TV this week: ‘Orange Is the New Black’ ends its storied run

Chuck Barney’s TV and streaming picks for July 21-27

DON’T MISS: “Orange Is the New Black” — The award-winning prison dramedy that gifted viewers with a wonderfully diverse ensemble of women and helped put Netflix on the original programming map, closes out its run. In the show’s final, 13-episode season, the women of Litchfield come to terms with the fact that their time behind bars has changed them forever. While Piper struggles to readjust to life on the outside, Taystee’s friendship with Cindy still hangs in the balance as her sentence looms. Also, Gloria and her kitchen staff are confronted by the harsh realities of Polycon’s newest profit stream. (Friday, Netflix).

Other bets:

SUNDAY: In the season finale of “Burden of Truth,” the murder trial begins and Joanna and Billy find themselves defending against an avalanche of evidence. Also, Joanna risks everything by relying on an unexpected witness. (8 p.m., The CW).

SUNDAY: How will it all end in Monterey? “Big Little Lies” wraps up its second and final (maybe) season, and we can hardly wait to see Celeste get Mary Louise on the stand to question her about a terrible event in Perry’s childhood. (9 p.m., HBO).

SUNDAY: “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” means even more camera time for the celebrity chef. In this globe-trotting series, the star of “MasterChef” and “Hell’s Kitchen” travels to remote corners of the world to meet with indigenous people and learn about the cultures, dishes and flavors unique to each location. (10 p.m., National Geographic Channel).

MONDAY: As “The Bachelorette” heads into its stretch drive, it’s time to watch Hannah Brown’s rejected suitors get grilled on the juicy “Men Tell All” episode. The highlight? Luke P. takes the hot seat to talk about last week’s dramatic flameout. (8 p.m., ABC).

TUESDAY: Is “Cash Pad” prime time’s one-millionth home-makeover series? It only feels …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


‘Reality’ shows often aren’t real

This article originally appeared on Slate, and it is used with permission.

When people learn that my husband and I have been on House Hunters not just once but twice, they always have a million questions. Once we are done explaining, though, they never like my answers and wish they’d never asked. This is because even though smart viewers know that reality TV is created and edited just as carefully as scripted TV, they still, in the back of their minds, think that there must be some baseline rules about the “reality” that’s portrayed. But there aren’t!

So I’m going to tell you all about my experience with House Hunters International, on which we appeared in 2017, and House Hunters, which we filmed last winter and appeared on in June. My story might burst your bubble about the show. If this is not something you want, stop reading now. The first thing you need to know is that in neither episode of House Hunters were Jeff and I actually … house hunting. One time we’d already closed on the house we “chose” in the episode; the other time we’d already lived in our house for a year.

House Hunters International is always looking for people who have moved abroad to feature on the show. I write a blog about our family and our travels, which made us perfect — we were already willing to share our lives publicly. We filled out an application, submitted some iPhone footage of each of us giving a house tour, and underwent a Skype interview with a casting director, focusing on how we might be in conflict while looking for a house. The interview also seemed meant to ensure we weren’t a family of sloths or murderers, though maybe that would make better TV.

Shortly …read more

Source:: The Week – Entertainment


Helen Phillips’ book recommendations

In her new novel, The Need, a scientist and mother of two is losing her grip on reality even before she confronts a home intruder. Below, the author of The Beautiful Bureaucrat recommends other novels involving alternate realities.

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (2017).

After Amanda and her young daughter Nina have some strange encounters with their summer neighbors, they realize that the landscape around them is not as benign as it appears: Amanda is powerless to protect Nina from the threats rising up from the grass itself. Told in surreal retrospection, this recent award-winning novel from Argentina is an eerie and brilliant story of maternal love, overpowering anxiety, and environmental degradation.

Kindred by Octavia Butler (1979).

Dana, a writer living in 1970s California, gets yanked back in time to a pre–Civil War Maryland plantation, where she encounters her enslaved as well as her slave-holding ancestors. As Dana struggles with the challenges to her identity amid this change in context, the reader is pulled ever deeper into a narrative that raises the hardest questions about America’s history.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (1969).

Genly Ai is an ambassador from Terra to the cold planet of Gethen, where everyone is androgynous — a fact that has profoundly affected societal structures. The relationship that Genly develops with Estraven, a Gethenian political leader, fits into a category of care and compassion that is difficult, if not impossible, to label.

Amatka by Karin Tidbeck (2012).

Vanja is a bureaucrat in a dystopian society where everything that isn’t properly labeled with a name tag turns to sludge. On assignment in the town of Amatka, Vanja starts to engage in small acts of defiance and strains her social bonds, including her relationship with her …read more

Source:: The Week – Entertainment


Horoscopes: July 21, 2019

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Juno Temple, 30; Justin Bartha, 41; Josh Hartnett, 41; Jon Lovitz, 62.

Happy Birthday: Preparation and planning will be essential this year. No matter what you take on, if you stick to your budget and take care of details personally, progress will be made. A change may not be wanted, but in the end, it will turn out to be to your benefit. Don’t resist the inevitable; go with the flow, and don’t look back. Your numbers are 8, 12, 23, 28, 36, 42, 44.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Participation will keep you out of trouble. The less time spent with people who question, complain or take advantage of you, the better. Don’t share secrets or put your reputation in jeopardy. Look for ways to save, not spend. 3 stars

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You’ll be able to convince others to pitch in and help you out. Make sure that what you ask for is necessary and that what you offer in return is adequate, or someone you least expect will bail on you unexpectedly. 4 stars

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Trust in what and who you know, not in someone who uses emotional tactics to collect information or take money from you. Stick close to home and the people you love, and make adjustments that add to your comfort. 2 stars

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Discuss your dreams, hopes and wishes with someone you want to build a future with. Whether it is a business partnership or a romantic relationship, communication will lead to a plan that will initiate positive change and long-term prospects. 5 stars

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Change can develop in many ways — some initiated by you, some forced and some unexpected. Do your best to prepare for whatever comes down …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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