The choices made leave Pray Away as exactly the kind of basic documentary that gets easily sold and just as easily forgotten about, a fate these complicated, brave subjects don’t deserve.
Betty is a disrupter. A disrupter of expectations, of stereotypes, of procedure. It says forget six seasons and a movie, we’re going to make a movie and then some television. It says forget your straight, white, male world, we’re going to follow a bunch of young women, some queer and not all white. It says forget plot, just vibe.
Moving forward, the deficiencies of this season should help answer its central question. How does one rewrite history through television, or perhaps more accurately, why? The first season’s screwy, boisterous energy provides a perfect answer: we rewrite as an act of compassion and hope.
I Care A Lot plays a tough game. It’s not an unfamiliar one, not by a long shot, but that doesn’t make it easy to stomach. A tale of greed and capitalism that can’t even be called allegory since it speaks of its themes directly, it’s a story of terrible people doing terrible things, and you’re not supposed to feel good about any of it.
The World to Come, is, you guessed it, a period romance between two white women. That unfortunately places it on a continuum that’s become stale, meaning something extra is required of it to stand out. And that’s where the movie falls a bit short, not with any big flaw but in not achieving anything truly great, and hence it seems doomed to fade into the ether.
Happiest Season knows the moment it’s in and how much it can push the boundaries, and it doesn’t dare come anywhere close to the edge. The win is simply getting an adequate one out there that everyone, not just queer people, will feel the need to see, and then not be put off seeing more. And in that sense, it plants its flag firmly so others can follow.
No, Euphoria is not reality, but that’s not what television is here for, is it? At its best it does what every quality story strives to do: to tell a truth in a way that people will pay attention to, often in a heightened, flashy way, and sometimes with copious amounts of drugs and sex.
This is as much a meditation on the lasting effect of these people as it is a tale of their accomplishments and failures, so no, you shouldn’t really be looking at any of this as reality.
The Half of It clips along beautifully, giving you all the sweet charm of your favorite rom-coms while also giving you some thoughtful meditation on what love is (even if it is filtered through teens).
Some films aspire to lofty messages, trying to say something deep and profound about our place in the world in an attempt to make us feel less alone. Others accomplish this by having a goat chase Lily James. Whatever works.