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Five ways to alleviate January boredom
January 5, 2013 - April Diodato
‘Downtown Abbey’ returns for season three (Jan. 6) – If you haven’t started watching one of the most well-written, entertaining and addictive shows on television, get thee to a computer or TV with Netflix streaming capabilities and delve into the first season. I guarantee you’ll be hooked. It focuses on a family of opulent British aristocrats – an earl, a countess and their daughters -- and their servants in the early 20th century. More can happen in one episode of “Downtown Abbey” than an entire season of some television dramas. Season three premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on PBS. Be forewarned: it already aired in the UK so be careful to avoid spoilers online.
‘Girls’ season two begins (Jan. 13) – “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham became a lightning rod for criticism during the show’s first season. She may be a polarizing figure, but love her or hate her (I fall into the former category), how can anyone be interesting if they’re not controversial? I find “Girls” to be wickedly funny, wonderfully weird and brutally honest. If you’re a fan, tune in to HBO at 9 p.m. on Jan. 13, and I highly recommend reading this article about the characters’ carefully curated wardrobes – the fashion (or occasional lack thereof) is one of my favorite things about the show.
New episodes of ‘Catfish’ (Jan. 7) – DECEIT! Drama! Delusion! I discovered “Catfish” during my Christmas vacation, and once I found four episodes on demand through Time Warner Cable (see Channel 160 in Fredonia), I devoured them all in one night. The creators of the movie “Catfish” – a documentary about a man, Nev, who decides to meet an intriguing woman he meets online, who isn’t what she seems – have taken the premise and made it into a weekly series. Each episode features a new person desperate to finally meet their internet crush, with surprising (sometimes jaw-dropping) results each time. What kills me is that as soon as Nev comes in and starts doing some research on the online sweetheart, a quick Google search instantly reveals information that they were ineptly hiding for months (or even years). I guess they didn’t want to ruin a good thing? The next new episode will air Monday, Jan. 7 at 11 p.m.
The release of ‘The Gangster Squad,’ (Jan. 11) – Ryan Gosling hasn’t been seen on the silver screen in a new movie since 2011. Originally slated for a fall 2012 release, some scenes in “Gangster Squad” had to be reconfigured after the tragedy in Aurora, Colo., in July, pushing the release date to 2013. Starring Gosling, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone as a femme fatale, the noirish set-up pits mobsters against the LAPD, based on true events. I’ve missed the Gos, and he had some great chemistry with Stone in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” The January release date is the only thing about this movie that makes me a bit nervous.
Movie Madness - Here’s the thing that drives me crazy about movie awards season – we plebeians don’t actually get to see what all of the fuss is about until months after the fact, when those buzzed-about films that we’ve been hearing about since September are actually released in theaters near us. Limited releases set to expand wide in January include “The Impossible” (Jan. 4) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (Jan. 11). Other contenders (especially in the acting categories) that have been out for awhile will be shown at the Fredonia Opera House this month, including “The Sessions” (Jan. 5 and 8), “Flight” (Jan. 12 and 15), and “Life of Pi” (Jan. 19 and 22). There are so many excellent films out in the theaters all at that many simply haven’t gotten around to watching yet due to the holiday rush – and the dreary days of winter are the perfect time to play catch-up.