships. Plus, working in the stressful entertainment industry with countless unusual characters, adds an additional level of comedy and drama.
My take on Bryley’s opinion: Ava wears Chacos! But no, in all seriousness, I love watching the ever evolving relationship between Ava and Debroah. Their contrasting personalities allow for mutual understanding and develop an outstanding level of conflict. I also just can’t stop laughing when I watch this show.
Faith’s Take: I love how women are supporting women. In general, women are often pitted against each other, and this is no exception for the entertainment industry. I love that, despite their differences, the women still support each other, well, most of the time. Hacks is all about female empowerment, no matter your age, and I love it.
Derry Girls (2018, Netflix)
That’s the only word that can really describe Derry Girls. From the teenagers to the parents, the show is utterly ridiculous, in the best way possible.
This coming of age/ familial sitcom depicts the candid lives of the five Derry Girls: Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Orla (Louisa Harland), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell), Clare (Nicola Coughan), and James (Dylan Llewellyn). Like most teenagers (or tv teens), they lie to their parents and get caught. They get themselves into horrible situations, and barely make survive. They have crushes that ignore them. Or no one crushes on them and their friends tease them.
At it’s heart, Derry Girls is about the family your born with, and the family you make along the way. I do suggest watching the show…with subtitles. They do have Irish/Northern Irish/British accents (yes, the accents sound different. No, I don’t know who has what) and sometimes you will not be able to understand what they are saying, but it’s part of the charm.
My take on Bryley’s opinion: I love how the show takes place in Derry, Northern Ireland, in the 90s. This was such an intense time for everyone in the region, and it’s interesting to see how young adults cope with the situation. But that the conflict doesn’t define them, and that they still have the everyday qualms of all teenagers. While the show has recently ended, I would love an hour move to discover how the girls live now. And thankfully, because the actors are all 30 year old, they could easily play the adult versions of themselves.
Faith’s Take: After studying comedy and sitcoms this year, I have a better understanding of the inner workings of comedies, specifically sitcoms. And from my research and my own attempt at writing a comedy-drama, I can say that the series did everything perfectly. The series utilizes multiple archetypes to build a character and that contrasts and adds to other characters to make scenes silly and ridiculous. This not only adds to the written comedy, but also adds to the physical comedy of the story.
Four comedies and one drama later, you now know my takes on Bryley’s opinion as well as Faith’s Takes. Since Bryley’ has no idea why I randomly asked for her top 5 shows last night, and I have fully tried to remember her opinions. Did I get them right?
That’s right. Bryley, you set me up for failing your birthday present, so I returned the favorite with homework. Please comment below if I guessed your thoughts correctly, incorrectly, or partially correct.
Happy Birthday Bryley!
Faith & the Faith’s Takes Community
The first photo of the iconic duo ever taken.